Feeling Comfortable With Metal Roofing

Metal Roof Consultants Inc

Photo: Metal Roof Consultants Inc.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.” 

Throughout our lives, we must decide what to do and how to deal with the inevitable fear that surrounds doing anything for the first time. Remember that bicycle in the garage that looked so inviting—until you thought of how it would be impossible for you to balance yourself on those two tiny wheels and pedal it forward without falling and hurting yourself. Your mind focused on falling and not the excitement of being able to conquer riding that bicycle. Yet, as Theodore Roosevelt said many years ago, “the worst thing you can do is nothing.” 

We are faced with new things throughout our lives, and when we do we usually must weigh the possibilities of doing the right thing, the wrong thing, or nothing. However, if we expect to have a productive and peaceful life, we must force ourselves to always do “something.”  

Finally, we must also ask ourselves why we even consider new things we contemplate doing. When we take on a new task and we know why we are doing it, we are comfortable with taking whatever risk is anticipated. When we know that the only wrong thing to do is nothing, we have the possibility to achieve even greater things. Even if it turns out to be the wrong thing, we will learn valuable lessons about ourselves and the task we were trying to accomplish.  

Now, let’s look at the metal roofing industry and ask ourselves whether we are “doing nothing” either because we are afraid of “falling off the bicycle” or because we haven’t determined why we want to enter this market. Both reasons limit your personal and business potential to what you are doing now. Now, let’s explore some of the reasons you might not be comfortable entering the metal roof market, thereby limiting your growth potential. 

The Metal Market

Metal roofing has been around since 1932, when the first standing seam roof panel was introduced by Armco steel at the World’s Fair in Chicago. However, it is still a rather small percentage of the total roofing market. Why? In part, it’s because some contractors fear entering this market. Let’s look at some of the reasons that the unknown aspects of metal roofing, or the incorrect perception of a metal roofing system, can cause contractors to avoid this market: 

Metal Roof Consultants Inc.

Photo: Metal Roof Consultants Inc.

Specialized workforce. There is the perception that this market requires a field force that is very difficult to gather. The reality is that the metal roofing systems in today’s market include parts and components that are easily put together. Manufacturers provide training in how to install their specific pre-manufactured components that make up a metal roof system. In general, there are panels, clips, and termination components (ridge, rake, gutter/eave, curbs, etc.). These components have been developed over decades of trial and error and, when installed correctly, will create a leak-proof roof system which will last as long as any of the other building components. In addition to the metal roof manufacturers, the Metal Buildings and Erectors Association (MBCEA) is a group that provides independent training on the proper erection of metal buildings, including all components of a metal roof system. 

Engineering. The engineering associated with a metal roof system is the responsibility of the manufacturer per the International Building Code (IBC). Local engineering for a particular metal roof can be provided by a professional engineer licensed in the locale of the particular job site. Both sources are readily available to the contractor that wishes to enter the metal roof contracting business. The contractor should not have any concerns about this aspect of a metal roof if he does his due diligence and partners with a manufacturer that will provide the tested engineering characteristics of a particular roofing system and a local engineer who can take that information and perform a code-required analysis. 

Details. As opposed to sheet membrane or shingled roof systems, the metal roof system has its own details. These details require a different understanding of water protection. Metal components, including the actual roof sheet, will not allow water to penetrate and, if protected with a galvalume coating, will last well over 60 years (refer to Metalconstruction.org, Technical Resources, “Service Life Assessment of Low-Slope Unpainted 55% Al-Zn Alloy Coated Steel Standing Seam Metal Roof Systems”).  

These metal components, however, need to be joined and terminated with sealants and fasteners to create a total water-resisting barrier. Again, the panel manufacturers have time-tested details to assist contractors. A word of caution, however: Make sure that you properly select the panel type (standing seam, corrugated panel, snap seam panel, etc.) that best suits the project, and match those selections with a manufacturer and the detail that will perform best. Finally, the local engineer must be used to ensure the detailing will resist the local design loads. The contractor is only responsible to select that qualified manufacturer and engineer—not become one. 

Cost. “Since metal roofs cost a lot more than conventional roofs, they must be hard to sell.” While this statement is prevalent in the metal roofing market, it is blatantly untrue. While the initial cost may be higher than a conventional roof, a metal roof offers an exceptional value over its lifetime. In fewer than 20 years, the cost of a metal roof system can be as much as 50 percent less than that of many conventional roofs, and conservatively one-third the cost of these roofs over a 60-year time frame. End of argument!  

The Retrofit Segment

What about metal retrofit roofing? While that question might scare you more than merely considering entering the overall metal roofing market, it can definitely expand your horizon and offers more potential than just riding a bicycle. If you’ve ever ridden in a car, you know that the experience, comfort and potential for getting places is greatly enhanced. The same concept applies when expanding your metal roof market possibilities to include the lucrative metal retrofit roofing market. This market, with its extremely limited contractor participation and increasing customer demand, makes it very interesting to consider.  

Metal Roof Consultants Inc.

Photo: Metal Roof Consultants Inc.

A recent metal retrofit roofing package of six roofs totaling more than $20 million bid in North Carolina, and only three companies submitted bids. Each contractor ended up with two projects each, totaling between $6 and $9 million per contractor. During this same time, single-ply and shingle projects in the same geographical area attracted many more contractors. Again, you may feel that all-too-familiar twinge in your stomach caused by only looking at the negative consequences you might encounter. However, doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. It is true that finding manufacturers and engineers to assist you when entering the retrofit market can be difficult, as the pool is much more limited than that of the metal roofing industry in general, but these resources are available to you. Just be diligent and look harder!  

Finally, consider what a very wise man said many years ago to a young man just out of college. He said, “Can’t never did anything.” That wise man was my father, and he spoke those words on my college graduation day. My experience has seen the metal roof market develop with many new innovations. The metal retrofit roofing market was not even in existence in the 1970s, but it has since become a market that grows year after year. I have been lucky enough to see, and be part of, a revolution in the roofing industry with respect to metal roofing’s place. All the tools you need to enter the market are out there, but, like that bicycle many years ago, you must first determine why you want to ride it and be willing to risk falling off a few times. The rewards are worth it, even if you get your knees scraped a few times. 

MRA Will Host Seminars for Metal Roofing Contractors at METALCON

The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) has announced it will be hosting two seminars for metal roofing contractors at METALCON 2017.  Both are designed to help contractors grow their residential metal roofing businesses with advice and ideas that can make an impact. Led by metal roofing expert Frank Farmer, the MRA training sessions will be held on both Oct. 18 and 19, as follows:

Growing Your Residential Metal Roofing Company in the Age of Millennials

Hiring, Training and Turning Millennials into Rock Stars

  • While most companies are struggling with low productivity of a millennial workforce, your company can excel.  Understanding what the millennial generation wants and needs is the key to your growth and profitability. This seminar will share how to turn your company into a magnet that attracts people while developing a profitable company culture that millennials crave.
  • Presented Oct. 18, from 9:30 a.m – 10:30 a.m. and Oct. 19, from 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Increasing your Residential Metal Roof Company’s Profitability

  • Learn how to create value and urgency without being the lowest bid.  Frank will share sales techniques specific to the metal roofing industry, including how to become your customer’s first choice and make the order on the first visit at the price you want.
  • Presented Oct. 18, from 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. and Oct. 19, from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

For more information, and to register for the sessions, contractors can click here to review the conference schedule and choose a session.  MRA is also offering registration for the show floor at this link.   

Flagship Store Is Topped with Metal Roofing Panels

Made In America Store: Elma, N.Y.

Dutch Seam, continuous standing seam metal roof panels, eliminates the need for separate seam caps and field seaming.

Dutch Seam, continuous standing seam metal roof panels, eliminates the need for separate seam caps and field seaming.

Mark Andol is the owner and founder of General Welding and Fabricating, with locations in Elma and Rochester, N.Y. That business, which manufactured structural and decorative steel components for this store, has been operating since 1989. When the recession hit almost 10 years ago, Andol lost much of his business to companies located overseas, forcing him to cut his workforce to half its size. At that point, he began envisioning a store that would only carry products that are 100 percent American made, to help grow manufacturing within the United States. Andol’s vision became a reality in 2010 when he opened the doors to the first Made in America store in Elma.

Roof Report

The mission of the Made in America Store is to create and save jobs in the United States by increasing American manufacturing. By installing ATAS’ Dutch Seam metal roofing panels, which are made in America, on this new flagship store, it only further reinforced this mission. Dutch Seam, a continuous standing seam metal roof panel, features an integral lock and seam which prevents “blow-off” or “creeping” of the seam. It also eliminates the need for separate seam caps and field seaming.

When ATAS International announced the company’s 2016 Project of the Year winners at an awards banquet on May 8, the Made In America flagship store project took first place in the commercial roofs category.

Team

Architect: Lydon Architectural Services, Buffalo, N.Y.
General Contractor: Kulback’s Construction Inc., Lancaster, N.Y.
Installing Contractor: Bayford Construction, Lancaster, N.Y.
Roof System Manufacturer: ATAS International, Allentown, Pa.

DECRA Roofing Systems Celebrates 60 Years

DECRA Roofing Systems Inc., the company that invented the stone-coated steel roofing category, is celebrating 60 years of protecting residential and light commercial projects.

Since 1957, DECRA roofing products have combined durability with classic style and design versatility to withstand some of the harshest climates worldwide. DECRA panels feature an interlocking design to withstand high winds and to add strength.

“We’re proud to celebrate six decades since the first DECRA panel was installed on a roof,” says Bobby Bloom, president of DECRA Roofing Systems Americas. “In those 60 years, DECRA has delivered advancements in manufacturing and production to provide a product that meets the standard for sustainability, quality and innovative product design.”

2017 Brings Slew of Programs and Promotions

DECRA kicked off its 60th year with a focus on the roofing contractor. For example, the company’s JUMPSTART program gives contractors who are new to using DECRA up to $5,000 over three installations, just for trying the product.

DECRA recently hosted a group of contractors and distributors at the company’s Corona-based manufacturing facility to gather feedback directly from those on the front line.

“Customers are very clear with the subjects that concern them for the future and we want to provide solutions that sell more DECRA products, help them create more brand equity in the market and give them training for their crews,” says Chad Colton, vice president of Sales. “While the DECRA sales team has doubled in the past year, we wouldn’t have the growth we are experiencing without the assistance of distribution partners. We intend to provide them with better service, marketing and solutions.”

DECRA Roofing Systems is owned by Fletcher Building Products. DECRA products are manufactured in Corona “by a dedicated team of workers who take pride in their quality and know that each panel manufactured is being installed to protect homes and buildings of customers throughout North and South America,” Bloom states.

S-5! Brings Back Hogan as Business Development Director

Frank Hogan is the new Business Development Director for S-5!.

Frank Hogan is the new Business Development Director for S-5!.

S-5! has brought back Frank Hogan to fill the newly created position of Business Development Director, focusing on deepening relationships with the company’s OEM market to maintain market share and capture additional sales opportunities.

Hogan, who served as a national sales representative and field support manager for S-5! in the United States and Canada from 2007-2012, has held a variety of sales and management positions with several metal roofing manufacturers.

Customize Underlayment with Your Company Logo

The Synthetic Guard Plus Underlayment can be customized with a contractor’s company logo and phone number.

The Synthetic Guard Plus Underlayment can be customized with a contractor’s company logo and phone number.

TAMKO Building Products Inc. has made available Synthetic Guard Plus Underlayment, which can be used underneath metal roofing, mechanically fastened tile, wood shake, asphalt, slate and composite roofing. Made of plastic fibers, spun-bonded to make non-woven mat, the underlayment is printed with lay lines and cap nail locations for easy installation. It also has cap nail locations for high-wind and Florida applications. The underlayment can be customized with a contractor’s company logo and phone number.

Metal Roofing Line Adds New Colors

EDCO Products introduces five additional colors to its Infiniti Roofing line, metal roofing that features multi-tone layering, permanent thermal-fused texture and Whisper Quiet technology.

EDCO Products introduces five additional colors to its Infiniti Roofing line, metal roofing that features multi-tone layering, permanent thermal-fused texture and Whisper Quiet technology.

EDCO Products has introduced five additional colors to its Infiniti Roofing line, metal roofing that features multi-tone layering, permanent thermal-fused texture and Whisper Quiet technology. The new solid colors include Granite Gray and Chestnut Brown. The new enhanced colors are Aged Bronze Enhanced, Granite Gray Enhanced and Chestnut Brown Enhanced. The colors are supported with a full line of color-coordinated accessories.

Metal Construction Industry Exhibitors Showcase Products

Exhibitors at the international event for the metal construction industry tout success for this year’s METALCON tradeshow and conference in Baltimore. Donnie Snow, Southern Region account manager at Akzo Nobel says, “METALCON is the one place we like to be. In this business, you have to have a presence. You have to be here. Our competition is here, so you’ve got to be here. We network with existing and new customers, as well as introduce new products. Every year you need to try to keep it fresh and introduce new products, and Baltimore offers the right set up for us.” Ireland’s Gearoid Hogan, vice president of sales & marketing with Combilift, a specialist forklift & straddle carrier manufacturer, says, “This show provides the opportunity to meet with customers and showcase our machinery. It is one of the shows we attend each year. It attracts attendees who are here with a purpose.” Newcomer to METALCON this year was Accurate Perforating, a manufacturer of custom and standard perforated metals. Michael Beck of Accurate Perforating states, “The show has been good for us because it brings us closer to our customer, to the end-user. I really didn’t know what to expect. With other shows, the people are more generic. Here, the exhibitors are our customers. Baltimore is a nice venue, and it changed my opinion of the area. The location attracts the international attendance we are seeing.” Also new to the show this year was Acculign Framing. Company president Bridget Saladino says, “A lot of our target customers/partners are here, and we love the city. METALCON has exceeded our expectations, and we are impressed with the attendees and exhibitors. I think we’ll look back in a year and point a number of successes to the relationships made at METALCON, which we believe will really help to grow our business.”

The guys at D. I. Roof Seamers were fired up about this year’s show. Jonathan Rider, chief administrative officer, says, “This year was fantastic. Baltimore is a good location. We have more leads. People are coming to see the vendors all in one place at one time. The Metal Construction Association’s (MCA) metal roofing championship games are a big draw, as well as the MCA Triumph Awards.” Sales Manager, Kevin Thomas says, “From a builder’s standpoint, we could travel for half the year and still wouldn’t see more people than we would here. This year we doubled our booth size to a 20 x 20. We are seeing the value in it, and it is paying off. More people are ready to buy.” Speaking of the roofing games, this event awarded a total of $5,800 to its winners. Ten teams of two competed in five battles, inspired by this year’s theme “Battle Stars Over Baltimore” in honor of our Star-Spangled Banner birthplace. Top awards each day included a grand prize award and a best quality award. The winner on Wednesday for both categories was Joe Arnold and Paul Kulb of Thomas Phoenix Int., and on Thursday, the same was awarded to Dennis Duce and Gonzolo Tellez of Intermountain Roof Advisors. “It was an honor to be part of this event, and we look forward to competing next year,” says Duce. Next year’s teams will be able to pre-register for the Las Vegas games beginning in February 2017. Robyn Ommen, Marketing Representative with Valspar was happy to report her outcome. She says, “We’ve had a lot of traffic and conversations with customers. We are a global company so it’s great to connect with people from all over. Each year, we introduce new products and continue relationships with existing customers. We do a lot of networking before, during and after the show. We keep busy with breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings, sometimes doubling up on meetings.” Miguel Pena of GSSI Sealants, a family-owned manufacturer of sealant tapes, says, “I come every year. I think it’s a great show and the metal construction industry needs a show. My customers are exhibiting here also, so it is good to be able to see all of my customers in one place. I get to finally meet people I have been in contact with for years over the phone or by email. It is great to see things like AMIE. This technology really adds to the show.” As part of its focus on technology this year, METALCON featured a large scale 3-D printing technology project developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and industry partners known as the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) project. AMIE demonstrated rapid innovation through additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, addressing electricity supply and reliability challenges via an integrated approach to power generation, storage and consumption. Dr. Roderick Jackson, the technical lead for AMIE and the building envelope systems research group leader at ORNL, drew a crowd as a keynote speaker on the “Future of Design and Technology Trends in Construction” followed by a guided tour of AMIE in the exhibit hall. “I enjoyed engaging in a dialogue on innovations in construction with industry professionals at METALCON,” said Jackson.

Other exhibitors including the folks at ACE Clamps, manufacturers of roof mounting innovations, were excited about the show this year too. Bob Mercier of ACE Clamps says, “Day one of METALCON started with a bang! We’re showcasing a new product, a video and have a good location. We’re using METALCON to launch our new product, which is drawing a lot of traffic to our booth. METALCON is key for networking with other industry leaders.” Tamas Kovacs, an engineer with ACE Clamps says, “We’re receiving some nice feedback on how to improve future products.” Brad Wasley, Ace Clamp sales manager states, “As far as attendance, this is the best attendance at our booth in the past five years. Our larger booth size, the position of our booth across from the roofing games and the advertising dollars spent all contribute to this year’s success.” Baltimore resident Bill Funk and coil business development manager of Duracoat Products says, “We’re generating leads. Being positioned right by the front, showcasing new products and our friend, NASCAR race car driver Jeff Gordon all contribute to our success. Also, we have our entire sales force here. We’re combining our presence at the show with our sales meeting. Sales meetings are a good idea to tag onto METALCON, and Baltimore is a good venue because there’s area to walk around, and you can stay for the weekend to explore.” “Baltimore was a great show with an upbeat vibe, and the location was good for us once again,” says Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON show director. “We saw an increase in international attendance, successfully raised $7,500 for the America’s Fund, enjoyed a packed ballroom for the MCA Triumph Awards, witnessed a sell-out for the roofing games, and kicked off a roofing certification program to repeat in 2017. We look forward to continuing and building upon this year’s success in Las Vegas next year.”

MCA Announces Metal Roofing Championship Game Winners

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) has sponsored its 3rd annual Metal Roofing Championship Games at the Metalcon International tradeshow in Baltimore, Md. The event was sponsored by Triangle Fastener Corp., Roof Hugger LLC, D.I. Roof Seamers, S-5!, Drexel Metals Inc. and New Tech Machinery. Award sponsors were Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc., ATAS International Inc., Atlas Bolt & Screw Co., The Bradbury Group, Chicago Metal Supply and Fabrication Inc., Designandbuildwithmetal.com, Englert Inc., Modern Trade Communications Inc., Novagard Solutions, PAC-CLAD Petersen Aluminum Corp., SFS intec and Valspar.

Each day had five battles, inspired by this year’s theme ‘Battle Stars Over Baltimore’ in honor of the birthplace of our star-spangled banner. The battles were appropriately named the Triangle Fastener “Screwgun Challenge”, Roof Hugger’s “Hug-A-Roof”, New Tech Machinery/Drexel Metals’ “Install-A-SSR Roof”, D.I. Roof Seamers’ “Seam-it-Up” and the S-5! “Let-It-Snow”.

Ten teams of two contestants each pre-registered to compete during the two-day event. The contestants represented construction companies; Thomas Phoenix International of Easthampton, N.J.; DYMI Construction Inc. of Morrisville, Pa.; Hardin Construction LLC of Union Bridge, Md.; Intermountain Roof Advisors of Salt Lake City, Utah; Rosselli Roofing and Siding of Wantage, N.J.; William Molnar Roofing Inc. of Riverview, Mich.; ARCON of Vanceboro, N.C.; Mad Metal LLC of Arden, N.C.

A total of $5,800 was awarded to the battle winners this year. The top awards for each day were a grand prize and a best quality. The first winner for both the grand prize and best quality awards was Joe Allen and Paul Kulb of Thomas Phoenix International and on the second day the same was awarded to Dennis Duce and Gonzolo Tellez of Intermountain Roof Advisors. Dennis Duce states “It was an honor to be part of this event and we are looking forward to competing next year again”.

Next year, the event will be held in Las Vegas on Oct. 18-20. The MCA Roofing Games Committee plans to make this event a hallmark to the Metalcon International Tradeshow by awarding a National Metal Roofing Championship. To present this award, the overall winner of each of the two days will return on the third day of the show for a competition to compete for the title of National Metal Roofing Champion. Next year’s teams will be able to pre-register for the event beginning in February 2017.

ATAS International Hosts Architects During Anniversary Conference

ATAS International hosted members of the Society of American Registered Architects during their 60th anniversary conference in Arizona.  Over 35 SARA members attended an educational presentation and toured ATAS’ manufacturing facility in Mesa, earning learning units for both activities.  David Srokose, architectural business development manager at ATAS, presented on sustainable building envelopes, and Dick Bus, president of ATAS, led the plant tour, which was followed by lunch for the guests.
 
During the educational presentation, attendees learned how metal cladding on roofs and walls can contribute to green building objectives, and how metal walls can use sunlight to provide a building with solar air heating.  Cool roof technologies, including UV reflective pigments and above sheathing ventilation, were discussed, as well as how metal roofing can provide a solar ready platform for photovoltaic systems.
 
Dick Bus states, “We were pleased to welcome the SARA members to our Mesa, Ariz., facility while they were in the area for their annual conference.  The plant tour allowed our guests to view the equipment and processes used to fabricate metal components for the building envelope.  All attendees were invited to visit our Allentown, Pa., headquarters, if they are ever in the area.”