MRA contractors commit to quality

The Metal Roofing Alliance and its member manufacturers are committed to quality. As a condition of joining the association, manufacturer members of the MRA must agree to provide only the highest quality of residential metal roofing materials that meet or exceed the Metal Construction Association’s Guide Specification for Residential Metal Roofing.

The MRA has been working diligently to distinguish high quality products by branding them “Investment Grade Roofing.” Quality metal roofing withstands hail, high winds, wildfires and other extreme weather. Investment Grade Roofing, meets or exceeds strict industry standards for the metal substrate as well as the coatings used to protect the roof. In fact, MRA members are the only suppliers of Investment Grade Roofing. When a homeowner purchases an Investment Grade Roof, chances are, the contractor doing the job, has been trained by a MRA manufacturer. Training is critical. MRA manufacturers offer training to contractors and when training is completed, that contractor is eligible to join the MRA. An MRA manufacturer member must sponsor contractors who want to join the MRA.

There are a number of things the MRA and our members are doing to grow the market: produce quality Investment Grade Roofing, reaching out to contractors and introduce them to metal roofing and offer training opportunities that will teach roofing contractors the proper techniques for metal roofing installation. Metal roofing is a great investment for contractors who are looking for high margin, high quality products to add to their product offerings. Metal roofing is the fastest growing segment of the roofing market and without installation knowledge, contractors typically are not comfortable offering metal roofing to their clients.

A recent project in Des Moines, Iowa gave Metro Roofing Products the opportunity to train multiple roofing crews on the proper installation techniques for metal roofing. The owner of Sun Prairie Apartments, Keith Denner, applied for and received funding to re-roof approximately 1,500 square feet of roofing on 40 buildings in his apartment complex.

 “We are always looking for opportunities to educate and train contractors,” says Pete Croft, vice president of sales and marketing for Metro Roof Products. “Providing installers with proper training is the next logical step to getting more metal shingles on homes.” Metro brought a trainer in from Oceanside, Calif., and had the territory sales representative on hand to run the training sessions. Brad Van Weelden, a Gold level MRA contractor, also participated in the training. In all, 30 roofers were trained over four days. “In addition to the training, the contractors that participated got first-hand experience installing a 160-square roof on a building at the apartment complex. We trained them and then put them right to work,” Croft says. “I should also mention that Gannon Roofing Supply participated in this project and was instrumental in helping us get qualified roofing contractors signed up for this training. It was a great team effort.”

Through a partnership with the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, the project includes a showroom to showcase the materials used in the project and provides homeowners and contractors with information on how to save money through the installation of energy efficient products. The showroom will be functional for the next 10 years.

Sun Prairie Apartments markets itself as, “The Original Tree Huggers.” Conserving resources has always been on the forefront of operations. This is why metal roofing was the perfect material for this project. Lighter colored metal roofing reflects heat effectively to reduce cooling loads in the summer and insulates buildings better during the winter thus lowering energy bills. A few other ways the complex is saving the planet include: providing each apartment with window quilts. Compact fluorescent energy-saving light bulbs are used throughout all their buildings, water-conserving showerheads are in every apartment and the irrigation system uses recycled rainwater collected and pumped from one of the three scenic ponds.

Another way the MRA is working to educate and train contractors is through the Internet. We recently created and launched MRA Online University, a one-stop, on-demand portal for contractors and manufacturers to learn many aspects of the metal roofing business. This resource is included as a benefit for all MRA members — free of charge. The MRA also continues to support installation training at METALCON and frequently videotapes these demonstrations for use in the MRA Online University.

“As a result of new products and technologies, our industry is always changing,” says Tom Black, executive director of the MRA and leader of the MRA Online University initiative. “We encourage our members to use these extraordinary tools to help grow construction knowledge, enhance their career and build a cohesive team. All of these skills are needed to succeed in today’s competitive residential metal roofing market.”

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member of the MRA, Alli Parsons at 410-539-6900 or send an email to You can also visit the contractor section of MRA’s website,

For more information, please visit the contractor section of our website: or call MRA’s contractor team at 410 534-6900.

Bill Hippard is the vice president of sales at Precoat Metals.

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