Paying by the piece is a way that roofing companies get away with paying their employees less than they are worth.
Roofers are paid in one of two ways: by the piece or by the hour. We all know how hourly works. The more hours you work, the more you get paid. And if you work more than forty hours in a week, you get overtime.
When a roofer pays by the piece or square (roughly 100 sq. ft.), they don’t have to pay overtime. They can work their guys forever, and not pay anything extra into labor.
Recently I woke up on a Sunday morning and heard trucks moving, hammers going, and guys working on a roof in my neighborhood. Me being me, I walked over and said to one of them, “Wow, you’re working on a Sunday?” The guy said, “Yep, we work every day.”
I couldn’t believe it. This company has these guys working seven days a week with no time off. They are working their tails off, trying to provide for their families, and never get a break. What do you think happens to their workmanship?
Things get missed. Corners get cut. If you never get a break, you’re going to miss things. The incentive is to go fast, because you make more money. But when it’s all about speed, things don’t get done correctly.
We pay our teams by the hour. If they hit forty hours, we don’t force them into overtime. We might ask them to work on a Saturday to get a job done and they’ll usually say, “Heck yeah! I’ll make some extra money.” But we never force them, and we never work our team on Sunday. They’ve got to take some time off.
When you chose a roofing company, make sure they pay by the hour. That way you know your roof is being put on meticulously and correctly by a well-rested and cared for team.