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The 2010 Top Metal Roofers

The 2011 Top Metal Roofers Face the Same Economic Struggles the Rest of the Metal Construction Industry Battles

With the steady rhythm of a deadfall hammer, our economy staggers along. And the 2011 class of the Metal Construction News Top Metal Roofers reflects the uncertainty of the construction market and the surviving nature of our top metal roofing contractors.

AARA Metals-Finish PictureClearly, total installed square footage of roofing has declined in the last few years as projects dry up and competition for the remaining work has become fiercer. When we surveyed our Top Metal Roofers, we did find bright spots-new beats that portray a faster pace in some areas as well as indicate potential increases in market share.

The roofers on the 2011 MCN list of Top Metal Roofers are surviving because more than half of their business is coming from retrofit work. It doesn't matter whether they work primarily in the residential or nonresidential arena, these contractors are looking for opportunity on existing buildings. Of course, that makes sense given the incidence of new construction has crawled to a slow pace as both company incomes and municipal tax revenues shrink. Add to that a tight capital market and investment in new construction-residential and nonresidential-has faltered.

The business for these players is moving in the right direction, though. About 75 percent of our surveyed roofers say 2011 is shaping up to be better than 2010, and a somewhat smaller group indicates they are experiencing significant (more than 20 percent) growth.

That growth-or lack of growth-seems to belie the changing nature of the projects themselves. We asked how much the average project size has increased or declined in the last two years, and our roofers seemed evenly split. About half reported an increase in average project size, while half a decline. Those that experienced increases, reported modest (less than 20 percent) increases. Those that experienced declines in average project size, reported significant (more than 20 percent) declines.

What we found interesting in our survey, though, was what roofers revealed when we asked about the challenges they face in business today. We offered seven choices: controlling costs, developing leads, closing sales, increased regulations, increased tax burdens, low-cost competitors, and other. With clear distinction, the group chose controlling costs and low-cost competitors as the biggest challenges they face. The remaining selections grouped closely together.

In an environment of drastically reduced sales, the ability to generate leads and close sales fell second to our business owners' struggles to control their costs. And when they do see opportunity on the sales side, they're facing competitors who are undercutting price, perhaps sacrificing a professional margin through lack of business acumen or discounting just to get the job.

The survey reflected some optimism about the last years in construction, though. We asked our Top Metal Roofers what product or technology changes had made the biggest difference in their business during the last years? Their answers? Electronic plan rooms. More sophisticated estimating software, cool roof technology, and rollformer equipment advancements.

Perhaps those technology changes will make our recovery from a tough economic climate easier and more profitable.


Top Metal Roofers

A-Lert Roof Systems,

A Division of Centurion Industries Inc.,

New Braunfels, Texas

Founded: 1975

2010 Square Footage: 1,507,239

2009 Square Footage: 1,902,456

2010 Tonnage: 2,309

2009 Tonnage: 2,912

Advanced Metal Roofing,

Wilmington, N.C.

Founded: 1994

2010 Square Footage: 1,217,025

2009 Square Footage: 1,354,302

2010 Tonnage: 402

2009 Tonnage: 444

Roofing Manufacturer Affiliation: Metalman Roofing Systems

Champion Metal Inc.,

Stockbridge, Ga.

Founded: 2008

2010 Square Footage: 565,000

2009 Square Footage: 650,000

Roofing Manufacturer Affiliation:


Cincinnati Commercial Contracting,


Founded: 1979

2010 Square Footage: 229,480

2009 Square Footage: 276,675

2010 Tonnage: 532

2009 Tonnage: 300

Roofing Manufacturer Affiliation:

Butler Manufacturing

AARA Construction Inc.,


Founded: 1976

2010 Square Footage: 227,518

2009 Square Footage: 244,845

2010 Tonnage: 176.32

2009 Tonnage: 189.76

Roofing Manufacturer Affiliation:

Ultra Seam Inc.

The Sheridan Corp.,

Fairfield, Maine

Founded: 1947

2010 Square Footage: 194,509

2009 Square Footage: 69,443

Crossland Construction Co. Inc.,

Columbus, Kan.

Founded: 1978

2010 Square Footage: 187,456

2010 Tonnage: 141

Septagon Industries,

Sedalia, Mo.

Founded: 1980

2010 Square Footage: 159,886

2009 Square Footage: 75,602

2010 Tonnage: 170

2009 Tonnage: 81

Roofing Manufacturer Affiliation: Butler

Manufacturing, BlueScope

LaFave's Construction Co. Inc.,

Landis, N.C.

Founded: 1982

2010 Square Footage: 137,600

2009 Square Footage: 166,500

2010 Tonnage: 115.4

2009 Tonnage: 128.6

Roofing Manufacturer Affiliation:

MBCI, McElroy Metals

Coleman Adams Construction Inc.,

Forest, Va.

Founded: 1971

2010 Square Footage: 30,000

2009 Square Footage: 56,200

2010 Tonnage: 51

2009 Tonnage: 21

Hansel Construction Services LLC,

Parkersburg, Iowa

Founded: 1994

2010 Square Footage: 14,000

2009 Square Footage: 11,000

Roofing Manufacturer Affiliation: Wheeling


Scudder Roofing Co.,

Marina, Calif.

Founded: 1982

2010 Square Footage: 8,400

2009 Square Footage: 52,800

All-Spec Metal Systems LLC,

Holts Summit, Mo.

Founded: 1997

2010 Square Footage: N/A

2010 Tonnage: 89.98

2009 Tonnage: 129.42

Roofing Manufacturer Affiliation:

Various manufacturers