In need of sage advice

Forgive me guys as I am new to the forums here, and this is likely to result in a wall’o text.

Me and my friend who is currently a roofer (I will be starting with him working for a company where I live ) have decided we want to start our own roofing business. Now I know next to nothing about roofing but he has alot of experience, on the other hand Im experienced with advertising and business etc… Hopefully I will pick up on how to tear off and re-roof fairly quickly.

At any rate, im researching the business and trying to get all my ducks in a row in so that we are actually ready when we decide to spread our wings. So I have a few questions that hopefully some of you will be so kind to answer for me. Please keep in mind Im a noob to the business and probably wont understand the lingo right away. Anyway here we go.

A. What’s the quickest way to break into the business? Sub contracting or hitting the streets with flyers and maybe a phone book add.

B. If it is sub contracting how does one go about getting the contracts from a larger contractor?

C. What seems to work the best for everyone as far as advertising? Ive already designed us a website for the internet and know how to take advantage of that path. But what seems to work the best for you guys?

D. Where do you go to gain a business license? Insurance?

E. We are talking about doing roofing, insulation and gutter installation as well. Is it advisable to have a diverse business like that?

F. Will we be able to use our business name and credit in order to obtain a loan for starting equipment? Or will this loan be based off of our personal credit scores?

G. Should we shoot for quality or quantity at first? I know having brand recognition is the best selling tool any business can have, yet at first we are going to need to get alot of contracts lined up just to get off our feet.

H. Is it successful to try and sell someone looking for a new roof on new gutters and possibly a exhaust fan as a package deal with a discount involved. Or for that matter profitable?

Any advice would be great, Im good with business marketing and what not but have never opened my own business and am slightly nervous about the whole deal. I simply want to make sure we do this right as it likely to pile drive us into the ground if we don’t pull it off.

Thanks alot for your feedback and advise everyone.

~ Azlo

Anyone able to offer some advice please? :expressionless:

You need to become legal before anything happens. It will take atleast 50k to get off the gorund after insurance, tools, employees and i could go on. Its going to cost you a ton to start your insurance and you dont get a dime back of it. I would rethink where you are going to get 50k to start. Yes your credit is what will say yes or no along with colateral for the loan. If you can do it great if you can not then you might be a sub but you will still need workmans comp and liability.


Where are you from?

How old are you?

where are you located?

I may be able to help you BIG TIME!


The age question is kinda strange but I am 25 and Im located in cedar rapids, Iowa.

So if I may, where or rather how did you guys get your start up money? What can I expect for start up cost for liability and workmans comp up front if I sub out?

If some of you guys wouldnt mind I’d like to get a little feed back on a web site Ive made for us (not all the links or the forms work yet btw.)

If you dont mind lending a little hand click here.

This website isnt public yet nor have I purchased a url re-direct for it, or webhosting with a .com addy, but still Im simply trying to give me and my partner a start.

Thanks guys! :mrgreen:

Your link doesn’t work - can’t help unless you have a working link !!!

That’s strange. Works for me. Heres the url <-- temp url while I work on it.

For some reason the site looks weird when viewed with firefox but not internet explorer. Strange stuff.

Hi Azlo,

**Hopefully I will pick up on how to tear off and re-roof fairly quickly.

Everything you wrote has a lot to do with your age. Roofing is not something you want to start at the ground floor at say 35 or older.

It is a grueling pace. Personally roofing is relaxing to me. You have not done roofing in August the temperture on the groung is 95 {temperture on the roof would be 140-160}and the humidity is 95% or you would have know why I asked the age question.

You need to be able to do this day in day out for years.

Then it turns cold. Personally roofing is relaxing to me. The temperture is 20 degrees and the wind is blowing. You have bills to pay. So you have to go roof. day after day. You have never done this or you would not have thought the age question strange.

First partnerships are hard to do. I would not do it. You should lay out the terms of each partner and what is expected of him. So do you both roof all day and then you do the business end at night. Does he help with the website. Or is that your job all alone.

The part you are doing now is the fun part. Reseach and dreaming.

Hi Azlo,

I started with no money.

I borrowed a truck. Bought a truck soon after. Bought tools as I needed them.

Now I understand the age question thanks for clearing that up :wink:

Im not new to manual labor or construction I simply havnt done it in a while. Roofing will be new to me however. The website deal is something I do for fun. Should I get a lawyer to sit down with me and my partner when we draw up our business agreement? Probably advisable I’d think right?

Once I get used to roofing again im sure everything will run smooth for me and I plan on giving it a while working for someone else before we actually start spending money on anything for our own business. I know it’s alot easier to talk the talk then it is to walk the walk. But we’ll see.

I do wanna know what I need to do to get this thing off the ground though as Im fairly certain I’m going to be able to hang with this and am damn tired of working all day so someone else can get paid.

Thanks for the feedback :wink: