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Question of the Month - Piece Of Advice

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Author
Posts
June 29, 2016 at 11:52 a.m.

vickie

If you only had one piece of advice for the new guy starting out. The most important thing is...?

March 15, 2023 at 2:47 a.m.

Mary_Truss

Anybody remember lanny from Seattle? Something he posted here that I found worth saving and am now happy to add in his behalf. Maybe he'll check in and tell us how he's doing these days. I miss his posts.

From lanny:

"---I have a friend who is a good salesman. He also had about 5 years of roofing experience, mostly basic residential. He partnered with a BUR foreman who ran the crew. He did all the paperwork and foreman and crew did all the roofing. They got along well which is a must! Today he is easily a millionaire several times over. The foreman is retired and very well off. I believe they both made over 10k/ month for over 20 years. He stayed within his expertise with mostly residential and small commercial. Roofing 20 years and seldom any problems adds up to some real money ---The main issue I see is your relationship with whatever crew you use. Everyone needs to be on the same page as far as expectations and pay. ---I would strongly recommend you work with the crew as a laborer 1-2 days a week. Get the feel for roofing and what goes on. Then learn installation...and increase your knowledge bit by bit. What you will learn is the time and headaches involved with the many issues that come up regularly. Then when you bid those headaches you know what it takes to get the job done. We call them nuisance issues. Here is a short list that others could add to: 1) roof pitch...steep...how steep...2)low-slope...how low...comp or torch? or ? 3) access...driveway too steep for delivery?...no driveway at all...4) ground protection & issues...beautiful new deck right under a 12/12 tear off?...prized roses?...we did a tear off over a greenhouse with lots of glass...5) patio roof bolted into roofdeck...always a headache...remove supports & jack up patio or flash existing or black mammy existing and go back when it leaks...5) bad brick chimneys that leach and then make you look like a bad roofer...always better to discuss up front and recommend proper repairs NOW rather then 2 years from now when it leaks. 6) all kinds of wood repair, rot, ants, termites, you name it...bees...Tree branches and bushes laying on a leaky roof is almost a sure sign of major bugs. You need permission to prune people's trees and some people would rather not prune and keep their ants. A nuisance issue is a problem that makes the job take more time than normal. That adds to the cost. I have learned the hard way over many years that I want to get paid for solving those problems and the only way to get paid is to recognize them BEFORE I bid the job. ---Starting out you want to keep the crew busy. That will take most of your time. But there will still be time to work on the crew at least part time. Besides you will lower overhead by moving the job along. As for me I work on the roof at least 50% of every job. I set the pace. When I am tearing off a roof in a cloud of dust everyone else is moving at top speed. I only have one speed and that is as fast as I can go. Everyone else either moves just as fast or wonders how I can do things 2x as fast as they can. They catch on quick. That was the way I was trained and it is normal to me. The purpose of learning how to install is to lesson your dependancy upon someone else. Things change...people come and go...whatever...but sooner or later you will need to work on the roof or train someone else. Obviously you will make more money by having others work for you. But still there are times when you may need to fill in. Versatility is the key that gives you more options. ---One other point that is unclear to me. You mention the delay in pay. Would that also be true as a contractor getting paid by the insurance company? That could be a problem as crews must be paid weekly. If you get paid in 60 days you need the cashflow to pay others while waiting for an insurance company to settle. I don't do insurance work so I don't know. ---Good luck...I have always liked roofing. Outdoors...I like physical work...often great views...my own boss...set own hours...jobs change often so always moving on... Lanny"

-egg

http://essaypapers.reviews/

 

Thank you for tread! 

September 1, 2018 at 10:13 a.m.

vickie

bump

December 28, 2016 at 9:20 p.m.

jcagle9595

Fuggedabout roofing. Get a government job and retire like a multimillionaire at age 48. No stressing about actually getting something of importance done. ;)

December 21, 2016 at 5:38 a.m.

Lindsey Hill1

Just work on the why part first. Secondary is you how part.

December 14, 2016 at 3:48 p.m.

EdmondRoofing

Vickie the Boss Said: If you only had one piece of advice for the new guy starting out. The most important thing is...?

Always go the extra mile to make your client happy and treat them with respect. They are going to tell others about the job you do for them...negative or positive...It's up to you. A positive review is worth a lot when it comes to finding new jobs! All you ever have is your reputation!

http://www.roofrepairedmondokc.com/

November 28, 2016 at 3:25 p.m.

JakeD

Get your ducks in a row before you pull the trigger, then keep 'em that way.

November 11, 2016 at 7:17 a.m.

amosstheroofer

This is awesome info. We are a new roofing company in Lakeland FL. We are wanting to really put our imprint in this community with quality roofing services and awesome customer services. Financially, I feel we are prepared. I have many years working for someone else, running their crews, thought it was time for me to step out on my own.

Here check us out here - http://www.lakelandroofingcontractor.com/

Any more advice is welcomed! Thanks http://forum.rooferscoffeeshop.com/users//

October 11, 2016 at 11:13 p.m.

RooferMark

If the piece of advice is about a new guy starting a roofing business, I'd say the number 1 thing is manage your money, stay on top of your cash flow. There are tons of other things you need to do to survive and prosper over the long haul but surviving the first two years is mostly a sign of your ability to finance that time frame.

October 2, 2016 at 6:31 p.m.

Lefty1

Always do more then you were paid to do.

October 2, 2016 at 12:57 a.m.

roofrepairs

Look for quality roofers instead of twice as many poor roofers, it will save you time and money in the long run! http://www.roofrepairoklahoma.com

September 8, 2016 at 9:22 a.m.

shauns

Customer service is key. So many roofing companies lose sight of this, yet referrals are one of the biggest parts of the business. Treat em good and they'll tell 1 of their friends. Treat em bad and they'll tell 10...

http://www.roofingalbatross.ca/

August 20, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.

andy

" If I could do the job for less, that is the number you would have in front of you." Matter of fact, now that I think about it, I don't recall a time when I lowered my price that the customer bought from me . . . and it's been decades since I "adjusted" my price at the customer's request.

August 4, 2016 at 10:52 p.m.

seen-it-all

Would have to agree with egg on plan on being the best when you start out. Reputation is number 1 in this business. You may be slow getting out of the gate but in the end work will find you and you can almost eliminate your advertising costs. My number 2 would be "the price I quoted is not negotiable" which comes back to reputation. People will tell their friends about how you dropped the price on what you quoted. If anyone asked for a price reduction I would say the only way I could come down maybe a hundred bucks is if there was no warranty and no paperwork on the job as I won't change my method of install as your neighbors are watching and they may well be my future customer. Usually the end of the discussion.

July 20, 2016 at 2:18 a.m.

egg

Then there is this all-time great from Woody:

July 20, 2016 at 2:13 a.m.

egg

Anybody remember lanny from Seattle? Something he posted here that I found worth saving and am now happy to add in his behalf. Maybe he'll check in and tell us how he's doing these days. I miss his posts.

From lanny:

"---I have a friend who is a good salesman. He also had about 5 years of roofing experience, mostly basic residential. He partnered with a BUR foreman who ran the crew. He did all the paperwork and foreman and crew did all the roofing. They got along well which is a must! Today he is easily a millionaire several times over. The foreman is retired and very well off. I believe they both made over 10k/ month for over 20 years. He stayed within his expertise with mostly residential and small commercial. Roofing 20 years and seldom any problems adds up to some real money ---The main issue I see is your relationship with whatever crew you use. Everyone needs to be on the same page as far as expectations and pay. ---I would strongly recommend you work with the crew as a laborer 1-2 days a week. Get the feel for roofing and what goes on. Then learn installation...and increase your knowledge bit by bit. What you will learn is the time and headaches involved with the many issues that come up regularly. Then when you bid those headaches you know what it takes to get the job done. We call them nuisance issues. Here is a short list that others could add to: 1) roof pitch...steep...how steep...2)low-slope...how low...comp or torch? or ? 3) access...driveway too steep for delivery?...no driveway at all...4) ground protection & issues...beautiful new deck right under a 12/12 tear off?...prized roses?...we did a tear off over a greenhouse with lots of glass...5) patio roof bolted into roofdeck...always a headache...remove supports & jack up patio or flash existing or black mammy existing and go back when it leaks...5) bad brick chimneys that leach and then make you look like a bad roofer...always better to discuss up front and recommend proper repairs NOW rather then 2 years from now when it leaks. 6) all kinds of wood repair, rot, ants, termites, you name it...bees...Tree branches and bushes laying on a leaky roof is almost a sure sign of major bugs. You need permission to prune people's trees and some people would rather not prune and keep their ants. A nuisance issue is a problem that makes the job take more time than normal. That adds to the cost. I have learned the hard way over many years that I want to get paid for solving those problems and the only way to get paid is to recognize them BEFORE I bid the job. ---Starting out you want to keep the crew busy. That will take most of your time. But there will still be time to work on the crew at least part time. Besides you will lower overhead by moving the job along. As for me I work on the roof at least 50% of every job. I set the pace. When I am tearing off a roof in a cloud of dust everyone else is moving at top speed. I only have one speed and that is as fast as I can go. Everyone else either moves just as fast or wonders how I can do things 2x as fast as they can. They catch on quick. That was the way I was trained and it is normal to me. The purpose of learning how to install is to lesson your dependancy upon someone else. Things change...people come and go...whatever...but sooner or later you will need to work on the roof or train someone else. Obviously you will make more money by having others work for you. But still there are times when you may need to fill in. Versatility is the key that gives you more options. ---One other point that is unclear to me. You mention the delay in pay. Would that also be true as a contractor getting paid by the insurance company? That could be a problem as crews must be paid weekly. If you get paid in 60 days you need the cashflow to pay others while waiting for an insurance company to settle. I don't do insurance work so I don't know. ---Good luck...I have always liked roofing. Outdoors...I like physical work...often great views...my own boss...set own hours...jobs change often so always moving on... Lanny"


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