Um... HELP!

My husband recently decided to start his own business. He worked as a roofer for eight years, and does a great job. The thing is that he doesn’t really have any experience bidding jobs. He has been charging 30$ per square for labor, but that isn’t really working out very well. We don’t what to charge too much and end up not getting any jobs, but we don’t want to bid them too low either. Could someone give me an idea of what we should be charging for labor for a basic walkable roof? We live in Southern Indiana, if that helps. I would really appreciate any advice! Thanks!

Does he have a business plan, or does he intend to work himself to death?

What is the $30 per sq. for? New construction? I know everyone has to start somewhere but it puzzles me that
everyone seems to want to start a roofing company.Are you aware of having and maitaining workmans comp or general liability and a bond?If you had all of the required insurances then you would realize that $30 was way to cheap.Many factors fall into play when issuing an estimate/job bid.At $30 per sq.it would be impossible to have let alone maintain insurance. How many layers?How many stories?How is the job access,What type of material does the customer want?
Does the job have A/C on the roof?Does the job has solar panels? So many variables to look at.,to tell you that what you are charging is to much is unlikely but if I was him I would continue subbing and gradually integrate into the roofing company pool.
I am not trying to shoot down a dream I am recommending an approach that will have a better more sucessful outcome because if he subs he will have work.,If you own your own business with out good business tactics then you might go to bed hungry.

In my opinion he needs to work doing sales before going the hard way…doing sales will give him an ideal of how much companies are making for gross profit and paying for labor, insurance, and extras…this is the way i started but since we got involve in this two major storms in oklahoma city my savings are not that good but this will get better once i collect all my 15 jobs that where done. Tell him if we wants to do same sales first he is welcome here in Oklahoma city just for a few months, keep in mind that we are going to be in the winter season again if he dint work and saved money he is going to have a hard time like i did that i end up doing painting along with roofs…

Well at this point it does seem that he is going to work himself to death! We actually have realized that 30$ per square is way too cheap, which is why I am here trying to get some advice. The 30$ per square is for a basic roof. Of course the pitch of the roof, flashing, tear off, etc. increase the price. We are just looking for a starting point to base pricing on. I agree that he should do some sub work, make a business plan and all the other things that would give the business a better chance at succeeding, but he has his mind made up that this is what he is going to do, so I am just trying to help as much as I can.

3taps $220 30 years $250 redecks $130 square…shingle prices are going up again 7% so make sre he knows this

depending on how the market is down there, those prices are a good start. You need to remember that those prices included materials and you may have to go lower to start getting jobs. As you build a reputation for quality and have a bunch of jobs coming in, you can increase your prices. Also, if it is something you don’t think you want to do, bid it really high so if you do end up getting the bid, it will be worth it and/or you can sub it out and make a good profit.

IMO …you should be able to make money at $ 30.00 per square IF it is a labor only price for new construction on walkable roofs and IF the shingles are rootop loaded (based on no flashing, no drip edge, no frills of ant kind )

i.e…25 sq. roof X 30 per sq. = $ 750.00
2 guys should be able to knock this out in one day to my way of thinking.

750.00 x 5 days a week = 3,750.00

divided by 2 = $ 1,875.00 per man per week

just my 2 cents as the saying goes…

Thanks! That helps! He has actually taken some jobs that his former boss was supposed to do, but he moved to Texas and isn’t roofing anymore. He had already purchased the materials and sold them as a lot to my husband at a very discounted rate. So I would like to know what he should be charging just for labor.

Roofrite, thank you. I told my husband, and he said “no wonder everybody was looking at me like I was crazy!” He was charging 30$ per square for tear off and re-roof. Lol thanks for clearing that up.

xactimate will help you alot if you do insurance deals…but if you not really intrested in dealling with insurance just do the estmate and show them the numbers…but xactimate will give you the prices…i will stay 10 dollards down from your comp…to get busy

Move here and Ill give you all the work you want for 30 dollars a square!

To give you perspective of where my pricing is, I just did a 17 square one layer ranch tear off for 6100ish. Including materials and everything that comes along with a complete roofing job.

wow, I am doing 25 sq. single layer tear offs for that. Very nicely done. and yes you will charge more once you are paying 7 or 8 thousand per year in insurance.

As Jimmy Durante said “Everybody wants to get into the act!” good luck

Indiana is a tough market. Not due to lack of regulation, but lack of common sense. And of course the 1099 cheats, but that is a federal issue that is evrywhere anyway

If you get your prices where they need to be, be ready to hunker down and market just to stay afloat.
Lots of work if you slave away… a lot less available nowadays if you really do a complete job for the client.

Most resi roofing nowadays is a shingle slappers paradise and tradesman’s nightmare.

So ask yourself: Do you want a piece of 80% of the market (no selling) or a piece of 20% of the market (educate, educate, educate)?

I know of a software that can help any roofing business that is just starting out. My son uses this service and really likes it. estimationpro is the link. Im not sure how they charge, i think its month to month? I wish i had this before i retired, its affordable, and accurate. Good luck to you!

Most fellas just accept what Exactimate spews out. Then they 1099 their labor.

well Im sure Im a little on the high side for your area but out here in the sf bay area we charge 100 a square for installation only. we then add materials and tear off costs.

Basically we figure 225 a square for 30 year dimensional, this covers most typical flashings and metals needed along with underlayment. we then add any costs on top of this such as gutters, tear off costs since we sub that out most of the time and sheeting costs. Dry rot repair is also over and above when the roof is removed.
We dont really roof steep roofs so our cost is usually the same from 2:12-9:12.

I would suggest talking to counter guys at local supply houses, they often know what the guys are charging since they socialize with the customers often.

Bottom lie dont be affraid to charge for your quality but just not to much!

hope this helps and good luck!

Marc