Here’s why Roofsmith Restoration is one of the top-ranked contractors in America

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Mike Farist, who founded Northeast Ohio’s Roofsmith Restoration in 2010, employs Haag-certified inspectors and uses top-ranked materials. But that’s just the beginning of his laser-focused insistence on quality. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit)

By Mitch Allen

When Roofsmith Restoration founder Mike Farist isn’t crawling around on a roof inspecting shingles, you might find him on the phone helping with an insurance adjuster or at the post office mailing another damaged shingle to another industry laboratory.

When it comes to getting his clients’ new roofs covered by insurance, this man is relentless.

“They’re going to deny you,” he says. “Or they’re going to offer you $300 to replace a few shingles that don’t match the rest of your roof. It’s unconscionable. That won’t even cover your deductible.”

According to the independent research firm GuildQuality, which has surveyed every Roofsmith customer over the past six years, Mike’s company has a 94% referral rate—the best in the country. But let’s put that in perspective. In an industry where Roofing Magazine says 62% of homeowners would NOT recommend their roofer, 94% of Mike’s customers would.

“Roofing is a messy job,” Mike explains. “Five to six tons of debris are falling off your house. To maintain our reputation, we have to be meticulous. Most other roofers just aren’t. We won’t block your driveway and we won’t step on your prized azaleas.”

Quality Materials
Mike is also meticulous about the materials he uses.

“Almost every other roofer I know uses a tar paper underlayment which you can tear with your pinky,” he explains. “We use a synthetic underlayment that you cannot tear with a pair of pliers.”

And don’t get him started on nails.

“We use hot-dipped, ring-shank nails which have double the holding power of smooth-shank nails and will never rust. Nobody else does that. We do.”

And you’ll also find Mike and his team going where most other roofers wouldn’t dare.

In your attic.

“A properly insulated and ventilated attic is critical to the life of your roof,” he explains. “But it’s also important to the health of your family. All this matters when your air quality is good and your attic is dry. I can’t tell you how many rusty roofing nails I’ve seen in the inside of damp attics.”

Northeast Ohio’s Best Roofer
Not surprisingly, Mike’s Roofsmith Restoration has been named Northeast Ohio’s best roofer—twice—and he maintains top ratings with the BBB and Angie’s List.

He and his team are also Haag-certified inspectors, which means they know precisely how wind, rain, hail and sunlight affect shingles—and insurance companies trust their judgement.

Plus, Roofsmith doesn’t have salespeople; they have Project Managers. That means that the person who sells you your new roof is also the person managing the project from start to finish. This, Mike says, vastly improves communications.

And because Roofsmith Restoration is an Owens Corning Roofing Platinum Preferred Contractor, Mike can offer a whopping 50-year warranty. And get this: While other contractors ask for a 50% deposit up front, Mike asks for just 10% on out-of-pocket jobs.

“That puts the pressure on me,” he says. “I have to perform and you have to be thrilled and doing cartwheels for me to get my other 90%.”

I mean, really, who does that?

More Than Roofing
Roofsmith Restoration also handles other home improvement jobs with the same meticulousness as their roofing work, including siding, windows and gutter systems.

The company offers Norman Rockwell siding, which Mike says is three times thicker than other brands.

“I just will not install builder-grade siding,” he insists “You can break it with your fist. With ours, you can hit a golf ball at it.”

And the company’s window brand—GreenView Windows & Doors—features a lifetime warranty on all hardware, accidental glass breakage, seal failure, vinyl frame and sash components.

“It’s a popular window,” Mike acknowledges. “But we can sell it for much less compared to all those big guys on TV.”

For gutters, Roofsmith installs seamless aluminum gutters custom-made onsite. And Mike says his leaf protection system comes in at $8 a foot—not the $13-$22 other systems charge.

“Any gutter system is only as good as its installation,” he adds. “Our senior gutter guy has 40 years of experience. We can fix anything.”

Back to roofing, you have only 6-12 months to file a storm-damage claim with your insurance company and we’ve had plenty of storms this summer, especially in Cleveland’s Southwest suburbs, so now’s a good time to have your roof checked out. And unlike your insurance company who will likely inspect your roof using a drone, Mike will get up there on his hands and knees.

So, does all this insistence on quality make Roofsmith more expensive?

“Not necessarily,” Mike says. “If you get five estimates, we’ll probably be right there in the middle.”

Roofsmith Restoration is headquartered in West Akron at 122 Western Avenue (near Ken Stewart’s Grille), but the company serves all of Northeast Ohio. For a free estimate or roof inspection, visit and complete an easy online estimate form or call 330-822-4245.