The Only Roofing that Weathered the Storm - an Inspire case study

The tranquil township of St. Albans, Missouri, is a scenic community of upscale homes, including breathtaking multi-million-dollar estates, located near St. Louis. With its towering bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, nature-rich St. Albans blends refined outdoor living with easy access to urban amenities.

The ultimate in Midwest luxury living, St. Albans’ subdivisions showcase prestigious homes that bring architectural integrity and beauty to the landscape. But with this picturesque setting comes the region’s sometimes severe seasonal weather, which can damage houses, particularly roofing—unless builders and homeowners choose exterior products wisely.

Fortunately in 2013, Aspen Touch, local residential roofing contractors and exterior restoration experts, introduced St. Albans to Inspire® Classic Slate Roofing from The Tapco Group®, an industry-leading provider of premium building solutions. Brian Teipel, Aspen co-owner and seasoned contractor, installed Inspire Classic Slate on two St. Albans’ houses.

“All of the real slate, wood shake, and asphalt roofs were damaged by hail, but our Inspire Classic roofs weren’t even nicked.”

Little did the homeowners know that the next year, they would be the envy of their neighborhood—and not just because Inspire Classic Slate created splendid aesthetics that enhanced their homes’ architecture. It was the extreme spring weather that made them the talk of the town—and Inspire Classic’s incredible durability.

In April 2014, a high-powered storm system swept St. Albans and the surrounding St. Louis area. Tornados, torrential rains, high winds, and golfball-sized hail pummeled the region, cutting a swath of costly damage. In St. Albans, one of the hardest-hit towns, home roofing was ravaged by the storms.

Amazingly, the two Inspire Classic Slate roofs were he only two in the subdivision left unscathed. Despite being hit just as hard as neighboring homes by what Brian described as “racketball-sized hail,” Inspire Classic weathered the storms with grace. The homeowners and neighbors were astonished. Brian soon received calls from other residents requesting Inspire Classic Slate to protect and enhance their homes.

“Inspire Classic Slate is awesome. It installs faster than natural slate, is unbelievably durable, and has a beautiful clean look. It stands up to anything, and stands apart from the other roofing in the subdivision where we installed it,” said Brian Teipel. “All of the real slate, wood shake, and asphalt roofs were damaged by hail, but our Inspire Classic roofs weren’t even nicked. Classic is a harder, thicker material that holds ice’s weight more than other roofing too, a big benefit for weather extremes.”

Working closely with Midwest-based Arrowhead Building Supply, not only did Brian thrill the two homeowners, he gained local jobs as word spread that Inspire Classic Slate defied mother nature. Brian promoted Classic Slate’s benefits even more after the tumultuous storms, knowing he stood behind an unrivaled product that could handle the toughest elements.

Brian added “When St. Albans’ bylaws changed to allow composite slate roofing, not solely composite shake as before, it gave homeowners more great choices. With Inspire Classic Slate, you get top-tier roofing plus the backing of Tapco, an innovative leader who will be here for the long-haul. I looked at four companies before picking Inspire Classic Slate. I was so impressed by its composition and on-roof aesthetics.”

Brian’s first Inspire Classic Slate job for a $3-million St. Albans home had majestic results, despite its challenging turret which required tapered tiling. By enlisting Aspen Touch’s Florida crew who had extensive experience installing Inspire Classic Slate, plus using Inspire’s self-training DVDs, Brian ensured the job’s success—from rooftop to turret tip. The homeowner was happy, and the rest is history in the making at St. Albans.

Thanks to Inspire’s brawn, durability, and eye-catching allure, business is burgeoning for Aspen Touch in St. Albans and beyond. Over the last two years of working with Inspire Classic Slate, Brian has also discovered the value of its design and installation versatility, which allows it to work seamlessly with any style home. It also offers broad, distinctive color palettes. 

“Everyone loves Inspire Classic Slate, contractors and homeowners alike. You get the aesthetics of real slate with far greater durability. The diverse color choices are striking too,” said Brian. “Classic Slate protects houses better than any other roofing product I’ve worked with. Its Class A fire rating, 110-mph wind uplift rating, plus Class 4 hail and hurricane protection provide peace of mind. It’s the best roofing product, bar none.”

Distributing Tapco’s Inspire Roofing Products as an integral element of their “Outside Elegance” brand, Arrowhead Building Supply has sold roofing since 2002 and grown to include an array of outdoor living solutions during their 17 years. The largest wholesale supplier of residential roofing in the St. Louis region, Arrowhead aims to provide easy-to-install, low-upkeep solutions. Inspire Roofing fits the bill according to Rick Pogue, Chief Management Officer (CMO) and Principal of Arrowhead, a vertically integrated company with top-quality products and 4,000 customers—2,500 of which reside in the St. Louis area and are mainly contractors.

“Arrowhead believed in the Tapco Inspire Roofing brand before we even went to market. We selected it based on its track record of superior quality and their reputation for outstanding customer support. When we launched ‘Outside Elegance’ last year, Inspire Roofing Products took off and are living up to their promise,”said Rick Pogue.

“Inspire Classic Slate Roofing is a smart product and easy to sell. It turns people’s heads, and it’s a breeze to install and maintain. It’s incredibly strong, affordable, and has a terrific warranty. Classic Slate is perfect for houses that aren’t designed for real slate’s heavy weight, yet it offers slate’s aesthetics for one-third the cost—without the hassles inherent to slate roofing. Classic Slate has also proven it can weather the toughest hail storm and stay as stunning as the day it was installed.

”Rick concluded “When you’re dealing with something as essential as residential roofing, team work and synergy are critical to product success. Working with Tapco and Inspire, we’ve created that. They help us provide optimum customer service, which is why contractors continue coming back. They’re confident that products, such as Inspire Classic Slate, will enrich and protect houses and that homeowners will be delighted by the results.”

Bobby Nichols, Branch Manager for Arrowhead’s operation in St. Peters, MO, took the original initiative of sending Inspire Classic Slate samples to Brian Teipel, and the St. Albans project was soon underway. Because they believed it was the perfect roofing for residents’ high-end homes, Bobby, Rick, and Brian collaborated closely to bring Inspire Classic Slate into St. Albans.

They knew people desired the look of genuine slate without its problems and that they also wanted impact-resistant roofing with the fortitude to endure beautifully for decades, come heavy rains, hot sun, and hail storms. Low waste factor is important too. Real slate has high waste of 20% or more, so Arrowhead and their customers were very pleased that Inspire Classic Slate yields such low waste at less than 10%, improving job efficiency and economics.

“Tapco’s innovative Inspire Roofing brand is steadily growing in our distribution regions—it has a bright future in St. Louis and the surrounding communities, where products such as Inspire Classic Slate fit in naturally and ensure more jobs for our contractor partners,” said Bobby Nichols.

“Tapco and Inspire have provided highly responsive service and support every step of the way. They’re different from other companies—they truly stand behind their products. They’re excellent at problemsolving, and everyone loves their innovative solutions. Inspire Classic Slate Roofing is in a class by itself,”concluded Bobby.