Starting my own business in San Diego

Hey guys, new to this website and wanting some advice. I’m 21 years old and I’ve worked at a growing roofing company for three years now, under the owner who’s been roofing for over 30 years. I have all my own tools, and am very familiar with metal, TPO, EPDM, Tile, and shingles. Next month in going to the EPDM/TPO certification class. A coworker and I have been discussing relocating to San Diego and starting our own business in the fall of 2017. We plan to have 10-20 k for our startup saved before we move. I was wanting to ask if you all had advise, tips, and if anyone knew how well roofing companies do on the west coast, thanks

Welcome to Roofing in California! #1 you have experience roofing, thats a start, Now get your License, get bonded, and workmans compensation insurance, These three are mandatories here in California. You mentioned TPO and EPDM, so it sounds as if your gong to be doing commercial projects and not just residential. In that case you will need Liability Insurance also.

I see quite often roofers that see the success of the company they work for and want to go off on their own and try to emulate that success. Being a quality roofer and running your own quality roofing company are very different from one another. You need to be business savvy. This will determine how well you do. Being on the West Coast you typically don’t run into “storm chasers” or “Insurance roofers” as we don’t experience hail damage or destructive winds like elsewhere. This could be a plus or a negative depending on your business model.

California is a very heavily safety mandated state, so stay up to date on your CALOSHA regulations.
Insider TIP: Do a higher quality job at a lower price than your completion and your company will always have work.


Thank you for the help!

ExpertRoofer, that’s twice you commented about how little you do insurance work. Yet, you decided to respond to my poll and your answer was clearly against the grain. I guess being a self proclaimed expert, you can’t help yourself, right? IMHO, so far, you’re mostly a prick and a pompous, arrogant fool.

Whoa now Authentic_Dad, most of my business is with home owners that want a quality roof replacement and are not dealing with insurance . I DO however deal with home owners that are utilizing insurance claims also. Many times they are forced to pay extra out of pocket due to the sub par standards of Insurance companies and their unwillingness to pay out the proper amount for a good job; so customers are stuck getting shoddy work done by contractors that only care about getting paid and not about holding themselves to a higher standard. These homeowners come to us NOT only for our ability to get the work done, but also for our expertise. If you complain that the insurance company only pays to do the roof in a subpar manner then it is YOUR responsibility as a licensed contractor to inform the home owner and not just do the subpar work. If they are unwilling to pay the difference then DON’T do the work. PRIDE in what you do and HOW you do it. If you can’t do something to a high standard then why even do it? It gives other honest contractors a bad name and your screwing your client,

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@Mattw IMHO you are on the right track .
I have worked in LA and it was tough by comparison, only because of the regulation out there.
Where I come from (North Carolina) things are easier to manage.

My advice would be “don’t take on alot of debt” often it seems like a good idea to buy things, rent shops and get set up but those things can also drag you down.
Keep your budget in check so that it doesn’t run you.

Good luck


You post that, moron, yet you voted in the poll that the insurance allows more materials than are needed for the job. You speak out of both sides of your mouth. Your cramp might fly out there in the land of fruits and nuts, I’d love to see you try to compete in the Midwest and South oh great one.

Guys y’all are commenting this on my post I think

Authentic_Dad, your poll was about waste. If you know how to measure correctly then you should not be shorted on waste. You include it into your assessment and you should have extra, as I stated in your poll. Roofing Tip: Measure twice, cut once. Insurance will pay you for the squares that you report but not a quality shingle and accessories plus a good wage for employees, bringing roofs up to current building code standards, permits, etc.

This site is for contractors to compare ideas and for home owners to get questions answered. We could do without your ignorant remarks. Show a little professionalism; if that’s not too much to ask.

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I can see now why you do very little insurance work and are completely clueless about it. Dude, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you should just STFU. I would wager that my ability to measure and estimate blows you out of the water. Just because we measure it correctly doesn’t mean the insurance agrees to pay it. To say otherwise reveals how completely naive you are. But then again, you are the self proclaimed expert, perhaps it is different for you with your vast experience. LOL You should have made your handle Chuck Norris, not ExpertRoofer.