Trusting in Old Friends
One of Baker Roofing Co.’s
oldest suppliers is Ludowici.
The two companies have collaborated on a number of projects such as Few Quad, a residence hall at Duke University and the famed Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. When Ludowici needed new roofing at one of its historic manufacturing plants, Baker Roofing won the job.
“They chose us because we have the ability and manpower to do the job and they want it done right,” says Woody Baldwin, Baker Roofing vice president and CEO, who has worked closely with Ludowici over the years. “Re-roofing of old buildings is difficult and they know Baker is going to do the job right.”
John Cagle, head of the Commercial Steep Slope Department, which performed the work, says the job called for Ludowici’s French tile. The roof was comprised of four bays, each 12,000 sq. ft. in size. “It’s huge for a tile roof,” he says.
“Ludowici roof tile can last over 75 years,” says Cagle. So, in the tear-off, old tile was recycled and new tile had to be blended to match the color of the old tiles.
“The plant was working 24-hours a day, and they wanted us to work at night to reduce noise,” says Cagle. “We started work about 6 p.m. and worked until 5 a.m.”
The project manager was Kurt Kellering who brought a team of experienced tile installers including five with Ludowici’s top rating of “Crown Roofer.” Each tile was screwed down by hand.
The job was challenging because of the number of openings on the roof. There was also 180 ft. of clear-story windows to be replaced. Baker also rebuilt the wood substrate.
The company, sensitive to Ohio’s then struggling economy, purchased 95% of its materials in-state.
“It’s not your everyday roofing project,” says Cagle. “It’s challenging to go into a project that someone did 130 years ago and you’re trying to update it but do it with respect for the original workmanship. We definitely want to keep a good relationship with Ludowici.”