Hi all... I'm new to the site

Hi everyone. I’m new to the site, but certainly not new to the business. I started my own roofing company all by myself when I was 24. I’m now 35 and have a fairly good little business going. I have two crews and 8 employees. I told myself at the beginning I wanted to be out of the business by the time I was 30. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. My body is a mess and I’m far from a millionaire, but I must say I do love my job.

Just wondering how many of you guys started like I did… alone. I must have done 30 or so roofs by myself before I was able to have enough consistent work to hire help. Anyone else out there as stupid I was when I was 24? If so, let me hear your story.

Thanks. Looking forward to interacting with you guys!


Went into business when I was 25. Came off the roof when I was 51. Body is still in good shape. I would sooner be on the roof, but I need to run the business.

Did many a roof by myself. I do not think that is stupid. If your body is shot, I would have to say you did not take care of yourself.

If your body is shot, then you better figure out how to run a roofing business. It is not easy, sounds like you do not have a choice though.

wasn’t calling you stupid. just a little tongue 'n cheek humor. don’t take it so personally.

sorry if i offended you. i didn’t know my post would be taken so literally. just asked for some stories, man.


I was not offended. At all.

I will usually respond from a different veiw then everyone else.

Sounds like you took my response personally. LOL

Welcome, I think most of us went through the same exact stuff. Hell, I am still making mistakes. How else am I going to learn?

As for tearing your body down, I am on my 11th day of recovering from rotator cuff surgery. I was back at it 3 days after surgery, not using my bad arm though, just barking orders to everyone. Not near as bad as I heard for weeks from everyone. The doc says I played too hard and worked too hard!! He said if you are in your early to mid 40s and you haven’t had rotator cuff problems, then you haven’t taken full advantage of living, and I agree.

again, welcome, hope you enjoy it here.

cool… didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot here.

Nice to meet ya, Lefty. I hope I can stay on the roof as long as you did!

BTW, just realized that this wasn’t exactly the right forum for my original post. Probably should have been in the “Roofing Business” section, I guess. I’ll get this all figured out sooner or later :wink:

27 when I started and I had a connection who was a carpenter contractor doing Wendys Restaurant roofs and figured I could get in doing them as a side job.

In the interim, I slipped off a ladder and shattered my left foot, fractured my right heel and broke my left leg and my left hand. Ouch.

Well, the GC I had my eye on had a small falling out with his regular roofing contractor and asked if I could put a hot tar roof on a Mobil Gas Station Mini-Mart and detached car wash building.

Crapola!!! I was still in a wheelchair for 3 months total time. I needed someone to do the work for me, so I subbed out a friends company and had them do my jobs until I healed up enough to work again.

Nope, I had to tackle them all as a full time occupation. This was with my brand new 400 gallon Airoil Tar Kettle.

Then what did Wendys do, right after I hot tarred my first several restaurants?

They switched specs to Duro-Last and I wound up getting certified in the mid-80’s. Business took off really well from that point, but I had to travel all over tim-buk-too to keep up with the ever growing list of GC’s I had begun relations with.

Around 1991, a good friend lost his job as an electrical engineer, who came from a roofing family, (His Dad was my Superintendent when I was in the Union for 8 years), and i made a job for him by creating a residential division.

Around 1998, I got tired of always traveling and playing catch-up and slow-down with GC’s scedules, so I took the reigns of the residential division, just at the same time my friend decided to leave and start his own company, while recruiting all but 2 of my shingle employees to come work for him.

Now, I just do enough to stay busy and pay for 3 mortgages, (4, if you count the ex-wifes), and enjoy spending time with my new wife and my 5 year old son.

I love it, but the ups and downs are a M’er F’er on the mental swings.


Yeah, I probably overstated it a little when I said my body is mess. I have some low back issues, and some shoulder pain in my right shoulder from an old hockey injury. But I guess my biggest issue is with my hands. They’re very stiff in the mornings. Sometimes I gotta run them under warm water to get them to open up. My doctor thinks I may have inherited my father’s arthritis.

Oh well… nothing too severe to keep me from getting out there day after day.

Welcome… I started at 16, and by 17 had all I needed to sub from the big boys… I started with roofing and cedar roofs and siding…did that for 8 yrs, then I got into framing, did that for 1 yr with a framer I met through a friend. I became a well known framing contractor working for 10 high end builders, and 7 production builders…did that till 2004…when I tried to expand, and lost everything…went to work with a friend till I saved up and built up equipment again…Today I am fully equipped and insured and work alone, and have not subbed a job since 2005… That is a GREAT FEELING! am 39 now and in good shape considering…

I started roofing in the Summer for my Dad when I was 13. Got fired from my first job for a huge builder when I was 12 after the owners wife got nervous about my age. Worked on the clean up crew.

By 16 I was doing whole houses by myself, new construction of course. Some were as big as 50sq 8/12 hip roofs, did a few 10/12’s solo then even. 12/12’s my Dad would come and help on, he’s done a thousand or more roofs by himself. In the 90’s he ran 5 crews and did 600 roofs per year. From 13-15 he would drop me off with various crews.

By 19 partnered with my father. He lined up the work and I did it.

At 22 got married and opened my own business. Before I hired my first employee I had done a few hundred roofs by myself.

Now at 29 with a crew of 6-8 keeping very busy. Doing mostly insurance work. Every so often will put the knee pads and belt on, plug in the Hitachi and motivate the crew. My days of 30+ squares solo are over.

I think my body is in great shape. My Dad is now full time and he’s one of my hardest workers. He’s on the roof the whole time and tears off along side the grunts. It helps by taking several months off in the Winter.


Love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Don’t go door to door, don’t bug people for work and am blessed with more work than I can do.

Want to stay small though with one crew. Less worries, less stress. Used to see my Dads hairs turn gray with five crews.

Nice to meet you imp.