Replacement Contractor: Are you a residential or çommercial roofer?
Bob Kulp:About 85% of our business is roofing and about a third of that is residential, a third is steep-slope commercial—churches and larger institutions—and a third is our flat-roofing division. We also have a spray foam division that accounts for 6% to 8% of our business and a specialty metal division that does finials, crosses, and intricate metal work that generates from 6% to 8% of our revenue.
RC: When did you decide to get into solar?
BK:We first began hearing about it through the National Roofing Contractors Association http://www.nrca.net/ in the fall of 2008. We let it simmer over the course of the winter. In March 2009, I put together a survey to our e-mail list of 3,500 with 10 quick questions relating to solar installation.
I was particularly interested in what people thought would be the payback and what kind of payback they felt would make solar worth their while. We had 200 people fill it out. Forty-nine indicated we should contact them. One of the surveys went to a person we’d never done a roof for but who had huge solar industry knowledge and experience. So we hired him as our solar specialist. We did our first installation in August 2009.