January 2019

How To Choose a Roofing Company Name

Choosing A Roofing Business Name

 Roofing-related company name ideas:

Roofing Company Name Ideas

Roof Cleaning Business Name Ideas

Gutter Business Name Ideas

Here are a number of ways (in no particular order) to help you decide on a roofing company name :

1.  Create a Business Plan:  With a clear business plan including your long-term goals, narrowing down your choices for a business name will be easier.  Find out more about getting started on a business plan here.

2.  Choose a Business Structure:  Sole-proprietorships and Partnerships often are not considered legal entities, and may have less restrictions on name registration.  Structures such as LLC’s and Corporations will have more requirements.  More on business structures here.

3.  Choose a Specialty:  For example, if you have decided you will specialize in slate, then it might make sense to have the word “slate” in your business name.  “Joe’s Slate Roof Repair” or “Elite Slate Roofing”.  When people see your business name, there will be no doubt that not only are you a roofer, but that you specialize in slate.  More on choosing a niche here.

4.  Reach a Broader Audience:  If you have a variety of skills, or are not sure which direction your business may go, you may not want to limit your business name to a specialty.  Perhaps you are a “jack-of-all-trades” who can do construction, electrical, plumbing, gutters, siding, or more.  Maybe you think in the future you might want to branch off into offering additional services.  Certainly “Joe’s Slate Roof Repair” could also do bathroom renovations, but nobody would know that just looking at your name.  That type of information would either have to be portrayed in your marketing materials, or else passed along by word-of-mouth.  In this case, you may want to advertise more as a general contractor who mainly does roofing.  You could choose a more general business name such as “Joe’s Home Services” or “Elite Contracting”.

5.  Consider Your Target Audience:  What type of customer is your primary target?  If you are in an affluent area, a name such as “Affordable Roofing” probably won’t attract the wealthier clientele.  In this case you would stick with a strong general business name, such as using your own name, or using a name that indicates quality and prestige.  If you are in a lower income area, you may wish to choose a name that indicates value or affordability such as “Affordable Roofing” or “Budget Roofing”.

6.  Use Your Own Name:  Do you want your own name in the business name?  “John Smith Roofing”  “Walsh Commercial Roofing”.  Using your own name adds a personal touch that may appeal to customers.  You will most likely have less restrictions in registering your business name if your full name is used (“John Smith Roofing”).  If just part of your name is used (“Walsh Commercial Roofing”), you may still have to file a fictitious name and/or a DBA (doing business as).

7.  Use a Simple Name With A Catchy Slogan:  You may also choose a simpler business name and focus on a catchy slogan that will define your business.  “Your Roof Repair Expert”, “Philly’s Roofing Pro” or some other phrase can be a tagline associated with your business.  While “John Smith Roofing” may not sound too fancy, a tagline associated with your business name can give you a big boost.  You can see how having “John Smith Roofing– Philly’s Roofing Pro” on your business card, advertisement, or plastered on the side of your roofing vehicle may have a greater effect than just “John Smith Roofing”.

8.  Choose a name near the front of the alphabet:  An old-school technique for deciding on a business name would be to choose a name that would show up alphabetically near the front of the traditional phonebook.  Examples for this would be “ABC Roofing” or “Apex Roofing”.  This technique may not be as beneficial, as it used to be with the innovations of modern marketing strategies utilizing social media and search engines such as Google.


9.  Choose a name that easy to remember:  Using a short simple name may be more beneficial than a long, difficult-to-spell name.

10.  Don’t just settle on any business name, thinking you can just change it later on:  Obviously, you could change your name at some point down the road, but doing so could hurt your business.  Previous customers may have a hard time finding you.  You may miss out on referrals as your old business name is no longer used.  You will have to spend time and money changing all marketing materials, your website, and branding to reflect your new name.  It is better to take your time and decide on a name you will be happy with years down the road, rather than one you will be regretting a few years into your business.  Not all businesses fail or struggle because they decided to change their name, but that possibility should definitely be something you should consider now, rather than later.roofing business name

11.  Make sure your business name is legal: After choosing your name, you will need to register with the proper institutions.  You should make sure the name you are choosing isn’t trademarked, or used by someone else in the area.  Registering your business name may not only be necessary on a local level such as with your city, but also with other government agencies for tax purposes.

12.  Choose a good website address to complement your business name:   While it would be ideal to have your business name as the actual web address (ex. WalshCommercialRoofing.com), it isn’t necessarily crucial.  Other options could be “Walsh Roofing”, or some other variation not even including your name such as “DenverCommercialRoofers.com”.  You could even choose a web address that reflects your specialty such as “OxfordSlatePro.com”.  The key with choosing a website name is to keep it easy to remember and easy to spell.  If your website is set up properly, customers will have no problem finding you, no matter what the web address is.

Roofing Safety Equipment

Roofing is a dangerous job, and it is important to provide a safe working environment for all employees in your roofing company.  It is not only crucial from a safety standpoint, but also from a legal standpoint.  Osha has strict rules about job safety that will result in huge fines if not followed.

Below is a list of roofing safety gear and equipment you may need to help protect you and your employees from injuries and to help your company avoid unnecessary fines.  This is just a sample list.  The safety equipment you will need may vary depending on the type of job you are doing.

Safety harness/ fall arrest system

Fall protection gear is designed to either prevent a worker from falling at all, or will limit the freefall distance.

Roof Anchors

Roof Anchors attach to the roof and are used in conjunction with a safety harness or fall arrest system.  There are different styles of roof anchors that are compatible with different types of roof systems such as metal, asphalt shingle, tile, etc.

Warning Line systems
Eye Protection

Ear Protection


Hard Hats

Safety Vests

Roof Ladder (also called chicken ladder)

Scamming a Scammer

Scams targeting contractors can come in a variety of forms through email, text, phone, and even social media.  Being able to recognize scams and avoid them (or report them) can help save valuable time and money.

There are different types of scams.  Some “scams” are from actual businesses, but the services they offer don’t always bring the results you expect.  These often deal with marketing, lead generation, websites, gaining social media followers, “updating your Google listing”, and more.  If it sounds too good to be true, it often is.

Most scams contractors will encounter are “nuisance scams”.  They often come from foreign countries and can be a source of enjoyable reading.  The following email wasn’t targeting a contractor, but is an example of a more outlandish scheme someone is trying to pull off.:

Other scams are slightly harder to detect, especially if you have never received one before.  I have received numerous requests via text and email through my roofing business.  Here is a recent example:

This was sent to my business number, which is found on my ROOFING website.  Yes, I am a roofing contractor.  Payment details are also available on my website.  I have received other generic messages asking if I do roof repair.  All of the scam messages ask if I accept credit card.  Many make a plea for help- they are sick, disabled, are deaf, have an emergency, etc.  If you choose to respond, you should be able to determine rather quickly if the request is legitimate or not.  You will need to be discerning and not dismiss every cryptic text or email you receive. I have had local customers who had legitimate roofing needs contact me with vague details.  Most legitimate customers will give a more detailed description of their roofing needs along with contact information.

Phone scams are also becoming more popular.  Phone numbers can be altered to show up as local numbers on caller ID.

Next, we will document a recent interaction with someone supposedly named “sara E Monk”, who is targeting roofing contractors.  Scams similar to this have been reported by local news agencies in the United States and Canada.  Some roofers have gone as far as providing full estimates and personal contact details, although I am not aware of any contractors actually losing money through these schemes.  Most of the loss is through wasted time and effort in going through the work of providing an estimate and through back-and-forth communications.

The following email was sent to our email address at The Roofer’s Helper.  The Roofer’s Helper is a website for roofers.  We don’t offer roofing services to homeowners.  This scammer saw “roofer” and decided to go for it.  I don’t know where these scammers are from, but they are obviously foreign, and may possibly be using a translator to communicate.  I always wondered how something like this works, so I decided to play along.  If you are curious as to how one of these scammers operates, read on (the screenshots are in order, but some of the email time stamps are not accurate- there must be a discrepancy between my mail server and my phone):

They just bought a house “around me”.  There is a business address on our website.  They will use this address to find the house they “recently bought” nearby.  While the email is vague, it is understandable why a contractor would respond, and at least get more information.  Many years ago I responded to the first email I got similar to this because I didn’t know any better (and also was looking for work).

I responded with enthusiasm, including my credentials, but didn’t specify what payments I accept, which is what they really want to know.

They immediately get to the mode of payment.  This is critical for things to continue.

They asked if I accepted check or credit card.  Why not cash?  What contractor doesn’t like cash? 

Now that they got an answer to the payment method, they send “the house address”.  Their response is obviously cut-and-pasted…3 different ways (different size and type of font)!  The house is a legitimate address near me, and is currently for sale.

I decided to have a little fun giving some options before providing and estimate to see how they would respond.  (It was raining while I was writing- that part was true).  I thought I wouldn’t get a response after that, but…

You will notice throughout these email interactions that the scammer tries to stick with a script.  They rarely respond naturally to what I have written, which is obviously ridiculous. My thoughtful and creative options for their roof replacement are ignored.  They want me to give a price so they can move ahead with the scam.

I was really curious if they would choose one of those ridiculous choices.  I thought the conversation would end here when they looked over those roof options again.

They want a metal roof???  That wasn’t one of the choices!

As all roofers know, metal is a horrible choice for roofing.  I already gave two premium choices.  Pick one already!

Aaaaargh!  Don’t you read????

Time for me to cut and paste.

Well, they researched the options and finally decided to go with the “combestors”.  “Combestors“???

We all know the customer is always right.  If they want combestors, we give them combestors.  To mix things up, I offered to coat the whole roof for a bargain price of $232.89.

I think I shocked them with my affordable pricing.  I low-balled the price because I didn’t want to lose the job to a competitor.


They got the method of payment and a price confirmed.  Here comes the pitch.  Oh, they need a favor!  Lung cancer…hospital…out of town…having a problem…need help.  I had to go get a box of tissues.  A side note: It looks like they got an incredible deal on this house!  They said they already paid 85% and that they now only owe $2,000 more.  If my math is correct, that would mean that the purchase price of the house is approximately $13,3333.00.   The current listed asking price was almost $240k!

This is a perfect example of one of the classic schemes.  The scammer will overpay you, and then ask you to wire the difference somewhere.  The money they send won’t clear the bank, or may be from a stolen credit card.  You end up losing any money you send.  Although it is rare, people have fallen for this.  Don’t be that person!

I don’t agree to the scam, but do call them out on cheating me of $0.89.  I mean, come on!

They ignore my response and want confirmation that I agree to be suckered…I mean agree to help them.

Ok, I don’t want to be too cold-hearted.  I’ll help.

I’d rather not give my phone number to you.  Can’t we do this through email?

Oops.  I think they started to cut and paste the first email again…and accidentally hit “send”.  Do I have to start this whole conversation over again??

Ok.  I will if I have to.

Guess they didn’t like the content of my last email.  Ignored.  They are still pressing for my contact info, and of course they want to know I will do a very good job.

I’m getting tired of this and kindly send an email address where they could continue the dialogue.  This is the email address the Federal Trade Commission provides to report deceptive emails.

They ignore me and appear to be getting frustrated. Is that anger or disappointment?

Maybe they’ll communicate with our Billing Coordinator, Ima Spam.

Guess they aren’t interested in dealing with Ima.

Last email I sent.  Haven’t heard back.  Either they decided to contact Ima, or they have given up.

As you can see, these scammers are very persistent, but also very scripted.  It’s amazing that the conversation lasted as long as it did.  Perhaps some scammers are better communicators than others, making the scam harder to detect.  An optimistic person (who only sees the good in others), a generous person, or a contractor desperate for customers, may all be more susceptible to falling for something like this.  There’s not a whole lot that can be done other than ignore and/or report these scammers.  If you choose to interact with a scammer, do it at your own risk.  You may possibly be dealing with someone who won’t appreciate you doing to them what they are trying to do to you.

Five Keys to Selling A Roofing Job

Trying to sign up a roof job, especially when you are new to the roofing business, can be intimidating.  If you are a new roofing company owner, you will quickly find that filling your schedule with jobs may take some effort. Here are a few tips to help give you a better chance at lining up some new customers.

First Impressions

Whether with a cold call, or responding to a request for an estimate, the first impression you give a customer can go a long way in the process of selling a roof job.  You may get an emphatic “NO!” before you open your mouth just based on appearance alone.  Roofers already tend to have the reputation of being rough, dirty, and shady.  You can really set yourself apart by presenting yourself as the opposite of that stereotype.  You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but make sure your appearance is somewhat neat and tidy.  This is crucial with a cold call.  If you are only doing roofing sales, neatness will be much easier.  If you are mixing jobs with calls, you may have a tougher time staying clean.  Save the tar-stained shirts or pants for days you are only doing jobs, if possible.

A smile and friendly tone will help break the ice with the potential customer.  If  you know you are not good with words, there are plenty of resources to help you with your communication skills.

A neatly written or typed estimate can also help with professionalism.


A pet-peeve of mine in the sales industry is the cut throat “a-sale-at-any-cost” mentality.  In my opinion, I would rather under-promise and over-deliver, than to exaggerate my skills and not follow through.  The pressure, especially when you may need work, is to promise more than you are able to really do, and at a lower price, just to get the job.  This is a dangerous practice.  You could potentially get in over your head, and not be able to deliver a product that the customer deserves and has paid for.

If the customer asks you to perform a certain roofing service, be honest about your skills in that area.  Don’t be afraid to tell them you aren’t an expert in that particular area, and that if you completed the job, it may not be “museum” quality.  Customers appreciate honesty.  You would be surprised at how many customers told me they appreciated my honesty in telling them my strengths and weaknesses.  Many have asked me to go ahead with jobs even after I was trying to talk myself out of them.  Don’t be so eager to take on a job that you know you can’t complete, or that you can’t do well, without giving the customer an honest set of expectations.  Trust me, your customers will appreciate this, and you will get referrals because of it.

Be honest about the condition of your prospective customer’s roof.  Don’t tell them they need a new roof when you can clearly see the roof has plenty of life left in it.  That is unethical and just plain dishonest.  You wouldn’t want someone doing that to you.  You might get away with it, but beware.  It could come back to haunt you.

Don’t forget to be honest about the timeline of the job.  If you know you can’t do a job this week, don’t make a promise you’ll do it this week just to sign up the job.


It is important to be organized and knowledgeable when dealing with a customer.  Know your pricing.  Know your roofing lingo.  Be confident, but honest when talking about the best way to complete a roof job.  I realize some knowledge comes from experience, so it may be difficult to be knowledgeable with an area of roofing you are not familiar with.  This is where a previous trait I mentioned, honesty, can come into play.

I know of one roofer who used the line “That’s my specialty!” when any potential customer asked about a certain service.  In other words, every type of roofing service he was asked about was his specialty.  He had the “fake it until you make it” mentality.  I don’t know if that is the best sales method.  It would definitely help for you to learn as much as you can and get as much roofing-related experience possible so that you can best advise your customer.  If you do choose to have a specialty, put as much effort as possible into learning all you can, so you can truly call yourself an expert in that particular area.  Many customers (but not all) can easily spot when someone doesn’t really know what they are talking about.


All customers want to know they are getting a good deal.  There are a number of ways to give the customer value without having to lose money.  One way you can add value is by throwing in extras, on top of what the customer has requested, at no cost.  This could be telling them you will clean all gutters at no extra charge after doing a roof job, or that you will be using a premium shingle at the same cost you would charge for a standard shingle.  Don’t lie about your pricing.  You don’t have to pull numbers out of your hat.  For me, I always charge the same for 3-tab shingles as I do for architectural shingles.  I prefer installing architectural, and they have a better warranty.  When the customer finds out I charge the same price, they will see they are getting a better value by choosing the architectural.

I generally try to present my estimate with a firm price, so that the potential customer has confidence they are already getting a good price.  I generally don’t like to play games with my pricing, but there are a few exceptions.

One exception deals with my minimum charge.  I have a few different standard “minimum charges” depending on what the roof-related work is (my minimum is less for gutter cleaning than for regular repairs as gutter cleaning takes less skill).  I have adjusted those minimum charges when the job is particularly easy, or small, thereby giving the customer value.

Giving the customer value doesn’t mean that you should always start with a higher price and then give “discounts”, but this technique is common practice in some cultures.  In some parts of the world, it is understood that you will go back-and-forth before settling on a price.  This is similar to going to a car dealer, with both the salesman and yourself knowing that you are not going to pay full price.  This is a somewhat common practice at yard sales.  You don’t pay full price for that used toaster.  You offer much lower and then come to an agreement with the seller.  If you are aware of this when dealing with certain cultures, you can adjust your prices accordingly, so when the potential customer argues with the price, you can lower it to a price you are both happy with.  I realize this is not a common practice in the US, but when dealing with certain cultures, you will find that you may be insulting them if you stay firm on your price.  I lost a few jobs early in my business when dealing with customers from other parts of the world, because I was naive and stubborn (and a little insulted) when my prices were being questioned.


Communication with a potential customer can make the difference between signing up a job or never hearing from them again.  Starting with the first call, make sure you are effectively communicating with the would-be customer.  Make sure you get all necessary contact information, and that you have the correct address.  Set up a clear time to meet for the estimate, if the customer will need to be there.  If you are going to be late, have the courtesy to contact the customer and update them on your status.  Repeat phone numbers, addresses and times back to the customer to confirm the correct information.

After the initial contact, a follow-up is an important step in keeping the communication lines open with the customer.  A follow-up text, phone call, or email can all be appropriate ways to open the door for action from the customer.  Personally, my style is not high-pressure.  I don’t like to look desperate for work.  If you did things right with the other four steps I mentioned, you shouldn’t have to strong-arm a customer into submission.

Be patient.  Not hearing back from someone doesn’t mean an automatic “NO” to your proposal.  I recently had a customer contact me after 2 years (yes, 2 years!) to tell me they were finally ready to have the work done.  I was able to re-write the estimate at a higher amount because of additional work they also now ready to have done.

These five attributes will definitely help you sell more jobs.  Keep in mind, that no matter what sales technique you use, you won’t sell every job.  In fact, if you are signing up just about every job, your prices may be too low.  Pricing will be discussed in another post.

Now, go out and sign up some customers!

Choosing A Business Structure For Your Roofing Company

Choosing A Business Structure For Your Roofing Company

When starting a new roofing business, one of the first steps to take, often before even choosing a name, is selecting a business structure.  The four basics business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC (Limited Liability Company), and Corporation.  The scope of your business along with your immediate and future goals may help you decide on what structure you will register with.  Below you will find a description of each type of structure and the benefits of each to your new roofing company.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the most basic of business structures.  Most small business owners start out as sole proprietors.  In most regions, you may have to register a DBA (doing business as) name, but you may not have to register as a sole proprietor.  You will still need licenses, permits, and tax registration as required by your government agencies.

A sole proprietor is run solely by the business owner.  The owner is completely attached to the business.  A sole proprietor gets all the profits from the business, but is also responsible for any losses, debts, or legal action taken against the company.

As a new roofing company with one owner, you can start your business immediately (after proper government registration) as a sole proprietor.  Keep in mind that because of the risky nature of roofing, you will be responsible for any losses incurred because of your business.   Liability insurance can help protect the loss of business assets, but not your personal assets.


A partnership is a business where the ownership is shared by two or more people.  While the profits are shared, the losses, debt, and responsibility for any legal action taken against the business are also shared.

Business partners will need to decide together how the business will be run, and how the profits will be shared.  It may be wise to create a legal partnership agreement to provide clarity when arguments and misunderstandings regarding the business arise.  You may want to include in the partnership agreement terms for the process of one or more partners leaving the business.

There are three types of partnerships in the United States: General, Limited, and Joint Ventures.

General Partnership

A general partnership has each partner sharing responsibilities, profits, and losses for the business equally, unless specified otherwise in the partnership agreement.

Limited Partnership

A limited partnership allows partners to have limited liability in the business, and limited input on business decisions based on the partners investment in the company.

Joint Venture

A joint venture is similar to a general partnership, but on a short-term basis.  If the parties involved decide to continue long-term, they can then file as a general partnership.

As a roofer in a partnership, be aware that all profits will be shared with the other partners, and any losses caused by the other partners will be shared with you.  Disagreements between partners can cause friction in the company, possibly causing the business to dissolve.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

While an LLC is a mixture of a Corporation and a Partnership, it can still be registered by one owner.  An LLC can consist of many owners or “members”, and provide limited liability protection similar to that of a corporation.

If you choose an LLC, you must have the initials “LLC” in your registered business name.

LLC’s are popular with roofing companies and many other types of businesses as they help protect the owner’s personal assets in the event of a lawsuit or if your roofing business takes on debt.

While there are some registration costs when forming an LLC, the costs are less than when forming a corporation.  There is also easier registration requirements.  Besides sole proprietorship and partnership, LLC’s are very popular with roofers because of the protection they offer.


Corporations are more complex business structures.  A Corporation is generally owned by shareholders.  The Corporation is responsible for legal issues and/or debt the company incurs, not the shareholders.  There are two types of Corporations: a C Corp and an S Corp.   A C Corp is referred to generally as a Corporation, while an S Corp is structured slightly differently.

Corporations cost more money and take more paperwork to start and maintain.  They are generally a better choice for larger companies.  Corporations also have the opportunity to offer stock.

The taxes for a Corporation  (C Corp) are paid out of the Corporation.

An S Corp is similar to a corporation, except the taxes are paid through a personal tax return.

As a new roofing company, you probably don’t need to consider choosing a corporation as your business structure at this point.


Roofing Liability Insurance

Roofing Liability Insurance

Roofing can be a dangerous job, but the risks aren’t always just with the roofer getting hurt.  Mistakes or accidents on the job can cause injuries to homeowners and bystanders.  Misunderstandings, poor communication, or neglect can possibly lead to a lawsuit.

Whether you dropped a hammer and smashed a priceless lawn ornament, or failed to properly flash a chimney, causing thousands of dollars of damage, you need to protect yourself and your business.

Liability insurance helps protect you and your business from potential catastrophes that could possibly put you out of business.  Not only is it important to have, it is actually required by many states in the United States in order for you to be a legal contractor.

Be sure to research the contractor laws in your state to see what your requirements are.

Here are some areas in which a liability insurance policy can protect you.

  1. Personal injury: This involves slander, libel, and other types of damage to a person’s or business’s reputation.
  2. Bodily injury: This deals with protection in case of any job-related injury to a non-employee.
  3. Medical payments: This can help cover medical expenses incurred because of someone injured at your workplace.
  4. Advertising injury: If your customer claims a loss due to any products or services you have advertised.
  5. Independent contractors liability: Independent contractors you have hired should have their own liability insurance, but this adds another level of protection.

Liability insurance for roofers can vary in options and prices.  Roofers have a much higher risk that painters, landscapers, and other contractors that mainly stay on the ground.  Be sure to meet with multiple insurance agents to find the best policy and price for you.

Make sure you are honest about what type of roofing you will be doing.  You need to make sure you have proper coverage in case of any unforeseen disaster. A minimum $1,000,000.00 umbrella policy should be considered.  Most major lawsuits will not be cheap.

If you plan to have employees, you should also discuss your options for Worker’s Compensation, to help protect yourself in the event of injury or death of an employee.

Most states require you to purchase a bond and General Liability Insurance to obtain your license. We work with ContractorsLiability.com because they’re the one-stop-shop for General Liability insurance and are able to get online quotes in all 50 states. Plus, their expertise means they’re fast when it comes to getting the right bond and liability coverage.  Roofers need to win the job and stay protected at an affordable price. Learn more >