Roofing interview, roofing tiles, residential roofing

Roofing interview, roofing tiles, residential roofing

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Expert: Stan Skarbek — 4/12/2005

Question

how long have you been roofing?

why did you decide to enter this career?

do you do commercial or residential roofing?

what kind of training did you need?

do you install skylights?

do you work with slate and roofing tiles alot?

what is the steepest angled roof youv’e ever worked on?

do you hire kids in the summer?

what is the average wage for a roofer?

Answer

Hi Nick,

I’m not sure if your list of questions is an interview, an interrogation or if you’re just a guy with a great deal of curiosity. But I have the time right now, so I’ll buzz through your list of questions and give you the short answer on each one. You can ask for elaboration if I misunderstood a particular question. Here goes.

how long have you been roofing?

In total, 29 years since 1972. I spent 4 years in the 80’s in sales in another industry.

why did you decide to enter this career?

My father was a roofer. I respect him. He’s a good man. He made good honest money for good honest work. Plus, coming out of High School in 1972, roofing wages were triple what any of my friends could earn. In retrospect, I wish I would have gone to college, but that ship has sailed. No regrets though. There’s a certain kind of pleasure you get when you finish a roof, and you know you did a really good job and the roof looks really good too. "Pride of craftsmanship." There are many professions where there is nothing to look at when you’re done. I like being able to stand back and say, "I did that." Plus, when I drive by a house I roofed, I get to bug the person in the car with me, "I did that roof."

do you do commercial or residential roofing?

Only residential roofing.

what kind of training did you need?

Roofing is one of those professions that you can’t go to school for. You have to be hired by someone who will train you. My father trained me. I’ve trained dozens of others. Many of them have trained many others.

how many people does it take to do an "average" house roof?

The more roofers the quicker it goes. One roofer can roof an average house in several days. A crew of 3 or 4 can do it in one day.

do you also do siding and gutters?

No one with a roofing contractor’s license can do siding, unless he also has a general contractor’s license. In the Bay Area, California, almost all roofing contractors will subcontract the gutter work to a gutter company. That’s what I do.

Roofing interview, roofing tiles, residential roofing

what season do you prefer to work in?

Summertime! I love warm days.

do you install skylights?

I don’t do any framing. Framing is required for a skylight to be installed. But I’ve replaced plenty of skylights on existing skylight structures. Occasionally I’ll nail together the curb that the skylight sits on and attach it to the roof, so the homeowner can build his own light well and do the framing later on.

do you work with slate and roofing tiles alot?

No. I used to do inspections and repairs on tile roofs, but I stopped doing that about 15 years ago. It seemed that every time someone walks around on a tile roof to do an inspection, no matter how good the tiles were, after being walked on, more than a couple were now cracked. So now I focus on what I enjoy doing and what I’m best at. Watching TV. No, just kidding about the TV :o)

what is the steepest angled roof youv’e ever worked on?

I’ve installed roofing on walls, on mansards (almost a wall) on steep cathedrals and everything below. But 96% of my work is on typical homes with a typical roof pitch.

do you hire kids in the summer?

No. In this industry, its illegal to have someone under 18 working on the roof.

what is the average wage for a roofer?

That question has a very wide-ranging answer, depending on the area you’re in. Even within California it differs greatly. Some of the best wages for roofing are $25 to $30 an hour, in the Bay Area. But in most areas in California, like Fresno, Merced, or Bakersfield the average wages are down around $10 to $15 an hour.

I hope that helps. Feel free to follow up in the future.

Your roofer with a keyboard,


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