You might say that putting a roof over people’s heads is in John Gorgol’s blood. His grandfather founded J.J. Gorgol & Son Roofing in 1940. Gorgol’s father followed him into the roofing business as did John’s brother, working on both residential and commercial roofs.
Gorgol has been roofing full-time since 1972. In 1995, as his father and brother were considering retirement or other work, Gorgol decided to strike out on his own with .
“I wanted to do quality work, wanted to do decent work, because I get tired of fixing other people’s problems,” he explained.
To Gorgol, quality matters, and that ideal influenced the direction of his company.
“I wanted to stay small, I wanted to stay local, and I wanted to offer quality service," he said. "You get too big, you lose control. I pretty much oversee everything. I run, when we’re real busy, two crews, sometimes three. But that’s still manageable for me. This way I know what’s going on. I can keep track of things. I can make sure that the quality stays there.”
Gorgol’s company has grown over the past 16 years. He currently employs 15 workers, and training is critical to maintaining the standard he has set. His employees must have more than just job experience.
As a certified contractor with both GAF and CertainTeed, whose roofing products they use, Gorgol’s employees are required to successfully complete regular training with those companies in order to maintain that certification. OSHA safety training is also mandatory.
“They’re not just guys who have roofed or think they can roof," he said. "They need to know what they’re doing.”
Working from an office in his home has personal benefits. Gorgol enjoys the freedom and flexibility it gives him to spend time with his family.
“It’s been great with my son and his sports, and with my daughter and the things she’s been involved in – band, etc. – where I can adjust my schedule and be available,” he said
Gorgol does see one downside to his home office.
“I get people knocking on the door at strange times in the evening,” he said.
In addition to the office in Darien, Rooftech Systems also has a warehouse in Westmont for storing materials and equipment. Gorgol will soon be opening a small showroom there, on 63rd Street just west of Cass Avenue.
Rooftech Systems is a family business. John’s wife, Deirdre, is co-owner and helps run the business. And the next generation? Education is a high priority. Daughter Laura is a preschool teacher. Son Kyle has two more years to complete his degree in accounting.
John also believes in the value of outside experience before joining the family business.
“Not because I don’t want them in it, but because I think they need a lot of practical experience," he said. "And then if you decide to work in the company, then you can bring that in, obviously with a different mindset.”
John’s biggest business challenge is getting homeowners to understand what goes into properly putting on a roof.
“A lot of people look at strictly bottom line and say ‘But this is so much cheaper,’" he said. "And there’s a reason for that. We all pay the same for material. It’s either in the insurance or in labor, and that’s where the difference is.”
Rooftech Systems, Inc., is located at 402 Maple Lane in Darien. Contact them by phone at 630-969-1910 or online at www.rooftechsystemsinc.com.