You’re a homeowner and determined your home’s roof needs fixing or needs to be improved with a replacement roof. You’re all set to get moving. What’s the optimal way to get a high quality roofer who will accomplish a good job? What could you look for in a roof contractor or contractor to obtain this work? Milliken
When homeowners choose to repair a roof or replace that roof with asphalt during the cold winter months, they’re often plagued by worries that their family will freeze before the job is completed. In the same vein, those starting a roofing job in the sweltering summer months worry that they’ll be facing heat stroke. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many homeowners looking for roofing fixes or roof replacement contractors.
MillikenOne of the most important parts of your roofing business marketing strategy is knowing how to price a roofing job. Roofing has traditionally been one of the top paying jobs in the construction industry and therefore you will most likely have the ability to command good prices for your work and materials.In this article we look at a roofing business pricing method and we also offer some tips on estimating roofing prices that are accurate and profitable.Estimating a Roofing Job - Our MethodYou have to do some research into your local roofing business before you can get an accurate idea of market prices. Once you have a fair idea what other roofing contractors are charging then you will have a fair idea of what people are prepared to pay for your services. Talk to some of your competitors on the phone and call some out to bid if you have a suitable roof for them to inspect.Once you get a lead, a good way to start is to sit down with a prospective client and really listen to what they want. Try to get an idea of their budget and any specific requests that they may have. Get a feel for what the customer is prepared to pay. You might decide to go for lower pricing for a family in a working class neighborhood but push the price a little higher for a professional couple in an upper class suburb.Pricing by the square is the method used by most roofers. Under this system one square equals 100 square feet. Start out by taking accurate measurements to get an understanding of the basic size of the roofing job and the volume of materials that will be required. Then you can make adjustments for how difficult the job will be for you and your crew. Take into account the pitch of the roof, height above ground level, the number of obstacles such as chimneys or skylights and any other difficulties associated with the job.Contact your supplier and get an updated price on the shingles and other materials that you will be using. Then you can calculate the total cost of materials.Next, estimate your total labor cost in terms of the man hours that you estimate will be necessary to complete the job. Don't forget to allow for your own time if you will be working on the job yourself.Then you can add an allowance onto each job to take into account the fixed costs that your business has such as depreciation on equipment, vehicle costs, insurance, workers compensation and other expenses. If your company is working on an average of four roofing jobs a month then you would add a quarter of your total monthly expenses or overheads to the price for each roofing installation job.Finally you can add on a suitable amount of profit, make some final adjustments to bring your price a little closer to market rates if need be and finally take the price estimate to the client. Some roofers have a standard markup that they set as a percentage added on top of the total costs and others set profit levels on a case by case basis.How to Price a Roof Job - Tips and IdeasRoofing has its low ballers, or those that try to compete by offering insanely low prices, like any industry does. When you quote a price to a new client they will often respond by mentioning some of the other cheaper bids that they have received. Be ready to counter their argument by letting them know that there is no way that you would be able to do the job for that price and still ensure a quality replacement or installation. Don't criticize your competitors too much in front of a prospect but make it clear that with workers compensation, OSHA requirements, your liability insurance and expenses it would not be possible to do the job professionally and legally for a lower price.Smart customers will also get satisfaction by knowing that your business is a professional company that will be around for the next ten years or so to honor their warranty if need be. Those that charge cut throat prices are usually cowboys that often don't last long in business.Avoid pricing too low. You will be doing damage to your local roofing industry and be resented by other market players. There are many other ways that you can be unique and competitive without focusing on having the lowest price.Pricing too high can also be a mistake unless you can back this up with a solid brand reputation built over many years or first class salesmanship. Your customers will always get multiple bids and if yours is way higher than the others you have to be ready to justify this. The right price point is that one that makes you the highest profit at the end of the day so don't be scared to try pricing at different levels until you find the one that works for you.Don't be tricky with your customers. Contractors in some industries have a reputation for being sharks who are out to gouge as much money from clients as possible. This strategy is only beneficial in the short term and won't win you the referrals that are necessary to build a business in the long term. Set a clear price for the client right from the beginning and resist adding on additional charges. If you do find work that is necessary but not quoted for, such as replacing a rotting timber board on the roof deck, then let the client know beforehand. You can also collect evidence such as photos and receipts to prove to them that you came across necessary repair work and went ahead with it without asking them.Many of your clients will expect a discount or want to negotiate for a lower price. A roofing package is a major purchase and you will leave them with a good feeling if they are under the impression that they got a good deal. Set your prices in a way that will allow you to drop them by five percent if the situation calls for it.
Investigation: The Best Roof for HailMy home suffered damage from a severe hail storm this year. It broke out our two street facing windows and our upstairs window. It totaled the exterior of our cars and even destroyed the rosebushes my wife had tried to keep alive through the summer. And the hail damaged roof? The roof was wrecked, even I could tell that and I am no roofing expert.My doorbell was ringing almost before the rain had stopped. It was an "Invasion of the Roofing Guys." I talked to no less than five on the first day. So who do you choose? They all pretty much say the same thing. Some guys seem more professional than others, some were very pushy and applied a lot of pressure for me to sign a "no obligation" contract. I felt like I was in over my head. Who was going to rip me off the least? That was the pessimistic thought that kept coming back to me.I eventually picked a roofing contractor that seemed like a decent kind of guy. He talked to me about his family and he convinced me he was on my side. I have a pretty good BS detector and even though I thought he was a little too pushy, overall he seemed trustworthy. He had testimonials from other home owners whose roof installations he had done. He seemed knowledgeable. Based on my limited knowledge, I felt like he was the best guy to go with out of the many I had talked to. So I didn't take the time to call any of his referrals and I signed a contract. Things started well. We got the paperwork done and he received his first check and went to work. A large group of workers descended on my house and had the roof stripped before 10:00 am on the first day. By the morning of the second day it was done and they were gone. I was amazed at how fast the job went. Right away, I saw some things that bothered me. They left nails in the yard and a pile of shingles for me to remove. I felt like full cleanup would include nails but I let it slide. I'm sure they assumed the shingles were mine so I would want the extras. I didn't need them, and how was I to dispose of them? But the roof itself just didn't look exceptional; it bowed in some areas and had some uneven spots. Basically, it looked like a poorly done job.The roofing company also contracted to repair the windows. Once they had my check they were far more difficult to reach than before. The windows finally got done 2 months later. Then we had problems with the final payment. Somehow it worked out that I owed him more money. I refused to pay and they eventually faded away. So I would give my roofer experience 4 out of 10. I'm sure others have had much better and much worse experiences.Here is some key points that I learned that I hope will help you when you need your roof replaced:1. Get a local roofing company to examine your house before you call your insurance company. 2. Get at least two quotes from local roofing contractors. Unless your live in a very rural area, there should be no shortage of roofers to contact. Make sure you get referrals from them. 3. Follow up on these referrals and talk to their customers about the job they did. 4. Be careful what you sign. The "no obligation" contract may be more than what you are told. 5. Make sure the quotes spell out exactly what will be done. If not, you won't be able to compare an apples to apples quotes. Be sure it includes cleanup and haul-off. 6. Contact your insurance company and schedule an appointment with the adjuster. 7. If you have found someone that you feel comfortable with, I would suggest you have the roofing contractor on hand when the insurance adjuster is there. 8. Do not pay for the entire job in advance. Make sure everything is completed per the contract before you make your final payment. 9. And finally - to repeat - take your time, use a local roofer and ask for references. Next time I will take my time to find someone I am totally comfortable with. Always ask questions. Make sure your contract spells out exactly what will be done. Find a roofer who takes the time to make the job clear to you before he collects the check, or your sign a contract. Take it from me, the little bit of extra time it takes up front will pay in a satisfactory job and peace of mind later.