Residential retrofit ’08: MetalWorks by TAMKO

Residential re-roofing is a challenging trade in general. The work is hard and dangerous and the profit margins are generally tight.
By specializing in metal shingles, a residential roofing contractor can increase profit margins while installing a product less than half the weight of composite shingles and substantially more durable.

When customers ask how much more a metal roof costs than asphalt, I reply without hesitation that I will be 2 to 3 times more than my colleagues with asphalt. The only task left is explaining why it’s worth it.

I have found the type of customer who is open to the idea of spending more money for a better product is exactly the type of customer I want to service. They pay promptly and appreciate a job well done.

My installers prefer working with steel because it’s physically easier work and because the end product is more satisfying to behold. We install standing seam products and metal shingles, MetalWorks by TAMKO.

The margins are stronger because we have specialized in steel roofing products and price points have not become as highly competitive as with asphalt. Strong margins are a key factor in providing a good service and keeping a good reputation. With money in the bank we can afford to satisfy our customers’ whims and complaints without haggling over pennies.

We have built our business by selling and installing quality. We have developed our own system for flashing chimneys, skylights, valleys and vents. We make our own drip edge and hem our metal roofing over it on all roof edges. One of our advantages is we continue to promote and ride an ever-growing wave of consumer interest in metal roofing products. The National Roofing Contractors Association recently reported a membership survey found architectural metal roofs in new home construction reached a projected 30 percent of the market in 2007 — this is a 23 percent increase from 2004.

Because we have always enjoyed a growing demand for what we do we have been able to keep our price point strong.

One of the most gratifying aspects of metal roofing is seeing the finished product and knowing that it will still be beautiful and functional long after I’m retired.

Dan Perkins is the owner of Dan Perkins Construction in Ishpeming, Mich. You can visit his website at

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