The story of Cert-A-Roof encompasses more than the bedrock on which the company was founded, it represents the experience and values in which it is rooted.
The model for the Cert-A-Roof concept began taking shape over 25 years ago while our founder, Les Watrous, was running his own independent contracting business. As an entrepreneur and third-generation builder, Les had extensive experience in all aspects of contracting, including sales, marketing, home inspections and insurance restoration work. He also had an entrepreneurial drive to innovate, combined with a deeply rooted moral imperative to do things right. He envisioned a niche that would set his business apart while improving the roofing experience for the customer. Les didn’t have to look very far for the roofing industry at that time lacked uniform standards and policies. In fact, it was in disarray, with no unity, and no track record for following “best practices” on either the customer or operations side.
In the early 80’s, while his ideas for an innovative roofing firm were fermenting, Les founded and operated Waterhouse and Associates, a general contracting company. In 1994, a destructive California earthquake opened the floodgates of opportunities for Waterhouse and Associates, bringing not only more work, but also the need to negotiate insurance claims on behalf of displaced homeowners. Les soon became an insurance claims expert and a sought-after consumer advocate. Based on his knowledge, he authored Top Dollar Property Claims. The book sold thousands of copies and is rated “One of the Best Real Estate Reads of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times.
His intimate understanding of the inner workings of insurance companies as they relate to insurance claims and the importance of risk management provided Les his unique niche. He became well positioned to implement an exciting new service of roof certifications, the “key” for gaining entry into a rich referral base, to meet the needs of roofing professionals, property owners and everyone else involved in real estate transactions. Combining the tried-and-true with the new and innovative, he created a Patent-pending process of inspecting and certifying roofs and a trademarked proprietary roof certification program designed to bring peace of mind to property owners and the real estate community as well as profitability to contractors. This converged with his desire to raise the bar for the roofing industry, improve overall standards and to “do things right.” The turnkey, the national roofing network of Cert-A-Roof was born.
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