The Buzz On Better Business

Constructing Confidence: The Elevation of Trust and Community with Lafayette Roofing's Darren Domingue

February 24, 2024 ACADIANACASTS, Chris Babin Episode 5
The Buzz On Better Business
Constructing Confidence: The Elevation of Trust and Community with Lafayette Roofing's Darren Domingue
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover how trust is established brick by brick in the competitive roofing industry with our esteemed guest, Darren Domingue of Lafayette Roofing & General Contractors. Darren's story is a testament to the blend of personal dedication and business acumen needed to navigate the stormy weather of 'fly by night storm chasers' and the complexities of insurance claims in Louisiana. By listening to this episode, you'll grasp the significance of ethical business practices and the wisdom behind the company's partnership with the local community, illustrated by their role as the official roofing company for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.

Delve into the world of responsible roofing as we discuss the meticulous process of choosing a contractor, the innovative use of thermal imaging, and the pride of being an accredited BBB business. The conversation hones in on the importance of due diligence and the power technology has in protecting one of your most valuable assets – your home. Darren's insights will guide you through the maze of insurance challenges and help you understand the true value of workmanship and integrity in the roofing business.

Finally, be inspired as we uncover the heart of Lafayette Roofing, where giving back isn't just a slogan, it's a living, breathing part of their operation. From free roof giveaways for veterans and police officers to embracing the spirit of local heroes like Dustin Poirier, this episode paints a picture of a company truly invested in the fabric of their community. Learn about the culture of collaboration, the careful stewardship of client trust, and how creating a workplace where people are eager to work has been the cornerstone of success for Darren and his team. Join us for a conversation that rises above the roofline, into the realm of community solidarity and ethical leadership.

This podcast is an AcadianaCasts production and part of the AcadianaCasts Network. Go to acadianacasts.com for more South Louisiana sourced content.

Darren Domingue:

you know, part of our success is I know where my my crews live. I know where their kids go to school. These other guys, they're just starting out. They hire these out of town guys. They're fly by night storm chasers we like to call them chuck in the trucks. And these contractors, they don't care if they do a bad job because they're going and whenever the homeowner needs them, they're not there.

Chris Babin:

The buzz on Better Business Podcast. Positioning your business as one that is trustworthy is something that we all know is important, but what does it actually take to accomplish this? Join your BBB each month as we unveil the world of local, accredited businesses who have it mastered and have positioned themselves as ethical leaders in our caddy in a marketplace. Thank you for joining us for this episode. Buzz on Better Business Podcast. Darren Domain, president, owner of Lafayette Roofing and General Contractors here in Lafayette. Join us today as we're going to talk about what it's like in the roofing industry. It's a little bit different than some of you might think. There's some bad players out there, and it's sometimes. You got to keep it paramount to make sure that you are a trustworthy, honest business. So we're going to talk about what it takes to do that and we may shed a little bit of light on what Darren's doing in a spare time and you watch out, all right. Buzz on Better Business Podcast. Joined this month with Darren Domingue, president, ceo, owner of Lafayette Roofing and Construction. Welcome, darren.

Darren Domingue:

Thank you, Chris Pleasure being here brother.

Chris Babin:

Man, I've been looking forward to getting you on the show. We've talked about getting you here a lot the Buzz on Better Business Podcast. The reason we created it was there's so many great businesses out there doing great things and for those that maybe have not ever run a business or been in a higher management role, it sometimes escapes them how much really goes into doing things the right way running a business and what it takes to run a profitable business and be successful in today's world. But do it the right way, because unfortunately we know at the BBB, not everybody's always doing things the right way. You're an accredited member, lafayette Roofing is of the BBB and, of course, you've been a long time board member on our board of directors. So as we get into that, as we're going to talk about today, not just Lafayette Roofing, but let's start with Darren. Where's Darren from? How did you get into this trade?

Darren Domingue:

Right, right. So first and foremost I'm a domain in a Bruce art so my Cajun blood is pretty thick, yeah you know. But whenever I was seven, my parents I'm a old Phil Brett dad got transferred to New Orleans. So I grew up in Mandeville. All my immediate families from Lafayette, a Cajun area, so finished high school and I just love Lafayette. I missed it.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

I wanted to be a raging Cajun as you know, I'm a diehard Cajun fan.

Darren Domingue:

So I went to UL. So I've been here since 2004.

Chris Babin:

Okay, never look back, yeah.

Darren Domingue:

Cajun is a special place, you know it absolutely is a same.

Chris Babin:

You know, spent time out of town, you know, with the Marine corn stuff and I knew I needed to come back to a Cajun. It's definitely a unique area. We've got some unique amazing businesses out there and we've got we've got some unique amazing consumers and a wild community. So you mentioned the raging Cajuns.

Darren Domingue:

Lafayette Roofing is the official roofing company of the raging Cajuns.

Chris Babin:

All right, so new stadium.

Darren Domingue:

New stadium. Yeah, we're pretty excited about that.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, that was pretty nostalgic. I still remember as a kid going to games and I mean that stadium's been there, you know, ever since I've been born.

Darren Domingue:

so it was you know kind of sentimental, you know watching it was you know, being a kid and running around, you know, but hey, it's time, you know it's time to get us to that next level, you know so that's, that's what I'm seeing.

Chris Babin:

I think it's gonna be great what they're doing.

Darren Domingue:

I mean the businesses and the KDN are coming together as a whole, you know, to make it happen.

Chris Babin:

That's awesome proud.

Darren Domingue:

We're blessed to be able to be a part of that.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, so before Lafayette roofing ever got, you know, started with with the Cajuns and being the official roofing company of Rage and Cajuns, how did Lafayette roofing get started? I know you've got a partner in the business. You and another guy started this thing up. Of course y'all are a great, you know, paramount roofing company in the area, but how did Lafayette roofing really come about?

Darren Domingue:

So my partner, billy, he's actually a general contractor as well and he's also my first cousin, so we are locally owned, family operated business. When we were in college, he was already running a business successful business and I Decided to make some extra cash and sell roofs on the side and that's kind of how I put myself through school. And you know, after I graduated college I went into the old field. Well, he stayed home and, yes, the money was great. I was just tired of working 315 days a year.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

All over the country.

Darren Domingue:

Yeah, you know, living with four guys in a trailer. You know, in North Dakota, you know, and Just the quality. Life wasn't there. Yeah but being a part of this industry and seeing what you know when this opportunity came about is. He sold his company in 2013 and, again, I saved everything and we always dreamed and talked about doing our own thing.

Darren Domingue:

You know we saw the void, we knew we could handpick. You know contractors and Carpenters and really do it right and just be honest with people. You know at the time when we started there was really four companies. Now there's probably a hundred.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, you're right, you know.

Darren Domingue:

Yeah, and we just, you know, we didn't look back, you know, and year-to-date, where over 10,000 Residential and commercial jobs in a cadiana. Wow, nice, been voted number one in a cadiana since 2015 for a roofing and home improvement.

Chris Babin:

Awesome, and that's something not everybody realizes. Not every roofing company is also a general contractor. Right, Correct, correct.

Darren Domingue:

It's real easy for someone to Get a home improvement license. They pay their hundred and fifty dollars and then they can now do jobs. Yeah and that's something we pride ourselves in continue education this ever-grown industry and being general contractors. So we are. We saw a void and we go to run a roof lead and we see, oh, they have interior damage.

Darren Domingue:

Oh, they have wood right right everything else and there was a void. We wanted to be that one-stop shop. Now it didn't come right away. You know, our main focus was roofing and that's our bread and butter. But as we grew and we built her brand and our name, we were able to put these people around us and slowly move forward. Now we're doing residential additions, carpentry, painting, sheetrock, you name it not just outside the house.

Chris Babin:

Inside the house, from the roof to what do you guys say? The route from the roof to the roots, from the roof to the roots? Let's hear a quick message about what that means from the roof to the roots a home is a remarkable thing.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

It can turn a couple into a family, a Thunderstorm into a drizzle, a Blanket for it into a castle and a little girl Into a princess, from the roof to the roots of a katiana. At Lafayette roofing, we are proud to protect what you protect.

Chris Babin:

So from the roof to the roots, you know from there. You know we see this a lot at BBB and it's it's. It's unfortunately something we know we have to deal with. Not every business is Doing things the right way. If you look at BBB statistics, you know we get 30,000 visitors a month's hard to directory page and typically that's just consumers looking for businesses that they can trust or they came across a business and they want to know. You know what other people say about them and you mentioned a while ago Probably a hundred roofing companies just here in a katiana Sure. You know Storm comes in, creates a massive amount of damage. New companies are spawning off, creating starting themselves. Not all of them necessarily last when you know the the storm damage and stuff passes. But what we see a lot in this industry, more than a lot of other industries, is Unethical business practices. Why do you think we see that so much in in roofing?

Darren Domingue:

You know it's one is lack of knowledge, one and a lot of times. Basically, you can't let a 337 phone number fool you.

Darren Domingue:

You know right or this guy may be local, but his crews aren't. They haven't been in business long. You know, part of our success is I know where my my crews live, I know where their kids go to school. These other guys, they're just starting out. They hire these out of town guys. They're fly by night storm chasers we like to call them chuck in the trucks and these contractors, they don't care if they do a bad job, because they're going and Whenever the homeowner needs them they're not there.

Darren Domingue:

So they leave the homeowners left to pick up the pieces and, of course, as you know, roofing being one of the most inquired. Trains are services, yeah you know, we live and breathe the horror stories every day. You know this is bro being taken advantage of, or we're going behind sometimes and changing a roof the next day, you know and the importance of a roof. It's not just a roof, I mean. It protects everything below at your family safety and Ultimately, it is one of the largest expenditures a homeowner has to incur.

Darren Domingue:

Yeah you know, so you may have saved 500, you know now on a price To use this person, but you're gonna pay for it in the long run, yeah you know, and ultimately there's a lot of scams going on right right now, with local roofing companies taking advantage of insurance and homeowner homeowners and and insurance really is right while West right now you know we're seeing insurance premiums Just as much as somebody's mortgage and they're flagging roofs now at ten years.

Darren Domingue:

And so what these guys are doing whether they're they're going and telling somebody they have damage, whether they're creating damage, or they're telling people to make a claim and they don't need to make a claim, they get an adjuster out there. The next thing you know they say look, you don't have damage, but you need a new roof. It's normal wear and tear. You have 30 days to change your roof out of pocket or we're gonna drop you from there. It becomes public knowledge. No other insurance companies will touch that homeowner. I don't know about you, but 95 of the people, especially right now. What's going on? They don't have the money To come out of pocket to change your roof. Yeah, or what's going on is, if we find the damage, sign this blank contract. We'll do the job per insurance scope of work, or we're gonna make it. Sign this blank contract. I have a lawyer that's gonna work on it as well.

Darren Domingue:

Well, if you're going into a deal already with a lawyer, something's up. If you're a legit company, you should be able to get them through the process you know tenfold without having to go that route. Yeah and so per the insurance scope of work. Yes, we see Two houses across the street, mrs Smith and Mrs Bro. Same exact house there, sometimes with the same company. Let's just use State Farm, for example. They might have shorted Mrs Bro $3,000 of what they paid out, mrs Smith right.

Darren Domingue:

You know, our job is to make sure that that money goes into the homeowners pocket and and not take it as a contractor and Doing a job per insurance. Scope of work Well if you have a holder roof. That's three tab or something like that. That doesn't meet local building code. So now we're able to fight for those upgrades and get you paid where the other companies are Taking that full check and not only they taking your roof and money if you have interior damage or gutter damage. You signed away your whole insurance rights.

Darren Domingue:

So, they're getting all that money as well.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

And it's it's.

Darren Domingue:

It's truly sad and it's a scam and leaving people out. You know, hang to dry.

Chris Babin:

So that I mean that what you just went through is a really Complicated situation, one, admittedly, I don't fully understand. You know, some of that was Outside of what we would maybe be familiar with at BBB. You know you mentioned, yeah, roofing. Number one inquired about One of the highest industries that we receive what we call complaints or disputes in as well. We're at the better business bureau. We try to open up lines of communication, help bring about resolve in the situation, but haven't been there for just over five years now.

Chris Babin:

I see and have seen a lot of these instances where a consumers in a vulnerable spot they maybe have storm damage, they maybe just need a new roof, and it's a complicated situation and you're relying on the person that's going to make money on you to tell you how to handle it Correct, correct. So you know you have to make sure you're choosing the right company Right. If you're choosing the company that's going to say, yeah, this is how you do it, trust me, you won't have any money left, but we'll take care of it versus the guy that's doing it the right way and says, look, not only this, this and this, but you'll also have, like you mentioned, $3,000. It's going to go to you after, because it's not going to cost us that to do it, um, or whatever the case is, you know even more in depth?

Darren Domingue:

uh, to save a buck, they might be mixed match in material stuff like that when you're not able to get an extended warranty with the manufacturers. And yes, they might have a five year labor material warranty, like we all do, but do you have an actual manufacturer warranty? Are they platinum or preferred contractors to get you that extended?

Chris Babin:

so that's why that matters 100% if you're not a platinum or whatever contractor. You can still maybe buy the material and use it, but the manufacturer might not warranty their stuff.

Darren Domingue:

Right, correct, correct, you know uh, where you know bigger, small, we handle it all. But really insurance is really a tough game. We've done over, you know, probably in the last couple of years with the storms, close to 5,000 claims, you know and dealing with these insurance companies and uh, it's sad because people have been paying insurance all their lives and stuff like that.

Darren Domingue:

Right Now people are left with one insurance company. Citizens, state farms, state farmers, done writing, you know, all state ASI progressive Everybody's leaving Louisiana, you know. Uh, it's, it's a, it's a shame. They're actually driving around neighborhoods right now looking at a damaged roof and seeing if it's one of theirs and giving people 30 days to change it or they're dropping them. Man, it's.

Chris Babin:

I mean, I can't tell you it's Insurance industry as a whole is just rough right now it is.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

Yeah, it is.

Chris Babin:

And you guys being basically on what you know I'd call, I guess, the front lines of dealing with insurance 100%.

Darren Domingue:

I mean, I have three, three employees dedicated that know the ins and outs, that know what upgrades they can fight for, what they can do you know for the homeowner and I can't stress enough, you know, to people is just please do your research, go on the better business bureau, get three bids, you know, and if one is completely opposite than the other, it probably doesn't make sense, because if there's a legit roofing company or contractor, right there should be a $500 swing give or take.

Darren Domingue:

You know. Anything more than that just doesn't make sense with the margins material, everything else you know. So if you're looking at a $2,000, $3,000 difference on a roof, something's not right.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, yeah, and you know that's. Uh, I'm glad you bring that up. Of course it's one of the functions we try to serve at the BBB as a as a membership nonprofit organization. All of the consumer services that we provide are free. So our directories online. Right here in Acadiana we cover seven parishes. There's 1100 accredited businesses Um, there's multiple, you know, good roofing companies that are accredited with us out there, um, but there's some really bad ones on there that may have the best sales tactics.

Chris Babin:

You know their marketing flyers may look great they showed up at your house at the right time but if you actually go, look into the information as to whether or not they even have a license, let's start there how long they've been in business, how long they've been in business, and then are they. You know some of these guys. They get a big job. They're going to call in a crew of guys that's never even done work for them before. You know, they don't even know. They just know they're showing up tomorrow and they know how to nail some shingles in, right, we see it every day.

Darren Domingue:

And unfortunately, you know, our company makes a lot of money to go behind, go behind, go behind and fix what was otherwise Problems yeah. And you know it. It's sad, I mean it. It truly breaks your heart and to see the position that a lot of these homeowners are put in. You know, and it's and it's a tough situation Like we talked about. You know roofing is expensive. You know what prices going up, everything else, but it's the most important thing, you know, uh.

Chris Babin:

I mean, if your roof's leaking, the house can be as nice as you want it to be right.

Darren Domingue:

That's not that I mean, you know, is your family living in mold, you know uh.

Chris Babin:

Oh, that's a big one.

Darren Domingue:

Everything you know, and it's not just. You might not be able to see it.

Chris Babin:

Oh man, yeah, true, right, yeah. So there's leaking. Maybe it's not dripping down onto the sofa in the living room, but it's accumulating moisture in the attic. Yeah, you know.

Darren Domingue:

I mean, we, we have different things infrared, uh, and thermal imaging, you know, to help find leaks and to help pinpoint where the leaks are actually coming from that way and it's. It's been amazing for us to have this technology and, instead of when we go to do a roof repair, I know exactly where it's coming from, rather than exploring and damaging and ripping up the roof to find this leak.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

Yeah, okay.

Darren Domingue:

Because, as we know I mean, sometimes it can be tricky, you know, with gravity and everything else, and you might not be able to see it from the attic. It could be behind the stucco or the flashing you know, and, uh, it's, it's.

Darren Domingue:

it's interesting, every day is different in the roof and in the, you know. But as far as the Better Business Bureau, uh, our company wears it like a badge of honor, you know. Especially contractors generally have a bad name and I can't tell you how much it's meant to my business to be accredited and to be a part of the Better Business Bureau as a business owner, because the one of the biggest misconception is what a lot of businesses that, oh, they're only there for the general public and they're not going to fight for me and they're here to hurt my business, no right.

Darren Domingue:

If you actually run a legit business and you have the right documentation and pictures, because we deal with the general public just like you. You do every single day, yeah, yeah. You know, there there is people that want things for free, right, you know. But for me to have the Better Business Bureau be an unbiased party in the middle. So not only are you fighting for you know, the community and the public, you're fighting for business owners as well. Yeah absolutely so. It's not just one-sided yeah, it's. It means a lot to our business.

Chris Babin:

Oh man, we're getting into my wheelhouse now, getting a little bit away from roofing and into what the BBB does. So yeah, you're absolutely right. You know we are here for for the ethically right thing. That's what the standards are. That's what we evaluate. All businesses against a plus through F rating, the or better rating, can have the opportunity to become accredited.

Chris Babin:

Some people don't necessarily know what that means. It means that the business has applied for accreditation. Typically it's by invitation only. We verify everything with the business and then, as as a board member, you know, all of our new accreditations go in front of our board of directors. We're sending new accreditation weekly to you guys to approve, because we also want to know what's the word on the street. You know they may have some stuff going on, but what is this guy actually doing out in one of those outlying parishes that we're not that familiar? And our bird, our board, is diverse in industry, so if it's something roofing, you may hear about it. If it's something in the plumbing industry, we've got somebody else that might hear about it. In the air conditioning industry, somebody else might hear about it. Because we want to know when we stamp somebody as an accredited business that you can actually trust them. That's what it all comes down to.

Darren Domingue:

And it's not. People don't realize it's not just, especially from the consumer side. It's not a business just paying money and being accredited.

Chris Babin:

Right.

Darren Domingue:

The countless hours that go in to research licensing company. Yeah, yeah, workers comp general ability, but also to stay on top of it, because they might and you guys do a great job, and I can't tell you how many people that didn't get approved Because 21 last year, 21 last year, 21 last year correct correct that. You know they applied and they didn't have the right documentation, but it's not a one time thing.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, that's continuous.

Darren Domingue:

And what y'all are doing for the industry as a whole. You know I welcome competition. There's there's a reason why there's Ford and Chevy. Right you know we can only feed off each other, and if another company is doing something right, good for them.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, absolutely.

Darren Domingue:

And good for the consumers, Good good for us as a whole. Yeah because at that point it weeds out all of the other. You know, fly by night contractors and less of a headache, less of a heartache. You know what's going on.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, because you know part of the standards obviously is honoring promises and those kinds of things. Even if somebody would initially become accredited, if they don't continue to meet the standards they maybe get a dispute filed against them. Consumer has valid concerns and that business does not meet up, you know, to the expectations and meet the standards, then we'll take their accreditation back. Unfortunately, last year we had to revoke 11 accreditation on top of the 21 that were denied, so that's at least 32 businesses we know for sure came through BBB and didn't stack up against the standards and we made sure everybody knew that.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

Right.

Chris Babin:

We actually had a business recently that did not like the way that their arbitration turned out, because when we first started dispute it's a conciliation effort. It's to open in the lines of communication, helping facilitate conversation. A lot of times that's all it takes. I mean, think about in your personal life, you know, in an argument with somebody, somebody else comes in like what's the real problem, let's help. And a lot of times you know, almost 80% of the time we're able to resolve a lot of these situations, but if they just can't see eye to eye at some point it'll go all the way to what we call legal and binding arbitration.

Chris Babin:

The best way for me to describe that because I love watching Judge Judy is it's like Judge Judy right, that's a legal and binding arbitration. An attorney says what's the sides? Here's what I decide. Well, we conducted I think five or six arbitrations last year and a business provided services, caused damage at the house. Consumer had all the proof. They were very lined up, professional. The arbitrator said you got to pay for the damage you damaged their house.

Chris Babin:

And the business said they'll never be accredited because that's not how that should have worked out.

Chris Babin:

Well, it's about doing the right thing.

Chris Babin:

You know, and you may have a bad consumer out there that you know is trying to scam their insurance company or the system and you've got to say you know what, I'm not getting involved in this, and that's kind of has to be our response when we come across that too.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, we're funded through our members. 80% of our income is membership dues that our accredited businesses pay, you know, annually to maintain their accreditation. But when a business isn't going to do it the right way, when I can't tell somebody you can trust each and every accredited business that we have accredited here in Acadiana Because I know they're not going to do the right thing then they're not going to be accredited with us. So just as important as it is to find an accredited business, it's important to find out what is on the business profile of a business that's maybe not accredited, because there's a lot of F's out there, there's a lot of unlicensed contractors, there's a lot of things going on that you know. You don't know unless you go look it up, and that's what we try to encourage people to do.

Darren Domingue:

I mean you guys. Being the first of the year my workers' comp and general liability was coming up for renewal, I got an email from you guys. You know we just want to make sure that you're on top of this year. Certificates are going to be due, need everything online and these are the small steps that you know the consumers don't realize that y'all are taking to make sure that everything is copacetic, that people are doing the right thing. You know, it's just another line of defense to protect everybody as a whole.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, we got a great staff at BBB. That's our operations team. They hear me talk all the time, so I don't know that they go watch these podcasts, but if you do shout out to the operations team at BBB great group of individuals we've got that help us maintain all of those things. So that's kind of talking about some of the bad things in the industry let's talk a little bit about. Of course, that's what you guys are kind of overcoming to make sure you're running a trustworthy business and ethical business, which is what this is all about. So what is something else that you would say you guys do differently? Or you make sure that you're doing properly, or you go above and beyond in a certain way that maybe other businesses don't, to make sure that you're being that honest, trustworthy business that you know you are you know, ultimately, like we said whenever me and Billy decided to open up Lafayette Roofing and we sat down at the table and said what do you want to achieve?

Darren Domingue:

What are our keys to success? You know, of course, number one on the list was financial stability for our families. Next is we wanted to be a stable in the community. We wanted to get back and that's why we're a part of, you know, putting on the firework show. For, you know, fourth of July in Youngsville, sugar Jams. You know, rhythms, Acadiana Eats Festival. You know, because we just want to be out there and let people know hey, we're here. You know, if there's a problem, you could find us.

Darren Domingue:

If I see you at a Cajun's game or in Walmart, I want to shake your hand you know, because ultimately, nobody's perfect and what makes a company is how they own up to those mistakes and how they handle it. You know, and we're not running away from you. I want to be there every step of the way. Our company every step of the way, you know, and of course, we wanted to be a part of UL and you know, one of the biggest things is especially starting out. We didn't have the money to do our free roof giveaways.

Darren Domingue:

Yeah you know stuff like that, but we knew the importance of it. You know, that's how I was brought up with my family. I don't have many people that have served in my family but I was always, you know, tall, taught by my father to serve those who serve us. Whether he would pick up a tab, you know have a bunch of army guys in a bar or something. Not even let him know who it's from or anything else.

Darren Domingue:

You know, that's just how we were brought up. So, like I said, we implemented a roof, or troops given a free roof away to a veteran, you know and that merged and morphed into blue roofs blue roofs for a police officer and needy families. And we're not out there making it public or anything else, just something that we want to do, and what we found was even when we couldn't afford to do it, just seemed the more that we gave the more we received.

Chris Babin:

Isn't that cool, huh.

Darren Domingue:

It's so awesome and dude, I can't tell you there's not a better feeling than giving back.

Chris Babin:

Yeah you know, man, let me share this and I'm gonna look at the camera because I know from being involved with so many different businesses that a business that's involved in its community is just a different level of commitment to a cadena. You know there are great businesses out there and of course I won't mention any names that I know are very profitable, doing great things, and they're not extending the olive branch to some of the other businesses in the community. So when you hear this kind of thing, it is so neat to me that a business as people we think about giving back, but as a business, as an organization, you guys are constantly sponsoring what we have going on at BBB just as a small thing compared to everything else you guys do, but not all businesses are doing those things. It's easy to think most businesses do, but when you really look at it, not all businesses are doing those things.

Darren Domingue:

I mean, it's how our family is and what me and Billy strive to do every single day.

Darren Domingue:

And not only we wanna give back to the community and embrace the culture and everything that makes a cadena great, we wanna show that we're out there, we're here for you and we essentially wanna protect what you protect and the importance of what we're doing. I always wanted to do something to give back and I wanted to always help people. Actually, when I started college I was a nursing major because I wanted to help people. Then I decided I wanted to go and help disabled kids and just kind of managing and going through everything and just realized that wasn't my niche. And to be able to take a roofing company out of all things and to be able to give back to the families and the community is one of the most rewarding things.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, yeah, being able to give back to the community, help those around you, something we partnered with together. It was a couple of years ago now, but our community hero Sure, a few years ago. Everybody knows the diamond Dustin Poirier. He does a lot for his community and in my mind and you probably, I know we're fans together right of UFC, but that's kind of partly what sets him apart from a lot of the guys out there.

Darren Domingue:

How much?

Chris Babin:

he's trying to support his local community.

Darren Domingue:

Somebody on that platform and with that reach and the selflessness of giving back and doing what's right, it's honestly an honor to have a now I'm a father. I have a four year old and to have somebody locally that I can have my son look up to you know, cause it's hard out there. Oh man, you know it's what you see on TV, when what's going on, you know, and we're just thankful for what he does and it was awesome. Yeah, man, an honor to be able to give him that community hero.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, absolutely. There's so many and there's so many other organizations and great people out there. You know it's. I think when people, businesses, organizations can come together, you know, towards a common better, a common cause. That's when you can really start pushing the needle a lot of times and I know that that's something you guys are doing out there in the community, you know, doing the right thing. We talked about community, but you guys do a lot more than just roofing.

Darren Domingue:

Correct. Correct. Like I said, we're general contractors. Billy holds the general contracting license and one of the success stories and what I realized how Lafayette Roofing and what we built our company on is it's not about me and him, you know and something that stuck with me when I was in the old field and I was green. The first time I showed up on a drill and rig. You know my eyes were big and what am I? I just stepped into this different world.

Darren Domingue:

Well, I had this company man come and put his arm around me and walked me around, explained everything and he said, son, you don't have to be the smartest guy in the room, you just have to be in the right room.

Darren Domingue:

So it's surrounding yourself with people that have made that know the industry, that have 30 plus 50 plus years of experience, and I can say I'm in the right room. It's all about the people we put around us and that's how we merged and morphed into, you know, after, like I said, our bread and butter was roofing. Well we're inside and somebody's ceilings came in, so being able to provide their services and carpenters and painting sheet rock, siding, patios, gutters, you know to be that one stop shop.

Chris Babin:

So as a general contractor, that's really what that means, right? If there are electrical works needed, some plumbing works needed, you guys can basically be the overarching company you know in charge of the project. We'll make sure everything gets done. You're not just dealing with me for roofing and you gotta call this guy and make sure he knows what I'm trying to do here.

Darren Domingue:

You guys can just take the whole project, right we have our Rolodex of legit, you know bedded subs that we can, you know, steer you to and find these things and just you know it's helped once we had our name To make you laugh.

Darren Domingue:

One of the hardest things for us to find was a painter, yeah, a painter all things, because, if you think about it, oh, you don't want me, man, If you know somebody working on the exterior of the house and you know, on top of the roof is a different breed to me, because when you're dealing with painting and sheet rock, I mean 90% of the time it's a female in a house alone or you gotta bet and make sure this is a trustworthy person, because people are vulnerable.

Darren Domingue:

They're not only you're inside of their home, everything else and to find those you know, painters and sheet rock people that we can trust, that I would want to be in my grandmother's house.

Chris Babin:

Right, right, right. Okay. So that's not why you don't want me painting Right. It's because when I pull the tape back, the line's not as straight as you might have thought it was.

Darren Domingue:

Yeah.

Chris Babin:

You know, yeah, it's painting and floating sheet rock. I've actually never even tried to float sheet rock. It looks so.

Darren Domingue:

I mean, it really is, and I could do a lot, a lot of woodworking, different projects.

Chris Babin:

I'm not floating sheet rock and I'd really prefer to not paint Right, but you got somebody that can do that.

Darren Domingue:

Yeah, I mean you never know if somebody could be under the influence or on drugs or you know could be a predator, you know yeah. And Lafayette Ruffin has 16 direct employees in our family. That's from, you know, the girls in the office to our sales guys, to ourselves, women to our project managers. You know it's having someone on site every step of the way watching over the crews.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, what's going yeah?

Darren Domingue:

It's an extra buffer, you know, for the consumer and a liability for us taking pictures throughout the job. You know, especially if it's insurance, if we run into any extra woodwork documentation. And not only that, I why, throughout the day, I can send a homeowner a link and they can have real time photos of the progress of the job, what we see, what we found, and I also have people while we have jobs going on managing those photos and looking throughout the day at these photos in case they see a problem that they might have missed.

Darren Domingue:

You know, and it's the small things like that. You know, we're trying to take that extra step.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, that's pretty next level man. Yeah, sitting at work monitoring the project, seeing the pictures, everything looks good.

Darren Domingue:

That's amazing. So typically on a standard roofing job, I don't care if it's a single wide trailer.

Chris Babin:

I'll have 350 pictures throughout the day of that job, you know the good thing you're not doing old school film anymore. Huh, it could costly.

Darren Domingue:

It's amazing we had the cloud now.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the cloud man, that all big old encompassing cloud. My phone's been telling me lately I'm almost out of room so I guess I've been taken too many pictures, but that's good stuff, man, that's really neat. So you were kind of mentioning employees. Yeah, and you know, at the BBB, of course we want you to go find a business you can trust, but you got to hire good employees that you can trust, right.

Darren Domingue:

I mean, I don't for my direct employees and even my crews there's not one person that works for me, that hasn't been with me for at least eight years, really For at least eight years and me and Billy were kind of talking about it the other day and how we were able to keep these people and stuff like that, and ultimately what we came up with was we want our employees to want to work for us.

Chris Babin:

Sure.

Darren Domingue:

Not that they have to work for us.

Chris Babin:

Right.

Darren Domingue:

And it's all about taking care of them. It's doing the small things. It's hey, somebody died in your family, Don't worry about it. Here's two weeks pay stuff like that, and if somebody's sick or family, it's putting them first.

Chris Babin:

Well, what I've seen, kind of generationally, is almost a shift in that right, because it seems like years ago, probably before my professional working time, it was more about the business. Right, you know it's about us. You either hear or you're not. You know, if you don't want to be here, we don't want you here, kind of mentality. And the way we try to operate at BBB and what I've seen the more successful companies doing is it's a two-way street. You know you're an asset. You're giving up eight hours a day of your life to go work with this company. You know family is important, religion is important, all of these other things are important, and you want them to fit your company into their life. It needs to be just as much about the employee as the organization, right, and you know we learned a long time ago you can't do it all by yourself.

Chris Babin:

Sure.

Darren Domingue:

There's no way. You need to find these people, you need to take care of them and, like I said, we want them to want to work for us and then, on the other hand, as they take pride, and when something does happen they take it personal, you know, right, and to have somebody that cares that much just takes that burden just a little bit off of you and helps get that apple out of your throat and I can't tell you. You know how blessed I am and you know, like I said, I'm not the smartest guy in the room, but I'm in the right room.

Chris Babin:

That's good man, that's awesome. So what's next for Lafayette Roofing? What's to come? Lafayette Roofing, general contractors LLC. And are you continuing to? You know, partner with the Raging Cajuns? Of course, new stadiums up and coming. What's coming for Lafayette Roofing this year and years to come? You know.

Darren Domingue:

Lafayette Roofing is going to be here, you know, for example, when Hurricane Laura hit all the local contractors, lafayette ran to Lake Charles. Well, lafayette had some damage and got hit too.

Chris Babin:

Right.

Darren Domingue:

And, believe me, my guys were like, let's go. Their eyes got big and they saw dollar signs let's go to Lake Charles, let's go chase the money. And it killed them. And I said look, we are Lafayette Roofing. When I like Charles Roofing, we're Lafayette Roofing, we're staying home. No other company would take on small repairs and missing shingles because they were worried about the big whole roof replacement for the whole roof replacement.

Darren Domingue:

That's why they left. So while other people are selling full roofs and doing this, we were being because they wouldn't take the small repairs. We got backed up with three months' work of even down to one missing shingle repairs because they couldn't find a single local contractor to even take their call.

Chris Babin:

Yeah.

Darren Domingue:

And like I said, small things like that would happen a month later dealt a hit. So all those people that we took care of to go fix that one missing shingle, 350 roofs overnight, Acadia, and I paid it forward.

Chris Babin:

Well, and you mentioned earlier, you do the right thing and it comes back around, right? It's kind of the same thing.

Darren Domingue:

And so we're definitely expanding, but we won't take a job outside of a 45-mile radius from our brick and mortar, Because if there is a problem, we want to be able to service you within 24 hours. We want to be there. With that being said, me growing up in Manneville and having a lot of ties and two of my general managers one's from New Orleans and my commercial rep is from New Orleans Todd DeWire, and then Jeff Robertson, a guy that runs my operations and repair division he's from Manneville as well.

Darren Domingue:

So having ties and stuff like that, we decided we opened up a causeway roofing in the Manneville Covington area and we take care of the North Shore and South Shore. But I do have brick and mortar, I do have local sales reps.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, you're duplicating what you're doing, laffy, at roofing in another area, but it's not just a branch office, or yeah, we're doing work out there.

Darren Domingue:

You are established in that area, so essentially, we're going from, I'd say, Eunice all the way down to Grand Ave. We can now service South Louisiana.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, the lines almost touch right. Yeah, correct.

Darren Domingue:

So when I say that we don't take jobs outside of a 45-mile, 50-mile radius, well, we expand it that way with personnel that lives there, that's around, and we have three guys locally that go three times a month to the North.

Chris Babin:

Shore and you got that business accredited too. That's right. I knew about them just through getting them accredited. Let us know as soon as you spun them up and got them going. So before we go, what's something? You weren't prepared for this, but what's something about daring that nobody knows or nobody would have known. Something unique about daring domain.

Darren Domingue:

Man, that's a horrible crest going. Now Put me on the spot.

Chris Babin:

Come on, it can be fun. Just something nobody would know.

Darren Domingue:

I recently started training MMA.

Chris Babin:

Really.

Darren Domingue:

Yeah, I started training.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

MMA.

Darren Domingue:

For the last 12 years I've been consumed and, like I said, I have a four-year-old son and I really haven't worked out. And my health? I'm pushing 40. My health is just dwindling and I want to be there for my son and family. Nice, I just woke up one day and decided I didn't want to lie to myself and say, oh, I'm going to get in shape to do this.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Darren Domingue:

So I just sucked it up and walked through the doors and decided to go get my butt kicked.

Chris Babin:

Oh man, I tell you that's fun.

Darren Domingue:

Very humbling.

Chris Babin:

Yeah.

Darren Domingue:

But very sore.

Chris Babin:

Yeah, oh man. Awesome job though, because I'm almost 40. And I can tell you, in my mind I still a lot of times think I'm like 24. But my body reminds me I'm almost 40. It hurts, a little different than it used to hurt. I don't have anything to do with MMA, that's just getting around and exercising, so I can't imagine.

Lafayette Roofing Ad:

I'm not trying to be a fighter, I'm trying to do these things.

Darren Domingue:

I just you know the type of person I am, you know just want to get. I wanted more out of just working out or getting fit. I wanted to learn a skill I wanted to learn how to protect myself, you know things like that. And yeah, I got a. I got a long, long way to go, but the journey has started about two months ago.

Chris Babin:

Awesome and congratulations on that. Anybody wants to get in touch. What's the best way to get in touch with you guys?

Darren Domingue:

Look, of course you can always come by the office to afford to leader drive. Visit our website, lafayette dash roofing dot com, or you can simply call 237 Roof. That's 237 7663. And look it's. It's free inspections. There's nothing to it, even if you just want to know where you stand. Or do you have the possibility of making an insurance claim because your insurance is doubled or tripled? Right, you know, we can let you know. And look, if you're not there yet, we're going to be honest, we're not going to say you have to do this. We just want to let you know where you stand and, again, try to take care of things before it becomes really expensive.

Chris Babin:

Absolutely Well, Darren. Thank you so much for being on the podcast, for kind of helping us unveil what it's like behind the scenes. A lot more work than some people might actually realize to keep that trustworthy business going For all your roofing general contractor needs. Contact Lafayette Roofing, 237 Roof. I really hope you enjoyed the show. Thank you so much for joining us to help support the show. Please like, share, follow us on whatever podcast application or even on YouTube, wherever you caught this episode at. If you want to find out more about the Better Business Bureau, you can contact us 337-9813497. You can find us on social media, BBB at Catiana and, as always, you can go to BBBorg for any information you're looking for. See you next time. Thank you so much for joining us.

Building Trust in the Roofing Industry
Insurance and Roofing Challenges and Importance
Giving Back to the Community
Collaboration and Trust in Business

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