How much can I charge?

Per SQ here in alabama in an old house. And how can I get more jobs. I see other people that are working every day and I don’t get at least one house a week to work on. I have others job on the side just installing shingle in new houses but i think I could make more money on old houses.


I do not charge by the square.

I figure out the materials.
Then I figure out the man hours.
Then overhead
Then profit

This tells me how much I need to stay in business and provide a safe and decent wage and benefits for my employee.

Yes. What Lefty said.
By the squares dissolves— into the going rate
Pricing a job evolves and continues to evolve. Think about it. Think long-term and control your business.

The morons out where i am price by the square then they wonder why they go out of business.

I am actually becoming a union contracter month. They have set rate per square and for felt ice and water and drip edge and tins. So I know exactly what my labor costs no matter what then material and I add the dumpster plus the profit off the top and then bam automatic profit. It seems to be better this way then if I pay by the hour like I have been.

After about 7 years of getting my own work, I agree with gtp. Maybe gtp is a businessman and I don’t know, but I’m a worker and a businessman and I at least need to be paid as a worker. I dropped by the square pricing years ago and it’s the best thing I ever did. Bid all your labor, payroll, and expenses and your bills will be paid and you can answer any of the fewer complaints happily and ready. I’ve pointed out how dangerous “by the square” pricing is to a customer but most don’t get it and want the lower price. A lot of this is marketing. I don’t want to deal with what I view to be an irresponsible and ill prepared customer anyway. We’ll do it right or I’ll stay home and play Madden is my opinion. Playing madden costs me less than working for a fantasy price I’ve noticed!

Well, i handle the business side Severance. The only correct way to make any money is to use materials + labor + Dump times a multiplyer to give the price. Each roof is different in its own way so price per square can not come into play. There is alot of the 160 per square 2 layer walkable stuff going around, and for some reason i am not having much trouble selling around 240. SOmetimes i do but you have to rememeber you are shopping for work as well as they are shopping for a roof.

I was bidding most of my jobs around 180 a sq when I started out now I am at 200 and up a square. I am actually I think selling more jobs at that price. I have a pitch book about 3 inches thick. I am a shingle master company at certainteed. I offer a 10 year warranty and I ask for the sale. These are just a few things a good friend has showed me.

Hi Ski. It sounds like you are "subbing’ to the Union?
I’m not saying yay or nay, that’s just how it sounds.

What does the Union provide? Do they provide training? Insurance?
It sure doesn’t sound like bad idea-- so many of us have been told that the Unions are un affordable, but you sound like you are in my price range and you can affored them.

Sounds good for you tho

for whatever its worth, i use a per square price as a base. i start at 325/sq. for a strip and reroof which includes ice & water on the entire roof, new 8" dripedge and cleaning/disposal with a high quality 30 yr. owens corning. i sell based on what i offer, not how much i charge. i can’t be bothered with hagglers and customers who want to dictate what im going to charge and what im going to use. do yourself a favor and don’t back down on what you want to charge because it only hurts everyone else in the business. its a real kick in the ass to find out your competitor is getting more and doing less than you! the best advice i ever got was “if you’re gonna do something for nothin’, go do nothin’”

By the square pricing is a loose loose situation, its ok to run the numbers back and get an idea though for different types of jobs. but ill tell you that we wont do any residential roofing for under four dollars per square foot, it isnt worth it, Boston metro west they seem to start in the five or six dollar range. as for the union some of my relatives are in both local 33 and 17, I was when I started out, learnt from the best, tried to be a union shop but quickly changed course for the better.
Happy Roofing


I ahve to price by the sq for the contractor I work for. I know it would always be mroe profitable to charge by teh hour. But I have over the years been able to estimate jobs pretty acurately and make good money by the sq… It is easier if you know what your guys put up an hour, Now some roofs are harder than others true, but most good salesman will know this to get more money from the client and therfore aren’t surprised when you say it is more on your end too. If they don’t and you have a good relationship with them, split the difference on the first one aand make sure they know for the next. If you don’t have a good relationship(never worked for them before or plan to again) charge what you want but expect not to get it. Or charge what they want and walk away after it is done.

As far as the union goes. If you have a suckey boss they are better. Good pay for less work than the private sector. If your boss is good to you, you will alway make more in the private sector. I guarentee hourly rates to my guys but also, if they do a estimated 5X10hr day job in 3X10/hr I bonus money. Usually give them the fourth day of work and keep the fifth. That way everyone wins for working quicker. plus we are on to the next job and geting paid again on days four and five. I highly recommend giving bonuses for good work/quick. that way there are no of those why should I work for someone else feelings after you get someone trained. I also split all profits with my crew leaders. Once someone can prove they make me money, they also prove they deserve much more money. It is only fair. I make pretty good money working alone, But I make much more money working with 10-12 highly trained and good workers. Maybe it’s just me but I believe in karma and the most important thing is taking care of people who are good.