VIANA Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd.
Manuel DaCosta has worked in the professional roofing industry since 1974. As an Architectural Technologist, DaCosta has offered services as both a contractor and a consultant. VIANA Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd. was established in 1980, and incorporated in 1984.
In 1987, DaCosta acquired VIANA Roofing — a small company with five employees. He took on the position of the President and Chief Consultant, and brought VIANA Roofing through the next levels of growth, creating a company which today employs 75 employees, and a recognized professional construction brand in Ontario. VIANA Roofing has become synonymous with a commitment to serve and deliver on all clients’ needs and exceed expectations in regard to project delivery, quality, safety, competitive pricing and post-construction service. VIANA Roofing is a member of various associations including OIRCA, CRCA, ACMO, BILD/Renomark, CCI, RCI, and OBEC. The company is driven by exceptional service, and this proposition turned VIANA Roofing into a major force in Ontario’s roofing industry, and the company expects to remain one of the top roofing services provider in the years to come.
The company focuses on providing roofing services to institutional, industrial, residential and commercial developers and property owners, and over the years VIANA Roofing has completed many major projects. VIANA Roofing provides a variety of construction related services, both new installations and replacement services. The company offers free estimates and proposals, roof evaluations and reporting, computerized roof maintenance programs, restoration and renovation work, conventional built-up roofing systems, metal and copper roofing systems, protected roof membrane assemblies, E.P.D.M., P.V.C., and modified bitumen membranes, waterproofing systems, aluminum and vinyl siding, design and installation of roof anchor systems, and 24-hour emergency services.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with DaCosta about VIANA Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd. and what drives the success of the company in Ontario’s construction industry. “The initial idea behind VIANA Roofing was to fill the void of what was lacking in the roofing industry back in the 1980s. The idea was to concentrate on service in respect to clients roofing emergencies and maintenance issues in their buildings. That was a niche market at that time,” says DaCosta.
According to DaCosta, the roofing industry has changed and developed right along the construction industry, and roofing has seen great advances in materials and technologies. “Roofing has become a very complex business. There are as many as 500 roofing materials, systems and components which we have to take into consideration and work with different manufacturers and suppliers. To be aware and on top of all of the latest technologies is quite a job.
“Besides technologies, the training and roofing applications have changed considerably. Safety aspects of roofing have changed, and legitimate roofing businesses [there are many companies that still fly under the radar and give roofing companies a bad name] have to run a sophisticated business with people who are well trained in both, applications of roofing components and safety, in order to comply to MOL [Ministry of Labour] regulations. This is a very complex business, and there is a lot of liability involved, so insurance, bonding, and so on, are paramount to executing projects today. Forming partnerships with good bonding and insurance companies ensures that you are well informed about changes in the industry. The Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association of which VIANA Roofing is a member together with Fenn & Fenn Insurance Brokers created an insurance program for the association which is unequalled in the industry. From these points of view, the industry has changed quite a lot,” says DaCosta.
In regard to insurance, VIANA Roofing is fully bonded and insured, and the company is able to obtain bonding for project of any size. VIANA Roofing can provide insurance with limits up to $25 million, with the ability to obtain additional insurance if required.
New technologies have led the way in creating more sustainable building projects and certifications. LEED drives these new technologies to the forefront of the construction industry. Green technologies and LEED are generally related to the new construction but existing buildings are also being retrofitted. Here, VIANA Roofing is involved in new construction in regard to condominium construction which incorporates green roofs. “We have to work with architects and owners to implement the regulations as they pertain to the roof coverings, green roofs, etc. in regard to these green certifications. We are highly involved in this, doing a lot of green roofing [buildings that are partially or completely covered with vegetation], and waterproofing related to the green roofing. The challenge is to continue to educate oneself, be aware of the changes in the industry, adapt to regulations, and so on. At the same time, this challenge of constant changes and development makes it an interesting industry to be in,” says DaCosta.
VIANA Roofing’s professionals continue to educate themselves in new technologies, and stay in touch with the manufacturers and industry professionals, as this is the only way to remain on top. “We have to offer our clients options and recommendations for the most suitable and workable systems for their projects, so we have to be able to compare different systems to make appropriate recommendations. The continuous education is the only way to keep up with the changes. That’s why our people train continuously. All our applicators are certified in various types of applications, and the management of the company does the same thing,” says DaCosta.
VIANA Roofing offers service in both new construction and re-roofing. The company focuses mainly on the re-roofing business to avoid becoming overly reliant on new construction, and the re-roofing projects account for about 70 per cent of the company business. VIANA Roofing established relationships with a number of clients, so its re-roofing segment remains steady. In regards to new construction (which is mostly high rise residential), the company works with all major developers, and has been involved in some of the more prestigious buildings in the GTA.
“Condominium construction is at the all-time high at the moment, while the industrial and commercial construction remains quite low, and with fewer opportunities in this segment. The re-roofing work is always steady and I expect this to remain steady into the future, because with the low interest rates people are investing in their properties and refurbishing them. We expect to be busy for the next five years with continuous company growth. Overall, prospects for Ontario construction as a whole remain good,” concluded DaCosta.