Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monks selling Westvleteren 12 in America

This is one of those stories you don't see everyday. The monks of St. Sixtus Abbey are selling limited quantities of Westvleteren 12 in America. The beer is very rare, only brewing about 3,800 barrels a year (the same since the 1940s) and the beer is considered one of the best beers.

See the Article:

Humble lives. Expensive renovation

The 21 Belgian monks of St. Sixtus Abbey live very humble lives. Facing an expensive roof renovation the monks decided to export a limited quantity of beer. This is extremely rare. Typically to purchase the beer you must visit the Abbey and have an appointment.

What do you think? Is the beer worth it? Have you tried Westvleteren 12 before?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Should Texas Require Roofers to have a License?

Many states do not have licensing requirements for home service companies such as roofers. Texas is one of these states. On a recent article, Lyndell Haigood of Wichita Falls questions where Texas should require licensing for roofers. The article states:

Before a barber can charge $20 for a haircut, he or she must have taken 1,500 hours of course work during a minimum of nine months training. They will be required to take a final examination and then pay $60 to obtain their license. To place a $10,000 roof on someone's home requires no experience, no training and no license. We hope that is about to change.
While the write ragrees that no one is recommending 1,500 hours of training, she does argue that roofing contractors should secure liability insurance to protect homeowners from damages, whether accidental or intentional. Fair disclosure, Lyndell is the president of the Association of Fire and Casualty Companies in Texas.

Some of this is common sense and sometimes common sense lies with the homeowner.

First, comparing a roofer to a barber is silly. Whether you think barber should have 1,500 hours of course work and pay a government fee to be in business is up to you. Personally, I don't know many people that tip their roofer after a job (though I'm guessing the average roofer and his crew wouldn't mind the gesture).

Second, this has already been solved by the private sector. Roofing manufacturers given certifications to roofing companies. Again, this puts the burden on the homeowner, but does more to protect than a 8.5" x 11" piece of paper that a license does. Roofing manufacturers require course time, tests and have created their own quality standards within the roofing industry. Companies can display these credentials on roofing websites and discuss it during sales proposals.

Third, licensing only creates protective barriers to keep other out competition. When this happens homeowners pay more because the market isn't allowed to compete. Take the below John Stossel video as an example. In this video John Stossel discusses florist licenses in Louisiana.

Want another angle against licensing? Look to Hurricane Sandy. Electric workers from Alabama were turned away to help. State requirements, including being union members, were caveats that the Alabama crew were unwilling to cope with. These volunteers were planning on helping those in need, but despite being capable professionals were able to help. Hundreds of thousands of homes still didn't have power two weeks later because of the fact the electrical industry has such controls and the current workforce could not handle the overflow of work.

GAF to be Featured on TV Show American Chopper

GAF will be featured on the December 3, 2012 episode of "American Chopper." The popular 10 year-old TV show will air at 9pm on the Discovery Channel. GAF is the largest roofing manufacturer in North America. The company was founded in 1886.

This is a great opportunity for GAF and is sure to be a great episode to watch. If you get the chance, try to watch it live or record it. Click the link below to read the full press release.

During the episode, the crew at Orange County Choppers, custom motorcycle manufacturer, designs and builds a custom bike that embodies GAF's core principles of quality and innovation, as well as focusing on the fact that GAF is an American-owned company with 26 plants in the U.S. employing thousands of Americans. Representatives from GAF and Paul Teutul Sr., owner of Orange County Choppers, unveil the GAF Chopper during an event held at the OCC shop in Newburgh, NY. 
American Chopper Episode 6

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy to Bring Roofing Scams?

Press release came out the other week about roofing scams in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. It is estimated that thousands of homeowners will be solicited for potential contractor scams. Knowing the signs of a potential scam is important. While many contractors from out of state that are trying to help will have good intentions, some will not. The elderly are often candidates singled out.

KTM Roofing Warns of Potential Hurricane Sandy Scams
- Click here to read.

Laws vary state to state, KTM suggests that homeowners do their research on any potential contractor. A reputable roofer should be able to provide certain documentation including a business card, contact information and when applicable, business license number. A roofer looking to solicit business should also be able to provide proof of insurance and local references of recent and older roofing projects. Roofing contractors should be able to put an agreement in writing of services to be performed. Ideally you will be able to see their roofing reviews on Kudzu or learn more about them through the Better Business Bureau.
If you see suspicious activity, please contact the local authorities. Try to record whatever information you can, but be careful confronting any companies. Be cautious before signing any agreements, especially if a deposit is required (be even more cautious if a deposit is required in only cash).

Twitter: #HurricaneSandy

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Roofers Fight On Top of a Jail?

This is just an odd story from the StarTribune. Earlier this week a many was arrested after allegedly assaulting another roofing crew member. What makes the story so odd is that it happened on top of the roof of the Stearns County jail. This jail is localed in St. Cloud, MN.

The story reports that the men began arguing and then fighting. It escalated with one many allegedly hitting the other with a rake intended to be used to spread rocks. A 43 year-old man from St. Cloud was booked for second-degree assault. The victim, 23 years-old, had a three inch cut to his forehead and told investigators that a tooth was knocked out.

The men were hired as temporary workers for a jail roofing project.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Houston Roofer Survives Lighting Strike

Almost everyone understands that roofing can be dangerous. Even then, it can sometimes be more dangerous than expected when mother nature plays a roll.

On Sunday October 14th, 19-year-old Christian Barrera was struck by lighting while roofing in Cypress, TX, a suburb of Houston as reported by While it is believed Christian stopped breathing, Ed Gamble, the roofing supervisor was able to give him CPR, saving Barrera's life.

All this happened within steps of Christian's father, Omar, who was also working on the site.

The lighting is believed to have entered his neck and exited his shoe. Christian was taken to North Cypress Medical Center and later he was transported to Memorial Hermann Northwest. He is currently in critical condition.

Thoughts and prays are with Christian and his family.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Roofing Scam Alert in NV

The Nevada State Contractors Board has issued a consumer alert for Reno, NV residents after multiple reported incidents of a man scamming homeowners into paying unnecessary roof repair and vent piping costs.

Suspect Name: James Gregg
Description: White Male in his 30s. He is approx. 5'10", 180 lbs with brown hair and a brown mustache
Vehicle: "newer" white van with no company signage or logo.
May be traveling with a women.

Like the storm chasers previously discussed on this blog, the suspect is traveling through neighborhoods targeting seniors that are out in their yard. The suspect approaches the victims, mentions that he noticed roof repairs are needed and gets the homeowner to agree upon his services. The suspect is performing substandard work. He also is returning to check on the work only to convince the homeowner that additional repair are needed. Additional details are suspected and the NSCB is holding educational Senior Awareness Sessions.

To report an incident, contact the NSCB's Unlicensed Contractor Hotline: (702) 486-1160 or (775) 850-7838.

For more information visit

Video: KRNV - Reno