Roofing Business


#1

I have a question for all the successful roofing contractors that can offer some good advice:

My company is making a transition from a boston based high-end painting business to a restoration and rehab firm. I would like to add roofing as a service to my business but I have never completed a re-roof. Since my business has been successfull I am not interested in working for another roofer first. My company is based on integrity and I would like to make sure all the roofs are properly installed. Should I hire an expert roofer? Hire a subcontractor to teach me the process? Inquire about training to the manufacturers? What’s the best, quickest way to start roofing next summer? Thank you all!


#2

If you want the quality of your roofing to be equal to the quality of your other work you will need an experienced roofer on payroll, or to consult with.
It is not something that you can really learn yourself between now and the upcoming summer.
Historical work and additions can be a little tricky and requires a more experienced roofer, and his bag of tricks.

Unless you plan on making roofing a large part of your business you would be better off finding a really good subcontractor.
One that will help you assess what needs to be done and can spec the required products for a particular situation.
One that will basically take care of all your roofing needs, and perhaps teach you in the process.

It doesn’t really matter what you learn from anybody unless the people applying the roofing system do it right.
Up to your standards.

Go to the local roofing/siding suppliers and ask them who the best subcontractors are.
Tell them what you desire out of your sub and they should be able to hook you up with a knowledgeable detail oriented roofer.
The kind of sub you will need is going to cost more than the average sub, you need an above average sub.

You can also ask some the the best high end builders in your area who they use for their roofing.
High end builders usually have pretty good roofers working for them.

There may be someone on this forum that is perfect for you.


#3

Great reply, I think I’ll take your advice.


#4

If you go the sub route (not a bad way to go) & do NOT ask for a ref via your local supply house(s), then I suggest you hire / tap into @ least 3 or 4 crews & use them one job @ a time. It’s like a job interview & @ the same time you’ll find out more of what it takes to install a successful product.

You may find that one crew is better @ low slope applications & another really shines @ steep roofing or doing some aspect that other crews do NOT do (i.e. slate, which isn’t as common). You’d then tap into these specialty crews as the jobs come up.

I would venture a guess that into your 3rd or 4th year, you’ll have a good idea on 90% or more of what makes a quality install.

One last item; if you do go sub crew route, ask how long they’ve been in the area & try to check some sort of truth to this statement. If someone’s only there for the last 2 years or so, you’ll have no real way to determine if their product has legs or not.