Baker Roofing Company
A Heritage of
Always Good Work
The Best Roofing Contractor In The Nation
We shall do good work | At a profit if we can | At a loss if we must | But Always Good Work
In 1915 WP Baker hung a sign in his downtown Raleigh shop indicating that Baker Roofing (then Baker Rawls Tin Shop) was open for business. That sign read ‘We shall do good work. At a profit, if we can, at a loss if we must, but always good work.” Today, that sign can be found hanging in the lobby of our Raleigh headquarters (Pictured to the right with Prentiss (L) and Frank (R)) to act as a daily reminder of the values that drive all of team Baker.
Since that day in 1915, Baker Roofing has grown to become one of the nation’s largest and most respected roofing contractors. Baker Roofing Company now has over 20 locations across the Southeast and performs work all across the US.
To survive in business for over 100 years is no simple feat. Almost certainly, this success can be attributed to values-based family ownership and a century-old mission to do Always Good Work. We sat down with our humble leaders and third-generation Baker men, Prentiss and Frank Baker to share belly laughs over old times and get to know their hearts for serving others. Read our blog for the full interview!
"We've put some wonderful roofs on, but that’s not what I think about. The business of Baker Roofing is people. Whether we’re successful or not depends on people." - Prentiss Baker
The Story Behind Always Good Work
William Prentiss Baker rode a mule from Harnett County to Raleigh, North Carolina, in January 1901. Born July 27,1886, he was a 14-year-old boy running from a hard father and a hardscrabble farm life and riding to a bustling capital city that offered opportunity and promise.
It was a new day, a new year, a new century, and for the young Baker, a new life. In 1902, Prentiss began learning the trade of a tinsmith for which he was paid 50 cents a week. The southwest quadrant of downtown Raleigh was home to roofing and sheet metal shops, small manufacturing companies, warehouse and rooming and boarding houses. It was in this part of the growing city that Baker opened his own business on September 20, 1915. Like its owner, the name was straightforward: “W.P. Baker Co., tinner.”
Located on 419 Gale St., four blocks south of the Capitol, the company first appeared in the 1917 City Directory and at that time Prentiss posted a small sign on the front door that was in all capital letters, stating “We shall do good work, at a profit if we can at a loss if we must, but always good work.” A sincere promise that remains part of Baker’s culture and drives all of Baker Roofing Company.
Since that day, Baker Roofing Company has grown to become the 2nd largest contractor in the nation with over 20 offices across the southeast.
Our Chairman, Prentiss, talks about the drive behind our motto of 'Always Good Work'.
The Baker Family
A heritage of quality and always good work begins with William Prentiss Baker and the promise he made to customers over 100 years ago. To this day that promise is still the same and is the value that drives all of Baker Roofing.
William Prentiss Baker
W.P. Baker traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina from Harnett County in January 1901. Baker worked as a tinsmith, a trade he learned in 1902, at Lumsden Brothers making 50 cents a week. He married Mary Blanche Finnell of Raleigh March 14, 1912 and had his first and only child, William “Bill” Baker Jr., born November 1, 1922.
"Bill" Baker Jr.
Bill Baker attended Wake Forest University and N.C. State University until World War II when he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1946, a recently decommissioned solider, Bill Baker returned to the company to help his father manage the growing business. His life’s career was at Baker Roofing for 50 plus years, retiring as President in the early 90’s and handing over leadership of the company to his two sons.
Prentiss attended Wake Forest University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. A third generation owner of Baker Roofing Company, Prentiss has been engaged in work with the company for more than 66 years. Through his leadership, the organization has grown to become the second largest roofing company in the nation and one of the Raleigh area’s largest employers.
Frank Baker graduated from Wake Forest University in 1969. March 15th of that same year, Frank arrived at Baker Roofing Company to begin work and help his brother run the family business. For over 47 years, Frank served the company as Vice Chairman and continues to play a key role in estimating, working on numerous prestigious projects across the country such as the Kansas Statehouse Copper Dome Replacement.