Many roofing companies offer homeowners additional services beyond simply installing shingles on a roof.
This includes doing work such as: fencing, siding, framing, and much more.
While offering multiple services has the potential to yield roofing companies higher profits, the reality is that becoming successful in an ancillary trade is a difficult endeavor.
In fact, Roofing Insights CEO Dmitry Lipinskiy often advises other roofers to quit offering multiple services and instead focus on specializing in whatever niche their particular company does best.
Of course, not taking on additional trades might mean less income for the business, but it will likely relieve many stresses that otherwise would occur if secondary niches were explored.
“Sometimes less is more,” says Lipinskiy. “If you offer every service to everyone, that’s a recipe for disaster and you can go broke by trying to please too many people.”
Keep reading as Lipinskiy analyzes twelve different niches within the roofing industry, and then ask yourself if your roofing company is taking on too much responsibility.
In recent years, many roofing companies have decided to only perform work on roofs, casting away other popular trades such as siding and gutters even though the demand for those services is high.
Moreover, some roofing companies have specialized even more and chosen to only offer full roof replacements to homeowners, meaning they won’t come out to do repairs because it is widely believed that roof repairs are not profitable.
While Lipinskiy has historically vouched for roofing companies to offer repairs or do gutter installations, he also understands why some roofing companies don’t want to take calls for those services.
“I firmly believe that you can be extremely successful if you identify yourself with one specific niche,”
“For example, you can be an expert in metal roofing or rubber shingles and still remain very busy and very profitable.”
No matter how many services a roofing company offers, it still should be noted that less is more, and that each business should do what is best for their roofing company, rather than try to match what their local competition does.
As mentioned, siding is not a niche Lipinskiy advises many roofing contractors to explore.
Yes, there are a number of examples of roofing companies who have effectively integrated siding services into their business model, but even that is just one more service that a company has to devote time and resources toward, which can often distract from what a certain company does best.
“I have seen a lot of roofing contractors who are very successful at siding, but 80-90% of roofing contractors cannot figure it out, so then offering siding becomes a distraction from what most contractors are good at,”
Lipinskiy says, in reference to the much more lucrative full roof replacements.
“I absolutely love everything about gutters. Gutters are the most underrated category for earning potential. I don’t understand why more roofing contractors are not opening gutter businesses,” Lipinskiy says, and he’s right.
Offering gutter services can help your roofing company stand out from other local businesses because even if you are only asked to perform gutter services for a homeowner, you have already ingratiated yourselves to a customer who could later call you for another roof-related project.
“Gutters are a simple business. You don’t need a lot of investment to get started, and it is very easy to brand your company and stand out from other roofing companies,” says Lipinskiy.
Installing windows has the potential to turn a profit, but there is also a lot of liability that comes with doing windows, something Lipinskiy was reticent to accept when he owned his roofing company in Minneapolis.
“I don’t like the idea of roofers going inside homes. If you’re an exterior contractor who works on the outside of homes, windows will literally put you in a house because that’s how you do the installation,”
“When you install windows, the homeowners have to be home during the installation process and your guys will have to move furniture. It’s just too hectic.”
Additionally, in many major markets there are already well-established windows companies like Anderson Windows who can offer homeowners a much better experience.
Therefore, it is much more pragmatic for roofing companies to focus on roof sales and installations.
Fencing is not a niche that many people think of when they are deciding on expanding their roofing business, but there is a lot of demand for fencing services among homeowners and other businesses.
“It’s a simple business,” says Lipinskiy, who then mentions that he supports the idea of some roofing companies opening fencing divisions if they have the infrastructure to ensure it runs successfully.
Admittedly, there is much controversy around decks, especially in the roofing industry.
Like most niches, there is money to be made in installing decks, but a company must specialize in this trade or else the entire operation could suffer.
“If decking isn’t a niche you fully grasp, you will be wasting your time because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you will give too many options to homeowners,” says Lipinskiy.
“If your goal is to sell 100 decks per year and you know what you’re doing, go for it, but if you don’t understand that business, don’t offer decks to homeowners. Leave those jobs to the deck companies.”
This is an underrated niche, especially because roofers already know their way around a roof.
In addition to being familiar with attics and working on roofs, offering this service to homeowners has the potential to save them money on their heating bills.
“Homeowners are going to do business with you for two reasons: one is because they want something, and the other is because they need something,”
“If you need something, you’re going to buy it, even if you don’t want it. Insulation is one of those things that people have to buy, especially in cold-weather markets where electricity bills can get exorbitantly high during the winter months.”
There is a lot of rage over solar roofs, but becoming familiarized with this niche takes time and a healthy dose of education, something Lipinskiy advises roofing companies do before they break into the solar roofing market.
“You have to go through extensive training and educate yourself,” Lipinskiy says, but he is not opposed to roofing companies adding solar roofs to their repertoire.
Framing is a niche that roofers should avoid.
There is a lot of money to be made in this niche, but being able to consistently find laborers who are adept at framing is a challenge.
“Framing is one of those services that are good to have but hard to find. Framing is a good opportunity if you’re a contractor who is willing to get in the business long-term, but finding labor is tough, even though the earning potential is high.”
“I see a lot of roofing contractors who are doing floors, but I think they should stay away from that,” Lipinskiy says, even though he is the former owner of a successful flooring company.
Yet, if a contractor wants to exclusively devote their attention to that niche, there is the potential to generate significant income.
“In this type of economy, you can make up to $1,000 per day installing floors,” Lipinskiy says.
Much like framing and floors, the painting niche is tough, and roofing contractors are likely to encounter a litany of problems if they try to add this niche to their services.
“I don’t hate the painting trade, but again, any niche that requires roofing contractors to go inside a home can be problematic,” warns Lipinskiy.
“Like I said, when your employees go inside a home, the furniture has to be moved and whenever you’re inside a property, there is always an inherent risk that is associated with that.”
12. Roof cleaning
Similar to gutters, most roofing contractors don’t offer roof cleanings to homeowners.
Lipinskiy is mystified by this because whenever a roofing contractor is on a roof, there always exists the opportunity to build a relationship that could generate more revenue in the future.
“The demand for homeowners who want their roofs cleaned, along with substantial earning potential, is a big part of this niche. Plus, the competition is very low,”
“Another thing is that doing roof cleanings allows you to think long-term because you’re doing repairs and offering a service that gives homeowners an extra five years on their roof. This saves them between $10,000-$15,000 because they don’t have to spend money right away on a roof replacement, and that ultimately could result in you getting future business from the same homeowner.”
In conclusion, there are many niche services that roofing companies can offer.
Some are profitable and others are less lucrative, but the key is to remember that regardless of the direction your roofing company chooses to go, always make sure your business model never becomes too complex.
“The less services you offer, the more successful you’re going to be,” states Lipinskiy.
“Find your niche and dominate that market.”