There are certain expectations that come with specific professions. Librarians wear glasses, therapists use quiet voices and construction workers have callouses. I shake hands with Ron Shincke. He has a firm, can crushing grip which doesn’t fit with the rest of him. I expected someone burly with a beard. Ron is trim with graying hair and a wry smile.
Shincke is the owner of Town and Country Roofing. He’s also the most popular person in Tumwater. A handful of people come to our table at different times during the interview. Ron greets them warmly. The conversations are short but not rushed.
“With roofing you get constant, instant gratification,” says Shincke. “You’re completing something almost every day. You can see it, look at it and feel it.” These are words from a man who enjoys what he does. There is no premeditation or attempt to shape an image. If there were, no one would stop to say hello.
You could say Shincke has been in the construction industry his whole life. “My father was a contractor,” says Shincke. “My first job was working for him.” Perhaps this is where he gets his dedication to quality. “My philosophy is that it’s just easier to do it correctly the first time.”
Ron and I talk about all things roofing. I learn how to maintain my roof. He tells me to, “clean it by hand or use a leaf blower, an off the shelf moss killer or just water and bleach.” I’m never, under any circumstances to use a pressure washer because it voids the warranty and exposes the asphalt underneath.
I had no idea. Ron just gives me this information which is pretty much what his company does. “We start with a free inspection,” says Shincke. “We want to look in the attic space, look for mold and make sure everything is working correctly so we can address those issues or put you in contact with someone that can.”
This last statement strikes me as strange. Here is a business owner admitting he might not be the right person for the job. I press a little, wanting to know what people should look for in a roofing contractor. His advice is predictably pragmatic. “Make sure they’re licensed and bonded. They should be in the community. It’s also important that the contractor has been in business for more than five years. They have to have a history.”
Ron opened Town and Country in 2000. He wanted to work for himself. He admits to a steep learning curve but thinks he’s got it figured out. Town and Country might be more expensive than competitors but that’s because they use higher quality products with longer warranties. “We want to give people what they’re paying for and we want to provide them with a service and a quality product that has longevity,” says Shincke.
Ron has also brought the national No Roof Left Behind program to Thurston County. Applications are being accepted to bring a new roof to a Thurston County homeowner. To learn more about how to apply for this program, click here.
The interview winds down. I can tell Ron’s ready to get back to work. I want to know what makes his company different. He doesn’t throw dirt or puff up his chest. Instead, he quietly imparts a little bit of philosophy. “We try to keep the guys up to speed on new techniques because you’re only as good as your least qualified person in the field.”
We shake hands again. I can feel the years of hammers, drills and saws. He clearly has a good hold on things.
Town and Country Roofing