Without hail, Total Roofing likely wouldn’t do $14 million in business this year.
Thank goodness for thunderstorms.
“We’ve been blessed with a lot of hail,” said Scott McIntyre, owner of Total Roofing. “Good for me is bad for everyone else.”
Still, the roofing company tries to “make it as easy as possible” on homeowners whose homes suffer damage from hail and wind.
What that means is that McIntyre and his staff will negotiate with the insurance company and repair not only the roof but the siding, stucco, painting, gutters and any other damage done by hail and wind.
“We’re a certified general contractor, so we can take care of the entire claim. That makes it a one-stop shop — one company they have to deal with,” McIntyre said.
Early start to damage
According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, hail, wind and flooding from May 20-22 in Colorado caused $109 million in damage.
“Unfortunately, this is just our first glimpse of what Mother Nature can dish out during severe weather,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the RMIIA. “It sends a clear message — check your insurance to know what it covers, what it doesn’t and how much financial protection you have when you need it the most.”
McIntyre said his company has repaired or replaced nearly 250 roofs so far this year.
“Most of our work happens from June until November,” McIntyre said.
Total Roofing has had a strong first quarter. Where a normal first quarter brings $1 million in business, this year Total Roofing saw $2.3 million, he said.
People can be victimized and taken advantage of by inexperienced contractors or those with nefarious motives, McIntyre said. “Some companies have the best intentions. They sell way too much work, collect the money and never get the work done,” he said. “They’ll skip town and the homeowners are left holding the bag.”
McIntyre encourages homeowners to hire a known local contractor so they can avoid the shady business practices of some companies.
One “sneaky thing” contractors sometimes do — McIntyre describes them as “storm chasers”— is purchase a local roofing company.
“Then they sell that as a ‘local’ contractor,” McIntyre said. “It’s attractive to companies that are struggling.”
Those companies will knock on doors, seeking work.
“Colorado Springs is pretty hip to it, and they’ve done a good job of keeping these storm chasers out of here,” McIntyre said. “People can get taken advantage of by local contractors, too.”
Total Roofing has printed signs for people to put on their front door that says “STOP No Roofers — Period.” The signs are designed to keep the shady contractors away.
Most roofing companies fail within the first two years, he added, quoting from Small Business Administration statistics.
What to do
If homeowners experience hail in their neighborhood, the first thing they should do is determine if there is damage, McIntyre said.
He stressed that people should call a reputable roofer first, to assess the situation and determine damage, before filing an insurance claim.
“Some insurance companies will cancel a policy after three claims,” McIntyre said.
“We can’t avoid hail,” he said. But if the roof is damaged but not leaking, the homeowners policy typically gives up to three years to fix the problem.
“They don’t have to rush to get the roof done NOW,” he said. “They should take their time and find the right contractor.”
How it started
With a background in roofing sales and supplies, McIntyre “had quite a bit of knowledge about the roofing industry” when he and his wife Amber leaped into the business in 2005.
“We did everything ourselves. I would do the estimating, the books, the bathroom cleaning, installation, collections and customer service,” McIntyre said.
As the years went on, “we grew, a little at a time,” he added.
Initially, the company worked on roofs for new homes.
That lasted until 2006, when new home construction plummeted.
“We had to adapt and get into the hail restoration business,” McIntyre said.
The company doubled its business year after year until 2010, when it reached $10 million in annual sales. Total Roofing’s business had plateaued at $10 million until this year, when McIntyre expects to sell $14 million in new or replacement roofing.
The company hires subcontractors to do the work because they give better quality work than employees, McIntyre said.
Total Roofing has two flat-roof crews, one metal roof crew and five shingle crews.
Roofing Contractor magazine listed Total Roofing as one of its top 100 roofing companies in the United States.
Success “takes a little bit of luck,” McIntyre said, adding that it also requires “doing the right thing, no matter what.
“You do what you say and you say what you do. If you make a mistake, you handle it as quickly as possible.”
In business since: 2005
Employees: 100, including subcontractors