Signature Project: Synthetic Empire

FLS Spanish Tile Installation 2

Synthetic Empire: How One Contractor Built a Multimillion-Dollar Business With BRAVA

Breaking the mold to shape the future

“In a sea of concrete and clay tiles, BRAVA Spanish Tile comes in to not only achieve the look that homeowners are looking for but also a greater performance than they’ve ever had.”

— Ryan Kruse, Co-Owner, Florida Specialty Roofing

To create a sustainable world-class company, you might think tradition would be a perfectly acceptable foundation to build upon. Walking in the well-placed footsteps of those who came before certainly makes sense. Take Florida, for example: looking at the countless concrete and clay tile roofs found on residences and commercial buildings all across the Sunshine State, any prospective roofing business or contractor wanting to up their game could easily be forgiven for adopting that view and hitching their wagon to the tried-and-true methods.

But while keeping with tradition may be a predictor of short-term success, it’s far from a guarantee of long-term growth.

When Ryan Kruse and Cody Bates, co-owners of Florida Specialty Roofing (FSR), set out to become premium specialty roofing contractors, they realized making a name for themselves meant more than having a solid business plan, strong work ethics, and exceptional service; they’d also have to sidestep the usual path to build the business they truly desired.

FL Specialty Truck

The first step was identifying a gap in their local market: the need for a specialty high-end solution that would satisfy a wide range of clients with complex roofing spaces. What created this gap? The persistent and ongoing damage and maintenance inherent with traditional concrete and clay tile roofing. A significant portion of FSR’s client base comes from addressing this very issue, which is so frequently encountered by both home and business owners across the state.

The second step was finding not only that solution but also a strategic partner to help them implement it successfully — which they did, in the composite roofing space.

Enter BRAVA.

“BRAVA has been substantially important with our company through [our] partnership. They're one of our most important partners in the industry.”

— Cody Bates, Co-Owner, Florida Specialty Roofing

Synthetic, or composite, roofing dates back to the mid-1800s. The early synthetic tiles were known for their ability to withstand moisture and heat, and were long lasting. However, as the industry moved further into the twentieth century, roofing manufacturers began to change the formulations for their composites — which, regrettably, proved for the worse more often than not.

So when Kruse and Bates set out to build their contracting business, the dream wasn’t to build a synthetic roofing empire. But they couldn’t deny what they were seeing with their own eyes: the legacy roofing products simply weren’t cutting it.

“We have a strong belief in synthetic tiles being the future here in Florida,” said Kruse, “mainly because the traditional materials just quite aren't holding up.”

Brava-x-FLS-Tile-Comparison

For as much as the state is a popular travel destination, Florida ranks among the top states for tornadoes as well as damage caused by lightning and thunderstorms, all of which wreak havoc on rooftops. But its most notorious natural enemy by far is the hurricane. Anyone who’s lived through one of these devastating events, or seen footage of a hurricane making landfall at Florida’s doorstep, can attest to that.

As can the ubiquitous concrete, clay, and slate tiles found on so many rooftops across the state. “A lot of homes have traditional concrete tile or materials that just aren’t lasting,” said Kruse. “They're either fading, cracking, breaking, slipping, falling off during hurricanes, or suffering just from standard damage . . . that’s where the synthetic products come in.”

To achieve its goal of providing high-end services across residential as well as large multifamily and commercial projects, FSR’s team of experts got to work at finding the best solution to the dilemma of traditional tile roofs. They discovered not only that synthetic roofing was more than a viable option, but also that a particular roofing manufacturer was knocking it out of the park by creating the most reliable and beautiful composite roofing products on the market today.

Brava Spanish Tile - Antique Clay

Brava Spanish Tile - Antique Clay

“It’s the number-one product that we personally promote.”

— Cody Bates, Co-Owner, Florida Specialty Roofing

“A metal roof takes an impact, you have a dent in your metal roof. You could throw something 100 miles an hour at a BRAVA tile and it's gonna bounce back off of it. It doesn't break!”

— Joe Pickel, Florida Homeowner

Initially, BRAVA may not have seemed like the ideal choice for partnering with FSR to change the Florida roofing landscape, but it quickly became obvious once the contractor met with BRAVA’s experts and discovered its remarkable success with its authentic, high-performing synthetic roofing tiles.

“BRAVA is about 90 percent of our business currently,” said FSR’s Bates. “Compared to the natural clay concrete that’s so common in Florida, we're seeing a large amount of growth with associations and high-end homes looking for this more technologically advanced product.”

Brava x FLS Pine Green Installation

Brava Spanish Tile - Pine Green Installation

“We prefer the Brava composite products over any other for fitting the esthetics and performance here in Florida, mainly because they match and exceed everything that would be a traditional concrete roof,” added Kruse. “Whether it's that Brava Spanish terracotta look or the more modern black-brown blend, we're able to offer homeowners an alternative to traditional terracotta and clay tile roofs.”

Several key areas distinguish BRAVA roofing tiles from the competition, but perhaps the most important is the level of testing its products endure before earning the right to carry the manufacturer’s name.

The BRAVA laboratory is hallowed ground; even the employees not directly involved with R&D get a thrill walking through its doors. All incoming raw materials are put through their paces, and then some. They must meet the manufacturer’s extremely stringent standards on everything from tensile strength to UV and impact resistance to color fastness, otherwise they’re rejected outright. And even after that, BRAVA’s engineers test again to ensure that the formula is exactly right, so every tile is guaranteed to have the same natural aesthetic and the same proven performance and longevity.

Brava Spanish Tile - Terra Cotta

Brava Spanish Tile - Terra Cotta

It’s the holy grail of the industry: a top-quality roof that holds steadfast against the elements while remaining just as durable and beautiful as the day it was installed — year after year.

· All BRAVA roofing products are Class 4 impact rated

· BRAVA tiles also offer Also offer Class A and Class C fire ratings — and, unlike other roofing products, BRAVA’s Shake and Slate offer a standalone Class A fire rating (no special underlayment required)

· Tested and approved to withstand wind speeds up to 188MPH with nails, up to 211MPH with high wind/screw installation

· UV protection is built into each and every BRAVA tile, so they don’t degrade over time

· Patented, natural mineral-based colorants also prevent degradation and deliver an unparalleled natural beauty and aesthetic

· Miami-Dade County certified, the most stringent certification in the country

· Withstands freeze/thaw cycles as well as extreme heat

· Resistant to mold, mildew, and lichen growth, practically eliminating costly maintenance

· Can be installed in ALL climates, even the winter months — unlike most other roofing products!

Brava x FLS Tuscan Clay Details

Brava Spanish Tile - Tuscan Clay

“What separates us is that we're pitching a BRAVA Spanish Tile as a traditional concrete replacement. We're able to come in, be experts with the product, and offer a great, premium-performing product that's going to last a lifetime.”

— Ryan Kraus, Co-Owner, Florida Specialty Roofing

“Out of 1,177 homes, [we] did not receive one complaint — now that's unusual in a community of 3,000 people.”

— Tom Cunningham, President, Village Walk HOA

FLS-Camminare-Installation


Everyone in the contracting business knows the importance of reputation. Earning the client’s trust is paramount — it inevitably leads to repeat business and referrals, which are crucial for a company’s survival. “A good reputation is everything. It’s really what we built our company on,” said Kraus.

It’s much the same with Florida Specialty Roofing’s partnership with BRAVA. By working so closely with the celebrated roofing manufacturer, the contractor has both enhanced its reputation while increasing its profits — not to mention giving its installation portfolio quite a boost as well.

Florida Specialty Roofing - Pine Green

Brava Spanish Tile - Pine Green

“Working with BRAVA is fantastic, from their ownership team to their production team to their inside and outside sales representatives teams, we're in constant communication with them,” said Bates. “The end result is happy client, happy customers.”

Brava Spanish Tile - Tuscan Clay

Brava Spanish Tile - Tuscan Clay

“We have a strong belief and trust in the products to more than weather any storm that Florida has as well as not fade, and give people low maintenance,” added Kraus. He further emphasized that, with BRAVA synthetic roofing, “you're getting great colors, great esthetics as well, having a premium roof that fits the Mediterranean vibes of Florida.”

Brava Cedar Shake

Brava Cedar Shake - Weathered

“With Hurricane Ian, I had significant roof damage…. It came down to going with a metal roof or a choice like Brava. My neighbors were blown away!”

— Joe Pickel, Florida Homeowner

Florida Specialty Roofing – Joe Pickel


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