Dunedin based roofer Emanuel Silva says the move to add a scaffolding arm to his business six years ago was born out of frustration, and he’s never looked back.
Emanuel found that changing requirements for single level residential new builds, and the challenge of keeping up with the speed in which the builds were progressing from one day to the next, was creating a bottle neck in the building process.
“We needed a system that fit within what we were already doing. INTAKShad the kinks ironed out for us and was geared to suit our clientele. We trialed a few different things and in the end it was our clients who chose INTAKS as much as it was us.” They called the scaffolding arm of their operation Dunedin Edgefall Ltd.
After a stint of reroofing in Sydney after hailstorms, followed by two years as a roofing contractor in Queenstown, Emanuel and his wife Hazel started Horizon Roofing Ltd in Dunedin almost15 years ago. They fell quite quickly into the group home housing supply chain and the reroofing market,“which is still our bread and butter to this day.”
Their work focus has always been on quick moving group home and spec home builds where scaffolding is turned over quickly.
“But lately we have shifted some of that focus to our reroofing market and are building freestanding, fairly complex set ups to provide safe access for our reroofing gangs, also gutter installers, painters and builders. Renovation work after the Covid rahui has skyrocketed so there’s been a need to diversify.”
Emanuel says the INTAKS system sets him apart from the crowd due to two things: “efficiency and niche.”
“Efficiency in sending plans to one source to be priced for roofing and scaffolding, or being able to build our set-in stone lineal metre rates into their costings, without chasing quotes at all.
“Also dealing with everything from the frame standing stage through to the roof install without trying to communicate with multiple trades.”
He says the “niche” part comes into play as they are “are able to solve small annoying issues that conventional scaffold systems struggle to sort. We are sometimes called upon by the bigger scaffold providers to solve things their gear just can’t deal to.”
One example of a job where INTAKS shone, was on a site that would have been completely dominated by the scaffolding that was required to do the truss and roof work, to the extent it would have nearly shut the site down to all other trades due to the lack of access.
“This crowd had been reluctant to give our attached set up a try as they were convinced it would slow them down. They were used to the scaffold being built around them as they stood frames, rather than standing the frames before the scaffolders arrived.
“They thought us arriving after the fact would have them at a loss for time while we dragged the chain for two days building scaffolding. They were over the moon when it took three guys three or four hours to build and the site was so clear they were able to continue with tasks that they had written off as things that would need to be done after the scaffolding was removed.”
During and after the start up phase Emanuel says INTAKS provided promotional tools, data and regulatory information that“made it a lot easier to crunch the numbers, secure funding and convince potential users of our service to think past the old school way of scaffolding.”
He also appreciated the opportunity to lease-to-own the gear, adding new gear as workloads increased.
Typical feedback from customers has included appreciation about the speed of the install, and of the room Dunedin Edgefall are able to leave, meaning it’s safer to walk around, “particularly on those tight fenced in subdivision sites.”
To someone starting out in the scaffolding industry, Emanuel says: “Listen to what your clients are telling you. Find out what their issues are and then see if you can be the go-to-guy who solves them.”
Also,“test, test, test! Never put salt on a meal without tasting it first. It may already be salty.”