Lead Times: MACH II™ 5", 6", 5"/6" Gutter Machines: 4 weeks | SSQ II™, SSH™, and SSR™ Roof Panel Machines: 42 weeks | SSH™, SSR™, and SSQ II™ Roller Sets: 6-8 weeks

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How Jim Built Gunnison Sheet Metal with an NTM SSR MultiPro Jr.

Learn how Jim Averill built a metals business in the heart of Colorado ski country with an SSR MultiPro Jr., NTM’s starter machine.

Rick Zand April 03, 2024

I chose New Tech Machinery over the competition because of how valued I felt as a customer. They truly valued me and appreciated me as a person. I wasn’t just another sale.

Jim Averill, NTM machine owner

Jim Averill’s story

At New Tech Machinery (NTM), we measure the quality of our machines by the success of our customers. Jim Averill’s story shares a similarity with others that we’ve heard–their business success began with an NTM machine and lots of hard work. In Jim’s case, his business grew so fast that after only a couple of years he was ready to upgrade from NTM’s starter SSR™ MultiPro Jr. Roof Panel Machine to our flagship SSQ II™ MultiPro Roof and Wall Panel Machine.

Jim Averill’s interest in roofing started in high school when he worked for his friend’s dad, Mike Barber of Dunrite Roofing & Siding in southeastern Michigan. This early experience in roofing ignited Jim’s interest in the trade.

After high school, Jim attended college in Gunnison, Colorado. To make money during school, Jim continued roofing, taking on any project he could find, from remodels to decks to roofing jobs. This allowed him to gain valuable hands-on experience in a variety of construction projects while pursuing his education.

Starting a Roofing Business

After graduating from college with a degree in geology, Jim spent a year working in the oil fields. Between rig moves, he’d jump back into construction, grabbing any job he could find and gaining hands-on experience.

Eventually, he decided to stay and work in roofing in the area. However, in the beginning, his resources were extremely limited. Jim lived in a camper parked in his office manager’s backyard for over a year as he was starting out, working long days.

Eventually, he started his own roofing and remodeling business in Gunnison, Axtell Mountain Construction. He continued taking on as much roofing work as he could, pushing himself to grow the business. Jim’s perseverance allowed him to build Gunnison Sheet Metal with business partner Josh Uherek, which led to their expansion into metal fabrication. Gunnison Sheet Metal manufactures standing seam, 7/8″ corrugated, and pro-panel roofing and siding, as well as chimney caps, accessories, and snow retention systems.

Jim's trailer hitched to a pickup.
Jim’s home, just starting out.

Purchasing His First New Tech Machine

Jim’s business really took off after purchasing his first New Tech SSR™ MultiPro Jr. Roof Panel Machine, NTM’s starter rollformer. Having his own SSR MultiPro allowed Jim to manage his operation on-site. He brought just the amount of material needed for the job, so there was less waste, and he cut out shipping costs as well. Also, he found there was less risk of damage to the panels when he could fabricate them at the job site.

“Once I got the SSR, things really excelled. Having my own SSR really allowed me to manage the materials on the project and to open my Gunnison Sheet Metal business,” Jim said.

With the SSR, Jim could form metal roofing panels and custom trim on demand to sell to other contractors and building owners. The on-site forming capabilities allowed him to keep up with the high demand for metal roofing in the area.

Purchasing that first New Tech machine expanded Jim’s services and revenue potential exponentially. Realizing how many panels he could fabricate with just one machine, Jim credits the SSR with allowing him to go from roofing houses to taking on larger commercial projects. It was a pivotal point in scaling up his business.

“What’s most exciting about my work and owning a New Tech machine is being able to control my materials on hand when I want it and where I want it,” Jim said.

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Expanding with New Tech Machinery

At Gunnison Sheet Metal, Jim to add CNC folding machines and equipment to make metal roofing panels and custom trim. Now, he can supply the materials for his own roofing jobs, as well as sell panels and custom-fabricated trim to other contractors and homeowners in the area looking to buy metal building supplies.

Take a tour of Jim’s shop.

Jim’s primary focus and jobs are in the Colorado towns of Crested Butte and his hometown, Gunnison. The most common type of jobs that his companies produce is commercial condos and high-end residential custom homes.

Crested Butte and Gunnison are home to some of Colorado’s most luxurious mountain residences and condominiums. The areas attract homeowners and real estate investors seeking scenic properties with spectacular mountain views and easy access to nearby skiing. His New Tech machines allow him to efficiently produce architectural metal panels on-site to custom-fit these high-end homes and condos perfectly.

Condo complex in Crested Butte.
A Crested Butte condo complex, one of Jim’s metal roofing jobs.

Challenges of Starting a Metals Business

Owning a business has many challenges and like any business owner, Jim learned some key lessons along the way. One of the biggest surprises was realizing just how difficult it can be to run your own company. There were many sleepless nights early on as Jim tried to figure out the most efficient ways to complete roofing jobs. Tackling scheduling, logistics, and obtaining equipment were all new challenges.

One piece of equipment Jim wishes he had invested in sooner was a forklift. After purchasing his first New Tech machine, he quickly realized how invaluable having a forklift is when loading coil and relocating panels.

Jim’s Advice to New Owners

“Don’t think twice – buy the SSR to start out,” Jim advises. “If you’re doing maybe ten roofs a year, the SSR is a perfect starting point.”

After only two years, Jim’s business had grown enough that he upgraded to the SSQ II™ MultiPro Roof and Wall Panel Machine, NTM’s flagship rollformer. The SSQ II allows him to take on bigger jobs and, with 16 metal roof and wall panel profiles, offers more options. Jim could sell more metal siding and commercial panels after upgrading. The increased speed and output of the SSQ II enabled him to take on more projects.

“I have grown more than 1000%,” Jim told us. “New Tech has allowed me to step out from living in my shop to being able to purchase a new home.”

Jim attributes much of Gunnison Sheet Metal’s growth to the reliability and efficiency of his New Tech Machinery rollformers. They have been integral in taking his business to the next level.

“The SSR crushes,” Jim told us. “It just keeps performing. I’ve never had an issue.”

SSR MultiPro Jr. Roof Panel Machine
The SSR MultiPro Jr. Roof Panel Machine

About the SSR MultiPro Jr. Roof Panel Machine

The SSR MultiPro Jr. Rollformer is an entry-level roof and wall panel machine made for residential and light commercial work. It can run seven different profiles in variable widths, multiple gauges, and various materials.

Materials Formed:

  • Painted Steel: 28 to 24 gauge (0.4mm to 0.6mm) (painted, Galvalume, coated galvanized)
  • 50 ksi maximum for 24 gauge
  • 50 ksi recommended, 80 ksi acceptable with adjustments for 28 to 26 gauge
  • Painted Aluminum: .027” to .040” (0.7mm to 1.0mm)
  • Copper: 16 oz. to 20 oz. 3/4 Hard (.5mm to .7mm)

Speed:

About 30’/ min (9m/min)

Price:

Starts at $38,850 USD*

*The base price includes the machine with one panel profile, one style of rib rollers (bead ribs, striations, pencil ribs, or V ribs), the dual overhead reel rack with one expandable arbor/ reel, and 20’ of run-out table.

For information about the SSR MultiPro Jr., the SSQ II MultiPro Roof and Wall Panel Machine, or any of New Tech Machinery’s metal roof and wall panel or gutter machines, contact us.

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