How to Expand a Roofing Business by Offering Drywall Services
June 3, 2020
Anyone who's seen the damage a leak can inflict on a building's interior understands the need for drywall work after a roof repair. If you've ever wondered how to expand a roofing business by offering drywall services, here are some points to consider.
In-House or Subcontractor?
The first thing to ask yourself is whether your existing crew has the ability to perform drywall repairs or if you'll need to bring in a subcontractor. Doing it in-house allows you to retain more profit, but only makes sense if you have the skills and tools to get the job done right.
Drywall work is a specialized trade, so simply picking up some panels and mud and hoping for the best isn't going to cut it. (Just think about the quality of work you've seen done by people who think roofing sounds easy!) If you opt to keep services in-house, you should set aside funds for proper training, materials and equipment.
You may have workers who have experience hanging drywall but not finishing, finishing but not texturing, and so on. Consider interviewing your workers as if they were new hires to find out what experience they have. If no one on your roofing crew knows how to install a popcorn ceiling, then you should learn that fact before you take a customer's deposit!
If you choose to rely on outside labor, then you'll need to establish clear working patterns with your subcontractors. Ensure that everyone understands the schedule and payment arrangements, and agree in advance whether any changes in the client's scope of work will be referred to you or handled by the subcontractor. If you have an existing relationship with a general contractor or remodeler, you may consider a quid pro quo, where you refer drywall repairs in exchange for roofing referrals.
Rebranding Your Business
Once you decide that you're going to offer drywall services, you need to let potential clients know. Luckily, this is where the general public's lack of construction awareness works to your advantage. Whether customers don't understand the difference between trades, or are used to working with skilled general contractors, some may assume that any roofer would be an accomplished drywaller and vice versa. Some customers may even expect you to offer drywall repairs, so you can build on this assumption when deciding how to expand a roofing business.
Be sure to mention all new offerings in your marketing materials, emphasizing the convenience of hiring a one-stop shop. And don't forget to let existing clients know that you've expanded your services.
Anytime you tackle a new venture or expand your offerings, there will be a learning curve. Chances are it will take a couple of projects before you're able to accurately price out the work; don't hang your entire budget on your first few drywall jobs. You may not need to account for a two- or three-job cushion in the end, but you're far better off having it just in case. Go into this new venture with an open mind, and you'll be able to offer services beyond your competitors', satisfy your customers and keep the referrals rolling in.