I have observed that on almost every job there are workers who are capable of working very fast on the field of the roof, and there are other workers who enjoy working on the flashing and detail work.
The field crew is the key to productivity and profit. They keep the job moving and finish the job on time. Properly trained, they will correctly install the shingles on the field of the roof, inspect and clean up the job and keep everything on schedule.
The compliance and detail crew ensure that proper materials are used, codes are met and the flashing details are completed correctly. They ensure that the roof will not leak for the life of the shingles, (no call backs). They are the key to the long- term profitability of the company, no callbacks, no safety issues, and no code violations.
Very few roofers are capable of nailing shingles fast and taking the time to carefully flash a soil stack or ensure that a roof-wall interface will remain leak proof for thirty years. It’s usually one or the other – it’s just the way we’re wired.
The trick is to recognize which workers fall into which category, and then train the detail crew to organize the job so that their detail work is completed so that the speed crew can work full speed ahead. Find a large area of the roof, get the drip edge and ice dam protection installed and then let the speed crew chalk lines
and start nailing. Plan the rest of the detail work so that the speed crew never has to wait. The roof will be done on time AND it won’t leak for thirty years.
You can pay the speed roofers by the square, and the detail workers by the hour. Or you can pay the whole group by the square and teach the detail workers to plan the job and complete their work in a way that lets the speed workers nail shingles as fast as they can.
What you can’t do is pay the speed workers by the square and hope they’ll take the time to get the details right – they won’t.