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6 Steps to Break into Metal Roofing

Sherwin-Williams 6 Steps to Break into Metal Roofing
April 23, 2020 at 6:00 a.m.

By Sherwin-Williams.

Metal roofing is a golden opportunity for you to expand your product offerings and elevate your profitability.

It isn’t easy, and it isn’t for everyone — but if you’re committed to a higher level of craftsmanship and greater attention to detail, you can completely transform your business. Want a smooth start? Follow these six steps.

1. Get Educated.

Compared to shingle roofs, metal roofs have a longer labor learning curve — so whatever you do, don’t start cold. Bidding your first metal roofing job when you’re truly ready can be the difference between instant word-of-mouth marketing and expensive callbacks. For example, metal roofing shouldn’t be used in some situations, making it critical to know and understand proper applications.

Luckily, manufacturers, distributors and industry associations offer valuable resources, many of them readily available online and free of charge. These partners may also sell equipment that can help build your business, such as a machine you can use to roll your own metal roof systems.

In the metal roofing world, you also have a strong support network for advice, resources and ongoing training. For instance, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) gives its members access to MRA Online University, a professional training center with online tutorials, installation guides and other tools. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) offers certification programs as well.

Beyond these resources, you can always tap into instructional videos on YouTube or join metal roofing–specific social media groups to connect with other contractors.

2. Don't Build Your Crew with Just Anyone.

Metal roofing requires a special skill set. Hire employees with specific knowledge of how to make angle cuts, fold trim and perform other steps. Remember that curb appeal is a major benefit of metal roofing — one that can be easily compromised by an unskilled crew.

Good news: The same industry resources that offer education are also available to help you build and train your team. The MRA provides staffing support, while manufacturers provide installation training to help advance your crew members’ skill set.

While it isn’t always easy to find experienced, skilled labor, remember that if you focus on metal roofing, you won’t need to take on as many jobs to support your business — think one to two roofs per week.

3. Know Your Local Building Codes.

These vary by jurisdiction or municipality, especially if you work in a coastal area. For example, some code bodies allow roofing contractors to install metal roofing over existing asphalt shingles, while others do not permit this practice.

4. Ask Your Vendor Partners for Help Pricing Jobs.

Make sure you understand how to price metal roofing for a reasonable profit. Particularly if you run a small business, incorrectly estimating the cost of a metal roofing job can really hurt your bottom line. Luckily, your distributor or manufacturer will likely be happy to guide you through the process. After all, what’s good for your business is also good for their business.

5. Know Your Metal Roofing Systems and Products.

Metal roofing is positioned as a premium product, with benefits including increased curb appeal, low to no maintenance and unbeatable durability. But just like hiring employees without the correct skill set, those benefits are negated when contractors settle for installing a low-quality roofing system or product.

The bottom line? Insist on metal roofing with high-quality substrates and coatings. Otherwise, the roofs you install may chalk, fade or rust prematurely.

6. Promote Your New Specialty.

Ready to hit the market with metal roofing? Good news: Today, you have access to channels that weren’t available 20, 10 or even five years ago in addition to traditional options.

  • Update your website and social media channels — or start telling your story if you don’t already have a presence on these platforms.

  • Explore simple advertising avenues — many contractors enjoy great returns from a simple pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaign (learn more about PPC marketing basics here).

  • Invest in yard signs and display them at jobs (with your customers’ permission, of course).

  • Attend local home shows and national industry shows such as the International Roofing Expo (IRE).

Above all, take pride in your work — if you do, chances are good that customers will start coming to you.

Want to learn more about building your metal roofing business and selling to homeowners? Contact Sherwin Williams for more information and valuable resources.

Original article source: Sherwin-Williams

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