People were migrating to sunny Los Angeles and the Hollywood studios were in their golden age when Supreme Roofing Co. was founded 90 years ago.
Reaching the milestone Jan. 1st came as a bit of a surprise to owner Doug Ratliff.
The fourth-generation roofer had been busy climbing ladders for estimates and visiting his crew at job sites.
Over the years the company has tarred or measured practically every rooftop in Hancock Park, says bookkeeper Careylyn Clifford. She joined the firm in 2004.
The crew also have long track records; foreman Martin Marques came on board 15 years ago; Ricardo Magallon has been with them 11 years.
“In the roofing business once you find good workers you really work to take care of them. They are your guarantee to make roofs not leak,” Ratliff said last month in his small office of 27 years at 1015 N. Gower St.
Real estate boom
Opened in 1925 as Woodworth & Turk, the company reaped from the area’s booming housing and commercial real estate market and film, TV and radio production. In the early years it shared space with M.J. Brock Construction.
Today Ratliff clocks about 250 jobs a year.He travels from Gower Ave. to as far east as Western to Beverly Hills on the west, Hollywood Hills to the north and south past Wilshire. Some of the firm’s bigger clients include Farmers Market and Paramount Studios.
Roof styles fall into three basic styles: tile, flat and shingle. While mansions are entirely covered in costly sloped roofs, most homes have a fancy façade “and are flat in the back” to save costs.
Ratliff is familiar working in historic zones, which need a special permit and trips to downtown where city officials ensure the material is true to the original, said Ratliff.
Drawings by his 13-year old daughter (he also has three adult children) are posted on the wall behind him. His golden retriever Riley rounds out the staff.
Ratliff graduated from UCLA with a history degree and planned to be a teacher and attorney—except staying indoors for long didn’t appeal to the outdoorsman.
He ran a youth sports program at the YMCA and then joined his dad in his wholesale roofing business, and while he liked being in the family business, “I wanted to knock on doors. I’m more of a people person.”
His dad told him about an opening at Supreme where an estimator had just left at the then Paul Parrish Jr.-owned company.
He came on board as a salesman and bought the business 12 years later.
He’s built a loyal following. Most of his business is referrals and previous customers, who, after awhile, seem more like neighbors, he says.
Supremeroofing.net, 1015 N. Gower St., 323-469-2981, (same last digits as in 1925, when it was Hollywood-2981).
Category: Real Estate