Jack the Roofer about the long game in Sydney Roof repairs

The Roof repair business in Sydney is not easy…

Jack The Roofer’s roofing business was in a rut.

It was 2006.

I had a couple of large roofing jobs on new building sites and nothing was going right.

In 1999, when I decided to abandon my 18 year civil engineering construction career to transition into ‘Jack the Roofer’…. I had high hopes of building a roofing company under my brother’s guidance.

“How hard is it to start and build a small roofing business in Sydney….?” I asked myself.

“Surely, with all my engineering expertise, I can do it.”

The first year was easy. The giant hailstorm that hit the eastern suburbs of Sydney kept us busy. Then things went back to normal and work slowed down.

After a couple of years, I was all by myself – still confident that I could make it…. Even though the major dip in 2003 almost left me with no money in the business to pay myself any wages.

It took 7 years to make me realise that maybe roofing was not going to be my business..

By 2006, I was ready to throw in the towel.

Business Coaching was going to be my next business.

Running a roofing business was just too hard.

Like many of the other small businesses around, there were many challenges:

  • There was fierce competition
  • I did not know who my target customers were and frequently ended up in the wrong segment – which was builders and new housing
  • I was trying to do everything for everybody
  • I did not know how to properly price things
  • And it was hard to find good workers

Roofing businesses do not sell for very much at all. So, I decided to continue on for a short while. I started to implement what a business coach would have told me (a bit of irony in this).

I built a website.

Then Google changed everything.

It initially gave me good search positions. Then slowly it started to feed me customers.

Slowly, I started to concentrate on the areas of roofing that I liked.

I abandoned new roofing work – and in doing so, stopped working for builders.

After a while, my roofers began to comment that all their work seemed to consist of fixing the faulty work that previous Sydney roofers had tried their hand at – and failed. We became good at fixing the roof leaks that other Sydney roofers seemed to be clueless at…

There are a lot of leaking roofs in Sydney.

Some of it is simply because roof gets old. Rust and the ravages of time eventually makes the roofs unserviceable.

The other reason is inexcusable and it happens a lot more often than it should. …..And it is just roofs put together badly.

It is just a combination of:

  • Lack of expertise and knowledge
  • Bad workmanship … and
  • Simple mistakes

But is enough to create lots of leaking roofs.

Over the last few years, we have discovered that there are far more leaking roofs than we can fix.

And the challenge for the last 15 years was to attempt to do as much as we can with our limited resources. Suddenly, as I approached my 7th decade of life, people started asking me about my impending retirement from the roof repair business.

Well aware that retirement is the start of the last act of life, I resisted. I had to figure out a way to stay physically and mentally active. Finally, I realised that the long game of life can only be played by passing the baton onto the next generation of roofers.

The solution is now in place to transition Jack the roofer’s business at The Roofing Professionals Westside to a new roof repair platform called The Roofing Portal.

There are now a lot more leaking roofs in Sydney that I can help the new teams of trained roofers at The Roofing Portal to fix before I am finally done….

And my aim is to slowly …

Redefine how roof repairs are carried out in Sydney


Jack the Roofer

Jack Yuen

Jack Yuen (Jack the Roofer) started roofing work in 1999 and have built a career in "roof repair expertise" on Sydney roofs. Jack is a leading voice on how roofs should build, maintained and repaired to provide the best outcomes for both roofers and property owners

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