Wendy Marvin wants her company, Matrix Roofing, to give a free roof replacement to a Clark County family in need each year – but the task has oddly been more difficult than it sounds.
Marvin’s company, which opened in 2007, has seen tremendous growth in the past few years – ramping up from $3 million in annual revenues to about $5 million. And one of her goals has always been to give back to the community. But a handful of years ago the company tried to give a free roof to a family in need on its own and it didn’t end well, Marvin said.
“Unfortunately in that case the house got repossessed while the roof was getting put on,” Marvin said. “We didn’t know what questions to ask about it at the time. It was a bit of a disaster.”
After that negative experience Marvin started researching more about ways to better protect the company while still helping out, and she came across the national program “No Roof Left Behind,” which Matrix Roofing recently joined.
Through the program, the community can nominate families in need of a new roof. Those families are then vetted to make sure they can retain possession of the home, and finalists are listed on a web page. The community then votes again on the winner.
“I’ve been watching that entity for years,” Marvin said of the program. “We needed a more controlled way to do this, and this gives a mechanism for letting the community vote on who gets the roof.”
Marvin originally founded Matrix Roofing with her now ex-husband, but she ended up buying him out of the business in 2015. That year, in part due to a significant windstorm in Clark County on Dec. 21, the company started to see increasingly rapid growth, which has only continued in subsequent years.
“We exploded after that,” Marvin said. “Watching the growth track, 2015 we went off the charts. We ended up staying at that high level and continuing on.”
Prior to 2015, the company had about 10 employees with three crews. Today it has 28 employees and about five crews, she said.
“We’re turning away work currently, actually,” Marvin said. “We need to find the right sweet spot to continue to grow.”
Construction is a cyclical business, so part of Marvin’s job is to find the balance of just enough growth without overstretching the company in a downturn.
“I don’t know how much longer the boom is going to continue to happen,” Marvin said. “We’re keeping an eye on next year.”
Marvin said she does anticipate a downturn in the next one to three years, but hopes to be well prepared for it.
“We opened in 2007, in the Great Recession, and we still grew,” Marvin said. “I think our customer service is the most important thing. Our work is almost exclusively through referrals and always has been.”
And whatever happens with the economy, the roof giveaway is a project she’s been eager to launch for years, she said.
The No Roof Left Behind program, which Matrix Roofing joined, operates in about 18 states. Other industry partners also participate, such as distribution and manufacturing companies, to help offset the costs.
“Most of the material costs will be covered, and then we’ll do the labor gratis and make a party out of it,” she said.
Getting the word out on the program has been oddly difficult, though. Matrix Roofing has five nominees to choose from so far, with nominations closing on July 15. The company was originally expecting many more, she said.
“We were surprised it was hard to get people to talk about it,” Marvin said. “People thought it was a sales tactic rather than giving away a free roof. I think we learned from that this year. We’ll try to go at it differently next year.”
Next year the company plans to give away two free roof replacements. One will go specifically to a veteran in need, and the other will go to a family.
Once this year’s nomination process is over, candidates will go through vetting for a few weeks and then final community voting will run from Aug. 1 to Sept. 1. The winner will be revealed in October, which is also when the installation will occur, Marvin said.
Kevin Getch, owner and founder of Webfor, knows Marvin well as his company has worked with her to build Matrix Roofing’s new website.
“Wendy is an amazing woman and business owner,” Getch said.
“We just want a mechanism to give back to the community,” Marvin said. “This community’s been so good to us.”
Nominate someone in need for a free roof replacement: To nominate a Clark County family, visit https://noroofleftbehind.com/program/wa/1373/Nominate by July 15.