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Founder and Consultant

To Whom It May Concern:

   This will introduce James Warden, whom I have known since the early 1960s, when my family had a summer house near his family farm in Vermont. He has principled character and an inquiring mind, and is a person of deep concerns for the welfare of others and of our environment.
   James is among the dwindling number of all-around craftsmen who can fix anything in a building and its furnishings, whether by carpentry, plumbing, painting, hardware, appliances or electrical systems. We have recently found that he has an uncanny gift for persuading those of our doors and windows that either have not closed or have not opened for years to behave as they were made to do. I have recommended him to a number of friends whose response to his work has been somewhere in the range between pleased and ecstatic.

By: James S. Ackerman

February 15, 2001

Professor at Harvard University

To Whom It May Concern:

   If you have chosen to commit to either a new slate roof for your home or the repair of an existing one, congratulations - first for your presumed ability to pay for the project, but more importantly for choosing long-term quality, durability, and subtle beauty over quick-fix and, in the not-so-long-term, wasteful alterations.
   A properly done slate roof requires patience and a commitment to craft that, though these terms are very saleable, are in fact increasingly rare. This past year (2001) I hired James Warden to roof my home with new Vermont slate. I am, myself, a general contractor of more than 30 years experience in the Boston area, and I spent considerable time searching for a roofing contractor compatible with my needs, budget, and philosophy. I have observed or subcontracted a number of roofing contractors over the years and, typically, the setup is one of talented, hardworking, and underpaid laborers scrambling to meet a deadline imposed and coordinated by snazzy truck and cell phone-overburdened schedules and inflated "overhead".
   James, like myself, is a hands-on contractor - directly involved with the bulk of the work himself. My home is a typical contractor's house, with half-finished projects and plain neglect, like the proverbial shoemaker's unshod child. My deal with James was that we'd work in tandem, with him in charge of slate and copper and myself doing long overdue repairs to sheathing, gutters, fascias, etc. Despite the typical, inevitable delays and surprises, we came through with a result that not only he and I, but, it seems, the whole neighborhood is proud of.
   I did not know James personally, though he came recommended by friends before the job began, but I came to know him over many weeks through his work. First of all, he knows his craft, the materials he works with, and how to assemble them properly. He keeps his word, both on the larger scale, and from day to day. Most important of all, he is uncompromising in his commitment to the job being done right.
   A slate roof represents a belief in the future - a significant investment of time, sweat, skill and cash by the contractor and the customer. James Warden is a Vermont Yankee with the integrity that is traditionally associated, like the slate itself, with that part of the country. I highly recommend his work.

By: David R. Howell

January 29, 2002

To Whom It May Concern:

   It is easy to write a letter of reference for James Warden (of Milligan Construction) because his work is consistently of the highest quality, and he is a pleasure to work with. I would not willingly have any one else work on our roof.
   On our house he repaired a one hundred year old slate roof and formed and soldered numerous copper pieces of complex shapes to cover dormers, flash joints, retard snow slides, and make sound a large access port. He was also able to get the slate portions of our roof to integrate with the flatter areas that are covered by other materials.
   I was most impressed by how he handled the unexpected: rotted wood underlayment, carpenter ants, and the like. Nothing seemed beyond his capabilities, and his pricing for these unforeseeable complications was fair. Another contractor might well have seen the open roof as an opportunity for presenting exorbitant charges.
   James' pride in his work and his honesty are most reassuring for the homeowner. I recommend him without reservation.

By: Peter B. Rosenbaum

January 29, 2002