Looking to start a roofing company in Miami

Would like to get some feedback on starting a roofing business in the Miami area.
For the past 20 years I have owned and operated a basement waterproofing business in Boston,(tired of the cold).
I have also been buying fixing and selling single family homes in Miami for the past 3 years,unfortunatly the market is terrible here right now and am currently holding 2 properties.
I will be taking the roofers exam in December.
I have many years experience in marketing and running crews,mostly would like to hit the ground running and need to learn the technical side of the roofing business,any help would be greatly appreciated.

All I can say is you better study the FM I-120 requirements, because I believe that is what will be required on most roofs in that area.

surround your self with a couple of good local roofers.


Thanks for the replies,I do have leads of people who need there roof done,but I dont have roofing experience,should i try and exchange the leads for commission and knowledge?

hire a bunch of illegal cubans,pay them subhuman wages and shit on every american you can and you’ll be rich like the rest

No experience, no knowledge, no business starting a roofing company.

Just out to screw some citizens, it seems. :frowning:

Thanks for the helpful info there Aaronb.
I am a person trying to gain some knowledge in the roofing business,sorry that I threaten you.
Have another drink :smiley:

Thanks for the well wishes, but I dont drink.

Why don’t you go into a business that you have a clue about?

Why dont you try being helpful,rather than being useless.
Maybe you need to start drinking(again).

Without any roofing exp. You will have problems. You cant learn how to roof from this site there is too much to go to it. I wish you all the luck but without knowing about roofing it will be very hard. I am not trying to put you down i am just trying to help you understand that this is a very cut throat business. You will lose money the first 2 years just so you know. Its just the nature of the beast. That will stop after you get your name out there and have some work under your belt. Also with Folida building codes you are asking for alot. They are the highest codes i have ever heard of. I have been in this business for over 13 years and to tell you the truth i dont know everything there is to know about roofing. I do wish you luck in your quest. And no im not going to have a drink since im recovering.

[quote=“AaronB.”]Thanks for the well wishes, but I dont drink.

hahahaha…my uncle told me when i was younger “ALL YOU NEED TO BE A ROOFER IS…A DRINKING PROBLEM AND A HAMMER.”
well, i have a hammer … if you want to start off without loosing money, i suggest keeping your day job and start on the weekends with small easy jobs for the first year or 2.

Guys thank you for the good feedback,as I said I have been a business owner in the construction field for 20 years and although it was basement waterproofing it was still dealing with homeowners and crews that certainly were not always reliable,so I do have alot of business experience.
I am sure roofing has its own issues,but it seems to me if you have good business sense and are willing to learn I will be successful.
Thanks Doug

I have seen some of the best business minded guys go bankrupt in 2 years in this industry. If you think you are up to a challange by all means go with it. But since you dont know anything really about roofing i still say you will have more problems then you will think.

I plan on starting out doing shingles only for awhile on fairly small jobs.
Could you please help me understand why roofing is so difficult,I have read many of your posts and value your opinion.
Thanks Doug

Well Doug, its a very very cut throat business and alot of guys go bankrupt chasing the low bid or being the low bid. So the first part is selling the job and thats not easy to make a profit. THen there is getting the work done. Lastly warranty work is always a joy.

Selling the job at a profit is where so many guys get in trouble. Your to low you lose money your to high you lose money cause you did not get the work. See selling from waterproofing i think you said to roofing is a different animal. Some people look at the cheapest way out then there are the ones that want to know every single thing that you are going to do and why you are doing it, (here is where you will have major problems since you dont have a roofing background) You do not have the expertise in the field to back up yourself. Also time in the business will hurt you also. It brings the question to mind why not stay in waterproofing? Im not trying to come down on you so please dont think i am. Also you figure the first year if you make it that far you will likely lose around 30 or 40 thousand dollars from advertising and learning on the fly. Second year would be better but not much prob 15k or so loss. This includes rent lost jobs and bidding mistakes.

Then you have knowing what to look for in a roofing subcontractor. Rememeber they represent you and whatever they do reflects on you. Having loud radios and swearing on a job site does wonders for you not being called for the next house on the block. Finding quality guys to work for a new company with a guy who has limited exp in roofing is going to be a hard sell. There is no way of knowing how it will turn out. Thus making an unstable area that many will not venture into. SMall jobs dont pay the bills nor does it pay the subs bills either. I know what your trying to do but since i have been in the business i see about 15 new companies in the paper start of the season then about 10 weeks later they are gone out of the paper. Out of business normally. You will need someone with years of exp. and the ability to teach you this business and get you some workers willing to take a chance on you. This is one of the hardest thing i think you will have to deal with. Getting a few jobs is not that hard getting them at a price where everyone makes money and the job is done right now thats the tricky part.

Warranty work is the hardest becuase you have a pist off customer screaming about the 5k they just spent on this roof and it leaks. Getting it to stop leaking without a tube of caulk is priceless and again finding a top notch mechanic to do this work will be hard with what you are doing. Some guys will caulk everything to make it stop leaking. Caulk should only be used on the chimney in small amounts.

Hey i really wish you luck with this if you need help i can help you with some things. Please dont hink im just a heartless guy who does not want to see anyone get ahead in life but i just see to many posts of help need work and im going bankrupt. Remeber its your credit to not just the business. Oh lastly whatever you do go LLC on your company. If something goes wrong your covered then. If you want to chat drop me an email with your phone number on it and i will call you and we can discuss it further.

I agree with the others. I started a roofing company when I was 22 and I had like three years of nightmares until I steadied the ship and then another three years to repair my credit. At 22 at least I had some time to be a screw up and still recover… and I knew how to roof, could personally rip off 2 layers 6 squares, cleanup, and reroof with just a laborer to bring me shingles in one day then. I can’t do that now, maybe I’m lazy, or maybe I’m not as stupidly aggressive as I was and I’m a little gun shy now. Call it what you want. How are you ever going to be able to guage how time consuming any particular roof will be if youve never done it? My biggest mistake when I started was always making the assumption that every guy I’d hire could do what I can and boy was I wrong… they still want their money though, and youre obligated to give it to them, legally, and hopefully, as a man. This is not a personal attack. I don’t think you can do it unless you just take your local “per square prices” and just double them for good measure. You’d better be a smooth talker and stay focused on other conversations other than roofing for that to work, especially if you’re going against a salesperson like me that spends 2 hours talking with a customer showing them common mistakes and how its really supposed to be done…

How are you going to analyze good roofers? My first “foreman” if you want to call a fiending crack head that, used to put on 16 squares of shingles in a day with three high nails in each shingle and no tar paper. He used to go over roofs that were suppose to be ripped. You see sixteen squares in a day youre going to be delighted at first. Guaranty you it comes back to you though…

I don’t know man. Do what you want. I’m certainly not threatened because for one I’m still in Boston and plan to remain here, but secondly, I don’t think you could take one job from me unless you bankrupt yourself.

stick with waterproofing its much less annoying than roofing.

Theres a lifetime of learning in the roofing industry, and I am still learning thing all the time.

Roofboss has a MUCH larger operation then I do and has been in it twice as long, and I bet he is still learning.

A huge misconception is that roofing is just banging some nails. To many, it is. This is why I make my living from repair work. Too many lowballers to compete with for the re-roofs (quality craftsmen do not work cheap), and they leave such a turbulent wake of damage that three of us repairmen can make a good living fixing them, and support the company.

Thanks for the feedback,first off I would stay in basement waterproofing,Miami has no basements.
I hear you with the low bidder scenerio,happens everyday in basement waterproofing,guy with a station wagon and a rented jackhammer will do the work for half of everyone else,in my business thats where you have to be a good salesman and show the customer what the difference is.
Also in basement waterproofing it is a numbers game,you know what price you need to get on a job and you stick with it.
No point in doing work for free.
I do have a lot of experiance at lead generation and with waterproofing the average close ratio is around 25-30%.
It maybe alot different in roofing.What do you see as an average?
As far as warranties go basement waterproofing carries a lifetime transferable warranty.
With maybe a 10% call back ratio on work that leaks.
Workers are brutal as well very hard to find reliable people.
I am sure roofing is a completly different animal and that is why I am trying to get all the advice I can up front,before I jump in.
Thanks feel free to call me @305-766-8136.

I am not trying to kid myself for a moment,thinking that I can just walk in and dazzle customers with smooth sales talk,especially when it comes to bidding against guys like yourselves with many years experiance,with so much work down here I am just hoping for a small piece of the pie.
I have heard alot of downside to the roofing business.
By the way my basement waterproofing business was in Boston for 20 years.