Tag Archives: contractor

New Tax Credit for Metal Roofing: Member UPDATE

As reported at the recent MRA annual meeting, the U.S. government approved a $500 tax credit for qualifying metal roofs installed in 2015 and 2016.  

$500 Tax Credit

 

This provides a new marketing opportunity for the metal roofing industry, as this is the first time in several years that the tax credit isn’t just retroactive, but is guaranteed for the current year.  Here are the key details for the tax credit:

  • Metal roof must be placed on a homeowner’s principal residence.

  • Tax Credit is for 10% of the cost of the roof, excluding labor, with a maximum deduction of $500.

  • Metal roofs with appropriate pigmented coatings that also meet ENERGY STAR requirements are eligible.  Visit Energy Star site for more information.

  • Only highly reflective roofs will qualify – the IRS defines this as “appropriately pigmented coating that is specifically and primarily designed to reduce the heat gain of the dwelling unit.”

  • This tax credit is for remodeling projects only, not new construction.

  • Homeowners will need a Manufacturer Certification Statement to file with IRS Tax form 5695.

  • 2015 and 2016 installations are eligible for the deduction.

Bill Croucher, Director of Engineering for MRA member manufacturer Fabral, explains, “It’s important for members of the metal roofing industry to know that bare metal, including either unpainted or clear acrylic coated Galvalume do not qualify for the 2015/2016 tax credit.  Unpainted metal has a very low emissivity value and even though it meets the reflectivity requirements for the Energy Star program, the solar energy that is not reflected is held in the metal much longer than painted material with a high emissivity.”

MRA’s public relations team presented communications recommendations at the MRA annual meeting, and will be working with our members to execute a comprehensive marketing plan throughout the year.  

iRoofing Joins MRA

The Metal Roofing Alliance is pleased to announce the addition of its newest ancillary member, iRoofing.org (www.iroofing.org).  This robust roofing software designed for use on an iPad allows contractors to easily estimate a roofing job and provide a professional presentation to consumers.  By using iRoofing, contractors can safely, accurately and quickly measure a customer’s roof using an advanced satellite-based system accessible directly from the iRoofing app.  The all-digital mobile solution also includes presentation tools, a roofing visualizer, digital catalogs, photo gallery, estimating, and technical data as well as a CRM tool.  

iRoofing ipad

“iRoofing is a great tool that can help MRA contractors create professional proposals and accurate estimates to help boost sales,” stated Bill Hippard, Executive Director of the MRA.  “This construction app is state-of-the-art and allows contractors to include their logos on presentations and create photo galleries of their projects.

iroofing

iRoofing is marketed as an on-the-go solution for busy roofing contractors and can be used to generate proposals, allowing roofing contractors to provide homeowners with different photos scaled to actual dimensions.  It is designed to help roofing contractors boost sales and complete proposals.  To make things even easier, contracts can be uploaded and edited on the go, creating a unique database for individual customers.

iroofing presenting

“We are very excited to join the MRA.  We know that the residential metal roofing industry has grown substantially over the last decade and most of that growth can be directly connected to all the work the MRA has done educating homeowners and roofing contractors about the many benefits of residential roofing.  We believe our product is something that MRA contractors will find very useful in growing their roofing business,” states Oded Shemla, co-owner and co-founder of iRoofing.org.

MRA’s Ancillary member program provides an opportunity for suppliers to the metal roofing industry to support the only consumer-facing marketing program in the metal industry. “Our ancillary members understand that the demand created by the MRA’s marketing program has a ripple effect throughout the supply chain.  More metal roofs means increased sales for all the companies along the chain,” concluded Hippard.

For more information on iRoofing, please call (800) 646-6270 or visit www.iRoofing.org.

Free Roofing Book Available for Use by MRA Contractors

In our ongoing effort to promote residential metal roofing, the Metal Roofing Alliance has just released a new home improvement book titled “Above All You Need a Great Roof.”

Metal Roofing Book

Written by construction industry experts Jim Cory and Dave Yoho, the book is designed as a homeowner’s guide to choosing a new roof.  Written in a consumer-friendly format, this new book walks a homeowner through the entire process of replacing their roof, including identifying the need for a roof, choosing a quality installer, and general comparisons of various roofing systems.

As a project sponsored by the Metal Roofing Alliance, of course, metal roofing is highlighted throughout the book, including discussion of the investment grade benefits of a metal roof.  Although designed to help homeowners to understand the value of metal roofing, the book also has terrific potential for contractors.

Contractor members of the Metal Roofing Alliance can download a free electronic PDF version of the book through their online member dashboard for use in local marketing efforts.  Once downloaded, the PDF can be used on a contractor’s business website to generate leads or sent to potential customers via email.   MRA members can also purchase discounted printed copies of the book to distribute.

For more information, or advice on using the PDF or printed book, please contact MRA’s contractor relations team at (314)399-1951.

To learn more about all the benefits of MRA membership, or to join the alliance, please visit our website at www.MetalRoofing.com.

Galvanized Metal Roofs – Why Use G90 or Higher for Residential Roofing?

Galvanized panels are a very popular substrate for metal roofing.  Manufacturers often use terms such as G60 or G90 to describe their products.  What’s the difference? And which should contractors use in various applications?

Galvanized Defined

Galvanization is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, to prevent rusting.  After roofing panels are galvanized, they can be painted or granular-coated.  The grades of galvanized products correspond directly to anticipated field longevity. With galvanized substrates, the more zinc the better. These “G” numbers indicate how many ounces of zinc are applied to each 100 sq. feet of paneling. G60 has 60 ounces, G90 has 90 ounces and therefore provides better corrosion resistance. These numbers are directly related to increased longevity and long-term aesthetics for the roof.

Specifications Defined

The Metal Construction Association has developed a Guide Specification for Residential Metal Roofing that clearly defines which galvanized products should be used on homes. All MRA members must agree to adhere to or exceed the MCA’s Guide Specification for Residential Metal Roofing before they are permitted to join the association.  This same rule applies for both manufacturers and contractors.  For galvanized steel used in residential applications, the MRA recommends a minimum metallic coating of G-90. So, if you’re not sure of the coating of the panels you are installing on homes, it’s in your best interest to find out.  Again, the higher the number, the better protection from rust.

Metal Roof

Why It Matters

“Members of the metal roofing industry are constantly fighting the outdated ‘rusty barn roof’ image, and the Metal Roofing Alliance has made great progress in educating consumers about today’s beautiful, long-lasting metal roofing options.  Every bad roof installation is a step in the wrong direction,” says MRA’s Executive Director Bill Hippard.

Metal Roofs on Homes should not rust

In a competitive environment, it may be tempting to choose a lower quality (and therefore lower cost) steel panel when installing a new metal roof.  However, for roofers who are looking to build a business and remain in this growing residential market segment, that choice offers short term gain in exchange for long-term pain.  Whenever a lower-quality metal roof is installed, it’s almost certainly doomed for failure, resulting in customer complaints and a damaged reputation for all metal roofs.

Former customers are an excellent referral source, and a happy homeowner will recommend your business to their friends and neighbors.  The opposite is also true – install an inferior product, and you will hear about it as well as those same friends, neighbors and perhaps even the local licensing authorities.

For a list of MRA member manufacturers and the Investment Grade Roofing products they offer for residential installation, please visit our website.

Metal Roofing Alliance Launches Facebook Marketing Test

Although it may not be as visible as the Metal Roofing Alliance‘s television advertising or public relations articles, online marketing is an important component of the organization’s overall consumer outreach strategy. As a potential customer is already online when they encounter these MRA marketing messages, they’re just a click away from the metal roofing website (www.metalroofing.com), where they can do more research.

My New Metal Roof Metal Roofing Alliance Roofing Visualizer

Once on the MRA site, a homeowner can explore the photo gallery, utilize the “My New Metal Roof” tool to visualize their home with a metal roof, or find a local contractor.   Research shows that 97% of consumers will conduct online research of local businesses prior to making a major purchase, so having a strong online campaign is a must.

MRA uses several online marketing channels, including search engine marketing in Google and Bing, pre-roll video and display advertising which influence over half of the consumer leads generated on MetalRoofing.com.

Recently, MRA added a new player to the mix with a test of a Facebook advertising campaign.  This is an attractive option for MRA, as Facebook’s targeting options for reaching the right audience allow us to focus our marketing dollars on those that have the highest likelihood of putting a metal roof on their home, helping to further drive down the cost per engagement. While the test is still ongoing, the early results are promising.

Metal Roofing - From shake to shingles, see any style on your home...

Currently, MRA is testing three different “Calls to Action”, including the “My New Metal Roof” visualizer tool, a “Learn More” message, and find a contractor.  The most popular call to action in terms of generating engagement has been the visualizer tool, telling us that people are interested in seeing their home with a metal roof.  Our research shows that 75% of homeowners like and understand the many benefits of metal roofing, but feel it’s “not right for their home.” This is an excellent tool to show them otherwise. Homeowners who create an account to save their visualizations can opt-in to receive the MRA’s Consumer eNewsletter.

Metal Roofing - Get an estimate for metal roofing from a local...

Although the Find a Contractor message has been the least engaging in terms of overall performance, these are the most valuable leads that we’re generating for our members. These are high-quality leads, largely homeowners actively looking for a metal roofing contractor in their area. These leads are distributed to our member contractor base through MetalRoofing.com

Since the launch in January 2015, MRA’s Facebook campaign has generated over 303,188 impressions and 7,648 clicks through to the MRA site.    The cost per click (CPC) is coming in around $0.28 per click which is very favorable compared to $0.89 CPC for search remarketing campaigns and over $5/click for buying search terms in Google.  In addition, the MRA’s Facebook fan page now has over 840 followers and growing steadily, providing ongoing opportunities to connect with interested consumers.  You can follow the MRA’s Facebook page here.

MRA will continue to test new channels like these and will shift online marketing resources to the most effective producers. Be on the lookout for another update as the roofing season heats up.