How Do You Handle Employee Side Jobs?

How Do You Handle Employee Side Jobs?

This month’s topic has been a subject of discussion for years around the RoofersCoffeeShop.com.  Read this lively discussion on our Forum linked Here from 10 years ago and you will see this challenge is still relevant today.  Many of today’s contractors started out doing work on the side so this a very important topic to address for your business.

Please follow along to see these great ideas and policies presented from our Roofing Influencers.

About RCS Roofing Influencers
RoofersCoffeeShop.com is proud to present an exciting new way to approach today’s challenges in the roofing industry – RCS Roofing Influencers! We have created this group with people from various areas of expertise and asking them all for an opinion, tips or advice.  Our readers can get the insight on the subjects that best fits their business.  Please join our new group on Linkedin or Here on RoofersCoffeeShop.com

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:44:35 +0000

Call for Presentations at the Western Roofing Expo 2018

Call for Presentations at the Western Roofing Expo 2018

Attention all public speakers – submit your proposal to speak at the Western Roofing Expo 2018 before November 15.

With the ever-increasing popularity of the Western Roofing Expo and its educational seminars & demos, WSRCA is making a call to all members: apply to teach a seminar at the upcoming Western Roofing Expo 2018 in Las Vegas! They believe the quality of their membership provides a valuable knowledge base to tap into, driving even more relevance and learning opportunities for attendees.

Use this link to access the “Call for Presentations” e-form.  If you have a product or service appropriate for an audience of roofing contractors (averaging 65 attendees per seminar this last year), then you are encouraged to submit your seminar topic, with all relevant details asked on the application form.  Once received, the WSRCA Convention Committee will evaluate and select the top 16 applicants for presentation at this coming year’s Expo — June 10-12, 2018 — at the Paris Las Vegas.

There are several categories and target audiences from which to choose.  However, if your product or service falls outside these categories, please send your form in for review regardless. It may still end up being included.

With all the promotion, including print, emails, vendor distribution, etc., your company will find the exposure well worth the investment of time and energy.  Also, it will continue to boost the educational value that is growing at the Western Roofing Expo; producing some of the most professional, informed roofing contractors in the country.  Educated contractors are good for everyone.

WSRCA looks forward to receiving your application no later than 11/15/2017. Please fill out all information on the form.  Incomplete forms will not be considered. Click here to download the form, when finished, click SUBMIT FORM at the top of the document to return the completed form. If you’re having trouble submitting the form, you can also email it to Joel Viera – WSRCA Director of Exposition & Events, at joel@wsrca.com.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 11 Aug 2017 22:13:12 +0000

Cool Roofs are a Compelling Choice in the North

Cool Roofs are a Compelling Choice in the North

Dark Roof’s Summer Cooling Penalty is a Deciding Factor

Cool roofs reflect the sun’s energy and reduce air conditioning loads in the summer, so do dark roofs absorb energy in the winter and reduce heating costs? In northern regions where heating costs are significant, can dark roofs be energy efficient? Some building professionals specify dark absorptive membranes for northern cities like Chicago and Minneapolis believing that they are lowering their clients heating costs and lowering year round energy costs.

An analogy, only slightly tongue in cheek, would be to ask if Chicagoans walking along Michigan Avenue in the winter wear dark clothes to stay warmer? Or do dark colored cars outsell light colors in the Windy City?

So, do dark roofs help improve building energy efficiency in northern cities? Let’s take a look at the arguments.

Heating Degree Days versus Cooling Degree Days

There is no doubt that heating degree days in northern areas are far greater than cooling degree days. For example:

Cooling Days

This means that the number of days the temperature was below 65°F multiplied by how many degrees the temperature was lower, was 9,317. This far outnumbers the cooling degree days and some have argued that therefore dark roofs are appropriate for northern cities such as Minneapolis. However, it’s important to examine the cost of cooling versus the cost of heating.

Energy Costs

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration for commercial customers in Minnesota in 2015 allows us to compare the cost of heating versus cooling. Assuming gas as the energy source for heating:

BTUs

Added to this, cooling is less efficient than heating. This means that one can’t simply compare the number of heating versus cooling degree days to make a judgment.

Verdict

Degree day comparisons don’t enable a choice of roof reflectivity to be made. Put simply, neither EPDM nor TPO / PVC can be specified on the basis of the number of heating degree days versus those of cooling degree days.

Cooling versus Heating Costs

Heating – Gas Costs

Natural gas is becoming ever more plentiful in the US and costs are fairly stable meaning that heating costs can generally be budgeted for with confidence. Added to that, utilities usually charge commercial customers a flat amount per cubic foot used. Frequently, volume discounts apply and larger customers pay less per BTU of heat than smaller ones.

Cooling – Electricity Costs

Today’s electric bills, especially for commercial and industrial customers, are fairly complex. However, the basic components are as follows:

  • Base Use Rate – the charge per kilowatt hour (kWhr) of energy use.
    • This is common for residential but rare for commercial customers.
    • Can vary depending on the time of year, eg. summer versus winter.
  • Time of Use Rate – the charge per kWhr of energy use that varies depending on the time of day or year.
    • This is increasingly applied to commercial customers.
    • The rate is highest during times of peak demand, such as between 1 and 6 pm. It is lowest during periods of low demand such as 3 to 6 am.
    • If the rate varies by time of year, then summer rates might be highest, when air conditioning use is at its highest.
  • Demand Charge – the cost per kilowatt (kW) of power demand.
    • The charge applies to the highest demand that a customer had for power at any time during a month.
    • To help understand the concept, think of how fast an electric meter is spinning when a lot of equipment is turned on and the air conditioning is running at maximum load. This might be the situation for a short period of time, so energy use could be low, but the power demand could be very high for that short period.
    • It is typically based on the highest power draw seen in 15 minute increments during a month.

All of these components make building electric charges difficult to predict and budget for. Plus, unlike for gas, higher usage levels can dramatically increase the cost of that energy.

Most building professionals clearly understand the impact of the base electric rate or tariff and time of use rates. It is easy to appreciate that lowering air conditioning demand will reduce electric bills. However, those tariffs frequently represent 50% or less of a total electric bill with the demand charge being 50% or larger. By understanding the impact of air conditioning on demand charges, it can be seen that cool roofs have a large role to play impacting building energy efficiency.

Demand Charges

A simple way to think of demand charges versus energy use is to look at an electric meter:

How to read your meter

In a traditional residential meter shown on the left, the upper dials keep track of the cumulative energy use. The lower wheel shows the demand by how fast it is spinning. A more modern or small commercial meter shown on the right displays the same data in a digital fashion.

As an air conditioner does its work during a month, the energy use is added up, leading to an eventual charge based on kilowatt hours. But, on the hottest day of that month, during an afternoon period when the sun was at its highest and creating a higher thermal load through the roof and walls the air conditioner will be operating at a high load. Therefore its “demand” for power will spike and that spike will result in a charge per kW. Even if that spike is for just 15 minutes, that demand charge could be >50% of the monthly bill. Let’s look at a small office building to better understand this:

The customer has a 2 ton air conditioner that draws 7.2kW at maximum load. Each month it runs at an average 50% load for 10 hours a day with an electric charge of $0.090/kWh. That results in a monthly charge of 10 hours x 30 days x 7.2kW x 50% x $0.090/kWhr = $97.20

But, on a sunny day during that same month, the air conditioner might run at maximum load for 15 minutes, triggering a demand charge of $15.00 / kW. The resulting demand charge would be 7.2 kW x $15.00 / kW = $108.00

In this example the demand charge is larger than the use charge. Since dark roofs increase the need for air conditioning, they not only drive up monthly electricity consumption costs, they can significantly increase demand charges, as well.  A cool roof, on the other hand, reflects heat away and helps reduce both monthly consumption and demand charges.

Verdict

Not only is electricity more expensive than gas, but the rate structures are complex. Seemingly small increases in electricity use can result in large additional costs due to the compounding effects of time of use rates and demand charges.

Cool roofs lower a building’s energy use, thereby lowering operating costs. However, overall electric use is often only 50% of the electric charge and the maximum power draw and its demand charge can represent the other half. Cool roofs lower the internal temperature rise on hot sunny days and therefore lower the load on air conditioning equipment.

Location Doesn’t Matter!

As the following data indicates, it doesn’t matter where a building is located; if it uses air conditioning then converting to a cool roof will result in savings.

Let’s compare buildings in the northern, southern, eastern, and western U.S. The basic assumptions are:

Size: 100,000 sq.ft.
Electric use cost: $0.090 / kWhr.
Electric demand cost: $15.00 / kW
Gas cost: $0.80 / therm

To make the calculations conservative, we assumed a high insulation level of R-30, a heater efficiency of 80%, and an air conditioner coefficient of performance of 3.2. Using the Cool Roof Calculator tool, we estimated the impact of converting from a dark roof to a reflective membrane in the following locations:

Region City Savings
Southern USA Houston, TX $5,200 / yr
Northern USA Minneapolis, MN $2,600 / yr
Western USA San Francisco, CA $2,400 / yr
Eastern USA Raleigh, NC $4,100 / yr

Verdict

In warm and hot regions, cool roofs provide for larger energy savings, however, even in more moderate and even northern climates cool roofs improve a building’s energy efficiency. Modeling shows this to hold true so long as a building uses gas to heat and has air conditioning.

Will a Cool Roof Always Result in Actual Cost Savings?

There are a few reasons why some may not receive lower electric bills after converting to cool roofs. For example, overall electric costs may rise year over year or the utility rate structure could change. Also, changes in the building’s use, equipment, or operating patterns could increase overall lower consumption. Suffice to say, modeling shows that cool roofs reduce the impact of solar energy on a building and several case studies have demonstrated reduced utility bills. But, each building is unique and should be evaluated on its own terms.

Print Friendly

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:41:01 +0000

RCMA Is Accepting Abstracts for International Roof Coatings Conference

xUdsdL.png

RCMA Is Accepting Abstracts for International Roof Coatings Conference

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) is now accepting abstracts for its fourth biennial International Roof Coatings Conference (IRCC) program. The deadline for submission of abstracts is Oct. 31, 2017.

The 2018 IRCC will take place July 23-26, 2018, at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, in Chicago. The conference will feature a host of networking opportunities, educational sessions, and other programming geared toward professionals involved in the roof coatings industry.

“Our last conference was a success, with an over 40 percent growth in attendance,” says Jared Rothstein, RCMA Industry Affairs Manager. “We expect that the 2018 IRCC will provide more opportunity for our industry to join together, discuss issues, consider emerging trends, and enjoy each other’s company.”

Possible conference presentation topics include global market developments, green building trends, application practices, energy cost savings evaluations, roof coating formulation advancements, roof systems analysis, and in-situ field research. Roofing industry professionals, building envelope technology experts, material scientists, and those in the design community are encouraged to submit their abstracts for consideration.

Those interested in presenting at the 2018 IRCC should visit the IRCC website for more information and to complete the abstract submission form.  A list of conference partnership, sponsorship, and exhibition opportunities is also available on the IRCC website.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 04 Aug 2017 21:00:01 +0000

Multi-faceted Approach Required to Retain Good Employees

JugT1F.jpg

Multi-faceted Approach Required to Retain Good Employees

RCS Influencer Mark Holencik says that businesses should always be looking for new methods to retain good employees.

I think often about the guys who worked hard to help me build a company that you would want to work for.  They did not stick around to reap the benefits of the years of work it took to build a pay and benefit package that you could support a family on.  Some of those that left would have stayed if I would have fired the bad apples faster.

That said, you will not retain good employees without good pay and benefits. Yet good pay and benefits will not retain good employees.

One of the things that helps with retention is to hire people without prior trade experience. Mike Hicks talks about this and I have found this to be true.  Find someone who wants a change in their career or just wants a career.

Another thing we did early on was give out an employee of the year award. It did not cost anything and it works. We named it after an employee that came to me with no experience and afraid of heights. I knew the money he made before he came to me. The first thing I said to him was I cannot pay you what you are making now. He said I know, I want a change. I hired him and within three years he was a foreman that did not need any supervision. Done on time and no callbacks.

With people like that you have to step up your game and find more money and benefits to provide them.  One benefit that we have found to be helpful with family men is paid vacation that they can take when we are busy.  Kids have off in the summer.

We have weekly meetings with the foreman and salespeople.  We want the salespeople to know firsthand what did not work with the way the job was sold. The foreman needs to know any special items before they get to the job. We review every job to see if it was profitable and this is shown and explained to the employees.

We also provide uniforms to the repair guys and gutter and siding installers.  We are working on the shingle crew next.  There are other things we do to instill pride in being a part of the team.

This year we started to send all employees to Dale Carnegie training.

After this is all said and done. Some still leave.  Could we have done something different to keep them? I do not know, but we will keep looking for new methods to retain good employees.

Mark Holencik is the owner of Holencik Exteriors, Holencik Gutters and Holencik Insulation. See his full bio here.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 03 Aug 2017 15:51:03 +0000

PPG Brochure Highlights 50 Years of Duranar Coatings for Metal Building Components

pDC30E.png

PPG Brochure Highlights 50 Years of Duranar Coatings for Metal Building Components

PPG has published “The Gold Standard in Architectural Metal Coatings: Celebrating 50 Years of DURANAR Coatings,” a 16-page brochure commemorating the 1967 introduction of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coatings for metal building components.

According to Brian Knapp, PPG director, coil and building products, the booklet illustrates the historical significance of Duranar coatings.

“Our PVDF coating was a product that enabled architects to design metal components and facades with color,” he explains. “Until we introduced Duranar coatings, anodized aluminum was virtually the only metallic option to provide long-term performance on monumental buildings. It wasn’t until Duranar coatings were specified for several major projects that architects and building owners felt comfortable considering color finishes as a design option for metal.”

Over the past half-century, Duranar coatings have been specified by architects to protect and enhance some of the world’s most recognized architectural landmarks. Buildings profiled in the brochure include the Empire State Building in New York, Shanghai Tower in China, The Louvre Pyramid in Paris, and Centre Videotron in Quebec City.

Other prominent landmarks finished with Duranar coatings include One World Trade Center in New York; Shanghai World Financial Center in China; Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

The brochure is organized by building type—skyscrapers, landmarks, convention centers, transportation facilities, libraries and sports venues. Each building profile includes photographs, location, approximate opening date, the selected Duranar coatings color and the architect’s name.

In addition to publishing the brochure, PPG will highlight Duranar coatings in trade-show displays throughout the year and offer special customer promotions and giveaways. A dedicated web portal, duranar50.com, features images and descriptions of other landmark buildings finished with Duranar coatings, as well as articles, white papers and additional educational materials.

To learn more about the 50th anniversary of Duranar coatings or to download a copy of the 50th anniversary brochure, visit here or call (800) 258-6398.
(Why?)

Published at Wed, 02 Aug 2017 18:00:37 +0000

See DuPont™ Tyvek® Building Envelope Innovations at PCBC

See DuPont™ Tyvek® Building Envelope Innovations at PCBC

Visit DuPont at their PCBC booth #316 to see the company’s newest building product solutions.

On June 28 – 29, 2017, DuPont™ will exhibit at the PCBC Show at the San Diego Convention Center. The company will be featuring innovations that protect the whole house from the rooftop down. Visit them at booth #316: they’ve got the whole house covered!

  • On the roof with Tyvek® Protec™ roofing underlayments that deliver industry-leading walkability
  • Around windows and doors with DuPont™ Flashing Systems, now in Convenient-Sized Flashing Rolls
  • Wrapped up with Tyvek® weather-barriers for superior weatherization

Show attendees can visit the Flex House at booth #705. See how DuPont™ Tyvek® StuccoWrap® helped in the construction of VISONS The Flex House. This innovative “Right-Sized” home promotes living in a small, flexible space that is smart, connected, and sustainable.

Save

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:37:00 +0000

RoofersCoffeeShop.com Welcomes JOBPROGRESS

RoofersCoffeeShop.com Welcomes JOBPROGRESS

JOBPROGRESS is the must-have business productivity platform for all roofing contractors.

RoofersCoffeeShop.com, the place where the industry meets for technology, information and everyday business is pleased to welcome JOBPROGRESS. This software helps roofing contractors take charge of their business by offering an easy-to-use productivity platform with tools to manage business workflows, field operations, job workflows customer relationships and business development.

Contractors using JOBPROGRESS benefit from increased efficiency and productivity, higher revenue per project and improved customer satisfaction. The platform features a fully customizable job and workflow manager, a customer relationship manager, quick estimating, quoting and scheduling, dashboard work centers, remote access to the business, safe cloud storage, employee and subcontractor management tools, instant proposals and contracts with digital signature as well as online sales and marketing capabilities.

JOBPROGRESS was built for contractors by contractors. It fully integrates with other tools that contractors use to run their business including QuickBooks, EagleView, Google, WordPress, ZenDesk and social media.   Contractors can request a demo at www.jobprogress.com.

RoofersCoffeeShop.com is proud to welcome JOBPROGRESS.

About JOBPROGRESS
JOBPROGRESS is the must-have business productivity software for all home improvement contractors. The all-in-one, fully customizable business management software is built for any contractor with functionality and tools specific to each contractor trade type. By providing the framework that contractors can use on every job, JOBPROGRESS helps contractors work less and accomplish more. Learn more at www.jobprogress.com.

About RoofersCoffeeShop.com
RoofersCoffeeShop.com is committed to being a roofing professional advocate by supplying consistent information, education and communication avenues for all roofing professionals, and especially contractors, while promoting the positive growth, education and success of the roofing industry overall. Visitors to the site continue to find excellent opportunities for sharing information while participating in important ongoing conversations concerning new technologies, safety and the overall roofing trade. From the rooftop to the board room, RoofersCoffeeShop.com is “Where the Industry Meets!” For more information, visit www.rooferscoffeeshop.com.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 29 Jun 2017 16:53:50 +0000