Commercial Roofing Proposals!?

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I was wondering what different techniques other contractors use for commercial roofing proposals. When i do my residential proposals i put together a fully detailed break down of the scope of the work, References, Warranty and Brochure Literature, Flyer, and then i try to direct them to my website or facebook page for before and after pics. I am just lacking with a quality presentation when it comes to commercial work. I have a few large accounts for commercial work, but want to expand my business. Currently we are working with a lot of EPDM. Fully adhered and ballast. Very little mechanically fastened. Any information or advice would be appreciated.


James A. Naples Jr.

As everyone knows commercial roofing is a different ball of wax. alot of contractors try to enter commercial and lose the drive and persistence that is needed to enter the market.

Alot of commercial roofing IMO is who you know. It is difficult to enter this phase of roofing.Most commercial work in most areas is performed by the same contractors everytime.

Instead of faxing or mailing your proposal try hand delivery. Put a face behind the proposal. Speak directly with project coordinators or directors. Also be assertive and meet and speak with board members.

Call me nuts but I have and still approach commercial businesses before I am ever or would ever be called.

Commercial contracting requires a higher level of maturity in the business sense.

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People that own those larger properties like RM said typically have those roofers lined up. A sideways through the door approach may be walking the store- picking out stained ceiling tiles when a rain storm is a good time to go. Dress well, be prepared and find the Owner/ Custodial or General Manager that is willing to let you take a looksie, getting his information/ contact email. Special attention to this man/ woman caring and listening to them as they at this point may be your “leg in the door guy/ girl”

Making people feel important and their job important, easily getting into a “Wow, you take care of all this” with commenting words, You could just made a friend, one who will tell you about past repairs, past repairs that failed, possible worker conflict who does the semi-annual inspections, did the previous repairs and maybe how much was actually paid.

That would be a “Commercial” warm up.

Thank you very much guys! As unfortunate or sometimes fortunate as it may be it really is who you know it the commercial sector. The input is very helpful. My marketing plan was to contact some big developers in the area with a informative brochure with pictures and all. And personally reach out to them with visits to their office. Do you guys do much commercial?

Naples, talk with the roofers on National Roof they`re more into commercial work.

Naples, my advise to you is to talk to the rep for Duro-Last or even IB roof systems. They can supply you with some great information,training and materials. EPDM rubber has become just another cheap commodity. You have to change the game in order to win.


Here is how I do it… Take it for what it is worth, I am not an “expert” at commercial sales though we do a fair bit.

  1. I meet with the customer and ask them what they think they want. I make no recommendations at this point.
  2. I inspect the roof and decide what I think they want, what would be the best solution.
  3. I have a presentation book that lays out the options. I start by first discussing warranty term. How long do you want the roof to last? No reason to sell them a 30 year roof if they really only want a 10 yea rroof. I then go into the options, tear off or lay over, insulation style thickness r value tapered etc… I talk about the membrane options. Everything goes back to two things their warranty requirements and what I would prefer to install for their situation. Sometimes it’s PVC, sometimes TPO, sometimes EPDM, but almost never modified anymore though it’s still in my book so I can use to compare and outsell against modified.

I have samples of everything. Around here I usuallys ell against modified so even TPO is an upsell, if I am selling against TPO I try to push PVC. Almost nobody sells PVC around here.

At that point in time we’ve formulated a game plan, I have discussed all the options for their commercial roofing project, the meeting may have taken 30 minutes after the inspection of the roof, maybe an hour in total depdnding how long it took to inspect the roof, though the customer is seldom pesent when I am inspecting the roof. I conclude by asking the customer how they want me to get them their proposal, I actually say somethign to the affect of: “It’ll take me a day or two to price up this design. Do you want me to come back with the proposal or… ?” I allow them to fill in the blank.

My biggest problem in commercial roofing is getting more leads!

Good Evening Everyone,

Sorry it took me a bit to get back to the forum. I have been swamped on my end. I would like to thank you all for your responses. They are all very informative and helpful. Grumpy i currently am doing almost the same approach as yours. THe problem i am finding in my city is that most people want to keep trying to put band aids on top of band aids and not spend the money! Hopefully things will turn around soon!

I would not put my money on that.Band aids are king.In some ways commercial property owners are as equally irresponsible with property maintenance as residential homeowners.IMO of course.

If they want a band aid,s ell them a band aid. No guarantee of course. Just make sure to make money on everything you do. Don’t offer any charity in hopes you get the new roof later.

Nearly ever commercial roofing company I am aware of has a big maintenance and repair division within their company. Like RM said, Repairs are KING. You can often get 100% or more markup on bid jobs; and you can’t ever lose on T&M (assuming you know your numbers and are charging properly).

[quote=“Grumpy”] Don’t offer any charity in hopes you get the new roof later.

It has already been stated that the commercial/industrial sales cycle is a bit more complex than residential. That being said, the real ‘selling’ on the commercial side happens BEFORE the proposal is delivered. I bring this up because you can have the nicest proposal in the world, but if the customer doesn’t understand/want/need the recommendations, it will turn into a huge waste of time (and money).

That being said, here are the components I would recommend included in a commercial proposal:

**1 - Cover Page: ** Just something nice to look at when you first see the proposal. Normally I would use an overview of the building or an overview of the roof in question.

2. Contact Detail Page: A page that has the customer’s name, location and contact information as well as your own. This helps for contract approvals since the job location and building owner are often not the same. Can be inserted directly into a contract.

3. Intro Letter: A brief letter summarizing the project to date. It should be customized and serve the purpose of bringing someone who has not been working directly with you up-to-speed. This should NOT be a letter talking about how good your company is!

4. Overview of Roof Section: Google Earth or BING satellite photo with the area(s) in question outlined. You can use a program like Microsoft Publisher to make some pretty awesome creations in a very short amount of time. WOW factor anyone?

5. Picture Book: Most customers have never been on, or seen, their roof. The pictures are what commercial salesmen should use to engage the customer.
a. Overview Pictures: General overview pictures of the underdeck, rooftop and set-up
b. Defect Pictures: Pictures of where the roof system is failing
c. Misc Pictures: Any special safety concerns, set-up issues or other items that the customer has previously addressed as important that warranty special mention

6. Roof Condition Summary: Picture and analysis of the core sample (if applicable) and general summary of all elements of the roof. I also include a brief recommendation based on the information presented that leads into the construction specification. This is the halfway point and a great place to summarize.

7. Construction Specification: Highly detailed breakdown of the recommended roof system. The more thorough the better. Items to include would be: Project Preparation, Safety Set-up, Surface Prep, Insulation Attachment, System Application, Sheet Metal Accessories, Standard Operating Procedures, etc… I include any material data sheets and shop drawings that are relevant. I should make clear that detailed and thorough do not mean putting a ton of generic crap that don’t relate to the project. The more specific, the better.

8. Safety: Safety resume, set-up photos and anything else that might be relevant to the job. Commercial projects are becoming more and more safety conscious.

9. Investment Summary: Price page with Options/Accessories and Terms

10. Company Info: Literature about company - mostly for purchasing people (W-9, Qualification Statement, etc.)

11. FAQ: List of Generic Questions that could help people through the process of buying a roof.

Hope this helps!