Herb Lodde & Sons Roofing Ltd.
Herb Lodde started out in 1964 as an independent roofer, gradually building a client base in his spare time. As the years went by, Lodde’s two sons Dave and Rob joined the company, lending a hand during summer vacation and by 1996, the team officially incorporated as Herb Lodde & Sons Roofing Ltd. (HLS).
Today, the Lodde family continues to take pride upholding the company’s reputation for quality workmanship and dedication, bringing together like-minded professionals who believe in the importance of transparency and honest family values.
HLS headquarters are still located in St. Catharines, Ontario, but the company opened a second showroom in Burlington, Ontario, to expand its coverage across the Golden Horseshoe region. HLS professionals can service, install and build almost every kind of residential roof from traditional cedar shingled roofs to laminate and asphalt shingles and even skylights and the team regularly works with local home builders for new construction projects. “We have never wanted to become a big company,” adds Rob Lodde, owner and vice president. “It’s why we don’t have an office in Toronto and we focus mostly on the residential market sector, with the odd commercial job here and there.”
At HLS, estimations are complimentary and consultations come with no obligation, which has helped the company establish itself as a reliable and trustworthy roofing partner. According to Rob, HLS has even picked up a few clients along the way who learned the hard way how quickly customer service is sacrificed in the name of cheap pricing. “We’re certainly not the cheapest company in town, but we have succeeded as a company by always making sure the customer is happy.”
Moving into New Markets
Though it’s true that HLS focuses primarily on keeping residential roofs in good working order, the company has been fortunate enough to participate on a few choice commercial jobs with tangible impact on the community. In 2006, the HLS team proudly completed work on a new bandstand to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the Town of Fonthill, Ontario. The original bandstand was built around the turn of the century, but the new Fonthill Bandshell is a replica of its original octagonal counterpart and has become an anchor of the town’s summer programming.
Along the way though, the Lodde family translated the company’s approach into other exterior areas of the home and by 2000, HLS launched sister company Quality Exterior Systems Inc. (QES). QES is overseen by CEO Manny Demelo, who brings over 20 years of industry experience to the team. “Manny is like our Portuguese brother because he truly believes in the same values we hold as a company and as a family,” admits Rob. Together, QES and HLS can install and service siding, windows, doors, decking and fencing with the same dedication and transparence that have made HLS successful over the years.
Though both companies work exclusively with products from reputable manufacturers like GAF and IKO, the company understands the client’s cost concerns and works internally to streamline operations and keep costs competitive. A large part of the company’s cost-competitiveness stems from its low inventory. In turn, the company orders items as needed to keep overhead costs down and still be able to transfer any volume pricing savings along to the client. In addition, every estimate is clearly itemized with a subtotal and tax percentage listed separately so the client knows precisely what to expect at all stages of construction and the client never receives a surprise invoice.
Modifying the Strategy
But getting to the place HLS is today has taken some significant trial and error. In the early days, HLS used in-house teams of professionals to complete all work on an hourly basis, but according to Rob, the practice actually increased project turnaround times and the frequency of on-site accidents. “Instead, we now use teams of independent affiliate contractors, who work exclusively for us, are required to maintain active and appropriate licensing, and display the same professionalism and commitment to safety and quality that the HLS name stands for,” asserts Rob. After all, the HLS team isn’t going to let just anyone put the HLS logo on a truck.
Over Spring and Summer 2011, HLS proved its commitment to the client once again, helping homeowners in the Niagara region repair and recover from damages sustained after a severe windstorm in late April. “It was our busiest summer maybe ever,” recalls Rob.
In the coming years, HLS will continue to focus on its loyal client base in the Golden Horseshoe region, while keeping an eye out for opportunities to expand. Neither HLS nor QES have any concrete plans to move into the Toronto market, but the company’s reputation has been pulling it northeastwards for a few years now and the Burlington location has become well established as is. The reality is that Herb lode & Sons Ltd. stands for dependability, transparency and quality workmanship, which show no signs of waning in popularity and will continue to position the company for controlled growth in the future.