FACTS about Public Roofing Procurement, and Oversight. Copyright 2010 by Robert R. Solomon

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"33 1/3"

My dear friend, Mr. Songer forwarded this rather unique recycling effort. After I saw this, I regretted selling all 1,300 albums in my collection, when I could have roofed my home with them. I'm not real sure about the solar reflectance of black vinyl though.

I should think a single nail in the center of each album would exceed 120 mph wind tunnel testing withouit too much difficulty.

"As Lloyd Alter points out at Treehugger, the vinyl records may not withstand heat very well, especially if they are in direct sunlight. But if the trees do the work of keeping the sun out, these old records should do an excellent job of keeping the rain out.

Not only that, but the records would make for a great conversation piece as you wait out those drenching Tennessee rainstorms.

What do you do with those stacks of of old, damaged or just plain bad vinyl records you came across at a garage sale or in your aunt's attic this summer? If you're Nashville musician Matt Glassmeyer, you use them as shingles for your porch roof.

Glassmeyer attached 350 damaged records to the frame of his deck roof, each with a single roofing nail.

As Lloyd Alter points out at Treehugger, the vinyl records may not withstand heat very well, especially if they are in direct sunlight. But if the trees do the work of keeping the sun out, these old records should do an excellent job of keeping the rain out.

Not only that, but the records would make for a great conversation piece as you wait out those drenching Tennessee rainstorms."

Okay, that's our fun for today, but I will have very exciting news prepared for my next post, and try to get it out today or tomorrow.

I appreciate the time you spend here, and thank you for caring. I will wish you a very happy day my friends, and remember to keep looking "UP".


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Proactive vs. Reactive"

I rarely see a roofing contractor who follows a sequence that is common, and necessary for every project. This procedure never changes, yet we act as if everything is a "surprise".

It is true that we are over regulated, and face many personalities within permitting jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions are individual to each city, county, and state, thus making it very difficult for any type of uniformity within the permitting process. Example: I recently spent a total of 70 hours working on a permit, and it can be enough to frustrate even Job.

Now that I've described what we face, I can tell you that permitting is simply a line item when adhering to procedure. We know that a NOC will be required, complete submittal package, MSDS, safety program (in English, and in Spanish), detailed proposal, notice to owner, insurance certificates, warranties, etc.

Instead of listing the check off items, and completing them in sequence, we seem to (forgive me) follow the "squeaky wheel" theory, and as a result, create confusion and mayhem when it absolutely does not have to happen. I will discuss "Left side of the line" principle in a separate post.

ALL this paperwork is exhaustive, but no matter how much you fight it, you will not win. Understanding that, you will find it is in everyone's best interest if you make the sequence uniform and efficient. It's not very important what you WANT to do, but what you HAVE to do, so grin and bear it.

This may seem penny ante to many of you, but while residential work does not require as much paperwork, the client LOVES to see a safety disc, product literature, a stamped envelope with the completed warranty which they sign, mail, and their warranty information has been recorded. Hey Ron, why don't we pile more paperwork on ourselves?

Well, I can tell you the reward from spending a little time on your clients will elevate you from "Terry Tarbucket", to a professional, and the client will feel secure knowing their best interest is at heart. If you simply regard each structure as if it were your own, you will succeed. If you want to scratch out a price on the bottom of a Burger King bag, you will fail. If you represent yourself as slovenly, the client will receive you that way.

I've written procedure and philosophy numerous times, but it takes a commitment by management to insure it's carried out. Without procedure, you will never be able to identify the source of problems, or corrections. While I'm on the topic, I might share that "Blaming" people is not relevant to anything except ego. As an administrator, you do not get paid to "Blame" people, but to "Solve Problems".

"Ron did it, Ron did it, Ron did it" seems kind of silly doesn't it? Do you think the client cares?

I am trying to impart a philosophy in business I've found very useful. If you want to rise above the competition, think ahead, and provide the items I've mentioned, or come up with your own version. If anyone would like to see a written roofing contractor procedure, I will be happy to provide it. After that, it's on you.

If anyone has a suggestion, or experience to share, it is welcome here.

I am deeply appreciative for the opportunity to share thought with you, and hopefully assist you in some way. Thank you for visiting, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Be good,

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Sustainable Schools"

Today is election day, and I'm unable to take the time for a complete post. But, tomorrow we'll be discussing energy "Saved", instead of "Energy Created".

Thank you to Annie. Annie is in Australia, and moving to the United States (Texas), and renovating a home with many well thought out sustainability features, including roofing.

The theme will sort of be about tripping over dollars to pick up nickels. I have a couple of examples I've seen, that will put a very pensive look on your face. One reason you might find it interesting, is that you're paying for it.

But I did have an article come out in West Coast Roofing Contractors Association this month, and hopefully you will find it interesting:

Florida “Sustainable Schools”
By: “Ron” Robert R. Solomon

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Each year, The Collins Center in Tallahassee receives nominations for the
Governor’s “Sustainable Florida” and “Sustainable Schools” programs. These
nominations and sustainability efforts represent the most prestigious
environmental awards in the state. Though retired, I consider it my civic
responsibility to represent (independently) our skill discipline on issues of
immediate and long term need. I’m probably as “Old School” as just about
anyone, but given half a chance will choose a roof system that is
multidimensional (up front and life cycle cost, clean water, and energy
reduction) every time. Sometime, I even think about keeping water out of the
building while I’m at it.

Nominees include USGBC, State Agricultural Commission, SWFTMD, Wal-Mart,
and many representatives of local and state government throughout Florida.
I’ve been very fortunate to be named a judge several times, and evaluate the applications and place a numerical value which I submit to Tallahassee,
winners are chosen, and a very nice awards presentation follows.
This isn’t just a bunch of backslapping, elitist, corporate types, as it is open to all
people and judged without prejudice. That’s actually the hard part, because
one moment I see a huge Everglades restoration project, and the next is a
lady who is emphatic about using a clothes line. I review many fascinating
applications and initiatives, with some very small, and others vast in scope,
but each passionate regardless of scale.

Along with the application, there are many attachments and photos which
further illustrate the effort, and provide a more personal aspect. I’m sharing
these topics with you today because our discipline is interfaced with many
sustainable circuits. What in the world does that mean Ron? It means the
roof, HVAC, windows, etc. must work in concert for the structure to perform
as designed. I consider the roof to be the singular most important component
of any structure, yet the last to be addressed. Everyone likes nice landscaping
and paint, but since they can’t see the roof, it doesn’t exist. I’m trying to
inform as many decision makers as I can to change that.

Okay, let me step off my soap box and get to the schools. School districts,
schools, teachers, and students, all compete in several categories, and are
judged accordingly. Many of the projects were accomplished without
funding, and in many cases, generated revenue for the school. Some were
heavily funded (in one case $80,000.00), but were considered to be useful to
a broader audience (a solar car from Key West is an example).
If any of you have children (K-12) who participate, or would like to participate, I’d be
proud to nominate them for next year’s competition. Winners receive a
check for $1,500.00, a plaque, and a proclamation signed by the Governor
(Sink or Scott?). But it’s the “achievement” they seem to covet most, and I
find that uplifting.

I’d be more than happy to forward a complete list if anyone would like to see
your children’s respective schools, or school district. These kids get out in
the dirt, clean waterways, plant and harvest, collect tons of recyclable
debris, and work harder than many adults I know. Below is a link for anyone
who values the “hands on” involvement of children in actual environmental
settings. Believe me, it’s very personal when I have to review a class of
kindergartners with disabilities, and be objective. I know this sounds corny,
but each of them are champions, whom I consider benefactors of society.
You have wonderful children, doing great things, and you should be proud of
them. I am.

We all know how tough things are, and money is tight, but if you can spare a
couple of bucks for these kids, it will be put to good use.
Sustainable Florida:
In closing, I will share that it would be my privilege to help any of you with
sustainability as it pertains to roofing, energy, and clean water. This is what I do each day, of my own volition. Please understand I respect each and
every member of the WCRCA, do not promote one manufacturer over
another, or participate in anything that would preclude anyone from fair

You are welcome to contact me at: RobertRSolomon@aol.com for additional
information, and I’ll be happy to help.
Note: If you are planning a roofing project within 100 miles of Tampa, you would find very qualified contractors within the WCRCA. If you want to request them through me, I'll be sure to put together a list of qualified contractors I know personally, and have found to be very good people.

Today is a good day to keep looking "UP"

Be good,

Robert R. Ron" Solomon

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