Making Alliances
Other Construction Trades 
Can Help Your Bottom Line

Right now you’re probably busy.  You’ve got all the business you can handle.  You

could probably do even more business if you could just find enough qualified workers

to put on the roof.  You have your hands full and it’s probably not the time you want

to start taking on new projects.  Or is it?

Making alliances with other trades can not only pay dividends now, but will also help you in the future.  As a roofing contractor, you are in a unique position to take a look at the rest of the building envelope.

How will this benefit you?  Most professions honor referral fees.  Doctors, dentists, attorneys, sales people, and real estate agents all give something back to the person who referred them to new customers.  Even mafia dons will wet the beak of colleagues that send business their way.  You’ve all seen the line on a doctor’s patient information sheet that asks, “Who referred you to us?”  This is so your doctor can send more than a thank you note.  This is common practice among construction trades in Europe, but it really hasn’t caught on in the United States.

Talk to some of the other related trades, including contractors that you know do a good job and you can trust.  Think of the types of contractors you would have work on your own house and reach out to them.  The arborist that can trim a tree without letting it fall on your roof; the gutter man that won’t screw up the eaves of your home; the HVAC contractor that can service and install air conditioning equipment on the roof without leaving the deck full of holes; a contractor that can install windows and doors that actually open, close, and seal out the cold weather.  Then there are contractors that install cladding, lightning rods, electrical, insulation, and more.

Come up with a list of several good building envelope contractors that you trust.  Talk to them and perhaps you can work out a monetary referral agreement.  If nothing else, maybe these contractors will refer you for jobs when the time comes.  Yes, it’s called networking, but the referral honorariums take networking to another level.

Of course, by referring these contractors to a building owner, to some degree you are also putting your own reputation in their hands.  These will have to be contractors in which you have confidence.  They need to be contractors you would hire to work on your own home without hesitation.

As long as it’s not abused and becomes a lopsided, one-way street, alliances with other construction trades can be beneficial to all those involved, and help keep business flowing in good times and bad.

Marc Dodson


Marc Dodson