Starting a Roofing business. need a little help

Hey guys I’m starting my own roofing business and I need a little help with the technical stuff. First of all I’m 21 and I did roofing since I was 16 so I would say that I have about 4 years of experience in and out. I know how to do everything, that’s not a problem my boss was a perfection freak which is exactly how I will run my business because quality keeps business coming. I’m just doing this for a steady income.

So my main questions are this; I already have a pretty good idea of what liability and work. comp. will be, just a couple questions about how much it will cost for the registration of the business and how I obtain this, do I go to city hall or what?? Also do I need to register my business first or acquire liability first because I looked on the Wisconsin.gov site and it said I needed proof of work. comp. and liability before I could register my business, just don’t know how these will go together. So any help on that would be great. I’m located in Green Bay, Wisconsin by the way.

Secondly, I’ll have about 3,000 coming soon so what I plan to do is open the business name and get liability and then take out a small business loan in the company name. I was thinking that 15000 would be plenty, for a cheap older diesel and a used trailer plus my equipment, as well as my first payment on liability. As well as pay for maybe 1 or 2 employees for my first couple jobs. Secondly how do I get an account at a lumber yard or distributer. Do I just go and tell them I started a company and see if they’ll allow me an account or do I have to buy materials for my first couple jobs until I can get an account?

Thirdly on my bids, I plan to bid about 20-30 per square on new construction for 4-6 pitch 30-40 for 7-8 pitch and 50 for higher then that, and somewhere around double for tear off depending on how many layers. And then I would be wondering what a fair number would be to pay someone who’s got some experience. I was thinking between 14-16 per hour. Any help with this stuff will be GREATLY appreciated.

Well no con is not worth alot of money. Remod is. When you do a tear off you can make alot more. If you need help luck just ask we are all here to help.

First off, I am in Mass. so I don’t know how much help I will be.
Here it took me about 10 minutes and 40 dollars to get a business certificate.
My liability ins. came first…which was easy, just needed a down payment and as far as the premium, it all depends on what your going to be doing.
As far as the business loan goes, I think that should work great. Just be smart with what you buy. Keep it simple and just get the neccesities. This is not the time to be grandiose. Keep as much money as you can, to back yourself up, as far as all the stuff that you haven’t thought of goes.
As far as your prices go, it doesn’t matter what I think because like I said I am in Mass. where it is all a lot more expensive.
Good luck and keep us posted.

gus dont reply to me with stupid shit like that everyone else thanx

Gus…why do you waste your time to post bs like that. Everyone has to start somewhere. Just like you did. Maybe you did after having more experience, or whatever else. Give it up, go hug yourself or something.

This is a place for people to ask and find answers about roofing. Or did you not realize that this is what this website is about.

well since you are from WI, you will need a contractors license. You can either take the course online or there are some classes in some cities. You will need liability insurance to get your license from the state. Then start advertising like crazy to get your name out there. You dont need to start out with a nice truck and trailer. You will need a compressor, hoses, nail guns, roof jacks etc. Most lumber yards etc will give you a form for credit if you just ask them. Most will just give you one if you say you are a contractor. While I think your prices are way too low to make any profit at all, you have to start somewhere. Where in WI are you from? If you are getting jobs from GCs then you can afford to take less since it will be them getting materials etc and they will be overlooking you. Best thing to do is establish a name for quality. Good luck.

thank you very much mitch. I do have to ask though, if those prices are too low. by my calculation ill be charging anywhere from 70-100 per square on tear offs depending on how many layers and\or shakes, I would think that would be making pretty incredible money, what would you suggest for charging per sq. and im from green bay wisconsin. thank you for your input.

Sorry you did not like my reply. Nothing “stupid” about it at all.

Simple fact is you can enter 20% of the residential roofing market where customers are looking for a professional, where it is going to take you time to become the 2nd or 3rd Roofing Contractor they hire because they’ve been burned in the past. This could take years of building your business/ reputation.

Or you can pursue the other 80% of the market that is looking for a “deal” that will most likely come out of your pocket or you breaking the law.

Good luck

with those prices, yes you can make a good amount of money and it would be good if you had no overhead at all. Then consider your liability insurance at say 1500-2000 a year with no employees for a small operation. Then add in some employees and there goes about 40 cents per for WC etc. That is where Gus was saying, cheat and you can make money. I deal with it all the time especially in this economy. Everyone wants a deal. If everyone was licensed and insured, there would be no deals because everyone would have the same overhead. The truth is the opposite though. I bid jobs almost everyday against uncle Steve’s friends brother’s drunk buddy he knew in high school with no license, no insurance and his other bar friends that come to work drunk and will work for beer or get 1099’d. They charge 1/2 of what I charge for labor but the roof leaks and they offer no insurance and then the HO calls me a few years later and wants me to do a repair on the roof but they still dont want to pay a fair price to have it repaired the right way. You will learn. Bidding new construction is a good way to get started but the money is in re-roofing.

Here my liability is $12,000.00 for the year,my comp is about 33 % of my labor.Then comes payroll liabiltys,fica,ss etc.Advertising is a big bite for us,but we stay busy so it must pay off.

Robert…I said that was for liability without any employees and for a small business. Thats what mine was when I was just doing a few roofs with a buddy that had his own insurance as well.

Irish - A lot of good advice. There is an ABC in Green Bay, if you have good personal credit, you should be able to set up an account there no problem. Other than that, there arent many suppliers near that area. (Learned that one because I have a project coming up in door county and am having my supplier deliever)

You arent charging enough but in order to get your foot in the door, you may have to start low because some people are only shopping on price. Be prepared to think about work 24/7.

70-100 a square is not that much money. Your 10 dollar employee costs you more than 10 dollars an hour. Your gas, phone, truck, insurance and the million other things all cost money. Also, you dont need classes to get your license. Actually , you dont need a license per se for roofing but what you want to get is your Dwelling Certification card. This way you are able to pull permits and you want to be able to do that.

There is a huge difference between working for someone else and for yourself. I hope you have truly thought it out. If you have no work, you cant just go and quit your job and start making money tomorrow. YOu have to go find work. I know guys in Green Bay are cheap on labor because I asked when I was up there. Dont even think about expanding. The more you physically work, the less you pay other employees however, its less time you have to find new work.

In order to get everything together, contact an insurance agent or PM me, and I can give you the names of some places to call. YOu dont need workers comp YET if you have no employees. I know it costs money, but get in touch with an attorney and accountant and go over things with them. Have a construction attorney write up your contract and have an accountant tell you what you need to do financial. Set realistic goals. Up in GB, you arent going to be doing 300,000 worth of business your first year.

Here is a link to the WI site. Maybe you werent in the right area. wisconsin.gov/state/core/business.html

It takes around 150 dollars to file your LLC papers and what not, another thing you can have an account do for you.

Use the knowledge (most of the time) on this forum to help you along your way.

Thank you very much, your answer was a lot of help, unfortunately it will be closer to fall before I get the money to start this. I plan to do it then. Thank you for all the advice

hey listen i started my roofing business two years ago and have done very well. my business name is now known and i have great references and repeat customers as well as many referral jobs. i am still really small and looking to expand but all the questions you had asked on here are different in different states so why dont you give me a call there are other things you might want to consider before you jump into this as i wish someone would have informed me before i did. give me a call jim at , aaa infinite discount roofing 303 934 7663

[quote=“luckoftheirish”]Hey guys I’m starting my own roofing business and I need a little help with the technical stuff. First of all I’m 21 and I did roofing since I was 16 so I would say that I have about 4 years of experience in and out. I know how to do everything, that’s not a problem my boss was a perfection freak which is exactly how I will run my business because quality keeps business coming. I’m just doing this for a steady income.

So my main questions are this; I already have a pretty good idea of what liability and work. comp. will be, just a couple questions about how much it will cost for the registration of the business and how I obtain this, do I go to city hall or what?? Also do I need to register my business first or acquire liability first because I looked on the Wisconsin.gov site and it said I needed proof of work. comp. and liability before I could register my business, just don’t know how these will go together. So any help on that would be great. I’m located in Green Bay, Wisconsin by the way.

Secondly, I’ll have about 3,000 coming soon so what I plan to do is open the business name and get liability and then take out a small business loan in the company name. I was thinking that 15000 would be plenty, for a cheap older diesel and a used trailer plus my equipment, as well as my first payment on liability. As well as pay for maybe 1 or 2 employees for my first couple jobs. Secondly how do I get an account at a lumber yard or distributer. Do I just go and tell them I started a company and see if they’ll allow me an account or do I have to buy materials for my first couple jobs until I can get an account?

Thirdly on my bids, I plan to bid about 20-30 per square on new construction for 4-6 pitch 30-40 for 7-8 pitch and 50 for higher then that, and somewhere around double for tear off depending on how many layers. And then I would be wondering what a fair number would be to pay someone who’s got some experience. I was thinking between 14-16 per hour. Any help with this stuff will be GREATLY appreciated.[/quote]

i am looking to bring in a business partner to my established roofing business. anyone interested?

Hi everybody! I have started my small roofing business and am looking to purchase a liability insurance. I am in Dallas, TX. What company or insurance agent would you recommend and how much will it cost?

Thank you!

$40,000-$50,000 if you buy “real” roofers insurance

I am not sure what you are talking about when you say “real”. I just need general liability insurance. I subcontract all work. Can anybody suggest me an insurance company? Thanks

Whats your business location? Maybe a better description of your need for a partner will get better bites than your original post.

Located in Dallas, TX