Roofing with Strangers: A Story of Donating a Roof

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 by Brittney Vail

Before and after graduating from Cheshire High School in 1998, Brian Flannigan had his heart set on joining the military. He joined the Connecticut Army National Guard in 1999.

Now a family-oriented man, Brian and his wife Chelsea, two year old son Jack, and 11-month old Hunter, moved into their West Hartford home in December of 2017. Brian noted that 2017 was the hardest year of his life. After moving and changing jobs, he found it hard to stay positive. Asbestos was found in the home after cleaning the air ducts. The money set aside by Brian and Chelsea had to be used for asbestos removal and the roof would have to come later.

The solar company Brian works for, Sunrun, is based out of Hartford, CT. While working there, he met Vietnam veteran Ron Catania. After Brian and Ron began talking, Ron hinted that he had a solution for Brian’s failing roof. That’s when Klaus Larsen was contacted by Klingberg Family Centers, located in New Britain. Klingberg was able to connect Klaus with Brian and his family. On the morning of the installation, Brian was still in shock that it was all happening. His appreciation for what was being done for him was shown through wide eyes and smiles all around.

Beginning at 7:30 in the morning on Tuesday, April 17, a crew of five roofers from Klaus Larsen began to strip and install the Flannigan family’s new roof. After about five hours of work, the crew was done and the new roof was installed. The yellow house was completed with a finished roofing system using Onyx Black shingles from Owens Corning.

Donating a roof to a veteran is something that is very near and dear to Klaus Larsen. Being from Denmark, his father was part of the Danish Resistance during WWII. He feels that he owes his freedom to America for helping out Denmark during a time of need.

The team at Klaus Larsen not only donated the roof but teamed up with West Hartford restaurant Luna Pizza, who donated pizza to feed the crew and Brian’s family. The amount of love and support throughout this whole project has been an uplifting feeling. Not only does it feel great to give back but it is wonderful to see how many people are supportive of the cause.