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Classic Metals Inc: How to Build a Metals Business

How does a metals business grow from humble beginnings into a family legacy? Find out from Todd Andrews, owner of Classic Metals Inc., who built his operation from the ground up.

Rick Zand January 02, 2024

The tagline on the sign for Classic Metals Inc., located just off the Lancaster Highway in Chester, South Carolina, reads, “Put Your Last Roof on First!” The signature statement testifies to the quality and durability of metal roofing, an industry Todd Andrews has navigated in his region for the better part of three decades.

Founded by Andrews in January 2007, Classic Metals Inc. has grown from humble beginnings to a metal roofing and wall panel legacy built on quality and innovation.

At New Tech Machinery (NTM) we’re pleased that our rollforming machines have contributed to the success of metals businesses across the country. NTM has been part of Todd’s metal fabrication business for 25 years, and he currently owns multiple SSQ™ II Roof and Wall Panel Machines.

Classic Metals Inc signage on their building.

A Legacy in Metal Roofing

Todd Andrews’ journey into metal roofing began in 1996 when he joined his stepfather’s new metal roofing company in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Todd moved into his stepfather’s basement and worked 12-hour days for a modest $500 monthly salary. Through it, he learned the ins and outs of the business from the ground up.

This total immersion into the world of metal panel fabrication laid the foundation for what Classic Metals Inc. is today. Todd’s son Preston, who once sat on his lap in a forklift as a toddler, is now a college graduate actively involved in the business, driving trucks, operating rollformers, and even sweeping floors while learning his dad’s operation. Like many family businesses, knowledge is passed down through generations.

As Todd told us, “The whole family can do it and you can actually leave a legacy from one generation to another. I’m running the business and I’m hoping to teach my son to where he’ll come up and we’ll just keep it on trucking.”

One of those lessons Todd is passing on is about knowing your customer.

Classic Metals Inc.: Serving Diverse Customers

Classic Metals Inc. caters to a broad customer base, including repeat contractors and do-it-yourselfers. The company has witnessed a shift in customer demographics, especially post-Covid, with an increase in DIY clients as homeowners learn how to install panels themselves. Todd attributes this change to the rising costs of steel, machinery, and labor, which have led more people to undertake their own metal roofing installation.

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The Attraction to New Tech Machinery

What sets Classic Metals apart is its partnership with New Tech Machinery, a relationship born out of the pursuit of quality and ease of operation. Todd’s journey with New Tech began with a quest to eliminate the problem of oil canning in metal products. After experiencing issues with other brand machines, he found New Tech’s rollformers offered ease in switching out dies and the NTM service team provides reliable customer support. In 2021, Classic Metals purchased two new SSQ II MultiPro Roof and Wall Panel Machines, enhancing production capability and maintaining its commitment to quality.

“New Tech has made it very easy to have a comfortable life, pay for my kids’ college,” he said. “They’re great people to deal with.”

The Business Philosophy: Quality and Fair Pricing

Todd is passionate about his work, and it shows. He values the people he works with. “I try to hire people that become part of my family,” he said. As a result, he has a committed and knowledgeable workforce.

Todd’s business philosophy is simple yet powerful: produce quality products, charge a fair price, and the profit potential is unlimited. This approach has helped Classic Metals Inc. thrive. He also continually looks for areas for growth and new challenges.

Todd Andrew's crew running panel from an SSQ II MultiPro.
Classic Metal machine operators running panel from an SSQ II MultiPro Roof and Wall Panel Machine.

Challenges, Learning, and Growth

Reflecting on his journey, Todd wishes he had taken the business more seriously in the early days, realizing the importance of attention to detail in every aspect of the work. He credits New Tech Machinery with significantly contributing to his business’s success, describing NTM equipment as virtually a “printing press” for money when used correctly. Todd conducts regular maintenance on his NTM machines and found by doing this, the rollformers remain reliable and productive. He’s needed very little service over the years.

Today, Todd also sells NTM rollformers as a distributor and takes time to help younger people as they start out in the metal business, including how to fabricate metal and build a successful metal panel operation, and showing them how the metal roofing industry is expanding with new innovations every year.

“In the metal roofing industry, if you play your cards right and you produce quality product and you charge a fair price, it’s unlimited the amount of money that you can make,” Todd told us.

Todd Andrews and his son Preston as a small child on a forklift.
Todd and his son Preston in the early days of Classic Metals

The Future: Innovating and Expanding

Classic Metals continues to innovate, as seen with their recent introduction of NTM’s board and batten profile, which has quickly gained in popularity. For Todd, who doesn’t advertise, the product sells itself through walk-in customers, a testament to its quality and appeal. “Right now, we’re selling probably two to three a week on the board and batten. We’ve done sheds, shops, houses, and every week that goes by we’re gaining more traction,” he said.

Classic Metals has produced panels for large industrial buildings, luxury homes up and down the South Carolina coastline, and structures across the state and beyond. It continues to find new markets and new ways of delivery a quality product to roofing contractors. As companies produce new styles of metal, the possibilities of metal roofing and siding seem almost endless.

Todd Andrews and son Preston in the Classic Metals Inc. rollforming plant.
Todd Andrews with his son Preston in 2023.

Lasting Metal Roofs, Lasting Legacy

As Todd looks to the future, he sees a continuation of the legacy that began with his stepfather and now passes to his son. His business motto, “Put your last roof on first,” captures the philosophy of Classic Metals: providing durable, quality metal roofing that stands the test of time. And for those who doubt the availability of metal, Todd assured us, “There’s plenty of metal to be had. Call me if you can’t find any, and I’ll sell you some.”

Classic Metals stands as a testament to the power of family, quality, and innovation in the metal roofing industry, and at New Tech Machinery, we are happy to be part of the Andrews’ family success. We look forward to serving the next generation with quality rollforming machines.

To find out if the NTM SSQ II MultiPro is right for your business, or for information about any of our machines, contact one of our account managers.

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