Local contractor to gift free roof to family in need
NEW CANAAN — Jonathan Prizio started working for his father’s roofing business at the age of 12 and, despite a few short breaks, has continued in the business all his life.
“I started cleaning up on the ground, picking up nails and things like that, and I worked my way up to estimating, working with homeowners. And that’s what I do today,” Jonathan said.
Prizio Roofing and Siding Co. opened in 1968 after Jonathan’s father, John, was laid off from his job as a union carpenter. Looking for new work, the elder Prizio set out on his own and put up flyers listing services he could provide. He included on the flyer roofing, though at that point he had never worked on a roof. He actually was hired for a roofing job and discovered not only could he do the work well, but it was a well-paying gig.
“He did the roof and he made more in that week than he did in whole months. So he said, ‘This is it, this is the business,’” his son remembered.
John died in 2016, at which point the family business passed to his son and his son’s wife, Heather, who does marketing for the company.
Always, the Danforth Drive residents have emphasized the community aspect of their business. At Thanksgiving, they run a food drive. At Christmas, they collect toys for area children. And, most recently, they have partnered with the nonprofit No Roof Left Behind to give one Fairfield County resident in need a new roof, free of charge.
“We had been looking for an organization to partner with, but nothing was a perfect fit,” said Heather, 36. “This is the perfect fit because it’s all about providing roofs for a needy family.”
The Prizios will be accepting nominations for through Aug. 31, at which point the field will be narrowed to four finalists by the Prizios. A public, online vote will then be held to select the winner.
“Your roof is one of the most important parts of your house because everything is underneath it,” said Jonathan, 35. “So if your roof is not good, it’s a trickle-down effect — no pun intended. As soon as the roof goes, you’ve got to get that fixed and it’s very expensive to do a roof.”
The partnership between No Roof Left Behind and the Prizios is the first of its kind in Connecticut. According to Prizio, No Roof Left Behind provides the framework — figuratively — to offer a new roof. Prizio will provide the labor, and New Jersey-based GAF will supply the materials.
“Right now I’m working with the Department of Social Services and some local charities to kind of help in terms of getting the info out to those people that might be candidates,” Heather said.
All Fairfield County residents are eligible.
“You never know who actually is in need. It could be somebody you’d never expect. It might be somebody in Bridgeport, but you never know, it could be somebody in New Canaan. This will hopefully bring some awareness that everyone has struggles,” Jonathan said.