Contractor started young, going strongWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | email@example.com
Jason Arnold graduated from high school and became a business owner.
It was an untraditional path and one that caused people to question if he might be a little too young to be hired.
But 19 years later, Arnold’s Home Improvement LLC is a thriving local business known for its quality work and affordable prices, he said. Arnold has an office at 4253 Lewis Ave. in Toledo, as well as an office in Cincinnati. Satellite offices are located in Monroe and Temperance.
“I heard everyone had a bad year, but we had a very good year last year,” Arnold said. “We offer a wide brand of services. If one thing slows down, the other things pick up.”
In addition to roofing, siding, windows, gutters and additions, Arnold recently started Solar Solutions and Skylights, 909 Jefferson Ave.
“In the middle of March, we leave for solar training for our solar hot water tank systems,” said Sam Villarreal, manager of Solar Solutions and Skylights. “It is a geothermal system so the water flows through the solar panels and goes back into your existing heating system.”
Arnold is the secretary/treasurer of Professional Remodelers Association, formerly Toledo Home Remodelers Association. His companies will have booths at the show, including Solar Solutions and Skylights.
“We determine the best products by research and years of experience and we sell that,” Arnold said.
For instance, he only sells Owens Corning shingles. He favors that brand and said it is good to support local businesses.
The Toledo native graduated from Whitmer High School in 1990. He worked for a firefighter who wanted to get out of the roofing business. He sold Arnold his equipment and referred his customers to the teen. The business was initially Arnold’s Quality Roofing, which he turned into Arnold’s Home Improvement. In the beginning, it was just Arnold and a crew of four or five people. Today, he employs 30 to 50 people, depending on the season.
In this economic downturn, customers are focusing on needs, not wants, when it comes to home improvements, he said. Gutters and roofing continue to be the bread and butter of the business. Additions take a backseat when people don’t have expendable income.
“I learned to focus on what we are good at. We don’t try to branch off and do something that is out of the ordinary,” Arnold said.
Arnold doesn’t want to get so large that his business loses that hands-on touch. He won’t invest in showrooms, either, because customers like when he comes to them.
“This is where I grew up. It seems like I know half of Toledo.”
Sometimes people still expect to see a man in his 40s or 50s when they hear that Arnold’s business has been around for 19 years. He will be 37 on March 7.
“I am not opposed to hiring someone with more knowledge than me,” he said.
General Manager Mike Marchant said he is one of those “older” people with experience in sales and marketing. Marchant was friends with Arnold prior to starting with the company and wasn’t sure about job security if he came aboard. So, he decided to check out his friend’s business as if he didn’t know him.
“I found out he was secure, stable, successful and well-established in the industry,” Marchant said.