3 Ways to Expand Your Metal Roofing Business

Industry News & Information
Rick Zand|April 22, 2024

Increasingly, contractors are developing strategies to expand their metal roofing businesses prompted by industry growth, as more builders and homeowners appreciate the longevity, sustainability, and environmental pluses of metal construction.

For over 30 years, New Tech Machinery (NTM) has been helping contractors and manufacturers build metal businesses with portable rollformers. We’ve seen the expanding market create more opportunities for metal roofers, and our machines and products have advanced in response to contractors’ needs. 

This article will provide three practical ways to take advantage of this growth so that you can take your metal roofing business to the next level. Depending on the machine and equipment you currently own, it may only require the purchase of an additional profile to expand your business. Or you may decide to buy a new machine that will increase profits as your operation grows.

Metal home
Metal Siding, including flush-wall, is increasing in popularity for modern homes and commercial buildings.

1. Adding Soffit and Flush-Wall Panel Profiles

Soffit Panels

Producing soffit panels allows you to offer your customers a more complete roofing system. If you’re doing the installations, then it’s an all-in-one service. If it’s a chop-and-drop, it’ll make it easier for the contractor who bid on the installation. Either way, it’s a win.

Soffit panels improve energy efficiency, provide ventilation, and enhance the roof’s overall appearance. Offering soffit panels can differentiate your business from any competition that can’t deliver such a robust package.

Soffits cover the underside of a roof’s overhang, including arches, balconies, and eaves. Soffit (meaning something fixed underneath) can be made of any material. With new designs in metal that resemble wood, stone, or other materials, soffit panel fabrication provides a great opportunity for metal roofers to expand their product menu.

Aluminum or steel are great materials for soffits, as they are fire resistant, durable, and not susceptible to insect infestation the way wood is. NTM offers optional perforation for our soffit panel profiles too should this be a requirement for specific installations. 

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Flush Panels

You can also produce flush panels for siding with the same profile as our soffit panels.  A flush panel is designed to provide a smooth, flat appearance. 

Purpose and Applications:

  • Used for siding and for architectural details, like around doors and windows. Offers a smooth and seamless look.
  • Used for fascia.

Joint Configurations:

Flush panels come in two joint configurations:

  • Flush Joint: Panels fit together with a hidden clip for a seamless look.
  • Reveal Joint: Panels have a slight gap or reveal between them for a more dimensional look.

Optional Pencil Ribs:

For longer panel lengths, you can choose to include small pencil or V ribs (one or two) to enhance rigidity and prevent oil canning.

Metal soffit and gutters.
Soffit panels and gutters can be part of a full metal roofing package.

NTM Flush Wall/ Soffit/ Underdeck Profiles With Adjustable Reveal

NTM offers the unique FWQ100 and FWQ150 panel profiles, which can be used as wall panels, soffit panels, and under-decking. The roller set also has an optional perforator/crimper that adds venting holes to the finished panel for use as a vented soffit panel. It also has a 0” to 3” adjustable reveal on the roller set assembly that you can engage as it suits your project requirements.

The SSQ II™ MultiPro Roof and Wall Panel Machine, our flagship rollformer, offers the FWQ100 and FWQ150 flush wall/soffit / under-decking profiles. The FWQ100 has a 1” seam, while the FWQ150 has a larger 1 1/2″ seam. The SSQ II is the only NTM rollformer that runs these two profiles.

Both profiles can shape an adjustable reveal, or gap between panels, in increments of 1/2″, from 0” to a maximum of 3”.  When fabricating panels with the full 3” reveal, you’re looking at a finished panel width of 12” to 22” and peak coverage up to 25”.

To create these profiles, we suggest using 22 ga., 24 ga., or 26 ga. grade 50 steel, whether painted, Galvalume®, or coated galvanized. For aluminum, stick to .024 to .040 for the best results.

It’s common to encounter orders for a standard 12” or 16” wide panel. With the FWQ100, only 4” of coil material forms the seam — making it straightforward to use a 16” coil for a 12” finished panel or a 20” coil for a 16” one. 

Remember, these recommendations aren’t just for quality assurance and reducing the chances of oil canning. Operating outside these parameters poses a risk of harm to your SSQ MultiPro or its forming rollers — damage that could void your warranty. Like all tools of the trade, treating your rollforming machine with care and maintenance will help to ensure its longevity.

Market Potential

The demand for soffit panels is growing, mirroring the expansion of the metal roofing market. Offering soffit and flush wall panels can bolster your business and complete your metal roofing system package.

Metal board and batten home with a metal roof.
Board and batten metal siding is increasingly popular given its advantages over wood and environmental benefits.

2. Expanding into Metal Siding, Including Board and Batten

Types of Metal Siding

Exploring metal siding varieties, such as corrugated panels or interlocking systems, with special attention on the rustic charm of board and batten, can open new markets. These sidings offer unique profiles and can dramatically enhance a building’s facade.

Installation and Design Tips

For metal siding and especially board and batten:

  • Understand the local climate to select appropriate siding profiles.
  • Use quality fasteners to secure siding, accommodating for metal expansion.
  • Limit the length of the panel. A panel that uses affixed screws such as our board-and-batten will likely experience oil canning if the length is over 30’. 

Siding Profiles

Besides the flush wall panels discussed previously, NTM offers several siding profiles.

Board and Batten Profile

Since its release in May 2023, NTM’s board-and-batten profile has really taken off. We’ve seen it used in residential and commercial structures, from Indiana farms to countryside barndominiums to contemporary homes in urban centers. The board-and-batten profile is available only for our SSQ MultiPro machines dating back to 2014. For more information on this profile, click here.

Market Analysis

The metal siding market presents an excellent opportunity for up-selling and package deals when you’re already providing roofing solutions. Metal siding and roofing can create a durable and attractive exterior that’s easy to maintain, which customers value.

WAV Profiles

Made for industrial and commercial use, the WAV™ Wall Panel Machine profiles include the WAV-16-4F Profile With Flange, the WAV-12-1F Profile, and the WAV-8-1F Profile. These profiles can only be produced with the WAV Wall Panel Machine

Building made with WAV metal wall panels from an NTM WAV machine.
NTM’s WAV Wall Panel Machine produces panels for commercial and industrial structures.

3. Diversifying with Gutters and Portable Gutter Machines

Offering gutters is another way of completing the roofing package. Many times, new metal roofs require new gutters. Rather than hiring another contractor to do the job once the roof is finished, you can easily run seamless gutters custom-fitted to the structure with a portable seamless gutter machine. 

Broadening your range to include gutter installation can enhance your business model and further completes a total roofing package offered to customers.

Purchasing a Portable Seamless Gutter Machine

Investing in portable gutter machines like those manufactured by New Tech Machinery can enhance your operation. These machines allow for on-site custom gutter production, reducing waste and improving turnaround times. 

NTM’s Mach II™ Portable K-Style Seamless Gutter Machines come as 5”, 6”, and 5”/6” combo rollformers. The BG7™ Box Gutter Machine produces a 7” box gutter that is perfect for commercial and industrial projects.

Market Potential

The demand for quality gutter systems is a constant. Unfortunately, poorly installed and flimsy sectional gutters are common problems, and a competent hand with a portable gutter machine can accomplish a lot in this market.  A portable gutter machine can strengthen your competitive edge by providing customized, high-quality gutters.

How to Get the Most Out of the Growing Metal Construction Market

It’s important to find ways to expand to remain competitive in the growing metal construction industry. Providing full-service roofing packages positions you to take advantage of all the opportunities created by a single metal roof order and eliminates the need for other sub-contractors to be involved, hence increasing profits. 

By adopting any of the strategies discussed—offering soffit and flush-wall panels, expanding into metal siding, and including gutters with a portable gutter machine—you set your business up for future growth and success.

To further explore how you can expand your metal roofing operation with added profiles and machines, contact us. One of our experienced account managers will be happy to discuss different options to grow your business.

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