As Told By Scott McCabe
Jerry McCabe was born the son of a sheet metal worker and carpenter, as well as being instilled with hard-working ethical values. He worked summers with a neighborhood contractor learning roofing and siding while in high school and college.
After returning from the military, he pursued a career in social work, all the while working nights and weekends as a contractor. In the late 1970’s, he left the office world to work on houses full time doing all phases of home remodeling. Located in Springfield, we were just a few blocks away from Swarthmore, which over the years became the center of his business. My father took care of the beautiful older houses and was grateful to have an abundance of work so close by. It enabled him to put a roof over my head (literally) but my Mom put the food on the plates.
I was fascinated with tools and building blocks as a toddler, and as I got older was known to follow my father around when any type of physical work was performed. Eventually I was allowed to tag along to jobsites, watching at first then fetching tools and cleaning up. I was still quite young when I started climbing ladders and was allowed to work on the “easy” roofs. In a town like Swarthmore, the only easy roofs were garages, porches, and additions.
Elsewhere, he had the roofing contract for an entire townhouse community for a decade, which is where I really cut my teeth. Spending the summers learning a trade alongside my Dad wasn’t every kid’s dream, but it was mine. Don’t get me wrong, roofing is no picnic, but you do get to sit on the ground for lunch. It was hot, dirty, grueling work and we did everything by hand, but it was satisfying. Aside from technical skills, I learned that working, even hard labor was fulfilling if done with diligence.
After many years, my father downsized his contracting work to specialize primarily on rain gutters, which he continues to this day. My ongoing interest in roofing and love of working outside with my hands led me to revitalize the business. In honor of the many years my father and I spent working side-by-side, and because our family name was still held in high regard by the community, I named it McCabe And Son Roofing in 2001. That was more than 10 years ago when I was doing most of the jobs by myself or with a helper. With limited manpower
we weren’t doing a high volume of work, but we were extremely conscientious, building our reputation one job at a time. In the first few years I fired dozens of guys who did not meet our standards. Through quality work, perseverance, and honest business practices, we’ve come a long way. We still operate locally as a small business but now employ a talented crew of 8.
At the heart of the crew are 2 brothers (Tony and Eric) the sons of a master carpenter. They were already highly skilled craftsmen when I met them in 2005 on a commercial metal roof project. I was amazed at their proficiency and enthusiasm – complicated details done swiftly with a high level of precision. They were proud yet humble and so very absorbed in their tasks.
When they joined our team, they instantly became a tremendous asset to the company and our clients. Already with a wealth of varied skills, they were eager to learn and did so quickly. Soon they were training other crew members in ‘Best’ work practices.
We take great pride in the work we do and it shows in our demeanor and quality of completed projects. We are motivated, happy to be working, and eager to please. We function as a team with a high rate of efficiency and accuracy. This, coupled with long working hours allows for a high rate of production rarely seen in other roofing companies. The team is loosely run like a democracy, in that everyone is informed and involved, which ensures continued enthusiasm.