Imagine never replacing the roof of a home for a whole lifetime. Sound impossible? Well it’s not.
Jamie Weilbacher works on slate roofs daily that are older than he is. As a 55-year-old man, he knows a thing or two about them. Jamie’s business, A 2nd Estimate Ltd., is based in German Village, where he also lives and worships. He says, “I like the view from my cubical.” And with the type of view he has of beautiful red brick and slate roofs all around, who wouldn’t?
Jamie is a life-long lover of architecture and historical preservation. A few years after graduating from Kent State in 1983, he started his business. Weilbacher says, “I originally wanted to work with gargoyles but now I’m working with the German Village level of the same thing.”
Weilbacher focuses on repairs and replacement of slate roofs, and German Village needs more repairs just by the nature of its preservation focus. Storms play a key role in impacting his business. German Village keeps him busy even though only about 15 percent of its homes have slate roofs. Weilbacher is so busy in fact, it’s hard for him to get to other areas of the city to work.
Most German Village homes had roofs covered by wood shake shingles when they were first constructed. Owners who wanted a more durable roof system, such as slate, replaced those wood roofs. Compared to a regular shingled roof, a good slate roof can be four times as pricy. However, depending on the quality of materials, quality of installation, and design, a slate roof can easily outlive a person.
Jamie is all about quality; from the types of material he uses, to the type of help he hires, he is always searching for that lasting characteristic.
He says, “All of our jobs must be well executed as our part of the good stewardship we feel called and honored to provide.”
The commitment to provide this area with such quality service is perhaps from Weilbacher’s link to German Village that dates back 150 years. His grandmother’s uncle was the founding pastor at St. Mary Church in 1838. All but one of Jamie and his wife Leslie’s five children attended or are currently attending St. Mary School. The whole family attends St. Mary Church as well.
Other than slate roofs, Weilbacher is a certified general contractor with knowledge in interior renovations, carpentry, masonry, metalwork and flashing.
Besides gifting the Village with his roofing talents, Jamie gives back to his community by volunteering for the historic preservation committee and doing some volunteered work to St. Mary’s slate roof.
“I don’t make a lot of money to donate so what I give is time and talent. At church they talk about time, talent and treasure.”
Jamie Weilbacher sure does treasure German Village, and we him.