Rooftops Springing Up Like Bluebonnets
The lure of Texas is evident at every turn, but nowhere is this reflected more than in the eye-popping numbers on school growth. School districts across Texas are transforming their campuses, building on as they try to keep pace with the ballooning student population and in compliance with the laws governing the number of students per classroom.
Enter, KPOST Company
“Our district is growing. We’ve done about ten building additions in the past three years. We’ve had a growth in enrollment. We met KPOST Company a while back when they were subcontractors on another job,” says Scott Porter, Richardson Independent School District Security/Project Manager. “We were impressed, and since we were at the end of our five year bidding cycle, we invited them to join our pool of commercial roofers to bid out jobs.”
Texas is in the top eight fastest growing states in the country. Richardson Independent School District has grown 10% within the past four years, with its Lake Highlands schools gaining a robust 25%. In comparison, Frisco, Texas has grown 600% in the past twenty years, and ten percent of its population is under the age of six.
Factors School Districts Consider In Evaluating Commercial Roofing Contractors
Check Safety Indicators and Assess Integrity
School districts should request each bidding company provide its insurance modifier rate. The lower the number, the more successful that company has been in following the letter of the law and keeping workers and processes safe.
“Ours is .56 and we are very proud of that,” says Luciano Perez, CSHO KPOST Company Safety Manager. KPOST Company employs almost 325 people, which further underscores the significance of such a low modifier rating.
School districts are always free to check the frequency and type of OSHA violations as well. Willful violations mean the company blatantly ignored the law and the safety of the crew while a serious violation falls more in the realm of poor execution. For example, if there were five holes on the roof, and none were covered, the roofing company would be guilty of committing a willful violation. Covering three out of the five holes would constitute a serious violation. If a worker wears a harness that is disconnected from the building, that’s a serious violation as well. These types of violations can tell a story, particularly if there are many of them.
“We treat our guys with respect. We value them. We invest over $100,000 annually in safety training. We want to make sure the information provided transfers from the head to the heart, so it’s reflected in our team’s behavior. I coach them to give them the confidence, trust, and knowledge they need to make a “KPOST” difference on the project. If they have any issues, they can call me or any of the supervisors. We will not sacrifice safety in the name of production,” says Perez, underlining KPOST Company’s commitment to putting people first. “Our people make the difference in the success of our projects.”
Roof Longevity – Which Company Seems Most Able To Add Years to Roof Life?
Because money is tight everywhere, school districts try to accomplish maintenance and preventative tasks in-house, only bringing in a contractor when it truly adds value.
“With KPOST Company, on their preventative maintenance side, they document things really well. If I could have them do all of our roofs, I would. But I can’t afford it. We only do it on a roofs that are about 18 years old, (on a 20 year cycle),” says Porter. “We bring KPOST in to make repairs so that the roof will last 5 more years so it can go one more bond cycle.”
Surmise Commercial Roofing Expertise
“I like to give clients many options. Often, we make recommendations to the architect on the school projects if we have seen a new method that might work better than the boilerplate,” says Charlie Krauss, KPOST Company Roofing Deck Manager. KPOST Company’s involvement in industry associations keeps the company at the forefront of innovation and alert to new opportunities.
KPOST Company believes in offering several options, in terms of materials and application, in order to provide clients with a comprehensive snapshot of the products and materials available.
“The idea is to give them a quality product that is the best value. Sometimes the school district has to pay a little more up front to realize considerable savings in heating and cooling down the road. The investment to install reflective roofing membranes, and using lightweight insulating concrete decking has proven to be a great ROI,” says Krauss, who keeps abreast of innovations in green and energy efficient roofing materials.
Comparing Bids: It’s All About Work History
Porter characterizes the process of comparing bids as one of the most difficult tasks associated with his job. There’s generally the sky high bid from the contractor who likely doesn’t have time to do the work, and the lowball bid from the hasty roofing company that likely missed something significant. Then there are eight bunched in the center.
“When it’s apples to apples and I’ve got a KPOST Company and a B roofing company and their prices are within a couple hundred dollars, I look at it from standpoint of what have they done vs. what I know KPOST has done. It all goes back to work history. Did B company bring up unexpected things during projects? KPOST actually gets out and does a more thorough job of looking at the project up front. They see if they’ve done it for a school district or another place that’s similar,” says Porter, who has been at the helm of RISD’s roofing projects since 2001. “The roof KPOST did for me this past summer? Well, they had experience with the same type of roof here in the district two summers ago. They were able to accurately bid the job lower than everyone else cause they knew just what it would take.”
Partner with KPOST Company of Dallas
As school districts build up and out, with the lion’s share of commercial roofing projects confined to June through August, it is important to identify trustworthy commercial roofing companies with proven track records that bring more to the table than just the lowest bid. Growth forecasts show no slackening of the Texas population boom. KPOST Company encourages independent school districts to complete commercial roofing assessments and establish a 5-10 year plan to manage their building assets.