BRIDGEWATER — Even after 40 years, Larry Samuels does not plan to retire anytime soon, if at all.
“Retirement is not for me,” he said Friday from his home in Bridgewater, which also serves as the office for his business, LS Home Repairs.
“He can’t stand to be idle,” according to his wife, Pam.
Samuels, now 55, started working in roofing when he was 16 and hasn’t stopped since. He worked for his father-in-law for a few years before branching out on his own in 1977.
After mainly finding roofing work in Northern Virginia, Samuels decided to move to the Shenandoah Valley after his father, Wilford, moved to the area in 1987.
“[He] told me I wouldn’t have trouble finding work [here],” Samuels said. “Which I didn’t.”
His business, called LS Home Repairs, has stayed afloat for a few key reasons, he says.
Customers return mainly because he treats them “as they want to be treated,” with honesty, he said.
While every business watches the bottom line, Samuels also aims to keep his prices fair.
“I ain’t out here to make a fortune on every job,” he said.
‘Word Of Mouth’
Happy customers tell others about their experience, which makes for steady work, despite the slow economy.
“Word of mouth really carries good for me,” he said.
Evan Grover, community manager for The Mill Apartments in Harrisonburg, said the complex has hired Samuels on multiple occasions.
“If I need a roof done or roof repair, siding repair, Larry would be the one to do it,” Grover said. “We get competitive quotes on everything, and Larry typically comes in at the best price and he works well with us, too.”
Charlie Rhodes, of Dayton, hired Samuels on his son-in-law’s recommendation to paint a house he flipped.
“I was well-satisfied,” Rhodes said. “If I had another project like that, yeah, [I] sure would [hire him again].”
While work has been slower than normal, Samuel show no signs of stopping.
“This is the worst I’ve ever seen [the economy],” he said. “I’ve been through recessions, but [this one has] dragged on. … You don’t really know what to expect next.”
But, he knows one thing for sure: The end of his career is nowhere in sight.
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