I’ve discovered something surprising over the past couple weeks.  Are you ready?

Hiring a roofer is not easy.

It’s true.  I want someone to come over and replace the step-flashing around a dormer on my roof.  I was naive enough to assume that it would be as easy as calling a few roofing companies, getting a few estimates, and choosing my favorite.

Turns out, I’ve called 2 dozen roofing companies over the past couple weeks and haven’t even gotten a single bid on the project yet.

So here’s how it usually works:
1. I call the listed number for the roofing company, and the phone is answered by the company secretary.
2. The secretary records my contact information and a brief description of the work I’d like completed.
3. She informs me that a sales-person will be contacting me within 24 hours to discuss the work.  Some companies indicate that they’re going to go look at the house by themselves and will call with a bid price when they’re finished.  Others indicate that the sales-person will want to meet me at the house to discuss options and prices in person.
4. I never hear from the company again.

This isn’t always the case, though.  On at least one occasion I almost received a bid.  A sales-person showed up at our appointment just long enough to say, “I don’t have time to do a full inspection right now because I’m late to my kids football game,” as he points to a 10-year-old hanging the upper half of his body out the cab window screaming, “Dad, COME ON!!!!.”  “But I’ll be back first thing tomorrow morning and I’ll call you by noon with an estimate,” he said.  I foolishly believed him.

On another occasion, I actually got a call-back from someone who said “Say, did anyone ever get back to you about that repair job?”  No, sir.  Nobody did.

On yet another occasion, the sales-person just didn’t show up to the appointment.

So I’ve had a few close calls, but I still don’t think a single person has even come to the house to see if they’re interested in the project.

It’s a little frustrating.  I feel like I’m standing on a street corner with a fistful of cash saying, “Say, would anybody like some money? I’d like to pay you.”

Maybe the job I need done is just too small to be worth it for these companies?  Maybe they know from experience that anything less than re-shingling the entire roof won’t be worth their time?  Maybe they all showed up at the house while I wasn’t there, took one look at it and said, “I ain’t touchin’ that with a 10′ pole.”

I dunno.  But I never thought it would be so hard to hire a roofer.

5 comments to Roofers

  • It's the economy's fault.

  • I'm blaming Obama.

    Seriously, though.. aren't all these companies supposed to be starving for work? Aren't there a bunch of out-of-work roofers sitting around that want to spend a morning working on my house? What gives? It would be one thing if they would just tell me they weren't interested. Why are they ignoring me?

  • I think there are quite a few things at play. 1) You have a small job and there have been big storms, so your job isn't as important and it isn't as much money as the storm damage. 2) Many roofers, the ones that actually do the work, are seasonal employees and/or migrant laborers. So they've already been laid off for the season and are either down South or collecting their unemployment/working their winter job. 3) So many times these companies suck and never get back to you.

  • The job is to small for a roofing company. It is a complete waste of their time. It is also opening a can of worms.

  • Shoot me an email if you'd like the name of a company that will actually give you a bid and do the work.