Commercial steep slope earns national reputation

When Baker Roofing Co. started almost 100 years ago, there were only two departments, BUR (built up roofing- and the other types of roofing, notably metal.

Today, the company has multiple departments that install a variety of roofing materials, from architectural shingles and tile to single-ply and metal. One of those departments is Commercial Steep Slope.

Department Manager John Cagle ticks off the types of roofing his crews install: “We can do shingles, slate, tile, copper, zinc, and some sheet metal. From 10 ft. off the ground to 400 ft.”

What separates his department from others is the slope of the roofs. They can be a modest slope or a church steeple that’s almost straight up.

“We’re working on the Kansas State Capitol’s dome,” he says, “and historical courthouse in Savannah, Georgia.” Some of their other recent projects include a school at Duke University, a high-rise in downtown Raleigh, and four buildings on the Wake Forest University campus.

“We did the River Course Golf Course Clubhouse at Kiawah, South Carolina. We’re looking at the Princeton University dorms now in New Jersey which is 4,000 squares about the size of the Few Quad at Duke.”

There are about 30 permanent employees in the department and Cagle reports to Pete Rigney and Woody Baldwin. Cagle is proud of the experience in his team and notes that there is 75 years of Baker experience among his construction managers. “One foreman has almost 25 years with Baker,” he says.

Another difference from the days of two departments is the market area. Back then, the market was Raleigh and Wake County and today, Cagle says his department’s market area is “the whole country.”

Chris Brackin, Senior Estimator, is looking at projects in Wyoming and San Francisco, and the department is working on roofs for Ludowici Roof Tile Co. in Ohio.

“Quality is important because the work we do is likely to be in a magazine. The AIA building [in Raleigh] already has been in two construction magazines. I consider my guys as artists. Every one of them has pride in what they do because not everyone can do it.”

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