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Around 20 years ago, Doug and Donna Gunn made the trip from Victoria to Queensland to pursue a new lifestyle and seek out fresh business opportunities.
A roof tiler by trade, Doug had developed a new mobile water recycling machine that was ideal for pressure washing roof tiles prior to starting the roof restoration process. At the time, a severe drought was affecting the region and strict water restrictions were in place.
While Doug’s invention looked promising and he had completed prototype stage, the additional funds required to progress the project towards commercialisation were hard to come by, leading the couple to consider other avenues.
Doug had noticed that in Queensland, metal roofing was a lot more prevalent than tiled rooves, so he decided to reskill himself and become a qualified steel ‘roofie’.
It proved to be a wise decision, because the business grew quickly and also spawned a demolition and asbestos removal operation, a service that often went hand in hand with the reroofing process.
Today Doug and Donna’s IRT group of companies has over 50 employees and creates employment for many more subcontractors; they’ve also developed a reputation in the industry as the go-to company for challenging roofing projects. Son Damien is also part of the company, having started over 10 years ago as a cadet estimator, then roofer before gradually transitioning into a managerial role.
Additionally, IRT Roofing have partnered with Lysaght to distribute the innovative Vent-A-Roof® concealed ventilation system in Australia.
“The bulk of our work today is in commercial and industrial reroofing and insurance residential,” Donna said.
“Some of our projects include reroofing the buildings on Hayman Island and Hamilton Island following the cyclone – these were challenging projects particularly from a logistics standpoint, because materials needed to be flown in.
“IRT Roofing has earned a reputation for itself for successfully taking on and completing difficult jobs.”
Other notable roofing projects for the company include the Queensland State Netball Centre, Caboolture Hospital, Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns Airport, Oakey Army Barracks, Sanitarium Food Plant and Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
According to Donna, Lysaght has been a great partner for IRT Roofing since its inception and has greatly assisted the company on its growth journey.
“LYSAGHT® steel products make up the bulk of the materials we use,” she said.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the team at Lysaght, they’ve been extremely supportive of us and have contributed to our growth.”
Donna said that there were several important reasons why the partnership between IRT Roofing and Lysaght had endured and prospered for almost 20 years.
“We have full faith and trust in Lysaght and vice versa – Lysaght has many long-standing staff members and we’ve developed very close relationships with their team over the years,” she said.
“From a product quality, support and backing perspective, they are exceptional.”
According to Donna, it’s these qualities that have held Lysaght in high regard in the building industry for so long.
“Lysaght has been manufacturing in Australia for 100 years now – they’ve remained relevant by producing fantastic materials, supporting their ranges, as well as innovating and adapting to what the market wants,” she said.