Bob Kulp started his business at age 19, the same year he was married. Always of an entrepreneurial bent, Kulp has at times branched out into ancillary product lines, developing a substantial commercial business that eventually overrode the company’s residential roofing work.
And then there was the company’s foray into solar. At one time Kulp was one of the largest solar installers in Wisconsin, and certainly in the center of the state.
Kulp’s of Stratford was also one of the first companies in the area to take on metal roofing. Back in the late 1990s, when metal was considered an oddball product in residential applications, Kulp’s began installing stone-coated steel shingles to augment its roll-form standing seam panel roofs. Today metal roofing makes up somewhere between 60% and 70% of the company’s residential work. Long active in the National Roofing Contractors Association, Bob Kulp today also sits in the Wisconsin legislature.
- Where most roofing companies install using subcontractors, especially as a way of avoiding ever-rising workers’ comp costs, Kulp’s of Stratford installs with its own crews. The practice leads to “better control of the quality of customer service,” says president John Kulp. “They have years of experience with our products.” The company has won numerous awards from asphalt shingle supplier GAF for the regular training the company conducts for its installers.
- And where other roofing contractors provide an estimate on a page or two, if that, Kulp’s regularly prepares a 10-to-16-page proposal, included in a binder with brochures and other materials about the company.