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Meet the Team

The Durable Slate Company was founded in 1986 on old-fashioned principles: treat your customer right and build a quality product. Over time, we grew beyond Ohio to service the entire United States, earning numerous professional distinctions over the years. Learn a bit about the men and women who make Durable Slate so special.

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Family Owned & Operated

Company Picnic, Coney Island, Ohio 2022
john chan, owner of the durable slate company

John Chan, Owner

John started slate, tile and copper roofing at The Durable Slate Company while on college summer breaks in 1986. He resumed his career full-time after graduating from UCLA with a degree in Economics in 1989. After working through the ranks in the field, he became one of the principles of the company in 1992. In 1996, he relocated to open the Cincinnati branch. Once that office was fully staffed, he opened the New Orleans branch office in 2006. During this time, he worked on over 10,000 slate and tile roofs all over the United States and Europe. 

From 2012-2018 John served as president of the National Slate Association, a distinction usually limited to two years, and still serves on their board. He was recently interviewed by Roofing

Gary Howes, COO of The Durable Slate Company

Gary Howes, COO

Gary started his career in the company in 1989 working in the field. He became quite an artisan and was awarded the Builder’s Exchange Craftsmanship Award in 1995. Having held numerous technical positions in the company, Gary was able to master the Durable Way, and rose to the level of principal and Executive Vice President of Operations in the company. He has also been certified to purchase and install historical mortars provided by the US Heritage group. 

For the Slate Roofing Contractors Association, Gary is Chairman of the Board, serves on the Education and Training Committee, and is a registered Training Instructor. He is also on the National Roof Contractor's Association's Board of Directors and serves on their Government Relations and Residential Contractors Committees as well as a recent appointment to the Global Strategy Committee.

Shane Day, AVP of Production

Shane Day, AVP of Production

Shane started in the construction business in 1994. He joined The Durable Slate Company in 2001 as a foreman and worked his way up to Assistant Vice President of Quality Control. He was then promoted to the Director of Special Projects position and currently holds the position of Assistant Vice President of Production where he oversees all production for The Durable Group. 

Shane is a trained expert in slate, tile, copper, masonry, plaster, terra cotta and stone patching. He has consulted for and worked on thousands of historic buildings throughout his career including churches, lighthouses, museums, statehouses, etc.

Justin Willis, Branch Manager for The Durable Slate Company, Mid-Atlnatic Branch

Justin Willis, Branch Manager

Justin joined The Durable Slate Company in 1999 and began his career as a roofing apprentice. His career and extensive training with The Durable Group has touched all of our disciplines. His management training and through knowledge of our roofing and restoration services has directed his career path to managing The Durable Group, New Orleans, Louisiana branch and currently our Mid-Atlantic office in Savage, Maryland

Justin has spent considerable time traveling the United States helping to establish The Durable Group’s reputation as the nation’s premier slate, tile and copper roofing contractor and historic masonry & stone preservation and restoration company.

The Durable Way

Our unique approach to historic roofing.

A Thing Worth Doing...

The Durable Way is our company philosophy and you'll find it posted in every branch office. More than a motto, it reiterates our commitment to timeless roofing work, customer satisfaction, employee advancement, and market growth. That's a lot, but it can be summarized easily: "A thing worth doing is worth doing well." We apply that idea to everything: every blueprint, every copper nail, every leaky chimney job. Everything we do benefits from that clarity of purpose.

That's what it takes to make an exceptional roof: conscientious employees with world-class training, using proper tools, to transform the best materials into a roofing system that will survive a century (or longer).

That's The Durable Way 
local slate roof repair near me

The customer must always be satisfied

The completed work must be beautiful

The completed work must be functional

The completed work will be long-lasting

The work must be completed efficiently.


Proper Assessment

Our Assessment, action planning, and implementation strategies are unique to historic roof repair. Many of the “basic principles” and diagnostic techniques used by generic, modern day roofers do not apply to historic roofing. Slate, tile, and copper roofing each have different properties as compared to asphalt roofing, requiring different approaches. 

We’ve worked on countless old roofs, some dating back 300 years or more, and have learned how to best respect those differences. With such breadth of experience, we know what works and what doesn’t for every kind of historic roof and any kind of roofing or copper gutter problem. 

Our senior technical expert, John Chan, serves on the board of the National Slate Association, and is one of the leading experts in slate and clay tile roofing in the country.

durable slate truck parked in front of a slate roof under repair with scaffolding visible

Appropriate Materials

Many clay tiles made 50 – 100 years ago are no longer manufactured and the only way to match them is with reclaimed tile. Complicating matters further, many types of slate that were used on older buildings are still quarried but have weathered to a shade that can be vastly different than the freshly quarried. With one of the largest stocks of re-claimed slate and tile in the country, we can provide matching pieces for most slate or tile restorations, making for a seamless slate roof repair or clay-tile replacement.

Choosing new materials is equally as important. Factors such as weathering, the quality of the clay or stone at the time of quarrying, cleaving and cutting, etc, help determine the lasting durability of your new slate roof or repair. For new roof installations, we use only materials and suppliers with proven track records so your historic roof continues to stand the test of time.

an assortment of colored slate tiles, all recovered from a roof repair

Skilled Artisans

Our artisans have been honed to keen edge through training and real-world application. Generations of accumulated experience from expert slaters, not to forget thousands of completed roofing and renovation projects of all kinds, provide our craftsmen with the extensive practice and knowledge necessary to complete any historic roofing project.

Sadly, inexperienced slate and clay-tile roofers produce an inferior product. This means trouble down the line, like leaky chimneys, falling slate tiles, cracks, discoloration, and other dissatisfying or dangerous problems. The work of a skilled artisan can last a hundred years. Why dishonor your historic roof with anything less than the best?

Our artisans stand among the best world-wide.

durable slate employee repairing a slate roof with a traditional hammer

Quality Control

Our Quality Control staff ensures that every single job is completed to the same uniformly high standard. They are responsible for the training and apprenticing of our personnel in the Durable Way.

This high standard of integrity in the company has lead to multiple awards for ethics and integrity including the International Award for Marketplace Ethics from the Better Business Bureau. 2019 North American Properties Award for Our Lady of Peace Chapel, on Xavier University, and frequent Super Service award’s from Angie’s List, given to the top 5% of companies who sustain a superior service rating each year.

durable slate worker preparing copper flashing

Our Licenses

Fully licensed and insured.
Alabama: Residential License #56684
Arizona: Roofing Contractor #ROC348803
Arkansas: Commercial Contractor License #0344130522
Florida: Certified Roofing Contractor #CCC1327270, Certified General Contractor #CGC1514873
Georgia: #GCQA002039
Illinois: Roofing Contractor Unlimited, #104.019240 and #105.009919
Iowa: General Contractor License #C127792
Kansas: Roofing registration #22-006901
Louisiana: Building Construction License #44869
Maryland: Home Improvement License #105029
Michigan: Residential Builder License 2101201404
Mississippi: Building Construction License #15345
Montana: #261888
Nebraska: General Contractor License #19782-21
New Jersey: Home Improvement Contractor License #13VH07094100
North Carolina: General Contractor License #72522
North Dakota: Class A Contractor License #34981
Oklahoma: Roofing Registration #80005696
Pennsylvania: Home Improvement License #PA078670
Rhode Island: Residential Contractor #GC-47413
South Carolina: General Contractor License #114866
Tennessee: General Contractor License #59190
Virginia: Class A #2705140896
Washington D.C.: Business License #4105120004009
West Virginia: General Contractor License #WV037484
The following states do not have a statewide license. We maintain several local licenses:

CO, OH, and NY
The following states do not have a statewide license and are also in our service area:

More than a roof.