How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance

 
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:11 PM   #1
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How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


I am interested in becoming a roofing contractor dealing with restoration of weather damage( hail, storms, ect), dealing with insurance companies. Can someone please guide me in which way to learn this I am really interested and motivated to start. What classes do I take, what schools, do I go to seminars???

how to become a roofing contractor? specifically dealing with insurance
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


go to work for a real roofer for a few years,

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Old 03-01-2010, 08:58 PM   #3
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


It would also be a good idea to take some courses on business management. There may be some night courses you could take while working for that roofing company.

Basicaly you will need to learn the trade, and how to run a business. And believe me - it ain't easy. But best of luck, go for it.

And my famous words of advice - never let anyone get into you for more money than you are willing to loose.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


cabay, I posted this response to your question in General Discussion.


Classes, schools & seminars this isn't selling Orek's or Kirby's. Alot of the knowledge comes from the School of Hardnocks with graduate work at the University of Experience. You just can't learn this stuff in a class.

And dealing with insurance companies, they'll eat you alive. When you're done you'll be paying them to do the work.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:53 PM   #5
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


Years ago i worked with a fairly large storm chasing company. Let me tell you, they knew the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies, as that is all they did! I learned so much it was definitely worth the time.
Also getting Haag certified will add huge credibility with insurance companies!
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:23 AM   #6
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


Depends if you want to be a real roofer or just a salesman or both.

Anyone can be a salesman. I've seen them everywhere in the summer and you know they've never laid a shingle in their life. IMO, these are the people ruining the entire business.

It strikes me funny to see the people that show up to the continuing ed classes.

What's worse is seeing the public easily swayed by this type of "contractor".
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:02 PM   #7
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


I have mixed feelings on the subject. I do not beleive that the business owner should be working IN his business, but should be working ON his business. It is not the business owner's job to be doing, but rather to be strategizing and leading. In other words it does not take a roofer to run a successful roofing company. Therefore if the business owner is not installing the product he only need surround himself with those who do to accomplisht he actual installation. The principals of business are the same no matter what business you are in; roofing, landscaping, baking pies, retail, etc... The problem with most construction businesses is they put too much focus on the back end, the actual doing, and not enough focus on the front end, the strategy and the actual business.

Having said that, I do feel it is important for the business owner to know what everyone in his business is doing. I was in a business 101 class and made that statement and my teacher called me out on it. "You mean to tell me the CEO of Kraft should know how to operate the cheese packaging machine." I responded "The CEO doesn't HAVE to know, but it will make him a better and more respected CEO if he does know." You'll notice I said surround yourself with those who know the trade in my first paragraph. Well how do you know who knows and doesn't know if you don't know. See the conundrum? I have said many many times, do what you do best and hire somoeone to do what you do not do well or do not enjoy doing. If that happens to be sales, then hire a production team. If that happens to be production then hire a salesman. There is more to business though than just production and sales. There is administration and financial as well.


I understand where MJW is coming from, alot of shoddy companies out there who know how to sell but don't care about quality and sub out to the lowest bidder who is working for unrealistic wages and cut corners to make some money. On the flip side, the only reasons those companies are sloppy is because they are run sloppy. The management doesn't care about the quality and there are no checks and balances in place to ensure quality. However if you have a business manager who has never touched a tool in his life but he cares about his reputation and about his customers, he will take necessary steps to ensure only quality work is delivered. On the flip side, my problem with alot of the owner-operator type companies is they tend to under value their work. The owner tends to wear too many hats and not get compensated enough for any of them. In other words too much work, not enough money; That hurts not only himself but the entire industry. So there are vailid arguments on both sides of the fence.


Can you do it without working somewhere else first? You surely can, but you are going to be re-inventing alot of wheels. You really are better off getting some experience elsewhere first. You'll be in for a long struggle if not.


I agree with what Griz said about paying the insurance company to do the work. I do not know how a company that pays their insurance and taxes can do work for what the insurance companies are willing to pay. Some guys claim they can get them over $500 a square, but what I see is guys taking what ever the insurance company is willing to give usually about $250, and cutting every corner imaginable to achieve some profitability. Some guys here say they can do a shingle roof for $250, I don't see how no matter which what way I run the numbers.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:50 PM   #8
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


Grumpy nailed it on the head!
I worked for a large roofing company years ago with 15 crews and 20 salesmen.
The owner was a roofer in his younger days, but when i was there he ran the whole business from his office. We sold 2 million dollars worth of roofs one month!
My point is, he was able to delegate! He had expert people in place to manage the office, sales, crews etc.
The sucessful business man is someone who can teach others to do what he knows!
He eventually sold his operation to Crane corporation for 20 million!
Gotta love roofing!
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:10 AM   #9
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


Roofman, what you described, divide by half, and that's what I have been trying to do... but constantly smacking my head against brick walls. It "appears" I only have two options 1) lower my standards and grow, or 2) stay small. Neither is acceptable so I continue to bash my brains in.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:49 AM   #10
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


To become a licensed roofing contractor, you will have to meet your specific state's requirements. Most states will require work experience combined with education in order to get a license, and you can be heavily fined if you are operating without one. You will also need to apply for a business license as well if you are planning on working for yourself.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:48 AM   #11
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


The other day while papering in a 10/12 started talking to the builder about his previous job a higher up with a flat roofing outfit. He said the first thing he told the owner he wanted to do was to work with the workers for one year to be able to understand the dynamics of the trade itself. He did that and the knowleadge he gained as well as the respect of the workers was worth breaking his back for the year. His company went onto be the number one installer of duralast in the state. It's strange to do work for a "retired" roofer but it's been good.

My company is still comprised of my family as the installers and me up there with them as much as possible. The most recent job I sold yesterday can honestly tell you there would have been very few salesman and non roofers who could have answered half the questions the home owners asked. It seems a good portion of my clients are very particular with the details and specs and ask some very good questions. Lots of doctors, lawyers, engineers, pilots, etc.

IMO, the best sales person would have enough roofing experiance to have ready answers for all questions but know the ins outs of the sale. Had a home owner once who was the head building official of the biggest city in MN tell me that the other "roofers" he met with asked if they could come back with there boss's to answer his questions. He told them after he met all the roofers he would make that choice. After I answered all his questions from his typed sheet he said, "How soon can you start?"

As far as getting a roofing business up and running it's fairly easy for the most part. Maintaining all the required insurances, licenses, and reputation with home owners and insurance personal may be the toughest part!

In Minnesota this is the course of action to get a license,
#1 Go to a two day crash course on how to pass the contractors test or skip to number 2
#2 Go to take two tests one for bus/law the other for trades (there is no class in MN on how to pass the roofing test just contracting)
#3 Apply for a ROOFING liability insurance policy, other trades are much cheaper but you want the right insurance if something shoud happen
#4 Apply for a ROOFING workmans comp policy if you should have employees or do work for builders
#5 Apply for an assumed name with the state. If your doing insurance work you want something clever like Exteriors. If you have your full legal name in the business name I think you can skip this $35 step
#6 Apply for a license with the state
NOTE: In MN in order to get a roofing license you have to have a $15K bond. These are based off your credit rating and if all is good they are cheap.
Not 100% but I think even general contractors now have to be either an LLC or Inc in MN. If you get work subbed to you from other contractors I know for sure you have to have either one or you have to hold back 2% of wages to subs to send to the state. I may have missed an item or two but more than likely someone will add a thing or two.

Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for hail or wind to come through and enjoy the $. Don't forget to put some $ aside for taxes too. Last two years the fed/state have hit me up for around $100K. Last year my roofing liability and workmans comp were around $20K.

Been doing a lot of insurance work in MN in 06-09 and I like it but some contractors I know won't touch the stuff. They don't like waiting weeks for adjusters and then months to get paid. If you don't know you have to have a sizable bank roll to do insurance work as in most cases you pay out 5-10 jobs ahead of being paid in. This is my experiance anyways and your subs will not want to wait for you to get paid from either the insurance company or mortgage company.

Good luck!!!
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:52 PM   #12
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
I have mixed feelings on the subject. I do not beleive that the business owner should be working IN his business, but should be working ON his business. It is not the business owner's job to be doing, but rather to be strategizing and leading. In other words it does not take a roofer to run a successful roofing company. Therefore if the business owner is not installing the product he only need surround himself with those who do to accomplisht he actual installation. The principals of business are the same no matter what business you are in; roofing, landscaping, baking pies, retail, etc... The problem with most construction businesses is they put too much focus on the back end, the actual doing, and not enough focus on the front end, the strategy and the actual business. <snip>
Grumpy nailed it again! The worst possible long-term strategy for success in contracting is to focus too much on trade skills and too little on business management. If you are even modestly successful, you should be too busy managing after a year or two to be involved with "hands-on" trade work. If you are not, you might give some really serious thought as to why.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying your work, and "contracting" just enough to keep busy and make a bit more than you would make as an employee. Do NOT, however, delude yourself that you are "in business" in anything more than the most basic sense.

A good target to aim at is an MBA. For starters, that takes an undergraduate business major--all those boring accounting, economics, math, finance, business law, and marketing classes with content you can apply every day in your business. If you think, "I don't have time for that--I'm too busy roofing!" that might well be the problem.

Think of the three most important steps for a contractor-- 1) Get the jobs, 2) Get the money, 3) Get more jobs. That is business, not just roofing. (For those who may think I left out "customer servce" or some other item, I did not--they are included in the above.)
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:52 PM   #13
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Re: How To Become A Roofing Contractor? Specifically Dealing With Insurance


I can tell you from my experiences that the number one thing i have learned over the years is that I have to be a business man first and a builder second. It's hard to do sometimes as I realy enjoy building but if you don't take the time to be a business man, you won't have any building to worry about.
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