28 Mar Wages: Why Roofers Are Underpaid
Daniel and I started this roofing company because we believe that we have something to offer home owners in Hamilton that is not being provided by the companies that already exist. As our ads say, our customers are really and truly our number one priority. But one thing we have not discussed in this blog is how we treat our employees and how we want to transform the way roofing companies interact with their employees, specifically by paying livable wages.
We have mentioned in other blogs that there are basically two different kinds of roofing companies. The big companies that subcontract their work out to crews and the small one crew companies that try to do about a job every day and are usually done by the owner. What is it like to work for one of these companies? Well, most roofers who work for these companies are paid hourly wages. There are three categories of employees in these companies. The master roofer (usually the owner of the company), an apprentice roofer (someone skilled at shingling but not quite as good as the company owner), and laborers who usually tear off old shingles and clean up the work site to make sure there are no stray nails. Sub-contracting crews are usually made up of the same kind of workforce except the master roofer is paid subcontracting wages by the larger company who gave them the job.
You would probably be surprised to know that most roofers don’t make much money. At Peak Roofing we think that this is a strange reality for roofers to face. They are doing what my Uber driver recently described as, “the hardest job in all of construction” and yet they aren’t paid at the same rate as many other trades people. We have explained why roofing is not a trade, but that doesn’t explain why such hard work is not better compensated. When we founded Peak Roofing we wanted to address this question and came to the realization that there is room to both pay roofing employees better wages and treat them with more respect.
We offer free all expenses paid vacations to our top employees. We don’t just pay at a competitive rate, we have the best pay rate for roofers in Hamilton. I don’t think either Daniel or I know why other companies don’t feel the need to treat their employees as well as we do, but I suspect it is because they are playing off the bad reputation that roofers have had in the past. They do it because it’s “easy” to do. At Peak Roofing we don’t believe in doing anything just because it’s “easy”. One of our key visions is to change the way roofers are perceived in Hamilton and across the country.