Subcontractor spotlight: C.J. Swickey

by: Kirsten Land on July 17th, 2018 about Land Enterprises Roofing

As a roofing company and general contractor that handles every aspect of your insurance claim, we work with a lot of talented subcontractors who handle things like fencing, gutters, painting, and much more. It’s all part of restoring your home to its pre-damage condition, and we wouldn’t be able to do that for our customers without our trusted subcontractors.

Today, we want to introduce you to C.J. Swickey, owner of New Creations Painting. He has done interior and exterior paint for us on many jobs, and he also does custom woodworking and home remodeling projects for customers.

What drew you to your business and your line of work?

I grew up remodeling and building houses with my parents. Later in life I did a lot of work on my own house and everyone kept asking me why I hadn’t started a business doing it. Until then I thought everyone grew up doing this type of work on their house and knew how to do it. I didn’t realize that people needed home remodeling as a service. So, I decided to take what I loved doing and turn it into a business, and now I’ve been doing it for twelve years.

What is your favorite part of your business?

Honestly? I like payday. Anyone who owns a business and says their favorite part is not payday is not telling the truth. But my next favorite part is seeing the transformation of a house from outdated to new and current. I especially love when the homeowners go out of town and we get to do a reveal for them and see the looks on their faces.

What makes your company unique?

I would say the most unique thing about what we do is the fact that we go beyond basic job training for our employees. They are apprentices until they have a good understanding of what they are doing and how the whole project comes together. We also train employees on personal finance and communication skills to help them in all aspects of their life.

A few people even started their own companies after training with us. Many would think that would be a bad thing, but we see it as a compliment. In this day and age when many contractors are unskilled and make us all look bad by being less than honest, we welcome newcomers who have skill and integrity and know how the project should run. There’s plenty of work out there for all, and it’s nice to have other contractors in the business who know what they are doing and will do quality work for a fair price.

We also now have a low-mess system for refinishing popcorn ceilings that utilizes a HEPA vac system to remove the popcorn from the ceiling and bag it. This allows us to keep the dust to an extreme minimum in a house, which is a huge improvement over the old way of popcorn ceiling removal.

What do you do outside of New Creations Painting?

I volunteer to work natural and man-made disaster sites all over the world and am certified in the USA and in Israel. I am certified as a suicide intervention instructor and am certified in critical incident stress management (CISM). CISM skills come into use almost daily.

I own one of only two certified organic Aquaponics system in Oklahoma, which combines raising fish and raising plants in the same water system. We are also working with partners to take this system into third-world countries and low-income areas in the United States to help with their need of water and soil conservation when growing food.

Posted in Land Enterprises Roofing       Comments: None

Roofing is an industry that involves some risk of injury, whether that’s from falling off a ladder, getting injured when tearing off or putting on a roof, suffering a dog bite on a job, or some other injury. So what happens if a roofer (or any other contractor) gets hurt at your house?

You might be thinking, “Well, that’s not my fault.” But if the roofing company or other contractor doesn’t have the proper insurance in place, that worker could end up suing you to cover the cost of their healthcare and lost wages.

That’s why it’s important to make sure any company you hire to work on your home is properly insured. But what does that really mean? First, there are two types of insurance they should carry-workers’ compensation and general liability.

Worker's compensation

Workers’ compensation is what covers an employee who gets injured on the job. Accidents happen, even to people who focus heavily on safety. Workers’ compensation by the employer takes care of the medical bills in the event of an accident, which means a worker is far less likely to sue you as the homeowner to cover the cost of medical treatment.

General liability

The second type of insurance is general liability. It’s a broader coverage that protects you and your home. Let’s say an employee gets injured by falling from the roof and through the ceiling of your living room. Not only is the employee injured, but your home is damaged. While that repair may be pretty basic for the company to fix, more significant damage can happen, whether from an electrical contractor who starts a fire in your home or a rainstorm that pops up right as we tear off your roof.

If the contractor doesn’t have general liability insurance or enough cash to cover the cost of the repairs, you may end up filing a homeowner’s claim to cover that damage. If that were to happen, that contractor would probably go out of business, but you’re still stuck with the bill.

How do you check?

So how do you know if someone’s properly insured? In the state of Oklahoma, you can check their Construction Industries Board (CIB) number and ensure they’re in good standing. The CIB regularly verifies both workers’ compensation and general liability insurance for registered companies, so if they have a CIB number and are in good standing, their insurance should be sufficient.

The other option is to ask the company for proof of their insurance. If they refuse to show you paperwork to prove their insurance coverage, it’s probably time to find a new contractor. The industry standard for general liability coverage in roofing is a minimum of $1 million, although many roofers (including Land Enterprises Roofing) carry more than that.

Some trades are heavily regulated and must prove their level of insurance to a board of some kind, but other trades don’t have any regulation at all. We require the same level of insurance from all of our subcontractors to ensure both their employees and our customers are protected at all times.

Before a contractor does any work on your home, be sure to verify their level of insurance so you’re not facing a legal battle with an injured employee.

Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice       Comments: 1

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