Withstanding the Test of Time


As a company that has been serving the Kansas City region for 94 years, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has seen many changes through the years. We’ve played a role in helping build the Kansas City skyline you see today. Our industry has grown and remained strong due in large part to the early development of trade groups, such as the Builders’ Association and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) – some of the oldest industry associations in the country.

In 1887, a group of construction industry representatives came together to form the Master Builders’ and Traders’ Exchange in Kansas City, Missouri. This evolved to become the Builders’ Association and remains headquartered in Kansas City. The mission of the Builders Association is to provide high-quality and valued services that contribute to the betterment of their individual members and the construction industry overall. They offer a broad range of support services and resources for every facet of the construction industry, including everything from education and safety to government regulations and marketing. 

In 1886, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) was established. NRCA is headquartered in Rosemont, IL and is a central source for informational, educational, technical and advocacy resources for their 3500+ roofing industry members across all 50 states and 53 countries worldwide. 

While entrenched in history, these organizations are shepherding advances in the roofing industry. Their support, insights and resources are vital to companies like Cornell in our efforts to drive continual improvements for safety and quality. Trade organizations help build the foundation for success across for roofing contractors and the construction industry as a whole.

To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Cornell Recognized in Community Leader Video

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal was proud to join a group of businesses who came together recently to lend support to the Independence Chamber of Commerce and their efforts to continue building a business community of excellence. The Chamber provides invaluable resources and support for businesses in our area and the community in general. The Chamber graciously recognized the initiative taken by these “Community Leaders” in a series of videos that were aired by local broadcast TV stations. View the spot featuring Cornell here.

To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Key Partnerships Drive Success

Building something great does not rest on the shoulders of one entity. It takes a collaboration of community. In our world of commercial construction, we work alongside many skilled, talented professionals from all aspects of planning, architecture, construction and the trades. We align our areas of expertise to execute a common vision. Together, we aim to deliver our best. 


Key partnerships are central to the success of these projects. At Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal Co., we are fortunate to have fostered key partnerships with our colleagues in the region. This includes companies like JE Dunn Construction Co and Hollis & Miller Architecture, among many others. 


We value these alliances, the opportunities for business growth, and the friendships created along the way as we work with partners in Kansas City. With nearly 100 years in business, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. Solid partnerships are built on integrity, dependability, quality and accountability. Simply put, when you make a promise, you keep that promise. Period.


We are proud and honored to receive feedback like these examples below from our partners:


“Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal has been a collaborative, trusted partner for our project in many aspects and we sincerely appreciate the positive relationships their team has developed with ours. It has been a pleasure to work with them and we look forward to working with Cornell again soon.”

 — Andrew Petersen and Robert Pinkerton, JE Dunn Construction Co.


“I want to extend my deepest appreciation and thanks to Cornell Roofing for their help and professionalism, and especially Cornell’s adaptation to the project’s changing work scope – Cornell’s rapid response to these changes was essential to the project’s success.”

 — Steve Golubski, JE Dunn Construction Co.


“Cornell took the extra steps to get the job done right the first time and you were very meticulous when it came to the details. Because of your responsiveness, the professional way you conduct business and especially your high-quality level of service, we often recommend your company to others.”

— Justin Durham, AIA, Hollis & Miller Architects


To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Finding the Positives: A Look Back at 2020

Just about anyone will tell you they are ready to be done with 2020. It was a challenging year for so many. Despite the trauma and drama of the year, there were still positives to be found. People and businesses discovered ways to be resourceful to take care of customers and each other. In the commercial roofing industry, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is fortunate we were able to keep our crews working and building for the future. 


Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal had wins to be celebrated in 2020. We began the year with the momentum of hitting a major milestone of 1,000 jobs completed in 2019, as well as being recognized as the third-largest roofing company and 23rd-largest woman-owned business in the Kansas City region. This year, we were also able to continue our legacy of giving back to our community with Cornell’s first $25,000 gift to the Builders’ Association Scholarship Foundation to support career development in the trades. In addition, our Owner and President, Mary McNamara was honored as a 2020 Rainmaker by Ingram’s Magazine for her leadership in Kansas City business.


For Cornell, our most shining moments in 2020 are the many projects our expert crews were able to work on and complete. Cornell crews were hands-on in projects that enhanced the commercial infrastructure landscape, transformed the skyline and helped support the economic development of Kansas City. We could not be more proud to play a part. Just a few of the major projects completed in 2020 and/or currently in process include:

  • Children’s Mercy Research Institute 
  • Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
  • Fort Osage School District (High School, Fire Prairie, Elm Grove)
  • Kansas City Zoo (Meerkat, Sting Ray and Elephant Exhibits)
  • Commerce Tower
  • Kansas City Missouri City Hall
  • Loews Convention Center
  • Kansas City Museum
  • McCownGordon Construction Offices (sheet metal)


As a company that has been in business for nearly 100 years, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has weathered many changes and tumultuous years. 2020 challenged us all, but also proved we can still rise to the challenge. And there are always positives, you just need to look for them. Here’s to the promise of a new year and a bright 2021 ahead!


To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, click here About Us or call 816-252-8300.

Community Spotlight: Local School District Foundations

As the season of giving approaches, many include making charitable donations as part of their annual holiday tradition. If you’re planning to make a donation and would like your contribution to support local kids and families, you may want to consider donating to one of our local school district foundations. At Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, we choose to support these types of local organizations, as we have seen the positive impact they make in our community.


Typically school district foundations are organized as separate entities within their district with a mission of supporting students and teachers. These foundations rely on community donations and cover a lot of ground in the assistance they offer local families. From college scholarships to classroom supplies for teachers to food, clothing, utility, and housing assistance for students and families in crisis. These foundations are quietly filling a gap and are often providing life-saving support for students who have nowhere else to turn.


It’s no secret that this year has been difficult, and many more families may find themselves struggling to make ends meet. Donating to local organizations who can provide support directly to families in our community will be more important than ever. If you’re in a position to make a contribution, do your research to find a reputable organization that is making an impact and being a good steward of donated funds. For information about local school district foundations, visit school district websites to learn more about how they operate and allocate funds. 


For nearly 100 years, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has been serving the Kansas City area and has always maintained a strong commitment to supporting local community nonprofit organizations. To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com/about-us and or call 816-252-8300.


Protect Your Commercial Property with Preventative Maintenance

Commercial buildings are major investments, and most building owners want to do all they can to protect their investments and minimize costs. When it comes to commercial roofing, spending a little on preventative maintenance now, can save big money in the long run.


No matter what commercial roofing system you have, there are steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your roof – while improving or maintaining the value of your structure and the property inside. Taking these steps can often delay or potentially eliminate the need for commercial roofing repair or an expensive commercial roof replacement.


  1. Inspect rooftop vents and equipment. Be certain all are properly functioning and well sealed.
  2. Examine drains and downspouts. Ensure there are no blockages that will inhibit proper drainage.
  3. Assess penetrations and flashings. Be on the lookout for any gaps or tears.
  4. Thoroughly check the roof for other potential damage or issues.


Cornell’s Roof Maintenance Program is offered as an important part of our comprehensive Commercial Roof Management System. Identifying potential problems early is the key to protecting your investment – and your peace of mind. 


Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has been building and protecting commercial roofing systems for nearly 100 years. To learn more about Cornell Roofing and our Preventative Maintenance Services, visit www.CornellRoofing.com/services/preventative-roof-maintenance and or call 816-252-8300.


Commercial Roofing: What to Consider When Hiring a Company

Having been in business since 1927, Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal Company has seen competitors in the commercial roofing industry come and go through the years. Hiring the right commercial roofing contractor for your commercial building and construction project is critical. Roofing is not an area to compromise quality if you want your property to be stable, efficient, durable, properly functioning, aesthetically pleasing and to maintain optimal value for the long haul. Consider the following when hiring a commercial roofing contractor:


Can the crew handle the project?

It’s no overstatement to say Cornell Roofing’s professional teams can install any commercial roof, whatever the size or scale. We can make this bold statement because we actively ensure our crews receive continuing education and constant training to follow the most up-to-date best practices in the industry. Just as important, we make sure they’re equipped with state-of-the-art tools and equipment necessary to get the job done. From Kansas City’s urban high-rises to large-scale industrial manufacturing plants, Cornell’s professionals understand the latest roofing services, commercial roof systems, roof replacement options and commercial roof maintenance


What safety and environmental standards are in place?

When working at the heights we do every day, safety is obviously a concern. Cornell adheres to a strict safety policy to ensure our teams are properly trained per all OSHA compliance standards and industry best practices. It begins with pre-employment training and health screenings and continues with regular safety protocol training, inspections and updates.


At Cornell, we are also mindful of the impact commercial roofing has on our environment. There are many variables when considering commercial roofing contractors and roof systems. Through a better understanding of commercial roofing products, their life cycles and ability to be recycled, and varying energy consumption of the many different commercial roofing materials, we are able to give our customers a roof system that meets their needs while minimizing the effects on the environment.


What roofing systems are offered?

Cornell uses the most advanced supplies and products from the best brands in the industry, including Carlisle, Derbigum, Firestone, GAF, Johns Manville, Sarnafil, Siplast, Tamko and Tremco. An educated, experienced team plus the best brands in the business ensure a top-quality result.


Cornell’s commercial roofing experts have the training and experience to handle the most popular and highest quality installs including:

  • Built-up Roof Systems
  • Daylighting Systems
  • Flat Roof Systems
  • Green Roof Systems
  • Metal Roof Systems
  • Modified Bitumen Roof Systems
  • Single-ply Roof Systems, EPDM, TPO and PVC
  • Skylights
  • Vegetative PVC


In addition, Cornell also offers complete commercial metal roofing systems. From design, construction and installation to metal roof repair and maintenance, our full-service commercial sheet metal shop routinely produces excellent results. Our foremen, staff and field superintendents personally focus on each detail, no matter how small. You may not even notice some of these touches until after our installation team is long gone – but we believe this type of workmanship, especially when it’s a detail others might overlook, represents integrity you can count on. Every day and on every job.


How long have they been in business and what is their track record?

Cornell has been in this business a long time – nearly 100 years. A company does not make it this long in business without doing things right and setting the standard for success. We let that record speak for itself. When it comes to Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal’s track record, our long-standing relationships with the region’s top general commercial contractors, architecture firms and construction companies says it all. Here’s a testimonial from our friends at J.E. Dunn on a recent project:


 “Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal has been a collaborative, trusted partner for our project in many aspects and we sincerely appreciate the positive relationships their team has developed with ours. It has been a pleasure to work with them.”


When it comes time to hire a commercial roofing contractor, there are many things to consider, but asking these questions will help you determine who is the best fit for your project. To learn more about Cornell Roofing, visit www.CornellRoofing.com and follow @cornellroofingandsheetmetal on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal: Taking Teamwork to New Heights

Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. has been a leader in Kansas City’s commercial construction industry since 1927. What’s the secret to staying in business for over 90 years? The answer lies within Cornell’s four key operating principles of integrity, dependability, quality, and responsibility. The company was founded on these values and the commitment to continually invest in innovation and equipment, and their most valuable asset – their employees. 


This dedication to people and creating a positive, rewarding work environment is a key factor in Cornell’s longevity and gives the company a competitive edge in the field. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal’s leadership, professional staff, and highly skilled construction crews are experts in the commercial roofing and sheet metal trades. They have literally covered many of the most iconic and prominent commercial, healthcare, educational, government properties in the Kansas City region. Their knowledge and leadership in the industry have raised the bar for commercial roofing and sheet metal work in Kansas City.


“Promises made. Promises kept, since 1927,” is a phrase you hear often at Cornell. As a team, they are bonded in their commitment and collective promises to:

  • Finish what they start, on time and on budget;
  • Pay relentless attention to even the smallest detail;
  • Use the very best products;
  • Never cut one corner;
  • Be the roofing and sheet metal company customers can depend on.


Being in business nearly 100 years takes a lot of grit, determination, and – most importantly – a culture where your team can thrive. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. checks all those boxes. In continued efforts to recognize their talented team, Cornell will soon begin a series on social media in which a staff or crew member will be featured each month. Be sure to follow @cornellroofingandsheetmetal on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for these spotlight stories and to see some of Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal’s featured projects in the Kansas City area.


Earth Day Celebrating 50 Years Today!

Earth Day 2020 is a milestone moment and, also about the enormous challenge we face. There are incredible and vast opportunities to have an impact on our planet and on climate change. EarthDay.Org, has distinguished climate change as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary.
Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.

Earth Day’s Beginning

The first Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis — oil spills, rivers so polluted they literally caught fire, smog deforestation. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans, or roughly 10% of the entire U.S. population at the time, took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance. But they wanted more, demanding a new way forward for our planet.

Social Impact Into Laws

The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Also it was the planet’s largest civic event! The first Earth Day in 1970 launched a wave of action, including the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States. The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were created in response to the first Earth Day in 1970, as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many countries soon adopted similar laws.

While the coronavirus may force us to keep our distance, it should not force us to keep our voices down. The only thing that will change the world is a bold and unified demand for a new way forward. While Earth Day may be going digital due to the CoronaVirus, EarthDay.Org’s goal remains the same: To mobilize the world to take the necessary actions to make a difference. We may be apart, but through the power of digital media, we’re also more connected than ever.

Learn What You Can Do

Today, go to: EarthDay.Org, where you’ll find hours of action in global digital content that drives actions big and small, gives diverse voices a platform and demands bold action for people and the planet.
From the Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal family to yours, be safe and stay healthy.