About roofhugger

55 years of American manufacturing experience

It’s always fascinating to think back on how much Roof Hugger has changed over the years. When my friend and partner Red McConnohie and I started Roof Hugger, our goal was to create something that would allow a new metal roof to be installed over an existing metal roof. It had to work for any new panel, be easy to install, economical and structurally correct. A notched “Zee” seemed to have the most promise. Sounds simple, but there were many challenging issues we had to solve to make Red’s innovative idea a real and marketable product.

There was no accepted test protocol when we started, so together with a local engineering firm and local test lab, we created one. A few years later the E-1592 test protocol for metal panels was adopted, setting a new level of sophistication for all our future tests. Actual in place performance tables were established. New corner and edge zone framing assemblies were created to comply with the updated building codes that divided roofs into several distinct zones not just one uniformly loaded roof area. Construction details had to be changed and standard sizes of our sub-purlins had to be modified. All this was a huge change at the time, affecting all manufacturers and contractors in our industry.

Dale Nelson and Red McConnohie at a mid ‘90’s METALCON Tradeshow
By 2005, a new wrinkle had come into being: the “Green Movement.” Not only did we have to address structural attachment and panel performance but now we had to design and incorporate energy-saving assemblies. We had to design for rigid or fiberglass insulated assemblies and above sheeting ventilation. We had to understand thermal conductivity, thermal breaks, thermal emissivity, thermal reflectivity, solar heat collection and solar power generation. The Roof Hugger Systems had to accommodate specific insulation and mechanical systems while meeting all the structural code requirements.

Once again it was long hours, lots of reading, brainstorming and naturally – more testing. Roof Huggers with ventilation holes were created, new thermal break assembles had to be mated to our retrofit framing system, access openings for solar collection coils were designed, drag loads, and additional dead loads for photovoltaic systems all had to be considered. All this with an eye toward our ultimate critic……the installer. The system had to be as intuitive as possible, use standard tools and fasteners and go down quickly.

Innovative retrofit design work continues today with no end in sight. Roof Hugger’s latest task is to conduct testing that will evaluate how much strength our sub-purlin system adds to the capacity of the existing purlins. Although the codes allow 3 PSF for retrofits, some buildings need additional reinforcement and this testing will identify the extra contribution to purlin strength the Huggers provide.

As I look at the road ahead us, it is great to know our skilled and knowledgeable staff, headed by Red’s grandson, DJ Highnote, and The LSI Group, our new owners, will continue to work tirelessly to maintain Roof Huggers’ leadership in the metal-over-metal retrofit market. As always, we will keep our eyes on the codes and any new technologies that can provide our customers with the best retrofit products available.

Dale Nelson, President

Roof Hugger is proud to be a member of the following associations:


What Our Clients Say About Roof Hugger

“Installing Roof Huggers saves us the liability of opening up the roof and exposing our crew to that hazardous situation.”

Buddy Kaul
Metal Buildings and Supplies

“We have partnered with Roof Hugger on several projects over the course of many years in business. Superior quality engineering, design, installation, and support has created greater efficiency and effectiveness for our company and resulted in a multitude of satisfied customers.”

Edward J. Laperouse
President, Metal Works, Inc.

“We have used Roof Hugger for many years and rely on their expertise for providing solutions when re-roofi ng over existing metal roofing”

Bill Chandler
Executive Vice-President Drexel Metals/Met-Fab Elkridge, Maryland

Roof Hugger Becomes Part of the LSI Group

Odessa, FL – Roof Hugger Inc. acquired by the LSI Group, Logansport, IN – June 2016. Roof Hugger Inc., based in Lutz, Florida, is the manufacturer of notched sub-purlins for retrofitting existing metal roofs.

This acquisition joins Roof Hugger with LSI Group’s other affiliated companies, which include Logan Stampings, LSI Metal Fabrication, and BPD (Building Products Development).

LSI Group CEO Robert Baker (left) and Roof Hugger President Dale Nelson

“This acquisition is a perfect advancement in the long-term plan for Roof Hugger to grow beyond our original dreams for the company,” said Roof Hugger President Dale Nelson. “It creates an ideal corporate team to advance the long-term goals of both entities.”

Roof Hugger recently passed its 32nd year in business, reaching a major milestone of having furnished retrofit sub-framing on over 120 million sq. ft. of existing metal roofs. Accepted by most metal roofing manufacturers in the U.S., Roof Hugger’s stable of products are the most tested retrofit roofing products of their kind.

They are also frequently specified by Federal, State and Local governments, having been installed on over 3 million sq. ft. of U.S. military installations.
Roof Hugger Inc. holds several patents, with the first being awarded in March of 1994 to inventor D.V. “Red” McConnohie. McConnohie and Nelson partnered to start the company in 1991. After the passing of McConnohie in 2011, Nelson assumed full ownership until the company sale in 2016.

Nelson continues as President of Roof Hugger, LLC, a Division of the LSI Group although on a reduced schedule. He also continues to serve in the numerous associations to which Roof Hugger currently belongs including The Metal Construction Association (MCA), Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), International Institute of Building Envelope Consultants (IIBEC), Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association (MBCEA) and others.

Roof Hugger shares many common attributes with the other LSI Group affiliates including: long-term commitments to manufacturing superior products, ongoing product innovation, performance testing and the desire for customer service excellence. “We see this as a strategic move to better serve and bring value to our customer base,” stated LSI Group’s CEO, Robert Baker. “The acquisition of Roof Hugger supports our objective to expand into the retrofit roof and wall markets. Roof Hugger’s reputation and highly recognized brand name complements our family of businesses whose products have earned the respect of the metal construction industry.”

LSI Group is a group of companies that offer metal building components to the construction industry. We offer anything from clips and custom dies to retrofit roof systems.

let’s connect

Follow us on social media

Translate »