By consistently providing high-quality, market-leading solutions on a wide range of commercial, industrial and domestic projects nationwide, New Century Roofing has painstakingly established itself as one of Ireland’s premier roofing and cladding contractors over the past three decades and more. We visited their County Wexford base and met managing director Billy Codd to find out more about this exceptional family business.
New Century Roofing Ltd. is renowned across the construction industry for delivering unrivalled roofing solutions to commercial, industrial and domestic clients throughout Ireland. They specialise in all types of roofing and cladding as well as providing rain screen and façade solutions and can count the likes of McDonald’s, Tesco, the Department of the Environment and Bausch & Lomb. – alongside a who’s who of main contractors – amongst their ever expanding portfolio of satisfied customers.
A high-quality, tailored roofing service is provided on each and every project at competitive rates, backed up by the keenest attention to detail and dedicated customer care. Fully insured and certified, New Century Roofing work closely with clients to understand their requirements and seamlessly tailor their methods and services to suit each project’s specific needs.
Health & Safety is a prime consideration. As well as being experienced, skilled and qualified, employees carry Safe Pass cards, Manual Handling CSCS cards and adhere to MEWPS Best Practice standards. An unwavering insistence on using market-leading products and materials keeps New Century at the forefront of the roofing and cladding market and, to this end, they are a preferred contractors for renowned suppliers such as Reynobond; Powder Coated Aluminium Systems; Kingspan (RW Panels, Architectural Panels, Top Deck Panels, Benchmark Systems Panels); IKO (Built Up Felt Systems, PVC Membrane Systems, Liquid Membrane Systems); Alucobond; Moy Materials (Paralon Systems, PVC Systems, Joriside Metal Systems, Green Roof Systems); Williaam Cox (Trespa Rainscreen System, Rooflight Systems, Glazing Systems); Soprema (Flagon PVC Membrane, Soprema Built Up Felt Systems, Soprema Alsan Liquid Flashing, Green Roof Systems); Euroclad (Aluminium Roofing, Vieo Roofing Systems, Metal Cladding); Pressed Metal Systems; Tegral (Metal Deckin, Cladding Systems, (equitone) Tectiva Rainscreen, Fibre Cement Cladding, Slate Products); and Paralon.
One recently-completed projects was The Park Drive Thru in Carrickmines where Trespa Rain Screen Cladding, Reynobond Composite Cladding and Graniti Fiandre Tile Cladding were used on McDonalds while a Tegral Tectiva Insulated Rain Screen Cladding System, D.S.P Powder Coated Aluminium Soffit & Fascia System and Tegral HPS Flashing & Capping System were sued on KFC. Both roofs are Paralon full built up insulated roofing systems.
Reflecting on the genesis of New Century Roofing, founder William ‘Billy’ Codd notes: “The company was established in 1986 and we had been in business as Roof Master Ireland prior to that. I have been in roofing all my working life, since I was 15 years old, and that experience stays with you. Things have progressed a lot in the roofing sector during the intervening 44 years – and it’s mostly cladding and membranes now as opposed to slating – but we have moved with the times and always focus on providing excellent solutions.”
From the first point of contact, New Century Roofing enters into a partnership with clients to ensure that end results are of optimal standards. “For domestic projects, you would advise the client, unless of course they have an architect, whereas with commercial and industrial projects, the specifications usually come on the pricing document and you follow the criteria given for the systems.”
Billy has overseen work on a number of McDonalds restaurants over the years, including roofing, cladding and façade solutions on the first new flagship building in Kilkenny as well as others in Charlestown Shopping Centre, the aforementioned Carrickmines Drive Thru and Gulliver Retail Park n Ballymun.
“We’re currently doing a Trespa façade system on the Lord Edward Street housing development in Limerick city for JJ Rhatigan,” he states.
Some other main contractors that New Century Roofing have worked for include John Paul Construction, Walls Construction, Mythen Construction, BAM and John G Burns Ltd. Full-time employment is generated for a crew of six working on the tools and four in the office as well as subcontracted crews of installers, the majority of whom have been working for New Century Roofing for many years.
As a family business first and foremost, a personal touch is also guaranteed. Founder / proprietor Billy is joined in the day-to-day running of the business by wife Mary (co-director), daughter Kara (office manager / financial controller) and son Paul (contracts director), while eldest son Anthony is in the workshop and brother Aidan and his two sons as well as a third nephew and a brother-in-law are all included in the staff. “It pays the mortgages – that’s why we get up in the morning,” Billy notes.
He’s pleased to report that a period of growth is currently being experienced: “When the recession hit, it was a question of trying to keep our heads above water. We suffered due to a lot of unpaid money – as did everybody in the industry – and things were tight but it’s getting busier again now. We’re predominantly here to just make enough to pay our bills … anything after that is a bonus.”
Having done exceptionally well to come out the other side of the downturn, what would Billy see as the keys to the enduring success of his business? “The loyalty of our suppliers has been important as well as being able to finance ourselves. We’re a self-financing company with good suppliers and understanding clients. We get a lot of repeat business because we always make sure to leave a good calling card behind.
“Obviously, we provide a very good service, with a bit of flexibility and some give and take. So, there are quite a few components that go into it, but you have to have the faith of your suppliers and look after the people out at the coalface. You also have to be practical and look after the money that’s coming in. We kept some reserves, which got us through the down time, and last year we had an increase in turnover again, if not in profits.”
At the time of writing, Billy estimated that he had up to 50 jobs waiting to be priced – a nice position to be in, although that aspect of the job has become more and more time-consuming with all the reams of paperwork that need to be addressed. Also, the legal aspect of said paperwork seems to have become more important than the actual content, which really makes little sense.
Going forward, the Wexford man feels that a potential labour shortage is something that could hamper all companies in the construction industry in the not-too-distant future: “The saddest legacy of the downturn is that all apprenticeships ceased and a generation was lost to the construction industry,” he concludes. “We don’t have people coming through to fill jobs anymore and 30-60 is the age group of all my employees. That’s a problem throughout construction now, where securing labour is a major problem.
“Even though housing is a disaster and nobody wants to build houses, things are on the up again and there is plenty of work in the commercial and industrial sectors. But most of our work is on the road. We’d travel to Dublin 80% of the time and, while it’s obviously great to get these jobs, it’s a three-hour journey twice a day, which is an extra six hours away from home every day. In an ideal world, there’d be more projects here in the south east but the reality is you need to go to Dublin.
“I’m not complaining, don’t get me wrong. At the end of the day, you either provide a service or you don’t and we see ourselves as a service provider. Our longevity shows that. You can’t cherry pick jobs and only take the ones that suit you. When times went flat, we didn’t shun anybody. We kept providing a service because that’s what we are here for.”
New Century Roofing Ltd.,
4 Ballyhin Lane, Larkins Cross,
Barntown, County Wexford.
Tel: 053 9172929
Mobile: 087 2995685
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, April/May 2018, Vol 4 No 4