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Company History

Sutter Roofing and the Sutter family had been firmly entrenched in the roofing industry in for well over 100 years. Since our 1902 founding by Claire Phillip “CP” Sutter, Sutter Roofing has been known for quality craftsmanship and good service.

Our history begins around the turn of the 20th century when CP decides to take the roofing and sheet-metal skills he has learned working for other old time craftsman to the new company bearing his name. Due to his dedicated work and outgoing personality he is able to build the business rather quickly. The young firm was performing stamped ceiling installations, fabrication and installation of exterior metals and cornices, chimney caps, stove pipes, roofing and all types of sheet metal. The company grew steadily along with the entire North Central West Virginia region throughout the teens and 20’s until the Great Depression came along. As with all businesses during this time it was a struggle to stay afloat, but CP was able to do it and weather the hard times until the economy improved. The firm chugged steadily along until CP’s son, Wilson joined the firm in the late 1930’s. Armed with a degree from West Virginia University, Wilson brought a formal business training and was eager to help his father grow the business. The firm increased their sheet-metal work by doing custom air ventilation systems at the numerous mines in the region. In addition to roofing, they also did dust collection and HVAC sheet-metal work for the many industrial plants found along the rivers and in the small towns around the region.

Sutter Roofing at their West Pike St location circa 1906. Note the Asbestos Roofing sign!

Sutter Roofing crew installing the roof deck on the Harrison County Courthouse 1932. CP Sutter 3rd from right.

Wilson also increased the firms heavy metal fabrication capabilities by investing in all the latest machine shop tooling, welding, and bending equipment for heavy steel. They soon had enough business to break this segment out as a second company called Metal Products, Inc. The new firm was often called upon to work on the specialized heavy metal equipment used in the mining industry. This heavy steel fabrication experience and exposure led us to doing more steel work, including structural steel for buildings, bridges, mining equipment, and platforms for the oil and gas industry. The roofing division also grew greatly during this time due to the many buildings that were built supporting the areas growth. Industries that supported our growth were all blooming in the 50’s and 60’s and this was the best of times.

Metal products workers in shop early 1950’s

Graveling a hot tar roof – late 1950’s

The third generation of Sutter family leadership at the firm came about in the late 60’s and early 70’s when Wilson’s oldest son Steve, joined the firm. Steve had just graduated from Salem College and was anxious to join the thriving family business. He worked in many departments of the company before he concluded that he really enjoyed the roofing side of the business. It was also about this time that the early 70s recession hit the US hard and especially the industries that Sutter Roofing & Metal serviced. The firm’s heavy steel business was decimated and things were not looking good. Also at that time Wilson had a stroke, which led to his untimely death. Stephen at the ripe age of 28 was left in charge of a major business with well paid, long-term staff and vast capital machinery and equipment, but not nearly enough revenue to sustain the operation. He made the difficult, but necessary decision to liquidate Metal Products and all its assets as well as laying off all the existing office staff. He kept the best sheet metal workers and welders and decided that they would be a light gauge only sheet metal shop focusing on roofing related sheet metal, HVAC systems, and dust collection ducting. Steve’s brother David, who had been working in the sheet-metal industry for another firm, was brought on to lead this side of the house. With Steve running the operations and roofing department and Dave running the sheet metal side, the company was now well-positioned for growth and profitability.

CP Sutter at his desk. West Pike Street around 1920.

Wilson and CP Sutter at their desk in their “new” office – Montpelier Addition. September 1941.

The roofing department grew steadily through the early 1970’s doing many schools, office buildings, and industrial projects throughout the state. However things really took off when the company got his first mega project with the construction of the huge Harrison County Power plant, near Lumberport. It was the firm’s first project with a major international General Contractor with a demanding schedule strong safety rules, and full-time quality inspectors and a tremendous amount of paper work to back it all up. The project turned out to be exceedingly successful and the firm was confident that they could now handle even the most difficult projects.

The Power Plant project was a built-up roofing project and as such the firm had hired many skilled union roofers to perform the work. Steve wanted to keep this skilled workforce going so he decided to go after more work in further reaches of the state. To be competitive and more productive the firm invested in a 40,000 gallon bulk asphalt tank for the yard and a rolling fleet of asphalt tankers. Sutter Roofing was now a major player in commercial roofing.

Sutter Roofing bulk asphalt tank and tanker truck in 1973

Two of Sutter Roofing’s three brand new tanker trucks

The industry changed in the late 70’s with the introduction of EPDM “rubber” roofing. Low installed cost and 10 and 15 year warranties quickly made EPDM the roof of choice by the early 1980’s. The firm had become a Carlisle approved applicator in 1976 and a Firestone approved contractor in 1980. EPDM roofing assemblies had become the predominant specified system and Sutter was on the forefront of this new technology. ‘Rubber” roofs were installed on hundreds of schools, shopping centers and other facilities throughout the state as the firm added customers and impressive projects to its portfolio.

Teddy Moore running the Power Tear Off Machine – WV State Penitentiary Moundsville 1976

Reroofing The Greenbrier Resort, 1980

Reroofing The Greenbrier Resort, 1980

Around this time during a Florida vacation Steve saw an opportunity to take his EPDM roofing knowledge to Florida where they had not yet caught on. He founded Sutter Roofing Co. of Florida in 1979 under this premise. Through proven practices, hard work, great employees and a usually good economy, the firm has grown to be one of the largest in Florida and the entire Country. They have offices in Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Myers. Steve is now semi-retired and the firm is operated by Doug Sutter and his brother Brad Sutter.

Steve continued running both the West Virginia and Florida firms until he moved to Florida permanently in 1984. At that time David assumed Presidency of the firm and continued the strategy of performing difficult larger projects that we were well suited for. Some of these high-profile projects include:

  • WVU Medical Center
  • Robert C Byrd High School
  • Gilbert County High School
  • The Greenbrier
  • East Fairmont High School
  • Mylan Pharmaceuticals
  • WVU Alumni Center

The firm celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2002 and has continued to do well in the North Central WV region.

In 2017, the firm was acquired from Wilson Sutter’s descendants by his grandson Doug Sutter. Doug is a Clarksburg native and WI High School and West Virginia University graduate who has spent his entire career in the roofing industry. He continue to serve as President of both the West Virginia and Florida firms.

Our future is very bright with our current mix of new and long term staff. We are eager to grow our business and serve West Virginia’s roofing needs as we have been since 1902!

Ready to take the first step toward securing a quality, professionally installed commercial roof?