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If you weren't in the roofing business............

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August 30, 2013 at 8:39 pm


what would you be doing? As much as this trade is a PIA I can't imagine what else I would/could do for a living that would make me a better living. I imagine that I would have to do sales work of some kind in the trades but I'm sure it would be hard to find a company that I could trust to work for. Just wondering what you guys thought.

August 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm


This could even be a new Question of the Month!

August 30, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Patty Cakes

I agree, a great question. Maybe it has been discussed before "How did you get into roofing" is another. That what I like to know.

I recently asked a young man how he became a Mechanic? Answer: My Dad was a deisel mechanic all his life and I loved helpng him but he turned me away from it and convinced me to follow carpentry instead and I did the VoTech and learned carpentry and learned a lot but didn't like it. I wanted motors to fix. What a happy camper this guy is with his trade.

I recently asked my friend/neighbor the same question. He is a contractor, home building, repair etc. This summer his vans BRAIN went on the fritz. Long story short he spent 6 weeks down. He filled the time by finishing furniture that he had collected from yard sales, along the road and an awesome wooden office chair from ages ago that he got from ME because I had the chits of the ratty thing. His refinishing work is incredible, obviously his passion. Presenting the question: In high school, was following several ideas not committed to anything and worked a partime job which introduced him into furniture cleaning and presentation for a second hand store. This is still his dream, to get out of the hard working stuff and now in his later years work in his workshop with wood. It will happen. PC BY ACCIDENT

August 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm


At this time, I would probably go full time at the gym, teaching classes all day long, personal classes, etc. I'd do pretty good.

but as I taught, I'd be dreaming of someday growing up to be a roofer !!!

August 31, 2013 at 5:26 am


That's sort of a tough question for me.

Probably an architect, as that's what I started out to be.

August 31, 2013 at 5:38 am

OLE Willie

Extremely tough question for me.

Roofing is ALL that I have known since I was a young teenager.

I "begin" to think about that from time to time but because I can not come up with anything that would pay as much and have NO experience with anything else, I just forget about it.


August 31, 2013 at 8:58 am


A pro baseball player of course. :laugh: :laugh:

My Dad started the business when I was four('87). Talk about poor, that was us. Luckily he was stubborn enough to keep roofing through the hard times. My folks always pushed me to be smarter so I wouldn't have to work so hard. Then he taught me how to work hard, and tried to scare me from being a roofer, by hiring me at ages 14-17 in the summers. I liked the punishment and got paid better than my friends.

Luckily(or not), I started liking computers in high school. I got certified by Cisco at the age of 17. Didn't work for Dad after graduation. Got a good job and went to college. Helped start a network consulting firm and was doing okay, although I was sort of unhappy. I threatened to quit and the boss gave me a $3/hr raise. That kept me in to computer biz a while longer.

I finally quit and took a big pay cut to work for my Dad. Haven't ever regretted it even when working past noon during the dog days of summer. Luckily he's got a good name, able to raise his prices, and now I'm making a decent living. I'd like to think WE are working "smarter" like he always wanted.

Cliff notes: Computer networking consultant or similar

August 31, 2013 at 10:49 am


IDK.....dead? :(

August 31, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Old School

I too started when I was 4, but that was in 1956. Been hard at it now for about 57 years, and I am starting to get tired. I am doing more consulting and evaluating now and though I still like to get up and shingle the roofs, I can't work all day anymore. 10 or 15 squares is enough for a day.

I would / will go into sales.

September 2, 2013 at 8:46 am


I would have probably been a builder. When I was younger, most builders had started as framers and I was framing and impatient when I returned to roofing because I could run the whole show sooner.

September 2, 2013 at 11:58 pm


I was groomed to be an oboist, a sculptor, and a writer. The prospect of subjecting those loves of mine as well as myself to the requirement of making a solid living and having a righteous family life was horrifying. I bailed on them as careers by age 20.

At 23 I had to pick between roofing, which I had become addicted to and managing a restaurant where I was working as a waiter. The decision came about the time I needed to wear gloves to conceal the evolving rough appearance of my hands. Simply had to pick one or the other to carry on.

They both came with high pressure, required quick decision-making and adherence to quality. They both required deft management of material and time. In the end, roofing was more physical and I wanted the physical. I still do so it was clearly a good choice. For the next forty years people asked why roofing. They like to follow up with what they think is a one-two punch by saying something silly like, "You could do anything you want." Of course, nobody can do "anything they want." Nobody. But assuming you can or could, they are always a little shocked when I say, "That's what everybody said. It should be flattering, then, that I took you all literally." Not my fault if they fail to understand. I chose freedom and roofing gave my the clearest path to that.

"...Vast-limbed and broad, the farmer came at length whose cereal care provided the vital strength of chanticleer, whose matutinal cry roused the quiescent form and op'd the eye of razor-loving cleric who in bands connubial joined the intermixed hands of him whose rent apparel gaped apart and the 'lorn maiden with lugubrious heart, her who extraught the exuberant lactic flow of nutriment from that cornigerent cow, Eumenidal executor of fate, that to sidereal altitudes elate Cerberus, who erst with fang lethiferous left lacerate Grimalkin latebrose-- That killed the rat That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built." (Alexander Pope)

Life is a mystery and happily will always remain one.

September 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Old School

There was a "pope" named Alexander that wrote about a "Maid-a-milking? Isn't that from the "12 days of Christmas"?

And I thought I wrote funny!

September 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Vaa Fakaosifolau

I've thought of this question for years and more recently since you asked the question. Still can't come up with anything. Probably back to being a beach-bum (what I did after leaving school and before roofing) :silly:

September 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm


GSD Said: At this time, I would probably go full time at the gym, teaching classes all day long, personal classes, etc. Id do pretty good.

but as I taught, Id be dreaming of someday growing up to be a roofer !!!

I was on my way to realizing my dream of doing just that. I had 2 karate schools and was looking at 2 more when I had a bad car wreck in 1994. On my way to ABC Supply for a roofing demo, ironically.

If I could do it all over I would have been a lifer in the Marines, or maybe attempted to be a SEAL, then after 20 years become a fireman or cop.

Or being involved in the gun industry in some way.

P.s. GSD, back in 1994 I was charging $45/hr for private lessons and could have got $75 when I was to become 3rd Dan 6 weeks after my wreck. T'wasn't meant to be...

September 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm


If I could start over I would probably want to be an electrician in the IBEW. Good wage and good benefits. Would still miss having those days when all the stars line up and you make a hansom profit in one days work. I would probably get the same thrill getting double overtime on a union job working a stat holiday.

October 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Tropical Roofer

I would probably be a realtor. But I like the idea of becoming an Insurance Adjustor. The travel appeals to me.

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