Baldwinsville’s R&R Roofing celebrates 40 years in business – Eagle News Online

BALDWINSVILLE — How many people can say they’ve been in the roofing business since elementary school?

Randy Reinhardt may be celebrating 40 years of R&R Roofing, but his contracting career started much earlier. He began helping his uncle, Whitey Johnson, while still in fifth grade.

“He literally would pick me up at Elizabeth Street School at 3 o’clock with a change of clothes,” Reinhardt recalled.

Little Randy started out cutting bundles of supplies in half to carry them, but as the afterschool afternoons and summers wore on, he grew into a young man ready to take over his uncle’s business. Reinhardt graduated from Baker High School in 1978 and continued Whitey’s work under the banner of R&R Roofing starting in 1982.

“I’m 22 years old thinking, ‘Do I really want to do this?’” Reinhardt said.

Forty years onward, Reinhardt can’t imagine doing anything else. In addition to roofs, Reinhardt has expanded into interior remodeling. He works with local Realtor Denise Van Patten and decorator Terri Ferrigan to stage homes for sale.

“We’ve done dozens of houses in the last five years,” Reinhardt said.

About 90% of Reinhardt’s projects are in Baldwinsville. He relies on word-of-mouth referrals, and many of his clients are repeat customers. Since many roofs have a useful life of about 20 years, some of his longtime customers are on their second or third R&R roof.

“The Baldwinsville community has supported us for 40-plus years, and my uncle was always, always, always busy,” Reinhardt said. “I’m blessed with having the caliber of customers we have and how good they are to work with.”

The customers are Reinhardt’s favorite part of the business, he said. He loves turning their visions of the perfect kitchen or bathroom into a reality, transforming the space.

One of Reinhardt’s recent projects is the long-awaited Angry Smokehouse, the barbecue brother to Angry Garlic. Reinhardt said he has become close to restaurateur Jeff Rogers as they have worked together to turn the former Lock 24 restaurant into Rogers’ dream smokehouse.

“I’m looking forward to it. Jeff has done such a great job with Angry Garlic. It’s been a long project, but it’s near the end and I think the community is really going to enjoy it,” Reinhardt said.

Reinhardt and his wife, Doreen, have deep roots in Baldwinsville. The high school sweethearts raised two boys here and can’t imagine ever moving out of the close-knit village, Reinhardt said. In addition to his business, Reinhardt has served his community as a eucharistic minister at St. Augustine’s and as a firefighter, past chief and commissioner of the North West Fire District. He first joined the fire department in 1977 as a junior firefighter. Through his service as a firefighter, Reinhardt forged lifelong friendships and made important business connections.

“Those were some of the best days of my life,” he said.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, supply chain and labor market, business is booming, Reinhardt said.

“I actually was nervous when COVID hit that it was going to put a huge dent in our business,” he said. “[People] didn’t go anywhere. They couldn’t go out. You’re stuck at home. You look around and you’re like, ‘Oh boy, we need to redo the kitchen … we need new windows.’”

While many homeowners are eager to give their properties a facelift, the wait can be long. Reinhardt used to be able to turn around a kitchen remodel in four or five weeks, but now customers must wait 18 or 20 weeks thanks to supply chain woes and the skyrocketing cost of building materials.

Reinhardt said he is “blessed” with his crew of eight full-time employees, but he said fewer students are entering the trades workforce.

“All the young kids go to college and then they’re off in the corporate world, so the trades get put off to the side,” he said. “Trying to get good-quality workers is tough. It’s a huge challenge.”

With the rising demand for housing — especially as companies such as Micron move into the area — Reinhardt has plenty of projects on his plate. At 63, he has no plans to retire anytime soon.

“If it gets to the point where I don’t enjoy what I’m doing, then maybe I’ll hang it up,” he said.

Baldwinsville’s R&R Roofing celebrates 40 years in business