There is a growing demand for roofing contractors in the restoration industry and this provides an excellent opportunity for general contractors.

The U.S. Labor Department predicts the overall roofing sector will grow at least 18% by 2020. However, when it comes to general contractors adding single-trade roofing, there seems to be a laundry list of perceived challenges. On the surface, the common perception is that it is too much work and not enough profit and that an in-house roofing crew can be inefficient and expensive. But keep in mind that it can also be difficult to work with subcontractors, especially if their set prices are not compatible with industry pricing databases.

Despite the perceived challenges, many general contractors have found a way to thrive. What are some of the keys necessary to thrive? The first is well-trained personnel. Another is a committed investment in industry education. Recommended educational resources include HAAG roofing training and material training from suppliers.

By having well-trained, knowledgeable staff, contractors can better control costs and sell more jobs by inspiring confidence with their customers. Current roofing contractors suggest controlling material costs by building relationships with suppliers, who may be able to work with them on volume discount pricing.  This supplier relationship can be more beneficial than some subcontractors, who can mark up prices for storing materials. 

Another approach is to consider subcontracting your labor. There are many crews in any market that will work as a subcontractor for labor only. In doing so, you can benefit by controlling labor costs and workers compensation liability. 

Another key thing to do is embrace accountability by communicating clearly with partners and doing things in a timely manner. This will let you handle more jobs with less trouble.

For contractors who have found ways to overcome the roadblocks, there are great rewards. Overall roofing claims and expenses are on the rise for insurance carriers as well, and the industry leading estimating platform indicates that the average roofing job is more than $9,000. Most policies cover the roof in some form, and many of the most expensive perils involve roofing needs.

More and more insurance carriers seek to utilize roofing contractors as part of their network solution. By having general contractors who offer single-trade roofing as part of a network solution, it provides a total package approach, which has been proven to result in higher customer satisfaction rates. This represents a win-win for all stakeholders including the insurer, policyholder and contractor. As the number of damaged roof claims rapidly increases due to the onslaught of wind and hail storms, successful general contractors are realizing the opportunities and are not limiting their market by not handling roofing.

Many insurance carriers are appreciative of the current contractor network solution and would much rather refer a network member that has passed a stringent credentialing process to their policyholder instead of their policyholder taking a risk of potentially hiring an unlicensed roofer or contractor.  Meeting the insurance carrier need for roofing is not only a great way to add business, but also build stronger business relationships with carriers who may request them more often.

 One thing for sure is that the market demand will only continue to grow, so as a business owner, the question becomes whether or not you will meet the demand or risk being left behind? While at first glance adding single-trade roofing may seem to be too steep of a hill to climb, remember there are many strategies you can embrace that will help you end up on top.