Starting shingling business in Minnesota/Wisconsin


#1

I need some advice/information from the experienced professionals on this board. I have taken the Roofer’s Exam and the Business and Law Trade Exam and passed both tests (as required by Minnesota).

I want to get a roofer’s license in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Does anyone know what the requirements are in Wisconsin to run a shingling business?

Secondly, as far as Minnesota: Right now I have a certificate of exemption but want to get a regular roofer’s license. I need to find an affordable liability insurance company. I will only be doing this as a summer business, not a full-time year round operation, but I want to run my business on the up and up and follow all regulations. Is there anything affordable for me as far as the required liability insurance? Any suggestions on individual companies to check with? What about worker’s comp? Is there anything more affordable than the state’s high-risk fund? And finally, I need suggestions on where to go for the surety bond.

I appreciate any and all help and suggestions. Thanks!


#2

If you got that far im sure you can go all the way.


#3

Thanks roofing buster. I’m almost there! I got a copy of my surety bond FAXed to me today and the insurance company called and said my liability coverage was approved so they will FAX certificate tomorrow. Those were the final pieces to the puzzle so I should be full-fledged soon. Workers comp and unemployment are all in place, so I think I’m set. At 19 years old, I’m pretty excited about this!


#4

key to bidding…(even though you didnt ask)…is win trust of homeowner by being very confident and matter of fact.


#5

Thanks. I am open to any and all tips. I have worked for a couple roofing firms before opening my own, but I know I will have much to learn along the way. I’m not some cocky young kid who thinks they know everything. I’m studying in college as a mathematics major and want to use my summer roofing business to help pay for my education. I was fortunate to have enough scholarships this year so that I didn’t have to take out any loans, but I know that will change so the extra $$$'s from roofing will help. I’m not afraid of hard work, and like I said, I definitely welcome all suggestions from those who have experience in the business, so fire away! What have you learned through the years that you wish you knew when you first started?

Side note: The focus of my business is residential, asphalt shingling. I have all the basic tools (compressor, guns, etc.) but if anyone has run across anything “you can’t live without” – please share!!

We tear off with pitchforks and I was just reading on another site to compare what other people like. What’s your favorite tearoff method? Anyone???


#6

[quote=“brainomatic”]
We tear off with pitchforks and I was just reading on another site to compare what other people like. What’s your favorite tearoff method? Anyone???[/quote]

my favorite method is to have others do it while I watch and when they are all done, I pick up the check.


#7

Yeah, I haven’t had to do an asphalt rip in a long time.

I like the shingleeater.com for asphalt and a very long handle straight claw hammer for slates, cedar or tile.


#8

[quote=“timothy_71”]

[quote=“brainomatic”]
We tear off with pitchforks and I was just reading on another site to compare what other people like. What’s your favorite tearoff method? Anyone???[/quote]

my favorite method is to have others do it while I watch and when they are all done, I pick up the check.[/quote]

ditto


#9

My shinglers mostley like the shingle eaters as well some like the red ripper though. pitch forlks and shovels are old school.Once in a while I will jump up there and rip or carry a bundle or two. No I dont have to but I like to. They don’t like me hanging out to long though LOL. Dam proud to be a Roofer, although im more office guy now.

RooferJim


#10

Hi,

Flat shovel works the best. Tried them all.

Never used a pitch fork. Just does not make sense to me.


#11

Yeah those potato forks are real common around here. I bought something called The Beast which one of my guys really likes. For those who use the shingle-eater, I see there are four sizes available. What do you recommend?

As far as the shovels, I always bang into the nails and didn’t really like that. Maybe I need a flatter shovel that will get under them better.


#12

So we have anther yung un on the site. Im 21 years yung.


#13

My father and I partnered together when I was 19 and we ran as partners for 3 years when I went on my own. By 23 I was licensed, bonded, and insured something my father never taught me to do. He did however teach me to be a quality roofer and after a hundred or so roofs bundling for him I started laying shingles and the rest is history.

When My brother was 18 he started roofing for me and I taught him everything. He’s stuck with it and does good quality work and his home owners enjoy him so he will go very far in the years to come. Last year he did $80K in 11 weeks, as owner operator, kind of makes me proud!

At this point what he needs to learn is how to negotiate insurance work so he isn’t just giving the homeowner a price per square.

I’m more swamped then I’ve been in the past 10 years and just gave 10 tear offs to my brother, best part is I didn’t ask for a penny! Just want to see him succeed, which he already is. Every now and then he’ll say, “Just like you did, Doug”…

The best advice I can give you is to be polite and promp with the home owners. If you say your going to be there at 3pm don’t show up a half hour late.

My father has been working again and every time he climbes up the ladder on a tear off a short handle pitch fork is in his hands. I laugh at guys who try to bring shovels on my roofs. To prove a point I take my fastest fork handeler and ask for a show down, if the shovel works faster I’ll buy the whole crew one tommorrow, hasn’t happened yet. Only use the toothed shovels for pulling nails.

Honda 5.5 compressors, Hitachi nailers, Estwing 16oz hammers, Stanley 199 knifes, Speed Reels, and a leather tool belt are my tools of choice, inside a Ford 7.3 Super Duty of course!!! Tape measures seem to break so often still to find a good one.

Good luck on your venture and good luck with schooling. If you can make a go in the roofing business you will have something to fall back on. Most roofers I know make more than the teachers I know, but money may not be your main objective. Meeting new people daily and a different drive everyday is nice.


#14

[quote=“dougger222”]My father and I partnered together when I was 19 and we ran as partners for 3 years when I went on my own. By 23 I was licensed, bonded, and insured something my father never taught me to do. He did however teach me to be a quality roofer and after a hundred or so roofs bundling for him I started laying shingles and the rest is history.

When My brother was 18 he started roofing for me and I taught him everything. He’s stuck with it and does good quality work and his home owners enjoy him so he will go very far in the years to come. Last year he did $80K in 11 weeks, as owner operator, kind of makes me proud!

At this point what he needs to learn is how to negotiate insurance work so he isn’t just giving the homeowner a price per square.

I’m more swamped then I’ve been in the past 10 years and just gave 10 tear offs to my brother, best part is I didn’t ask for a penny! Just want to see him succeed, which he already is. Every now and then he’ll say, “Just like you did, Doug”…

The best advice I can give you is to be polite and promp with the home owners. If you say your going to be there at 3pm don’t show up a half hour late.

My father has been working again and every time he climbes up the ladder on a tear off a short handle pitch fork is in his hands. I laugh at guys who try to bring shovels on my roofs. To prove a point I take my fastest fork handeler and ask for a show down, if the shovel works faster I’ll buy the whole crew one tommorrow, hasn’t happened yet. Only use the toothed shovels for pulling nails.

Honda 5.5 compressors, Hitachi nailers, Estwing 16oz hammers, Stanley 199 knifes, Speed Reels, and a leather tool belt are my tools of choice, inside a Ford 7.3 Super Duty of course!!! Tape measures seem to break so often still to find a good one.

Good luck on your venture and good luck with schooling. If you can make a go in the roofing business you will have something to fall back on. Most roofers I know make more than the teachers I know, but money may not be your main objective. Meeting new people daily and a different drive everyday is nice.[/quote]

Sounds kinda like me.
I work with my two brothers, One is seventeen and the other 25. I used to work for my uncle when i was younger but had tp part ways and do it big time. My other older brother also is a roofer so it kinda a brotherly love kinda thing.

Its good when you teach a family member how to make good money and to see them doing well. You always know that they well be alright becuase you taught them well.
Peace roofing buster.


#15

Hey guys,
Just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement and advice you gave me. Earlier this summer I got my residential roofer’s license in Minnesota and then in mid-July I expanded and got my residential builder’s license so I could also do siding and other construction projects. I’ve been busier than I could have ever imagined this summer and am having to turn down jobs now because I go back to college in a couple weeks. It’s been a great learning experience in working to get fully licensed, bonded, insured, but I am REALLY GLAD I did it. I made some good cash to put toward college and worked hard to build a good reputation so I’m ready to roll again next summer.


#16

workman’s comp is 1/3 of a roofer’s income. as for liabilaty u gonna take a good slap for that also. Heh there is a way to get workman’s comp cheaper… um get your crew to sign waivers and then u can say i have workman’s comp but noone is covered lol i had a guy tell me for 700$ he’d work it up for me.