a question for contractors

Old 11-19-05, 04:30 PM
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a question for contractors

i have been roofing in florida for almost 14 years now, and for the first ever in my career i have found out that the company i work for only has 8 jobs lined up. thats roughly a week and half worth of work. the first week dec. ill be out of work intill something comes in. so i started thinking (at my wifes nudging) ,why not do new construction or sub smaller work?
now ive got kids so igotta find work fast. i have a truck, guns, compressor, ladder, tearoff tools, etc.
why should i work for 13 dollars an hour, when i could get 15 a square?
now my question is? how would be the best way to aproach someone about this? cold calling from the telephone book?, going to their office?
i need to find work fast its almost christmas. thank you for reading this,
sean king
Old 11-19-05, 05:35 PM
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If you feel you can handle the pressure of handling the complaints I would go for it. You will have to have insurance and be bonded. Having lived in Ocala Florida, I found that you need licenses for everything. As far as beating the bush for jobs, I think most people want to meet you in person so they can ask all the pertinent questions face to face. Good luck on your endeavor.
Old 11-20-05, 07:19 PM
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I'm a licensed bonded insured roofing in Minnesota doing 80% new construction and 20% tear offs yearly.

At this moment I've done 300 sq's of new roofs straight and have 90sq's sitting before I even think about doing another tear off! I've got two builders who build between 20-40 homes a year and three smaller builders.

Here in MN you don't need to be licensed to do new construction. You do need however 1 million dollars of general liability insurance before you step foot on a new house. The state of MN only requires $300K in gen. liability to get a roofing license. For 1 million roofing liability plan on paying around $4,000 a year with no employees!!!

Doing new roofs is easy money and you usually never even talk to the home owner just the supervisor and or builder.

The last four new roofs I've done I got the jobs from word of mouth or phone book advertising and met the homeowner when I started working. Some of my sold tear offs currently to do I've not met the home owner.

The only way I've gotten new builders is totally through word of mouth. Rarely ever will a builder fire a roofer just because you are looking for work unless you low ball. One day I wrote down 25 numbers of builders while driving through a couple towns in South Central MN when I lived down that way. I called all the builders told them who I was and asked for fax numbers to send price sheets to. 2+ years later nobody has called!

I've found getting good paying builders is a lot harder than getting tear offs.
Old 11-20-05, 08:13 PM
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Sean the Roofer:
There is one thing in life that I always do, and that is tell the truth, even though it may hurt. The cold hard facts are I don't think you could make it as a Roofing Contractor in Florida. I think you would be alot better off working for wages. Even though you have the equipment and experience, if you were going to be a contractor, you probably would have done it long ago.
Now at this point, you are probably ready to shoot me. but, maybe I am wrong. Maybe you have $5000 to $10,000 stashed away that you can borrow to get started. First you will need a State Contractors License. Not that easy to get in Florida, and they are expensive. Then your bond, then your insurance. Off the ground insurance is very expensive. Now you need jobs. It is very had to get new construction accounts. Re-roofs are your best chance. My company has done alot of roofs in Florida, so I know about which I speak. Now, if you are really serious about going into business for yourself, and you will have to visit with your wife about this, I have a friend who is a roofing contractor in Alabama. He is looking for roofers and you can work under his license. You can PM me and I will give you his name. He has 500 houses that need new roofs under contract. Good Luck
Old 11-21-05, 06:31 AM
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It took me 12 weeks to get my license from the state of MN after spending 12 weeks doing everything needed to get a license.

The license fee was $100 the $5,000 bond was $100 the workman's comp policy was $685 and the general liability policy was $2,400.

I'd be nervous getting set up in Florida as a roofing contractor at this time. With the huge influx of roofers down there over the past year or so doing hurricane jobs it may tough to find work in the future. In MN after a couple huge hail storms came through in 98 many roofers stuck around who were storm chasers and started low balling new stuff to keep busy and stay in MN.

You may be better off getting legal were Jack the Contractor made mention to his friend having 500 roofs ready for roofers.

A restoration contractor called me the other day and said he needs a long term roofing contractor to work for him for the next two years doing storm jobs in the Twin Cities. If I wasn't 8-10 months booked at the moment I'd consider his offer! The only way I can keep up is do as many tear offs as possible this winter so I can prepare for another onslaught of tear offs next Spring.
Old 11-22-05, 04:06 AM
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Sean The Roofer:

I was just watching CBS News, and they had an article from Brower County Florida. They need roofers bad. They have about 2 years of backlog on roofs that need both repairing and new roofs. The people they interview are really mad, because all the roofers are busy, or they can't find any. There you go, a gold mine in your back yard. Good Luck

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