Homeowner Spotlight: The Cox Family of North Bay

Ted Cox, and his wife Susan, know what it is like to run a family business. Susan’s dad started Northgate Realty in 1962 and in 1975 Ted and Susan bought it from him. They know that their business relies on keeping their word.

It also can mean keeping an eye on a number of projects at once. Patience and communication skills come in handy, too.

Ted explained, “Booth and Little is a family-owned business. I like that. When I built my house in 1975, Darren’s dad did my roof. When the roofers say the roof goes to 30 years, I don’t know how they know, but it’s true.”


Roofing Work in San Rafael and Novato

He continued, “Darren is a very good guy, honest and if he says he is going to come at 7:30, he’s there. He’s always ready to go and his team does excellent work.”

Ted and Susan have residences in San Rafael and Novato. They gave their son a home and when it needed a roof, they turned to Darren. When it came to roof color, Ted would have left it up to Darren. “I didn’t think much about colors, but my wife and son took 3 days to choose a color. As though that weren’t enough, I tortured him for a time about skylights. Then my wife and son got involved until a decision was made, and Darren tolerated it all.”

Cox owns a 10,000 square foot commercial building on Irwin in San Rafael.

“This year or next, I’ll be going to Booth and Little for a roof on that, too,” he added. “Right now, it is tar and gravel, but Darren uses a new material, Duro-Last, that works better.”

Contractor Spotlight: West Construction Services

When it comes to building a home, general contractors, like Ron West, owner of West Construction Services, need to rely on a variety of sub-contractors to complete a structure from foundation to roof. West, said, “I worked with 80 different people on one recent project.

There are lots of moving parts. 8 to 10 people were on the foundation crew, then there were the ready-mix drivers, pumpers and the suppliers delivering the reinforcing bar. Not to mention all the rest. That takes orchestration.”

“I consider my sub-contractors to be a reflection of me and my business,” West continued. “I need to trust them. Darren’s fantastic. I went to school with him from 3rd or 4th grade. We fell out of touch for 25 years and just reconnected a few years ago. In that time, he’s done about ten roofs for me.”

West Construction Services and Booth and Little have partnered on rebuilding homes in the fire ravaged area of Sonoma County. Most people never thought they’d be faced with having to rebuild after a fire and are facing new building codes and questions about requirements.


West revealed that most of the time, he can easily handle clients’ questions. When it comes to specifics about roofs, however, he always calls Darren in to the meetings.

“He is so up-to-date on all things roofing and his manner is calm and matter of fact. We even save clients money by working first with the architect, before a project gets too far along. One architect drew up a detailed design based on county guidelines to make an open eave roof and added heavy sheetrock to the plans to make the roof one-hour fire rated. Darren was able to show, by using the proper underlayment material, the sheetrock was not needed and overall, Darren’s modifications kept the roof at the proper fire rating and saved the client $10,000. He really knows his stuff.”

“Darren is a great guy to work with and I can rely on him to be there when he says he will be. He also gives me a timeframe for the work, and he stays within it.”

West continued, “He’s outstanding, definitely one of my top subs. He may not be the cheapest, but he is always within a reasonable range of the rest. A home is the largest investment that 99% of the public will ever make, so I want to work with people who believe as I do, that it’s got to be done right.

No one works for me, they work with me. And Darren is the kind of guy, who if he sees something that somebody forgot, or hasn’t gotten to before he is set to start his part of the job, he’ll let me know, rather than going ahead and making it hard for me to get to later.”