I have had enough of this. I just lost another new construction job to the same competitor, 3rd one this month. They are laying it for about 42 bucks a square. How can anyone make a living at that?

House is 21 square mostly 8/12, 3 square of 12-12 with a dormer.WTF???


1 square an hour. $42 an hour. He is making a living.

Lefty, would you lay it for that? How about paying for the equipment that is neccesary? What about insurance, business license etc…?

Yeah but what if he isnt paying for any of that? I know of a guy who has been around this area for awhile and he pays everyone cash. I am waiting for the day it catches up to him…

He didn’t say all that…

even the leads that are coming to me from word of mouth and refferals are going with the low bidders who have F ratings with the BBB and are in the newspaper for being sued. Kinda scary this past week. I only sold 2.

I know of company in North East Ohio who is installing new construction shingles for $26.00 (Labor only) dollars a square on 2 story homes that are a walkable pitch.

Marshall, That is why I started charging for estimates. When people call and say can you give me an estimate and I tell them it will cost them they are usually like “ummm everyone else does not do that” and I say yeah well we do things differently. Anyways of the 10 or 12ish people that called last week for estimates 4 of them still had us come out to do the estimate and 3 of them signed a contract. Best part of that is that its a 75% closing rate and I did not waste any time giving people prices. It is really easy that way to find out who is price shopping :slight_smile:

Hi Shangle nailer,

If the guy is doing the roof by himself or with a partner. They do not need the insurances that we do with employees. They do not need office space.

They already own the equipment.

They have the independance of working for themselves. He/they will probably lay more then 1 square and hour.

So he/they will make a good living.

They are doing nothing illeagl. More power to them.

I did this for many years.

I understand your point lefty, and the operation you describe is much like what I myself do. I do still carry workers comp and liability, because I feel it is foolish not to no matter how small I am. Unfortunately, that is not the situation. It is a big local company that utilizes illegal labor and is notorious for call backs. I was over there today,(we are also framing and siding the place), and I saw the following: When i frame I tack the tyvek up everywhere that a roof meets a wall so roof paper and step flash can go under it. They tacked the tyvek back down and ran the step flash over top of it. I guess they want to be extra sure it willl leak if water gets behind the siding.
All of these reasons are what my aggravation is stemming from. I could lay it for 42 bucks a square, and make a little bit of money. Instead I will keep my prices where they are and hope the homeowner calls the builder with a leak. I know that is a bad thing to say, but utilizing illegal labor irritates me.

it’s not much different here in canada we may not have the illegal worker thing here but we have a huge underground economy. new construction has always been the worst for lowballing so i just stay away from it for the most part. i refuse to “race to the bottom”

In my area going rate for new is 30-35 sq. for anything… The Mexicans walk a 12/12 with a hose around their waste till they get the bottom 5 coarses on,then they loose the hose and go for broke! You can’t compete with that…They did 1 48 sq. 10/12 12/12 cut up hip roof 2 story in 10 hrs with 3 guys…Papered loaded and cleaned up!!! At 20 per sq. (sub of a sub rate) they each got about 320.00 for 8 hrs. that is 40.00 per hr. not bad for this area…and if they share a room,and eat rice and beans,and pay no taxes,they have plenty of money to send home for their retirement,lol…
New construction has died out so bad that they are now doing tear offs for 40.00 per sq. labor(owner supplies materials,permit,and dumpster…lol
That is slowing down for them though…It takes a little more carrisma to re-flash walls and chimneys that are not new…Also when they are done they sheets are popping from not being re-nailed after tear off,lol…so it will not be long before they are bussing tables,or washing dishes in a restaurant,lol…
As long as their is a fast buck to be made,or saved their will be plenty of work for all the illegals of all sorts…no citizenship,no ins.,no taxes,etc…

you can always find some idiot to do it for nothing.


Very orthodox advice. I have a huge problem with people and there negativity. It’s great to see others out there like that.

I hope you didn’t take this the wrong way, not meant to be a slam. Just trying to open our minds up to alternatives, because it does suck competing against the low ballers.

no problem didn’t take it that way. it was a good post cause it made me think about my own attitude

We have always specialized the last five years with doing a lot of patronage with the real estate profession. Sales of homes are down but we have found a new niche that will work quite well in the years ahead and that is the foreclosure market. We are finding that with this market-you have the home inspection reports and the banks require that you have a licensed roofing contractor to repair or redo the roofs that, in a lot of instances, were roofed by the low baller contractors and their immigrant workforce.
Since they require good licensed contractors we can get a good price without the low balling crowd of usual roofing idiots.
I know that this market is going to increase in both work and dollar volume in just a short time of less than a year. We are already beginning to see a turn in the residential roofing markets now with less low ballers who are being caught up in the recession and the costs of maintaining their licenses, bonds and liability insurance.