Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover – Unless It’s a Roof
From an article that originally appeared in Lake Oswego Living, by Mary Kay Larson.
Most peoples’ largest investment is their home, and its roof protects the treasures it shelters. Especially here in Oregon, with our torrential down pours, constant moisture and bursts of sun, a good roof that’s built to last is essential for keeping you covered. But not all may be as it first appears. Meet Ben Crofut, owner of Elements Roofing, and you might not think ex-pro mogul skier, international corporate executive, and annuities and health insurance agent. Ben is okay with that perception.
Highly accomplished in the jet-set world but not happy with what he saw in the mirror, Ben made a choice at 25 years old to leave the financial world behind and get back to his roots. He reflected on what mattered most to him and concluded that it was humans’ most basic needs: food, shelter and water, and his need to be outside.
Ben had experience in construction from his childhood, living on a farm in Vermont, and when he asked his father for an allowance, he was told to get a job. He paralleled that hands-on work ethic and his business development acumen, and made a life changing decision to go back to building shelter. “Since humans have been walking the Earth, they have sought shelter and that shelter needs a roof,” explains Ben. “That is why I’m in this business.”
Ben is still highly accomplished. At age 29, he started his own roofing company, and splintered off in 2007 to form Elements Roofing, which today is one of Portland’s premier roofing companies. They are providing not just shelter; they are providing the best roofing available. What keeps Ben engaged day in and day out is that he loves solving problems.
“Our trademark is ‘Leaking Roofs Destroy Homes™!'” Not to scare homeowners, but Ben shares that more than 40 percent of his business is derived from repairing or rebuilding roofs installed within the last 10 years. The primary problem is improper ventilation and poor workmanship. New non-breathable materials introduced in the ’90s require that roofing contractors shift to installing proper ventilation. “There are a lot of roofing con-contractors in the business, but not a lot of good ones.”
This Is Where Elements Roofing Really Stands Out in Portland
All of Elements Roofing employees are manufacturer-certified in advanced roofing techniques. That’s noted with its host of certifications, including ranking as a CertainTeed Silver-Starred Commercial Roofing Contractor and possessing seven architectural copper fabrication certifications.
Elements Roofing is also a CertainTeed Shingle Master, which requires maintaining the strictest of building procedures. “If you see your roofer scratching his head, be nervous,” advises Ben. “There should be no doubt when it comes to the installation of your roof and flushing systems. Thankfully all of the thinking has been taken out of what we do. Now it’s purely system assembly!”
Ben holds multiple architectural copper certifications in the designer, fabrication, installation, and patina of custom copper clad and roof systems. His mentor and trainer is Daniel Sternthal, former head of The Copper Development Association and the chief architect in charge of the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. If it’s good enough for Lady Liberty, then Oswego Lake residents should feel confident in what Ben advises.
When asked why homeowners choose Elements Roofing, Ben stresses four reasons:
- the very best quality of materials;
- perfect installation;
- fair and reasonable pricing; and
- customer service.
Ben elaborates, “My dad was head of many large ski resorts and he always told me, ‘It’s not how perfect you are that defines your business, it’s how perfectly you handle your mistakes.’ The only way to be a good roofing contractor in Oregon is to have paid for your own mistakes. It doesn’t take long, then, before you stop making those mistakes.”
Concerned about your roof? Elements Roofing offers a free 20-point inspection, including the use of special infra-red FLIR equipment that allows its trained experts to see inside your home’s walls to look for signs of moisture, otherwise known as leaks.
Ben’s work ethic reaches far beyond his business. He is passionate about fitness. In Ben’s earlier years, he was a semi-pro and professional snow ski racer. He competed in pro-circuit events, including freestyle and moguls. Today, he still hits the mountain when he can.
Ben and his wife Amanda Cullen-Crofut, a working actress and fashion model, grew up down the street from each other in Vermont. The high school sweethearts have two sons, Orion (12) a seventh grader at Lakeridge Junior High, and Tashi (8), a second grader at Westridge Elementary. According to Ben, both sons are, “Certified jocks who love to play basketball, basketball, and more basketball.”
When he’s not on your roof, the ski slopes, or at Club Sport training with his boys, Ben challenges himself as part of the Club Sports Team for Tough Mudder, a 12-mile event that requires participants to overcome obstacles through some of the most rugged terrain that Oregon has to offer.
Did we mention that is what he does in his spare time? No wonder Ben sees the value of a good, protective shelter to go home to! Assures Ben, “If Elements Roofing re-roofs your home or building you will sleep well, knowing it will never leak.”