Metal roofing system manufacturers offer installer training programs, so find out what you need to get the job done right.
Follow the directions!
It’s one of the first things you’re taught when you start school — it may have been the very first thing. And you can always pick out the kids who don’t follow instructions. They get glue all over the place; they can’t color between the lines; they can’t use a ruler or stand in a straight line. (Today, those kids are probably installing discount asphalt shingles.)
Installing metal roofing — anything from through-fastened panels to concealed fastener standing seam panels to metal shingles to exotic metals like zinc or copper — is not overwhelmingly challenging. Still, we can’t emphasize the importance of following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
So for the sake of our growing industry (not to mention your customer as well as the reputation of your business), please do not install a metal roofing product unless you have been properly instructed on that specific profile.
If there is a problem with the roof, you will only have your self to blame and the last thing you want is blame from anyone.
What follows is what some of the major manufacturers offer for installer training.
As a manufacturer, ATAS relies on contractors to properly install and market its products. While many contractors have years of experience, they may not have the same knowledge of ATAS products or they have not yet worked with newer ATAS profiles. Therefore, ATAS offers “Building Your Business With Metal Roofing.” This course is offered monthly at ATAS’ headquarters in Allentown, Pa. The two-day course is free, but attendees are responsible for travel and hotel fees.
The training program teaches technical skills, such as trim and flashing application and proper profile installation. It also highlights sales and marketing techniques, including feature benefit analysis and sales protocols. In addition, attendees are given a tour of ATAS to better understand the product and the company’s focus on quality and customer service.
The first day is from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., followed by dinner at Brookside Country Club.
The second day is from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch is provided both days.
Berridge’s Roof Installation Training Seminar has been an ongoing educational program for installers since its inception in 2004. The seminars are one-day sessions conducted by the Watertightness Warranty Department at the Berridge Training Facility in Houston. The seminar consists of classroom instruction and installation demonstrations using full-scale roof mock-up assemblies.
The seminar provides in-depth coverage of techniques required for the successful installation of Berridge standing seam roof systems. The training covers such topics as material handling, underlayment systems and installation details for Berridge Tee-Panel, Curved Tee-panel, Cee-Lock and Zee-Lock Panels. In addition, installers successfully completing this course will learn key components of Berridge’s Watertight Warranty program, including the requirements for watertight warranty installations and project submittals.
For reference and easy note-taking, each attendee receives a “Berridge Basic Training” binder complete with a course outline and typical details. The Berridge Roof Installation Training Seminar is conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on select dates and lunch is provided for each attendee. The seminar is $350 per person, but space is limited so pre-registration and pre-payment is required. To ensure registration, payment along with the seminar enrollment form must be received no less than two weeks prior to the date of the seminar.
For more information about the Berridge Roof Installation Training Seminar, including upcoming seminar dates and a registration form, visit www.berridge.com.
Classic Metal Roofing Systems
Classic offers contractors two methods for training. The first method is training supplied at the corporate headquarters in Piqua, Ohio. There is no charge for this training, normally scheduled once a month but can be scheduled on demand as well. Optimal class size is 8-12 students and the training requires two days. Students are taught installation details on one of Classic’s product lines. The training takes place on an 800 square foot roof deck located indoors in a heated/air-conditioned environment. It covers such things as eaves, gables, hips, ridges, valleys, chimneys, skylights, pipe penetrations, pitch change transitions and roof to wall flashings. Classic has a similar regional training facility in Dallas.
The second option is jobsite training. The cost for this is $375 per day, minimum of three days. The cost is all-inclusive of travel expenses, lodging and meals. Class has six installation trainers across the country who are available for this training. The training is done on the customer’s jobsite.
“Additionally, there are times when we simply will connect a new installation crew with an experienced crew or crew leader and they will work out their own arrangement for jobsite training,” says Todd Miller, president of Classic.
“We are happy to train anyone who is interested in learning the metal roofing trade. We enjoy training students of technical and vocational schools and can often help them find employment once they have been trained. The methods we teach are adaptable to any type of metal roof. We have a password-protected website that is also accessible by our dealers which contains information on our training program.”
With 21 years of sheet metal experience, Jeff Johnson is the metal roofing trainer and technical representative for Custom-Bilt. He has designed a curriculum for maximum learning and retention that also includes hands on training and follow-up question availability.
Typical classes begin with a morning classroom setting. The detailed presentation of Custom-Bilt’s roofing products, general product information and specific requirements is then followed with a detailed review in Custom-Bilt’s recommended flashing details.
There is an open discussion of the implementation of flashing details, specific roofing components and a Q&A approach to problem solving. Then after the provided lunch, attendees use a mock-up roof platform to learn the practical skills using Custom-Bilt’s recommended details, customized cuts and panel specific installation procedures. Any seminar attendee using a CBM product can contact Jeff with topic specific follow-up questions via phone call or email, at no charge.
Typical attendees are future/current contractor customers, but have included architects. Classes are arranged at each branch by a waiting list. Once enough people have signed up to participate, Jeff will schedule the class.
DECRA Roofing Systems
DECRA offers a variety of installation training options for installers, including both jobsite and in-house instruction. Each DECRA regional manager offers training tailored to the needs of that particular installer. Training for an installer starts with a basic overview of stone-coated steel roofing, a real world how-to on installing a DECRA profile at a job site, and tips on how to sell and price a DECRA project. Refresh Training is also offered to provide experienced DECRA installers with a review of basic DECRA installation details and more comprehensive tips to enhance their knowledge.
DECRA’s training program is offered at no cost and is arranged through a DECRA regional manager. DECRA has 14 regional mangers throughout North America. Each DECRA regional manager has comprehensive installation experience and receives installation training as needed.
According to DECRA VP of Sales, Jeff Jacobs, “The goal of a DECRA regional manager is to create a positive experience and leave the installer with a good working knowledge of DECRA product installations in their market.”
According to Tony Tiapon, DECRA regional manager, “I like to take an installer from an initial product demonstration at a distributor location, to an actual onsite installation to address specific real world situations and provide training to ensure a successful product installation. By training our installers on how to do a take-off, preparing a material list and assessing the technical details, they have all the best and most current information needed to tackle any DECRA profile install.”
Training materials are available at www.decra.com. A quick reference components chart, estimating sheets, installation guides and videos, CAD details and links to DECRA reports are also available online.
“We try to schedule as many training sessions as possible,” says Natalie Tanner, DECRA marketing manager. “However due to high demand, we cannot always accommodate each individual installers request for a specific time slot.”
Englert offers a two-day intensive certified contractor installation program that covers every aspect of Englert’s metal roofing systems. Participants must have at least five years of metal roof installation experience and their company must show proof of general liability insurance, workers comp, a list of five projects with references and other prerequisites.
The program includes detailed explanations of Englert’s roofing profiles, wall systems and soffits, required hand and power tools, roll forming equipment, fasteners, sealants and underlayment.
The program also focuses on cold, temperate and warm weather installation tips, storage and safety practices, five different kinds of system loads and peripheral issues like penetrations, closures, venting and snow guards. It also includes a discussion of coatings and presents information on software to assist with details, estimates and shop drawings. Finally there is a classroom review of highlights.
Englert also offers certified contractor installation programs for its rainwater harvesting and rooftop solar photovoltaic and thermal products.
Fabral has created courses for roofing contractors, as well as architects, specifiers, owners, distributors and others.
These programs are available in a variety of styles, such as hands-on, classroom and online. In addition, Fabral will work with customers to create custom courses. Hands-on and classroom training is offered at the Lancaster, Pa., facility and in the field. These training sessions are set up as requested to cover technical skills, installation tips, marketing support and product information. The training typically is one day, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is free.
In addition, Fabral has 10 American Institute of Architect CEU seminars available. Two are available online through an authorized provider and the others are presented as lunch and learn sessions. While these sessions are AIA-approved, they can enhance Fabral product knowledge for anyone involved in the construction business, and contractors are encourage to participate in them.
Another education option is the recently launched authorized contractor program provided by Fabral and its distributors. Through the program, contractors receive technical support, marketing tools and customer service to enhance their efforts, increase sales and expand into new markets. All contractors are welcome, and the residential roofing contractors could reap the most rewards from this program because of the growing residential metal roofing market.
Firestone Building Products
The National Training Program at Firestone Building Products features a uniquely structured combination of hands-on practice and classroom instruction. Included in this program are the Firestone UC-3, UC-4, UC-6, and UC-14 metal panel roofing systems, along with metal roofing accessories, insulation, and underlayments. All training is focused on the products and techniques necessary to receive a Firestone Red Shield
Warranty and is provided to our Red Shield Contractors through three channels:
Firestone Contractor Quality Seminars are located at the Firestone Training Center in Beech Grove, Ind. During these two-day seminars, students are provided classroom instruction in Firestone metal panel system types, underlayments and other metal roofing products. Products and systems are introduced one at a time, their uses in roofing systems explained and basic roofing details applicable to the products are demonstrated. Students then immediately move to the shop area, where they participate in installing the products on various pre-constructed mock-ups. Once all students have had the opportunity to practice the installation procedures, the class returns to the classroom, where the next product or system is introduced.
Local and regional contractor training is typically provided by technical representatives from the Firestone Quality Building Services Group and may also include the training specialists or other Firestone staff as instructors.
The curriculum and roofing materials are supplied by the training specialists, and are tailored to meet the needs of the attendees. Often, these trainings are attended by experienced roof mechanics who want to learn about new products or application methods. Firestone takes these opportunities to demonstrate the installation of the latest warrantable details and products.
Job-Start Training is the most specific type of instruction offered. This training is always provided by the technical representative who will inspect the project for warranty. It is usually used to instruct the mechanics in job-specific details and installation procedures. This helps both Firestone and the contractor ensure that the job gets started off in the right direction.
Follansbee Steel’s new redesigned website, www.follansbeesteel.com, features a comprehensive download center containing information on recommended installation techniques for standing seam and shingled roofs. Registered users can download documents containing detailed drawings and diagrams for installing Follansbee Steel materials in architectural roofing and wall applications. The company provides ongoing support and guidance to architects, distributors and installers as needed.
IMETCO’s Authorized Contractor Training program is a two-and-a-half-day instructor-lead program for installers and their crew. The class includes a thorough review of the Series 300 metal roof system and other products for the building envelop, with a hands-on installer demonstration. Shops drawings and installation instructions are examined, general field techniques are discussed and an estimating workshop is conducted.
Classes are taught in a classroom near our Norcross, Ga., manufacturing facility, where a plant tour is conducted for attendees.
The program cost is $375 per attendee, with a $75 early-bird discount available for a period after registration opens for each class.
Kingspan Insulated Panels
Kingspan Insulated Panels North America’s Field Services Department offers field- and classroom-based training programs for installers. The main goal of the training seminars is to demonstrate how to correctly install insulated metal panels and reduce errors that could result in expensive delays or related problems during construction.
Field Training: The Kingspan team will travel to a jobsite to train installers on proper installation in advance of a project, and/or to ensure the panels are being installed correctly if construction is already in progress. Training is the most beneficial at the beginning of the project, when trainers can visit a site several times over the course of an entire installation if required. Field training is not only for installers who are using Kingspan products for the first time, but also for experienced installers who want to improve their skills and learn new techniques.
Classroom Training: These one-day seminars can be held at a Kingspan facility or any other location, where the trainers will demonstrate how to install panels. Afterward, participants take a test; those who pass become authorized installers. In order for a project to qualify for Kingspan’s Weathertight Warranty Program, an authorized installer must be working on the project.
MBCI offers an in-depth Certified Installer Training program dedicated to helping installers understand how the long-term performance of the roof system can be affected by the installer’s attention to detail. Those taking the course gain superior training in metal roof installation as they experience classroom lecture and hands-on application in a variety of MBCI’s products.
MBCI is committed to educating erectors in the proper use, methods and procedures for metal roof installation. This innovative method of training is beneficial to installers interested in quality workmanship. The Certified Installer Training program offers a two-day certification course for MBCI’s Ultra-Dek, Double-Lok, SuperLok, BattenLok HS, LokSeam and Craftsman HB Series products.
MBCI also provides courses for both its NuRoof retrofit roofing system and Eco-ficient insulated metal panels.
McElroy Metal’s Standing Seam Installer Training is a two-day event that includes lectures with visual support, hands-on product application training, testing and other activities. Classes are held at the Bossier Facility as well as throughout the country.
This program is designed to educate participants in the practice of installing the standing seam roof products that McElroy manufactures. McElroy Metal’s mission is to provide an in depth and meaningful program to educate the participants in several areas: to make sure that they understand the relationships of all the components of our roof systems; how our components work together; and how to correctly install a weathertight and reliable roof system.
“If our customers have a sound understanding of our products and their applications, their proficiency will increase and they will install roof systems more timely and accurately,” says Ken Gieseke, McElroy’s vice president of marketing. “When our products are applied properly, our customers and McElroy Metal enjoy greater customer satisfaction and profits. This Certification class covers all McElroy Standing Seam product lines.”
Metal Sales Mfg. Corp.
Metal Sales’ training sessions allow customers to get hands-on experience with metal roof and wall products, enabling them to help grow their own businesses. Training sessions are held in small, interactive groups and led by qualified Metal Sales representatives.
Depending on customer preference, sessions may take place at the customer’s location, a project jobsite, or at any of the 20 nationwide Metal Sales branches.
The first module of training involves an informational session that reviews the finer points of the company’s product lines and provides helpful and applicable tips for installation.
The second module is a hands-on training session where participants have the opportunity to physically remove, cut, fold and re-install various Metal Sales panels to a 14×4 wooden mock-up. Panels for the mock-up procedure are chosen specifically by evaluating the popular product lines offered in each region, resulting in locally customized training. Feedback from training sessions has so far been overwhelmingly positive.
Metal Sales’ website also serves as a useful installer training tool, offering features like the
“Architect’s Corner,” which allows visitors to see Metal Sales panels, colors, specs and AutoCAD details quickly in one location. More information can be found in the “Products” and “Technical Center” sections of the site.
Metro Roof Products
Metro’s Smart-Start Onsite Installer Training Program is designed for crews to learn first-hand the skills to correctly install a Metro roof system. Pay for a Metro trainer onsite for two days ($500/day), to help train your installers on your Metro job. Metro trainer’s travel and accommodation fees are covered in the program base fee of $1,000 along with a 90-min Roman Batten-Less Install DVD. Roofer must provide a minimum of one installer to learn the Metro system who can impart their learned knowledge to others in your company. Contractors can select a convenient date from the online calendar for Smart-Start Installer Training.
Roofers will learn both proper design considerations and soldering procedure essential to long-term performance of soldered sheet copper seams and performance of the roofing or flashing system. This seminar discusses the impact of design and technique on the successful performance of soldered copper seams for roofing and cladding applications. The seminar introduces tools and techniques for installation of soldered systems, explains proper technique and demonstrates procedure.
Students will implement basic techniques and procedures learned in the class soldering three different types of joints. Students will learn and practice how to quickly and easily solder using lead-free solders as well as labor-saving techniques that may allow cost-savings of up to 15 percent (or more) with all soldering. Students will learn and practice techniques to achieve fully sweat seams easier and in less time and methods and techniques that eliminate conventional pre-tinning before soldering.
In addition to new solders and fluxes, preview extended life soldering irons. Minimum of two-plus hours devoted to hands-on training (via live demonstration). All participants will have ample opportunity for individual practice during that time. Participants will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of the leading Manufacturers of solders, fluxes, soldering equipment, copper; especially Revere’s FreedomGray.
RHEINZINK America offers instructor-led training workshops in roofing, façade cladding and gutters. The workshop’s mission is to provide an in-depth curriculum for installers and their crew that educates them on how to correctly install the RHEINZINK family of products. Trainings consist of both classroom and hands-on learning. The one or two-day classes are conducted in Woburn, Mass., or at a location convenient to the installer.
Some topics covered include fundamentals of zinc; environmental factors; material handling; required tools; project-specific details and techniques; custom details; trim and flashing applications; minimize waste and maximize material usage; soldering; and jobsite trouble shooting.
Combining the classroom and hands-on portions give the participants working knowledge of zinc and various applications.
Umicore Building Products
VMZ Pro-zinc is a comprehensive program of instructional services offered by Umicore Building Products USA for the use of VMZinc building materials and related installation products. VMZinc has existed since 1832.
VMZ Pro-zinc participants gain an understanding of time-tested VMZinc materials’ detailing, which improves installation quality and customer satisfaction. Instructional classes are presented as seminars that vary in length from a one-day wall cladding seminar to two-day steep-slope roofing seminars and three days for both. The seminars are held in special VMZ Pro-zinc training centers conveniently located across the U.S. in Allentown, Pa., Mesa, Ariz., and Raleigh, N.C. All courses are free of charge for architects and installers with an awarded VMZinc project. There is a cost for conducting in-house trainings at other facilities.
American and European craftsmen with exceptional experience in sheet metal and zinc work instruct the seminars. VMZ Pro-zinc helps installers develop their craft skills and provides project-specific related support and education on the benefits of using zinc materials. The program explores unique installation considerations for VMZinc materials.
Installation considerations discussed in the program include: expansion and contraction, forming onsite in adverse weather, and storage and handling. The program is required for all installers of VMZinc materials.