With a history spanning almost 70 years, Tomtar Roofing & Sheet Metal has evolved to become an industry leader. “We pride ourselves on our quality and service,” says Robert Greenough, the company’s general manager. “When we do a job you can be assured that it is done right.”
Doing it right means, among other things, keeping water on the outside of the building. While most of us focus our resources on the interior, Robert points out that a leak can create a huge and costly problem, so it’s well worth hiring a company that’s certified by the Roofing Contractors Association of BC.
“We’re held to a higher standard,” he says. “We use journeyman roofers and sheet metal workers, and we’re bonded and insured. We’re also safety certified through the BC Construction Safety Alliance’s Certificate of Recognition program. All of this means you have no risk with liability.”
The company’s Okanagan roots go back to 1945. Robert’s grandfather, Harold Greenough, came to Kelowna to start up a branch of Barr & Anderson, a corporation servicing the plumbing, heating, roofing, and sheet metal sectors. In the 1970s Harold’s son Thomas cut his teeth with the company; he branched out in 1980 with TomTar Roofing.
Although the recession meant times were tough, Thomas built TomTar into the leading roofing and sheet metal contractor in the Interior. Robert recalls being a pre-schooler when his mother, Sandra, would take him and his sister down to the shop on the weekend to see his father. “At such a young age, I didn’t understand what it took to be successful in business,” he says. “A lot of sacrifices had to be made to make the company what it is today.” At about the age of 10, Robert got his own start working weekends and summers in the shop banging out clips, the fastening brackets for standing seam roofing.
After graduating high school he began full time with the company working in the field roofing, then in the sheet metal shop eventually becoming foreman. During this time Robert also attended OUC as a full time student in the business administration program, majoring in management. Once he had sufficient experience and a diploma under his belt he moved into a management position in the office.
Robert is understandably proud of where the company is today. TomTar’s bright, clean sheet metal shop is well-organized with more than a dozen metal racks neatly storing over 400,000 pounds of inventory. The shop is equipped with the latest computerized shears, metal brakes and folding machines, including a bi-directional folding brake—one of only two such machines in Western Canada. “We are capable of forming metal from 30-gauge to quarter-inch plate,” says Robert; the majority of the work comes in 26–24 gauge pre-painted steel, aluminum, and copper. “We wanted to fill the void between the roofing and duct- work metal shops and the fabrication shops.”
Over the years TomTar has been involved in nearly every major project in the Valley, from Prospera Place and the Vernon Multiplex to Wal-Marts and Superstores. During that time, their sheet metal/cladding division has expanded to include more building services such as full rain screen systems, insulated walls and ACM panels. Although they are primarily a commercial and industrial company, TomTar also has a residential division specializing in custom and large scale projects, where they apply their vast experience to a range of innovative, “fun” and custom jobs.
What are TomTar’s plans for the future? “We’re just going to keep doing what we are doing,” says Robert, “providing our customers with great value for their money. We’ve been doing this in the Interior since 1945, and we’ve seen systems and companies come and go. You can be confident that our jobs will last.”