“A roofer?” I have lost count of how many times my answer to a question was responded to with that rhetorical question. Why people ask what a person does for a living in social gatherings has always been beyond the scope of my understanding. Perhaps some Pavlovian thesis may have it clarified somewhere locked in a basement like a secret scroll from the dead sea awaiting discovery.
In the meantime, for the most part I simply reply with “Yes, I roof.” Or something to that effect. Allowing the cruch phrase that tends to stimulate conversation at social gatherings to complete its less than stealth like mission.
The humorous side of me wonders how these conversations go at your local PTA meeting when someone asks the attending brain surgeon or theoretical physisist what their average workday looks like.
I supose the conversations must deviate as soon as craniotomy and spacial density of dark matter within a time and space continuim is introduced.
Or perhaps not.
On occassion my favorite of all questions comes up and I am allowed to elaborate a little about why I decided to become a roofer in the first place. Candidly remeniscing about the struggles of chucking fifty pound lots of asphalt shingles twelve feet in the air or the subtle crunching of gravel and tar beneath my boots as I inspect a roof for damages.
Have you inadvertently smashed your finger with a hammer? Or laid down in agony hoping the pain in your lower back would subside prior to checking in for work the next day because losing a day of pay really hurts.
Make no mistake about it, it was not an easy journey. In fact going from apprentice, to jounreyman and then licensed roofing contractor is a long and arduous one.
But a journey if a thousand miles begins with one step.
Whether you are stepping up a ladder or down an tar mopped slope. Somewhere along the line I made a conscious decision that a roofer was my career path.
The moment is different for each of us in the industry. Some find this awareness in the soft crunching sound of gravel beneath their shoes while gingerly doing and inspection. Others evolve into the roofing career path from a labor position.
Holistically spawned or generationally inherited, to us roofing is artistic expression through craftsmanship.
Yes there are numerous industry standard form factors taken into consideration from Hip, Open Gable, Saltbox and Pyramid Hip to Hexagonal Gazebo. Yet, no roof is identical, and no roofer is the same.
So, what is the secret to finding a good roofer? In our opinion, in addition to verifying that they are licensed, a really good approach is to ask them a lot of questions. Get to know them until you become comfortable enough with them to allow them to work on your home. Once you get to know your roofer, you will find great benefit in your relationship with them.
A relationship that will last for as many years as the workmanship they put into ensuring you have a well built roof to lay your family down to sleep at night.