October 24, 2022 at 6:49 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Jeff Littleton of All Points Tile and Gary Hines of A & G Roofing. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Announcer:

Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long term professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I’m Heidi Ellsworth and I am road tripping over to Florida to talk about something really cool. It is all about custom tile blends and how this whole custom and reuse of tiles is really kind of rocking the tile world.

So I am really excited to be here with some experts in the field. I am with Jeff Little… Sorry, I am with Jeff Littleton of All Points Tile, and Gary Hines of A&G Roofing. Welcome, gentlemen.

Gary Hines:

Hello [inaudible 00:00:47].

Jeff Littleton:

[inaudible 00:00:47] thank you.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I’m so happy to have you on here and I’m really looking forward to learning a lot about tiles and custom blends. Because a lot of homeowners, a lot of business owners are looking to take care of their tile roofs, maybe change it up a little bit, but without having to do a whole new roof. There’s just so much out there.

But before we get into the good stuff, let’s start with some introductions. So Jeff, would you mind introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about All Points Tile?

Jeff Littleton:

My name’s Jeff Littleton. I am the manager for All Points Tile. We salvage roof tile and we resell it for repairs. We also sell new roof tile, and we salvage leftovers from job sites. We put them back together and resell them.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Awesome. And Gary, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your business?

Gary Hines:

Yes, ma’am. So my name is Gary Hines. I own A&G United Roofing here in Central Florida. And a couple other companies throughout the state. And I do a lot of the commercial blends here with Jeff and he’s my tile guy.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it. I love it. Oh, so you know what, Jeff, you kind of started out, you talked about what you’re doing. But can you just share a little bit of the history of All Points Tile? Because you guys have just a very cool history and model.

Jeff Littleton:

Well, we’ve been in the business since 2001. We started out doing new tile, but we always had a history in old tile. The original owner of All Points tile and Slate, Penn Marshall, had a roofing company and he had what we called a bone yard. That’s why a lot of people referred to us as the bone yard.

And so people would always call him all the time saying, “Do you have some of this or do you know where we can get some of this?” And just like being hit with a sledgehammer one day, is like, “This could really be a business. This is actually something that would benefit the state of Florida. It would benefit the whole United States, is keeping this tile out of the landfill and making it available so that it can be reused on roofs and not be wasted.” All the energy that went into producing the tile in the first place is just lost if you throw it away.

Everybody complains about global warming and carbon footprint. Well, that tile, the energy has already been used up on that tile. The carbon has been done on that tile. And if you throw it away, that’s three more pounds of carbon that’s going to have to be produced to produce a brand new tile.

So that’s our passion, that’s what we try to do. My passion is also to make money. I don’t want to fool anybody thinking that I’m a charity. I do the best I can. I help people out the best I can. But obviously mama likes to be fed.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I have to tell you, you are speaking my language. So as many of you know, I’m from Oregon. I love, why are we putting this great, these beautiful tiles into landfills? That’s nuts. So I think it’s amazing.

So Gary, along that line, tell us about your company, A&G, and your history and how you got into really working with the tile and doing such cool stuff.

Gary Hines:

Oh, okay. Well, so I’ve actually started roofing for another company and they hired me on it. I’m in the military, so me and Jeff have that bond. So yeah, with my military background, I was working for a company and they just weren’t very honest people.

And in the military, Jeff will tell you, I’m a very honest guy. On the back of my business cards and everything I have it says, “Built on integrity.”

Heidi Ellsworth:

Love it.

Gary Hines:

And we got into the tile business because it’s such a great product. And when I met Jeff, about eight years ago this month, I talked to him, I was a novice at tile, he was way more than willing to help me out.

Actually we did six roofs on one street with his commercial blends.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Wow.

Gary Hines:

So that was my introduction to roofing, was Jeff took the time to talk to me and really getting me trained up onto how to sell the tiles and different types of tiles and why we should use these tiles.

And just to give people idea, what he does, he saves people so much money. If I can do a repair for $800 versus replacing a roof for $60,000, and I can go buy the tiles from Jeff, and he’ll have a little bit extra [inaudible 00:05:42]. So you’re doing repairs versus… The economy right now is pretty bad, and like he said, the world is, we just messing it up. And so whatever little bit we can do, me and Jeff definitely try to, we work together a lot. I was just in his office last week.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it. I love it. I love this passion. That is so cool. So first of all, I always have to say thank you for your service, both of you. That means the world. And leading with integrity is just, that’s what we need. Roofing respect. Roofing respect. That’s what we… Right there.

Let’s talk custom blends. And so Gary, let’s start with you. I love how you’re saying you’re seeing the repairs, but you’re also seeing the custom blends. Tell us a little bit more about that and how it’s coming together.

Gary Hines:

Okay, so I think me and Jeff’s first custom blend was a few years ago. And I remember the homeowner wanted a certain color and they didn’t have it. And the lead time was like 16 weeks.

So Jeff said, “Well, let’s see if he wants a commercial blend.” So I went out to the bone yard, he has a nice board picked out with all these different blends, but he put the tiles up for us. And I took some pictures.

I did one house, and I can’t even make this up. I did one house and it was like a chocolate mocha kind of blend. Had some browns and some reds, some grays. And it was so unique that the HOA approved the blend, the homeowner got it, and within weeks I was blending everybody else’s house.And so he saves the homeowners, he gives them a personality of, a sense of self, like individualism. Because most tile complexes, they won’t let you just do what you want. But he’s come up with a creative blend that fits the color scheme of the homeowner associations for many different neighborhoods. It’s not just one. Through the whole entire state that I do roofs.

And his blends are always, they always come out. His guys are, they put them to where the guys can’t mess it up. And the blends, I haven’t had one roof come back bad yet.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That’s awesome. So these were re-roofs, right? So what were you taking off to put on the custom blend?

Gary Hines:

I would take off terra cotta or the old concrete. So a lot of the roofs that we do full replacements, a lot of those tiles are obsolete. So what a lot of roofers will do, will call someone like Jeff at the bone yard and ask for obsolete letters so they can get the roof replaced.

What I do is I’ll get a blend to try to either offer a repair for a cheaper cost effective way, or if we can’t do that, then I’ll offer the full roof replacement. Because my first goal is to save the homeowner money, to make sure they have a good product.And like Jeff said, as far as the cost, he’s definitely willing to work with you. He works with the homeowners, his staff is topnotch. I don’t think I ever… Go ahead, I’m sorry.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Well, and probably some people are listening out there and thinking, “Heidi, come on. This is so obvious.” But I just think this is so cool. So you’re taking off, well if it’s concrete tiles, obviously that’s probably not… But on some of them where there’s already tiles on there, are you able to use those and you’re just mixing them up again? So a lift and repair?

Gary Hines:

So when we do a repair, my company, I can’t speak for other companies, but we take off the entire tile. We replace the entire tile. We don’t try to do sealing them up or anything like that. If we’re going to do it, we’re going to try to do it correctly.

As far as taking off, if I’m doing a re-roof, whatever tiles I can save, I’ll take a picture, I’ll always send them to Jeff, and I ask Jeff if he wants them. And if he says yes… And he does it not to make money, obviously that’s one of the goals, but he does it because he knows so many people may just have that same exact title that might be obsolete, but they just need a repair versus a whole roof. And that’s where it really helps them out at.

So, it’s almost recycling the tiles in a positive way for roofers to help homeowners legit. And if you get a used tile, he doesn’t give you a brand new price, he gives you a used tile price. So he gives you, it’s a warranty repair where if I’m using a tile from Jeff, I’ll give him a warranty [inaudible 00:09:36] repair versus a lot of roofers won’t warranty repairs. But it definitely gives them a savings and cost savings for sure.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That’s cool. I love it. And I love the fact that you take pictures of it and say, “Hey Jeff, do you want this?” And then now it’s not going into the landfill, it’s going back for other people to use.

So Jeff, when Gary came on eight years ago and you started working with him, that to me again really shows what it’s all about to be in roofing, is helping each other. So maybe tell [inaudible 00:10:08] what did you think?

Jeff Littleton:

I’ll try to help anybody, but like Gary was saying, we both served in the mil… Well, he’s currently serving in the military, I served in the military. So I like to help a fellow soldier out.

But also he talked a good game. He was saying things that makes you want to help him. He was saying, his attitude and the way he wanted to do things made you believe that he wanted to do them right. He wanted to do quality work. And it makes me want to try to help you a little bit more.

If you come in here and you’re just like, “Look, I just need something to put on the roof, I really don’t care. I just need to get my money and get…” I don’t want to help you. I don’t even want to sell you the tile. Because that’s not the kind of stuff I want to be represented.

Because a lot of times, the homeowner doesn’t look at the bad workmanship and say, “Oh, that’s a crappy roofer.” He looks at the bad workmanship and he goes, “Oh, I’ll never put tile on my roof again because it sucks.” No, it doesn’t suck at all. It’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do perfectly. It’s the roofer who you hired who sucks.

So I try to really encourage, mentor, help, anybody that I think that is going to progress or uplift the industry.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah, I love that. I love the working together. And then look at how much has grown. When you have people out there asking for… I just love, Gary, that that was specked into the HOA and that they loved this custom blend.

So Jeff, tell us just a little bit. So I know Gary said he goes out there and there’s boards, you have all these ideas or you put it together. So how do those custom blends come into being? Do you just go out there and start picking them up and you’re like, “This is going to be beautiful”? What’s the creative behind that?

Jeff Littleton:

Well, there’s a couple different ways it can happen. Because if the homeowner says, “I just want a custom blend, it just needs to be approved by the HOA.” Then what I’m going to do is look at that HOA, see what colors they allow. And then I look at what I have in stock that we can put together.

But now if someone really wants to be involved in it and they really want to get something that’s personal to them, then I’ll talk to them, I’ll see what their vision is. And then we try to see if we can put together some kind of a blend.

And normally what we’ll do is, we’ll have them come out and look at what we have. And if they say, “Oh, I want a little bit more red,” or, “Oh, I don’t like so much red.” Or, “Can we put a little yellow in it?” And we’ll just mix it… We’ll just do some stuff on the fly to figure out what they want. And once we know what they want, then we can work on the percentages.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Very cool. So Gary, what’s some of the feedback that you’ve heard from homeowners going through this process? What are they saying to you as they get to go out to this bone yard and then they also see this beautiful roof when it’s all done?

Gary Hines:

So typically when it comes to tile roofs, when I usually replace those, they’re pretty old. So the homeowners are usually looking for something new.

And so when I go to the bone yard or I’ll take them out to the bone yard to meet Jeff or whatever, they’re excited. It’s almost like picking their appliances for your new house.

So we’ve gotten some strange color requests and things like that. But for the most part, as soon as they pick out what they want, I typically rip off the roof in less than a week and have it inspected and stuff like that.

And once they see the Jeff guys come up there and help load up the roofs, and when the first slope is usually done, that’s when I usually get phone calls from homeowners or neighbors are saying, “Oh my God, what color is that? How do I get that color?”

It’s so funny because, I guess the board that Jeff has at the bone yard, it doesn’t do a whole roof justice. So they know that the kind of colors, but when you lay it all out on those roofs, they definitely have a bigger appreciation for it, and it’s time effective. So that roof is done faster. They don’t have to wait 14 or 16 weeks. And that’s really where they’re excited, because if a roofer doesn’t know Jeff or doesn’t have that relationship, then you’re going to wait 16… Right now it’s like 24 week lead time.

So with the blends, it’s cut in half. If he has it on site, then all we got to do is rip off and get ready to go. So that’s really the best selling point. And it’s also, like Jeff said, it’s also, once the HOA approves it, it’s a matter of me just getting the roof on.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah. And then the neighbors know it’s approved. So all of a sudden, you just working down the street.

Gary Hines:

Yeah. I think we did, I think two of the roofs on that one street had two of the same colors.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Wow.

Gary Hines:

The same [inaudible 00:15:09]. And he’s being bashful, Jeff ain’t telling, he’s an artist. I couldn’t put those colors together. So, he definitely does… He cares.And he has a great energy about him. He met my dad, we sit down, we talk about war stories. He’s one of those guys, he knows I care. I try to do my best. He does his best for me, for sure. And he’s being a little bashful right now, but he definitely does a lot for the roofing community, especially here in Florida.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah. Jeff, I don’t think of you as bashful, but you’re being a little humble, huh?

Jeff Littleton:

Well, it’s better to let someone else blow your horn.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it. So, I want to just hit a little bit deeper on what you were saying earlier, Gary, too, on really inspecting the roof and offering the homeowner options. Like, “This could just be a repair. This, nope, your roof’s passed. You’re going to have to do a whole new re-roof, but here’s an option.”

Talk a little bit about that process of really going out there and working with those homeowners to figure out if it can be just a repair or if it needs to be a full re-roof.

Gary Hines:

I have to go back to, “Built on integrity.” In Florida, there’s so many shady roofers and so many different things happening out here because we are in a hurricane state. Everybody seems to be a roofer.

But when I met Jeff, my biggest thing was, I’m always going to be honest. If you don’t need a roof, my job isn’t to try to make you need a roof. It’s to let you know that you don’t need a roof, and don’t let no one else up on your roof. And I take pictures and I give them a whole folder so that way they know what that roof looks like the last time I was up there.

As far as repair, if you have a leak, most of the time, especially since we’re talking tile, and I’ll keep it simple for tile. Most of the time it’s event, it’s something simple, might be some flashing. And so that’s not warranting of a full roof replacement.

You don’t want to have a homeowner call their insurance and go through that burden of stress and maybe get a no, for something that I know I could fix way cheaper. And it’s probably going to be less than the deductible.

So a lot of roofers, especially in the state of Florida, they just look for that check. Me, I look for the longevity and a good name. And I don’t do no real advertising, and if you notice, I don’t have a website. I’m a strictly word of mouth guy. And I do a lot of high end companies. And I own four roofing companies throughout the state.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Wow.

Gary Hines:

And Jeff was with me when I started my first one. So that’s the kind of relationship we have. And he knows I’m not one of those guys that try to make a… I don’t have no yard signs, I don’t have any flags. If someone calls me, they know me. Or they know someone that knows me. And so that relationship, I’m going in with no hesitation, no pressure of having to sell a roof. If you need one, I’ll get you one. If not, then I’ll let you know that too.And so I’d rather do a repair, so that homeowner knows the house is safe. And then when they really do need to put in that claim, it’s not going to get denied.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love that. I love that. So as you’re looking at this, and you’ve really already kind of said it, but I’m going to say it again. What is some of your advice, and I want to ask both of you, your advice to other roofing contractors who want to follow this model, Gary, of what you’re doing and really building on reusing tiles, the custom blends, and all of that.

What’s your advice to them to be able to either make a business out of this or add it to their business?

Gary Hines:

My advice, it would be, just be honest. I get it, business is business. And when people say that, they don’t really mean it. And I think me and Jeff, one of the things I really respect about Jeff is that I mean it when I say it, and he means what he tells me.

And we don’t do anything halfway. So when you meet me, you’re meeting the real me. You meet Gary, the license holder, CCC 133 1335. That’s me. And my phone number plug, 417-421-7150, free advice, I got you.

If you can be honest and be truthful, then you can sleep at night. A lot of people, the biggest thing is, all the guys with the smokes and mirrors are usually doing something wrong.

And me and Jeff, he’ll tell you, I wear the same shorts and the same shirt every day. And my truck, I don’t have my truck wrapped up, I got a ladder, I get on the roof, I come inspect it with my guys. It’s more of a family versus a job.

And I’m a very honest guy. And I think Jeff is the same way. And if you want to do anything, and anything in life, it’s just be honest and do it to the best of your ability and then success will follow that.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love that. That’s the best advice right there. Jeff, so I want to point out to all of our listeners too, because you had talked about this before on some of our interviews. But you, All Points Tile serves Florida. But there are other distributors like you, probably not exactly like you, but there’s other ones across the country who you kind of work with to say, “Oh yeah, we have this tile.”

And maybe, I know there’s one in Colorado, some different markets. So for the contractors who are out there who might be like, “Well, I want to do this but I don’t live in Florida.” How can they get into that model of finding bone yards across the country? And then how do they bring this into their own business?

Jeff Littleton:

I guess you could do some Google searches. But truthfully, if you called me and said, “I’m in a certain area, do you know anybody that does this?” I would just tell you. I’m not going to try to sell every… It doesn’t make sense for me to ship something to California. It doesn’t make sense for me to ship something to Chicago if there’s a guy up there. It’s just way easier… And again, I look at it as karma. I’m going to do that guy right, somebody’s going to do me right. It’s as simple as that.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah.

Jeff Littleton:

They’re out there, you just have to do some searches. There’s a couple different guys in Texas, there’s a guy in Oklahoma, there’s a couple guys in Illinois, and there’s a guy in New York, I believe.

And if you use some keywords about “reclaimed” or “salvaged” or something like that, they’ll pop up. Because that’s pretty much, “salvage” or “reclaim” is the key word to search for.

I do want to mention one other thing. Where we were talking about, there’s another reason for these custom blends. One, the person has something unique. But in the long term, if you have a red roof and you have damaged tile, you got to find red tile. If you have a blend on there of three, four or five colors, it’s going to be way easier for you to find one or two tiles, 15, 20 years from now in that color, which will then be able to be blended back into your roof. It just makes it a lot easier, especially for HOAs, or to not have some green tile on the roof.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That’s it. And so for everyone who’s out there listening, you just got it. To be able to figure out how to do repairs, how to get the tiles you need on, All Points Tile is on Roofers Coffee Shop, there’s a full directory. You can get a hold of Jeff anytime. And if you’re close to Florida, you’re going to want to just work with Jeff, obviously. Right Gary?

Gary Hines:

Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Heidi Ellsworth:

But also, just overall for the industry, that kind of advice on… Spectacular. So, gentlemen, thank you. This has been great. I really have loved this. Thank you so much. Gary, any last thoughts?

Gary Hines:

No. Just Jeff, thank you for all you do and thank you for inviting me to come on here with you. Really means a lot to me, man. And you’re a good guy, bro. I appreciate you.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it.

Jeff Littleton:

I have a lot of people fooled.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Okay, Jeff, any last thoughts? Anything else you want to share?

Jeff Littleton:

We’re opening another facility in Sebring. I would like to tell you that we have closed on it, but it is dragging out. We are still trying to go through the legal procedures of buying a piece of land in Sebring. But I’m told that before the end of this month, I will have a piece of property in Sebring that we’re going to put a facility in, and to better be able to service the lower half of the state of Florida.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That’s great. And how many acres? Because I know it’s big.

Jeff Littleton:

I believe it’s 11 and a half acres, all told. We’re going to develop probably the first three acres originally.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah. That’s a lot of tiles. Jeff.

Gary Hines:

Hey Jeff, if you need a roof for that building, just let me know. I know a guy.

Jeff Littleton:

Well, yeah, unfortunately I’m going to do the ungodly sin, I’m going to go with a metal roof.

Gary Hines:

Oh, yeah.

Jeff Littleton:

I’m putting up a big carport.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it. Okay, on that note, that’s a great note to end on. So check all this out. Check out, like I said, the directory, All Points Tile. You’ll be able to get to the website for All Points Tile. And on there is tile locator and identifier. So you can go in there and if you’re looking for a tile, just go onto that website and you can find it. You also see the custom blends all on there, so it’s a great resource.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for being on this Roofing Road Trip. It’s just been spectacular.

Gary Hines:

Thank you for inviting.

Jeff Littleton:

Thank you very much. Gary, tell your dad I said hi.

Gary Hines:

I will.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it. And thank all of you for being on this podcast. We appreciate you being here. Be sure to check out the directory as we talked about, with All Points Tile on rooferscoffeeshop.com. But also, don’t miss a single episode of these Roofing Road trips.

In fact, Gary, you need to go listen to all the podcasts out there under our-

Gary Hines:

I will.

Heidi Ellsworth:

On rooferscoffeeshop.com. Under the read, listen, watch initiative, look for Roofing Road Trips. Or on your favorite podcast channel. All you have to do is look up Roofers Coffee Shop, subscribe and get those notifications, and you won’t miss a single one. Thank you all for being here today. We’ll see you next time.

Announcer:

Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the rooferscoffeeshop.com.





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