Fraser Bros Roofing Ltd.: Building with the Best for Over 25 Years

Fraser Bros Roofing Ltd. (FBR) initially began in 1985 out of the Fraser family house. While ownership has remained in-house with second-generation owner Jeff Fraser at the helm, the firm’s operations have moved to a large facility in Spruce Grove (Acheson), Alberta. “We started out doing minor repairs and maintenance on flat roofs, but we have grown to be one of the major competitors in the roofing market of Alberta,” says Fraser, the firm’s president. “We do all kinds of roofing for schools, warehouses, high-rises, apartment buildings, you name it.”

The company’s stated mission is to “serve the client with honesty, integrity and quality workmanship” which has guided the firm’s operations over the past quarter century. Clients rest assured they are in trusted and well-accredited hands with FBR. The firm is a member of the Alberta Roofing Contractors Association (ARCA), the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA), the Alberta Construction Association and the Spruce Grove Chamber of Commerce, which ensures that employees are regularly retrained in safety practices at both a local and national level.

The company operates both a shingle division under the name Fraser Shingling & Exteriors Ltd., as well as a membrane roofing division. “We do a little bit of everything – different membrane roofing systems, four-ply and gravel roofing, as well as single-ply membranes. Though we work mostly in the Edmonton and surrounding area, we have worked all over Northern Alberta,” explains Fraser. Since the company’s founding, the company has grown at an incredible rate. Within its first three years of operation, FBR relocated to a rented space in Edmonton, and by 1999 moved to its current offices and metal shop.

Aiding this expansion has been the steady presence of Fraser, who grew up in the industry. “This is the only job I have ever had,” says Fraser, “I began working here when I was 15 or 16 years old right when my father started the company. We started out just doing smaller repairs for residential customers, but I learned the ropes from the very bottom, from picking up garbage on the roof all the way up to running the company and taking it over.”

Preserving Alberta’s Historic Sites

Over the years, FBR’s reputation has made it a popular choice for some of Alberta’s highest-profile roofing projects. “We did work on the Alberta legislative building a few years back,” explains Fraser. The firm was responsible for repairing the roof of the Alberta Parliament Building, with its famous terracotta rotunda.

Most recently, the firm secured work on the reconstruction of the historic Alberta Hotel. “We’ll be getting started on that project very soon,” explains Fraser. The four-story hotel had been dismantled in 1984 to make space for the construction of Canada Place, but was painstakingly catalogued and preserved for relocation. Ultimately, the space will become a boutique hotel for downtown Edmonton, complete with its original façade and turret.

“We also did some work on many of the expansions of the Edmonton International Airport,” says Fraser. “We weren’t involved in the latest one, but through the 2000s we did all of the roofing for the central hall, main terminal and the north finger as well.”

Working towards Alberta’s Future

As the firm’s stature has grown, it has been called to work on some of the area’s largest projects. One of the firm’s most recent ones was for the KeepHills power plant. “It was one of our biggest jobs to date, it was done for Trans Alta and EPCOR, and we were out there for a couple of years, which is a long time for roofing,” says Fraser. The power plant is a coal-fired plant producing over 450 megawatts of power. The goal is to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 60 to 80 percent. The project is estimated to have cost over $1.5 billion and is an important step in ensuring the future of Canada’s power supply.

Even while FBR has worked on some of Alberta’s most famous roofs the firm has not been shielded from feeling the pinch of the economy. “There are challenges in the market and roofers in the marketplace are hungry, so we have seen prices driven down,” explains Fraser. “So we have gone with the old-fashioned saying of ‘trim the fat’ in order to run as lean and efficiently as possible to remain competitive in the market.”

There is no doubt that the past few years have been tough to weather, however, the firm remains optimistic about the future of the construction industry. “I see things getting better,” says Fraser. “In Alberta, our market is really driven by the oil industry, so if those companies are building new plants, expanding, or renovating the way we are seeing them start to do now, then that business really trickles down to every related business in the area. It is what we saw before, and what we hope to experience again.”

Fraser Bros Roofing Ltd. started out of a residential house and is now working on some of the area’s largest projects. Fraser and the company's entire staff clearly know how to maintain core efficiency to navigate a shifting market, giving them the necessary confidence to get through any economic climate and thrive well into the future.