Floor contractor moves into roofing

Floor contractor moves into roofing

CHAMPAIGN — A major floor covering contractor in central Illinois now has a sister company in the roofing business.

The owners of TSI Commercial Floor Covering in Champaign last year acquired the assets of Advanced Wayne Cain & Sons Sheet Metal and Roofing. Now owners Marty and Rob Smith are offering both roofing and floor covering services to commercial and institutional clients across Illinois.

The recapitalized roofing venture — now known as Advanced Commercial Roofing — has been equipped with new trucks, cranes, roll-off dumpsters and digital sheet-metal equipment. Plus, the roofing concern has a new logo that resembles the TSI logo.

Both companies continue to be based in the former Colwell Systems/Patterson building at 3611 N. Staley Road, C, near the intersection with Bloomington Road.

The roofing company had been owned by Rob Smith's father-in-law, Mike Cain. But Rob Smith had been interested in acquiring the company, and Cain, now 66, agreed to sell last June.

"He didn't want to wait until I was 70," said Cain, who remains with the company to negotiate sales, work with clients and develop new business.

Rob Smith is the president of Advanced Commercial Roofing, and Marty Smith is vice president. As is the case with TSI Commercial Floor Covering, each of the Smith cousins owns a 50 percent share in the roofing concern.

According to the two men, Rob Smith deals with production, organization and productivity, while Marty Smith concentrates on business development and client relationships. Marty Smith said Rob Smith seeks to bring an "efficient and professional manner" to Advanced Commercial Roofing by emphasizing training, certification and safety and using a project management approach.

TSI Commercial Floor Covering supplies carpeting, vinyl flooring and ceramic tile for commercial and institutional projects, and many of those projects have a need for roofing too.

"We bid a lot of the same work," Marty Smith said, adding that packaging deals together should give the companies a competitive advantage.

Both companies are working on the remodeling of State Farm headquarters in Bloomington, he said. Upcoming projects include the Ikenberry Commons residence hall project on the University of Illinois campus; the UI's Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education on West Nevada Street in Urbana; the new Pinnacle Actuarial Resources office building in Bloomington; and The Flats student apartment building near Illinois State University in Bloomington.

Advanced Commercial Roofing is also doing a lot of repair work following damage from storms that spawned tornados in the Gifford area last November. The projects include repairs to the roof of the Patterson Companies building on Bloomington Road, the roof of St. Joseph-Ogden Junior High School and even TSI Commercial Floor Covering's own roof.

Together, TSI Commercial Floor Covering and Advanced Commercial Roofing employ about 203 people full-time, and another 50 are expected to be hired for seasonal work, the Smiths said.

Among recent additions was Jim Semonin, the former owner of Nogle & Black Roofing, who wound down his company and joined Advanced Commercial Roofing in sales last fall.

Mike Cain said his family's history in the roofing business dates back to 1947, when his father, Wayne Cain, began working for Petry Roofing. He later became part-owner. Mike Cain joined the business as a roofer in 1961 and became full-time four years later. He said he and his father founded Wayne Cain & Sons Roofing in 1976. For many years, it was based at 1110 N. Clock St., C, near the intersection with Bradley Avenue.

Mike Cain said two of his brothers — Roche Cain and Bill Cain — worked as roofers there. Bill Cain continues to work for Advanced, while Roche Cain is in the restaurant and real estate business in St. Joseph.

In 1986, the sheet metal portion of the business — Advanced Sheet Metal — had union representation, while Wayne Cain & Sons Roofing did not. The two portions of the business merged about four years later as Advanced Wayne Cain & Sons Sheet Metal and Roofing, with union representation for both trades.

Today Advanced Commercial Roofing employees are represented by Roofers Local 97, Sheet Metal Workers Local 218 and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

The roofing business moved from Clock Street to 1207 E. University Ave., U, in phases beginning in 1988. The business remained there until August 2009, when it relocated to the west side of the Staley Road building, sharing that structure with Rob Smith's Commercial Floor Covering. Marty Smith's TSI combined with Commercial Floor Covering beginning in late 2012 and culminating in early 2013.

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