Baker Roofing Company
A Heritage of
Always Good Work
Best Roofing Contractor in the Nation
With over 100 years of experience, Baker Roofing Company has grown to become one of the nation’s largest roofing contractors.
In 1915 W. P. 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 lobby of our Raleigh headquarters 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 18 locations in 6 states throughout the Southeast and performs work all across the US as well as internationally. Most recently Baker Roofing was recognized by Engineering News Record SE as the Specialty Contractor of the Year (2011).
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.”
Since that day, Baker Roofing Company has grown to become the 2nd largest contractor in the nation with 18 offices in six states across the southeast. A sincere promise that remains part of Baker’s culture and drives all of Baker Roofing Company.
The Baker Family
A heritage of quality and always good work begins with William Prentiss Baker and his 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.
W. Prentiss Baker I Learns Roofing
In 1902 W. Prentiss Baker I began work as a tinsmith for $0.50 a week at Lumsden Brothers Sheet Metal Co.
Baker Roofing Company Opens
On Sept. 20th, 1915 W. P. Baker I opened his own roofing business “W. P. Baker Co.” in the southwest quadrant of 419 Gale St., Raleigh, NC.
Always Good Work
W. Prentiss Baker I posted a sign on the front door that remained part of Baker’s reputation.
Baker Partner with Horace Rawls
In 1920 W. P. Baker partnered with Rawls to form Baker & Rawls Tin Shop. The company now has 20 employees.
Baker & Rawls Moves to Davie St. Raleigh, NC
After a fire in it’s offices Baker & Rawls moved to it’s Davie Street offices built by Carolina Cotton Oil Company in 1888.