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John_chan (John_chan)
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Username: John_chan

Post Number: 50
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Ward,

Call Steve or Nick at Durable Slate Columbus (800)666-7445, or you can email them at scluxton@durableslate.com or nboyd@durableslate.com. Either one of them can help you. I'm pretty sure we have around 50 sq. of salvaged Monson.
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Epl (Epl)
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Post Number: 42
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 03:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Stephan,
You are correct (sorry for the tangent). Seems like the Internet is the best place for these errors to occur (with me being no exception). $40 per slate for repair work makes all the more sense now as I'm sure we're in the same proximity here in Northern IL.


Ward,
Salvaged Monson is not something that I presently have in my yard (I pick up a good Monson salvage about once or twice a year).
I am aware of three different batches of Monson from suppliers though. As I recall, sizes were 16", 18" and 20". I would need to verify widths. Thickness all tend to run at about 1/4-3/8".

Thank you again,
Eric P. Loema
Sales | Salvage | Procurement
P (800) 699-5695 | F (815) 547-1425
Web: www.TileandSlateSales.com | E-mail: epl@TileandSlateSales.com
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Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration (Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration)
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Username: Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration

Post Number: 116
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 12:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Eric: This thread started off being about charging for estimates, prices charged per slate repair (ref $40/ea), and ended up being about NCB. What do you have for Monson salvage in stock?
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Stephen (Stephen)
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Username: Stephen

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

apples and oranges comparison Eric!
that $40 I mentioned includes removing the old /broken slates and installing the replacement slates
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Epl (Epl)
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Username: Epl

Post Number: 40
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I haven't heard of NC Slate going under, I would assume it's rumor as I have been and currently am ordering new BC Black slate from the quarry.

In regard the amount of $40 per slate, that's pretty steep. I couln't ever imagine offering my slates (new or salvaged) for such an amount.

We too, have a large stock pile of new and salvaged slate if anyone is in need.

Thank you,
Eric P. Loema
Sales | Salvage | Procurement
P (800) 699-5695 | F (815) 547-1425
Web: www.TileandSlateSales.com | E-mail: epl@TileandSlateSales.com
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Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration (Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration)
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Username: Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration

Post Number: 112
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 01:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would be surprised if they went belly up from a lack of sales. My guy at Hilltop says they are in full swing to keep ahead of some big projects that have come in, including Langley. Apparently the stimulus money directed toward gov't spending is showing itself in various institutional projects.
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
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Post Number: 550
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 06:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Branden wilson- Not sure, hope not.
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Tinner666 (Tinner666)
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Username: Tinner666

Post Number: 50
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mohawk is right. I charge $25.00 if it's nearby. I outline a lot of that on my homepage to prequalify clients before they even call or e-mail me. I always figure travel time, OH, gas, etc into my costs. I won't go for free, unless it's a regular client. And in that case, I can load my truck according to what my previous notes say about the job.
And pix really help!

Slate Roof Repairs, Richmond, Va.
<A HREF="http://www.albertsroofing.com" TARGET="_blank">Slate Roof Repairs, Richmond, Va.</A>
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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
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Username: Branden_wilson

Post Number: 72
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 11:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

would bankruptcy mean the slate won't be available anymore? i've only had the privilege to work with north country black one time but it is by far one of my favorites. 400 squares of north country black in palm beach
http://www.youtube.com/user/REALSLATER
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
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Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 546
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 05:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They are a great group of guys, down there and will provide you with the best that the slate valley can offer, I know them well. They are a broker.

They are also the North Country Black rep for New England.

(Don't any one know if this is ture, that the NCBlack quarry went backrupt?)

Clay from NewESlateCO can also help you with a large boneyard of used slate, if you need any.
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Stephen (Stephen)
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Username: Stephen

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 07:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

thank you slate man- that info is helpfull. Locally here- I have many times been able to charge $40/slate- but some customer phsycholgy vs. semantics comes into play.

i am a compulsive note taker and record keeper-so i am going to experiment with a couple different methods.

what I have noticed in the past-is that many customers have poor math skills.- let's say i charge aservice call of $500- many customers of a certain mind set will balk at this
however- let's say I instead mention to the customer that we charge $40 per slate with a minimum charge of 15 slates

the number that sticks in their mind-is the $40-although on some level they know they just agreed to $600!

I noticed many times in the past- customer calls and needs a very small repair- If I quoted them an hourly charge over the phone that was high enough to make it worth my bother- they will balk-BUT- if I mention a service call feePLUS $xx/hour-they readily agree. they are preconditioned to pay that service call fee to everyone who works on or at their home( plumbers,electricians, garage door service people, appliance repair etc.) and the end result was i often netted 40% more .

I notice on your web site an project you did-with slate supplied from Poultney, Vermont.- maybe you can educate me

typically I am dealing with salvaged slate and tile here on repair work-really rarely get involved with new slate- but this spring the folks at New England Slate company helped me out with an order. this company had been reccomended to me by another poster on this board-and really I was very happy with how they took care of me.

question is-is New England Slate Company a quarry- or more of a "broker" for various quarries?-at any rate- they were very helpfull to me and i hope to do more with them in the future.

Thganks again,
stephen
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
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Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 544
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 06:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have what is a service call charge, which runs from 500 to 750 depending on where they are. This cover up to 15 pcs of slate, we looking over the roof for other suggestion of other work. Any additional slate over 15 would be $25 to $35 each depending on roof and slate. This make it nice, you need a client that can give you pictures and slate size to make this work. Also this only work with work with in a 1 to 1 1/2 away. It also lead in to additional work after you send the bill with your suggested maitances work to be done like new copper cap, or chimney flashing, etc.
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Username: Old_school

Post Number: 348
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 07:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We are all blessed with more than we can hope for. sometimes we don't recognize it though
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Stephen (Stephen)
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Username: Stephen

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 01:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Olde mohawk,
what you describe is pretty close to what I am thinking--- except I expect to bump that number up a bit. I operate in what we will describe as a post industrial mid west city- a typical house here would be 1920's vintage. Most NEVER had slate roofs-and of the slate roofs installed- most of those were very soft PA. slate whose life expectancy ended 20 years ago- most of those roofs are long gone now

what remains- what I see-are vermont slate, semi weathering sea green or grey green-and frankly those are reaching the end of their lives. there are a few pockets of higher quality slate roofs-but I actually think the remaininbg tile roofs here outnumber the remaining quality slate roofs. In Ohio, Ludowici quite common-and actually Akron produced it's own tile for a time. locally- maybe 3 tile profiles quite common in 2 different colors-so basic stock not a problem- but virtually nobody will work with it.

VERY common for customers to tell me " no one else would even return my phone calls!!!"

I don't think it will be a problem to charge to look at the customers situation-and perhaps credit that charge towards any contracted services.

oldschool:- i have lived a very fortunate life. your cousins were very good to me.

i met the girl of my dreams when i was about 15, we married at 21, bought an old house a few months later and our sons were born a few years after that. I bought the materials for my first roof from your cousins and they have ALWAYS been a class act- helped me out in so many ways-including advice-at one point they referred me to a customer-someone THEY knew from church, I think-and that customer netted me approx. 3 roofs a year for the next 10 years or so. Basically that one referall payed the private school tuition of my 2 sons for about 10 of the 17 years I paid private school tuition-and several of the other referalls they sent me put my wife through college- so yes, I think VERY favorably of your cousins- but since they don't really handle slate/tile- I don't see much of them anymore.

you are correct- I don't drive much at all- filled up my truck earlier this week- may not buy more gas untill nearly FEB.- I rarely drive more than 8,000 miles a year and my shop is about 6 blocks from my house. It is just about impossible to go to the store,or buy gas or go to church( in fact it IS impossible to go to church)-without meeting a former customer. since my wife teaches at a school about 4 blocks from home-well, we are pretty well known and fortunate here. As I said before- it's been kind of a blessed "Norman Rockwell" life.

Very best wishes to you all-and again I look forward to learning a great deal from you all in the New Year.
stephen
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Post Number: 347
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 08:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ward is right on with the inspection senario. 100 Dollars will pay for the fuel and sitting costs anyway and at least you are not going backwards on the estimate. It also gives you a much greater chance to get the job right there on the spot. Kind of like being in the "small' blind playing Texas Hold-em.

Stephen. You managed to work all those years in Akron without driving very much eh! good Job. Say hi to my cousins next time you see them!
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Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration (Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration)
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Username: Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration

Post Number: 111
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 08:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Understood about skill sets. I think you realize I meant folks who would be capable, not someone like your customer. At the bottom of the page on my website is a link to my web designer. She is very reasonable and--as you saw--does great work. All done via email.

To elaborate just a bit further on travel and charging for estimates: I'm not saying don't, I'm just saying that I don't. I have one office in upstate NY and one five miles north of Boston. So only the stretch between Sturbridge and Stockbridge is "beyond" an hour drive from each location. 99% of the calls I get are within a one hour drive radius of either spot. The fact that I live in upstate NY, 2.5 hours from Boston, becomes secondary.

I guess in your situation I would develope a strategy that centers on immediacy. Make your estimates "slate roof inspections" and charge $100/ea. Arrange for early AM appointments, even if it means leaving home at 5-530, so you arrive before they go to work. Have your tools, equipt, materials on the truck. Advise them of your rates ahead of time (either by time (with a minimum charge) or per unit, or both.) Once you show up, perform a roof inspection. Not an hours-long, $500-$1000 inspection; a $100 1/2 hour inspection.

[Gentlemen, please: Let's not start a debate here called "You can't do a $100 roof inspection in 1/2 an hour." Think about the percentage of time an ASHI home inspector spends inspecting a roof during a home inspection and the price charged]

When you come down off the roof, tell them what you see and how much it may cost (based on your time/per unit rates, which you've already briefed them on.) Here's the pitch: If they hire you on the spot, you waive the $100 inspection charge. If not, you hand them a written estimate on company letterhead and they hand you $100.

And that's just when you're called out for a roof problem; the decision for your customer becomes a no-brainer. Similarly, when a customer wants to hire you for a roof inspection, you can see how the same sales strategy allows you to segue from inspection to repair.

I think this is a good tactic for any one- or two-man operation where the bulk of work is focused on slate repairs or a flashing replacement. Your time and expertise is worth something, and that something is money. In today's economy every dollar counts.

Let's all hope for a better 2010!
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Stephen (Stephen)
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Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 06:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

olde mohawk did make me smile with his advice about realtors and houses being bought and sold- learned THAT lesson long ago and it's STILL good advice.

the tip about the digital pictures-also excellent-but I would hesitate to write off someone who CAN'T do that. It would certainley be helpfull to get pictures in advance of a visit to the house-but some people aren't really in a position to do that.

for example- this morning I am going to visit a house where I have worked before- currently owned by an older woman-a widow- her son lives out of state-and,well frankly emailing digital pictures is not in her "skill set". the fact remains however-she is a good customer for my little business.

BTW olde mohawk: I enjoyed your website- I am in the process of constructing a very simple one right now-and I stumbled across yours several days ago independently of this site. Very nice.

Old school:- thinking about it- i think we have spoke once or twice before on another forum----------- there is a family down here with the same surname that operates VERY well known roofing supply house. a Very VERY big family that I have a lot of respect for-even some degree of affection- they were a tremendous help to me decades ago when I was starting out in business.
stephen
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
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Post Number: 543
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Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 06:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A lot of the work I do are one off jobs through out New England. I have look at jobs 7hours away one way which in my book means a over nigther, which would make the cost of a estimate in this case about $2000.00. Not to forget that I got the job and had to work in 14hr of drive time for each week for of my men for the whole job. So, you can see on different scales, that there are alot of costs that will need to be cover some how.
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 09:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mohawk is right on about the digital pictures. Have them email you the pics and that can save you tons of time. Make sure they know it will save them tons of money and time too. If I have to drive any distance, I also charge for my estimates, deductable from the price if I do the work. We are in a specialty business sad to say and our time is too valuble expecially with the cost of fuel and vehicles now-a-days. Glad you are having fun.
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Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration (Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration)
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Username: Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration

Post Number: 110
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 07:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I couldn't agree with Joe more.

Build the time it takes to meet potential clients, prepare estimates, obtain materials, and the other "invisible" costs that are a part of business into every job you quote. We cover a large area--all of New York and New England. Sometimes an estimate means 3.5 hours driving each way. Granted, we're not talking about small repairs, but you can't get jobs without bidding them. You have to look at the 'big picture' in that you're going to bid more work than you're going to get.

That's not to say you can't 'screen' people before making the drive. Have them take digital photos and email them to you. Any potential customer who won't do that isn't worth your time. Make sure they know the work isn't inexpensive. Quote ballpark numbers over the phone on the high side, just to be safe. If they balk, don't bother.

The ONLY exception is when the quote is requested by a realtor or somebody buying or selling a house. Then I require a fee, paid up front. A fee which is deducted when they later hire you (IF they later hire you) to come back and do the work. Estimates are usually requested AFTER a home inspector has found a deficiency and both sides are trying to come together on price. Thousands of dollars are on the line--if they won't cough out a hundred bucks or so, forget them.
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Stephen (Stephen)
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Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I appreciate your thoughts on this,Joe.

I have to confess- for a couple of decades I lead a rather Norman Rockwell lifestyle- many times I literally walked home for lunch-and probably 4 out of 5 days I ate lunch in my own kitchen. I understand about " the cost of doing business"-but previously- I didn't have to be to concerned with RECOVERING the "costs of doing business"- when giving an estimate meant a 1 block commute!

Of course, no one likes to pay for an estimate- but I notice consumers are quite accustomed to paying for a service call. since I can't recover the "costs of doing business" by charging $70 to replace a single slate-if I had to spend 2 hours in the truck round trip- I suspect I am going to have to work out some sort of sliding scale on a service call charge to come look at the situation in combination with a minimum charge.

Basically- i have long done something similar- even when working closer to home- I just didn't have to make it a sliding scale based on distance.

BTW- I have met 2 of the other regular posters on this forum- one from a seperate business encounter- and the other from numerous conversations on another forum- both have always been true gentlemen-and so I really look forward to learning a lot from the rest of the folks around here,
best wishes,
stephen
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Joe (Joe)
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Post Number: 489
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Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 12:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's a tough question. I pay my guys from the time they go out the door at the shop until the time they get back. The job fees have to cover the travel time and costs. If the job is further away, I add more money to the bid. We did a slate roof installation that required an hour and fifteen minutes drive time each way. I added $10,000.00 to the bid just to cover the drive time. We got the job.

Our proposals include a sentence that states that we will charge an extra fee per slate (or tile) above the number we estimate that we will have to replace. So if we estimate replacing 30 tiles and end up replacing 40, we charge for the extra 10 tiles at the rate stated in the contract.

As far as driving, doing free estimates (which we do), finding tiles, keeping a stockpile, and otherwise using up time without being directly paid - that's the cost of doing business. You have to compensate yourself by having these costs absorbed by your contract fees. Charge enough money to stay in business and to be happy with your work.
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Stephen (Stephen)
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Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 11:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am wondering how all of you handle this issue. At age 47 i am a little embarrased to not have solved this problem previously.

Here is my background:
for 22 plus years-80% of my work came primarily from a 8-12 block radius of my home in a city of 200,000 plus-and consisted mainly of asphalt shingles. The other 20% of my work has come mostly from about a 10-15 minute radius of my home-and has been a mixture of slate,tile and misc. exterior carpentry projects( cedar sidewall shingling, redwood claps etc.)

In 2007 a hailstorm in my neighborhood destroyed my lifes' work-all the roofs I had done previously?-gone, replaced by storm chasers etc.-so- my previous core market is gone-and none too soon!- I have been approaching semi retirement for some time-and this is as good a time as any- my children are now largely grown,done with college and on their way out of the house. Financially I don't much need to be in asphalt shingles-and so I am now concentrating almost exclusively on what had previously been only 20% of my work-slate/tile/ carpentry.

here is the problem:- previously I didn't charge to look at a roofing project-it was usually only a few blocks from home- or at most a few minutes. Now, however- I am thoroughly covering one entire county-plus parts of 4 other counties-so for the sake of conversation I am covering a one hour radius( myself and a helper)

how do you recover this cost?- for the sake of conversation-lets assume replacing a valley @ $700 or so- but now I have 4 extra hours of drive time where previously I had virtually none to consider.
how much driving are you folks willing to do-just on spec. ?- how do you handle a prospective customer who calls with a leak in a slate roof- you have to drive 45 minutes to look at it blind- no idea if it's 1 slate to replace-or something extensive?

or-- in the case of tile- who knows what you will find?- I might only need 6 tiles( personally I LOVE tracking these down and matching them)- but I could concieveably have 4 hours drive time for 6 tiles PLUS the time matching/locating them.

I would appreciate any advice you might care to offer as I haven't previously had to deal with this

stephen

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