Humidity aside, the move to the Bundaberg Region has been perfect for Jack and Ash Rahaley, owners of J&A Metal Roofing.
The former Sydneysiders settled in Calavos four years ago with Jack working for local roofing companies on the tools and in sales before he and Ashley struck out on their own last July.
Jack said he and Ashley made the lifestyle change to provide a better environment for their three children to grow up in.
“We love it up here, the kids are in good schools and doing well at school and at home they’ve got plenty of space to ride motorbikes and we can go four-wheel-driving down the beach,” he said.
“We try to keep the weekend to ourselves. It’s good to be able to do the things we want to do and that’s why we moved here.”
Adding to Jack’s delight with the move north is the fact that work has been busy for he and Ashley since going into business for themselves a second time.
“We’re mostly doing re-roofs through the Household Resilience Program – just bringing them up to code with the battens, tie-downs and re-sheeting,” he said.
“But we do all sorts of work – new roofs, re-roofs, smaller commercial jobs, leaf guarding and maintenance work.
“It’s been really busy. I’d say 90 per cent of our jobs are direct to the customer and the other 10 per cent we’ve been contracted to do.”
Jack said he and Ash worked together as the J&A Metal Roofing team and had adapted well to the change from working in Sydney to the Bundaberg Region, although the humidity was taking some getting used to.
“We get 40-to-45-degree days in Sydney and up here it can be 32 degrees, but with the humidity, it’s harder,” he said, adding that Ashley was always at his side working through the hot days.
“There’s just the two of us, so everything I do Ash does as well. It means we have low overheads as well.
“In Sydney, we did a lot of commercial work. We worked for ourselves and had 12 employees.
“We were taking on roofs that were about 17,500m2 and, as a comparison, the average house in Bundaberg is 160m2. But we also did a lot of residential houses in Sydney where it’s mainly new roofs and not as many re-roofing jobs as here.”
Jack said he and Ash had adapted to the different roofing requirements in Bundaberg with specific requirements, including the use of additional battens, screws, tie-downs, and scribing, required to meet cyclone and strong wind standards.
“We get all our jobs certified by the local certifiers and if homeowners get a new roof, they can take that certificate to their insurance companies and reduce their premiums,” he said.
Jack said J&A Metal Roofing used only Australian made products, including BlueScope steel for the roofing.
“We buy our materials locally as well,” he said. “Everything is sourced from local companies in Bundaberg.
“If people spend money on us, we like to spend our money in Bundaberg as well.”
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