Starting a small business

I am turning 20 years old in a month, i am a student at the community college and wish to earn more money.

I am interested in starting a small roofing repair business. I know that not a lot of companies bother with doing repairs, but for a student that is exactly what i need. i can do minor repairs on my own no problem. I have tools, a ladder, experience, and a Dakota pick up with tool boxes.

My concerns is the temporary insurance problem and getting enough business to pay for it. Am i just wasting my time and money, or could this become a profitable establishment? I am interested in what others have to say please be completely open and honest and help with as much advice as possible. Thank you for your time and concern.

do you have roofing exp.?

if you work alone you will not need workmans comp.

your local insurance agents can give you quotes for general liability. i,m a fairly large (for my area) residential company. My liability runs about $8000 per year. deductables are i think like $2500.

If I am going to be openly honest, I would tell you to not waste your time with a roofing company. There is very little future for someone starting a roofing business regardless if it is repairs or installations.

If you are going into just repairs, you better have TONS of experience to bring to that repair. Or you will be fighting with the homeowner for a very long time. Remember, you repaired the roof, that roof is yours until they replace it.

Do you need, or have, a roofer licence to do little roof-repairs

Very good info for someone breaking into the business.
Words of wisdom…

I went to college to get away from roofing, I did the same as you plan.
It worked for me.
I am still a roofer, I always was…
It is a good way to pay the bills in the interim, don’t plan your life around it.
Education will get you much farther.
If you know enough to do repairs “on the side” you are valuable to a local roofer.
Someone who will put you to work on the off days, weekends.

I doubt that you know enough at 20 to do repairs…

No offense, but just like any other occupation there is much more to it than meets the eye.
When you do repairs you run across everything and anything, it is your job to deal with it or have the knowledge to walk away…
As G-tape was referring to, once you step on someones roof and charge them to fix it, it becomes your problem.
This is very true, and the reason I do not like to do repairs.
When you go to do a repair you will usually find many more issues.
Are you going to fix them all?
Is the customer willing to pay for it?
Where are you going to get all this repair work?
It is not as easy as putting an ad in the paper…

There are a lot of guys out there that go to work every day (roofing) and think “I can do all this”.
They start their own business and find out the hard way that they really don’t know Sh*t.

Roofing is a full time job, if people find out that you are good at it they won’t leave you alone.
Continue your education and work for a local roofer.
You will have a better life in the end.

If you think about it…
It is very disrespectful to our trade that a person thinks that it is so easy to be “A Roofer” that they can be one themselves with minimal experience.
There is much more to it.

Good luck.

go to college and get a degree and show all us roofers that your smarter than us.besides,your mom will be happier too!!!

Your outlook on the future of roofing is grim. I agree I dont want my kids roofing but there are some pretty good profits to be made in roofing if you know how to run a business. Everybody will always need a roof.

Your outlook on the future of roofing is grim. I agree I dont want my kids roofing but there are some pretty good profits to be made in roofing if you know how to run a business. Everybody will always need a roof.[/quote]


i swear i have said that exact statement word for word like a hundred times!!

everyone will always need a roof…interesting…cause they will want you to do it cheaper than the illegals will do it for!!!my kids dont like beans and weinies

thank you for everyone letting me know what they think.
and in reply to them all let me tell you something. i have done roofing for a few years since i was a young teenager with my uncle. i was on the wrestling team so he said this job will put you in good shape. after high school i worked for a company and did repairs with one other guy. he went back to jail a few months later. since working for the company i have been doing repair jobs on my own and sometimes with a friend to help me out. i have been making good money for a kid my age doing it. roofing everyday after high school made me want to go back to school. i know what i am doing on the roof, not completely i can always learn more, but i am not an idiot who’s saying ‘oh roofing sounds fun’ no i am experienced i don’t know everything but i know enough.
i am not insulting the trade by thinking i can do it on my own. in fact i have a lot of respect for it and i am trying to help it. i have a lot of others getting involved in the business, others with experience. i have a lot of connections with masonry companies, electricians, and construction. i think doing these repairs is exactly what the roofing world needs and what i need.
i am not trying to start a company for the rest of my life but just to get me by while i’m in school.
thank you for all your feedback and i will take it as positive criticism, not an insult.
and by the way i am not in school to make mommy happy i decided to goto school, she wanted me to join the service.
i am in the roofing business to pay for school and bills, not to make it my career.

I hope all works out for you, good luck.
If I offended you I apologize, it was not my intention.

why on gods green earth wouldnt a boy want to make his mom happy? whats up with these kids today?im 55 and still tryin to make her smile down upon seem to have the notion that nobody is doing repairs.the repair division of my company(20employees)did 3.2 million dollars worth of work in 2007.are you skilled or knoledgable in ALL aspects of roofing? sloped and flat?do you carry insurance,workmans comp?are you bonded?are you certified by any manufacturers to complrtr repairs within the specs of the warranty?i just want you to realize its a tough competitive business.


Both my sons work with me. Would not have it any other way.

Well I quit school when I was 16. I love roofing. I do not like school. So I hire people that like school. I can think on my feet and am not afraid to make a desicion.

Do not agree with me. I already have that point of veiw. I need yours.

You seem to have those qualitys. You should do well.

I am a little north of you in the Lehigh Valley. Repairs is the area of my company that I am focused on developing. Less labor intensive.

I was in a similar situation.

I worked for a roofing company that my Dad made huge throughout the 90’s (40 million in residential roofing in the year 2004)while I was in college for Electrical Engineering. I left the roofing company after graduation to go work in electronics. I did it for a year and hated it. So, I went back to roofing.

I say if you dont want to make a career out of it, then work in a field that is related to your career. Let the people who do make a career out of it have the work. Helping friends and/or family is fine.

Just my .02

How can you start a “temporary” business and be fair to your customers?
How can you work on their home and/or building and give them a warranty if you don’t plan on staying in business very long?
Are going to tell them upfront before they hire you that you don’t plan on being in business after you get out of school?
Sure it may be a few years before your ready to quit roofing but happens to the customers that you work for in your last year, your last 6 months, your last 3 months, etc?
What is your marketing strategy to promote your business name to customers in need of repairs? How can you afford this?
Do you plan on selling it then? Where are you going to find a trustworthy roofer to take care of YOUR customers? Because your not going to have any great employee(s) that are highly skilled and dedicated to your company.
If you are a skilled roofer that can repair any roof, you can easily get a job with a reputable company. You should be able to make in the neighborhood of $15.00 to $20.00+ per hour(more on the higher end if you were older).


I worked for a roofing company that my Dad made huge throughout the 90’s (40 million in residential roofing in the year 2004)[/quote]

that is alot of freakin roofs and money for residential. those #'s are higher than most commerciaal companies to do in 1 year.

To FWB2_06
You said it perfectly

When I was 20 I had roofed full time for 3 years and 4 Summers and I didn’t know much about doing repairs. Up until that point did mostly new construction.

Now I’m 28 and after doing hundreds of roofs and seeing a lot of stuff think I’ve got a good handle on repairs but no like,
My father who’s roofed for 38 years, my Uncles who have booth roofed for 20 and 25 years, my Cousins who one has roofed for 40 years and the other for 35 years.

One thing I’ve learned is to walk away from a repair or a job I know I won’t feel comfortable doing no matter the profit margin.

i was hired in the service department for a commercial roofing company when i was 21. they had 10 guys about 50 hrs. a week. i loved the freedom. hated the fact that every customer i went to see was dealing with a wet floor and soggy ceiling tiles. the old guys taught me alot. gained 30 pounds. acquired a farmers tan from the uniforms. overbilled hundreds of thousands of dollars in hours as i was taught(if i didn’t overcharge enough my boss would help) i watched the movie “The Firm” and that is what taught me what we were doing was actually illegal. i then quit and went to work for another scam artist… i mean roofing company. that merged with a more expensive scam artist… i mean roofing company. who fired me the day before i was eligible for unemployment because i spoke english and didn’t meet the bosses at the bar every night. plus they thought i didn’t work well with crackheads and convicts. shortly after that they went under and opened under a new name. now i sub from contractors to pay the bills mostly because i don’t know of a company that is worth working for in my area.

I should have went to college.

MAYNIAC wrote:
I worked for a roofing company that my Dad made huge throughout the 90’s (40 million in residential roofing in the year 2004)

Either that guy is full of it or they are doing something REALLY right.

College is either for you or it isnt. My story goes a little something like this. I worked for my uncle starting at 15 every summer and on weekends occasionaly just cleaning up and doing little things. I said NO WAY do I want to do this, at 18 his best employee started up a company and asked me to work with him. I still only knew how to clean up. He offered to pay me a little more and work around the college schedule because I did not want to do this. A bunch of guys came and went and eventually over time I learned a lot. I tend to be a quick hands on learner so eventually I knew nearly everything I needed to in order to be left on my own. Then I got sick of school wanting to be outside everyday. Eventually at 21 I got my own crew and handled it fine. I kept everyone busy, we never had a call back for anything so thats how that went, Only a few years later im pretty much running the whole show while the owner golfs everyday and makes money. Im still looking for my replacement.

So the moral of the story is, Do whatever makes you happy. You dont need college in order to be successful in your life because success is only how you look at it. If you want a million dollar house with every toy possible then go to college, be a doctor. If you are happier with the smaller things in life and want a job you love that doesnt involve college, then dont go. Their is money in roofing. Just gotta find it!

Take care.