I've been in the roofing business since I was a kid. My dad started in the fifties installing asphalt shingles, wood shingles and asphalt roll roofing products. My older brothers joined him at a local roofing company as they graduated high school. From my early teens I spent weekends and summers helping out on side jobs, cleaning the job site and carrying materials. In the mid seventies my dad started his own business with my brothers and I joined them when I graduated high school.
In 1988, the year my first daughter was born ( she is now a freshman at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA.,) I started my own business to concentrate on the more challenging and high end roofing work. Slate roofing, tile roofing, copper flashing and downspouts, and ornamental sheet metal work.
From my early years, without realizing it, I had become a historical preservationist. Each time I worked on replacing an old roof, I looked at the details to see how it was originally installed. If the original roofing had lasted for many years, I figured that the workmanship had been done the best way possible and that I should try to replicate it as faithfully as possible.
Years of experience, along with researching old technical manuals as well as new, have helped me to learn how to restore and preserve historical roof systems, and sometimes to improve on the original.
Dennis M. Crookshanks