For many roofing contractors, repair jobs aren't worth the bother. Companies are set up to do complete roof replacements, and anything smaller isn't practical or profitable. “We only do the entire roof. We don't do any repairs,” says Stephen Townzen, vice president of Thomas Home Centers, Earth City, Mo., a subsidiary of ThermoView Industries. Repairs, Townzen says, are hard to estimate, because “our salesmen don't climb up on the roof to do the estimate, and a leak is a complicated issue that needs the expertise of a roofer.” Most repair jobs fall well short of the minimum $4,500 job size Townzen says the company needs for a job to be profitable.
Repair Division But down in Lakeland, Fla., a separate repair division at Goff-Waller Roofing helps differentiate the company and opens a second market, says Jimmy Waller, vice president. To make repair work profitable, Waller dedicates an estimator and crew to repair jobs and employs a staff that is familiar with the basics of repair work to answer the phone.
A quick response is vital for handling repairs, which are almost always more urgent than full reroofing jobs. People are relieved when Waller tells them his crew can be on the job in 48 to 72 hours. And unlike reroofing jobs where a prospect might get a half dozen estimates, on repairs, “we get out there and we may be up against one other company. The odds are a lot better,” he says.
Profit Model Repairs are much smaller than full roofing jobs, of course. Waller charges a minimum $150 for a service call. The average repair job runs around $250, he says, vs. an average $6,000 for a full roof. But margins that are 50% greater than a reroof job help offset the smaller size.
For Goff-Waller, the busiest time is during Florida's rainy season.