Roofing is an industry of strong people. Every roofing business that can survive boom and bust economic cycles, weather anomalies and the daily grind of a physically challenging and competitive trade can be admired. Traits that contribute to stability:
- Rugged, seasoned individuals who started as their own foreman and salesperson.
- Efficient (read underpaid) husband and wife teams.
- Business people who see that a well-run roofing company can return economic profit.
- Multi generation companies where knowledge and skills are shared and built upon.
- Young entrepreneurs, eager to learn, open to new ideas and growth.
- Having all of these traits in one company? Priceless.
An Interview with Brazil Quality Construction, Inc.
Q & A with Michael J. Brazil, 3rd generation roofer:
1. In addition to the value of roofing knowledge shared, is there a shared understanding that helps create the culture at Brazil Quality Construction Inc.?
I think culture is key, and cultures are created by beliefs, morals, ethics, standards, knowledge, etc. Cultures always start at the top. Many companies value speed and efficiency over quality. We are just the opposite. We applaud our team if they see something that should be improved and go the extra mile to do it right by our standards.
One aspect of my Dad’s (Michael D. Brazil) personality that I respect the most is that poor installation is completely unacceptable. It creates our culture of uncompromising quality. If there is something wrong with our work we’ll go back and make it right. That “quality first” mindset makes an impression on everyone at the company from his sons, to his sales team, and our roofers. Our homeowners and builders have the confidence that we will always stand behind our work.
In roofing it’s always the “little things” that matter: the solder weld on the flashing, the downspout location on a lower roof, the flashing size, the way the valley is cut in at the eave, the nailing pattern, etc. All these little things add up to make a quality installation. We are extremely proud of our finished product because it doesn’t come about on accident. We spend extra time on the roof, and in sheet metal shops to make sure the roof system we put on your house is tailor made for your architecture, and meets the needs of your specific home.
Houses are like a custom made suit, one size does not fit all. In the complex architectural world we work in a good roofer must know how to address each situation. So, in the end we all know what the Brazil standard is, and we don’t compromise, even if that means losing work at times.
2. Your focus on Quality gives Brazil Quality Construction Inc. the feel of a company able to tend to discriminating, high end clients. But you are also putting down a lot of squares. How do you maintain that standard of quality in production scenarios?
As far as quality goes there is no short cut or secret to quality. Quality means you have qualified, experienced professionals who get up on every roof and thoroughly inspect and manage the job from start to finish. It’s a lot of hard work, and you have to care and keep a good attitude even when it’s raining or 100 degrees outside in the elements. You can never give in and compromise… ever. The blazing sun, and the wind and the rain will eventually uncover compromise.
In our case we are privileged to have four Brazil’s, and some long time trustworthy team members who care and have the ability to get up on the work and run it from start to finish. Mike Sr., Nick, Anthony Brazil, and I get up on our re-roofs and new construction homes to manage them. Sometimes we do some of the labor, or special detail work. We are very connected to our work and our installers. No company is perfect, but we take our reputation seriously, and we feel it is a privilege when our Sacramento neighbors choose us to work on their Homes. One of Mike Sr.’s favorite things to say is, “Roof it like it is your own house!” We don’t sell something we wouldn’t put on our own house.
We roof 800 sq. foot 1940’s farm houses in Sacramento and Fair Oaks, and we roof gigantic 14,000 sq. foot mansions in Granite Bay and El Dorado Hills. The key is that the job is done correctly. If you want a quality job… we want to bid on the project!
3. Where do you want to see the tile industry go?
The Tile Roofing industry gets a bad name because of poor installation by bad roofers. I can’t tell you how many times I have been at a Home and Landscape show and I get homeowners walking up to my booth telling me how much they hate roof tile. I have been on enough repair service calls to know that 99% of them should be complaining about bad installation, because usually poor installation is the problem with tile roofing. I have a hard time believing that tile roofing is suddenly a poor choice of a roof when tile roofing has been here long before the Roman Empire.
Homeowners want assurances that spending the extra money to get a quality tile roof will be worth it. I feel that the Tile Manufacturers need to put together system warranties that guarantee the roof. These warranties would give incentive for homeowners to spend a little extra to upgrade to all new flashings, higher quality underlayments, extra protection in leak prone areas, and choose certified installers rather than taking the lowest bid.
Brazil Quality Construction, Inc. serves the greater Sacramento area in Northern California. John Louis Brazil Sr. taught his son Michael D. Brazil from an early age to take pride in his work. Michael was hand taught by his father to be a master shake and shingle applicator on roofs and walls. In May of 1989 Michael began contracting in the local Sacramento area. His wife Cyndi plays a critical role in the company office.
Michael D. Brazil taught his own children, Michael J. Brazil, Nicholas & Anthony, roofing skills with the same principles of pride and quality. Michael J., Nick and Anthony have all joined Brazil Quality Construction Inc. and continue to work with their parents.
Michael D., Michael J., Nicholas and Anthony have all taken the Tile Roofing Certification Course along with several of their staff. They are an impressive combination of the best in our industry.