Unlike many of us, Danny Harding pretty much knew what he was going to be when he grew up at the age of 13. He started working on roofs and other home improvement jobs in Philadelphia with his father as a teenager and has stuck with it ever since.
Thanks to years of experience, a terrific portfolio to match, Danny took the big step and started his own business, Tanks Roofing & Contracting, back in 2012. Overseeing a crew of six, Tanks travels across three states, ensuring a high level of workmanship for each and every job.
I recently chatted with Danny to hear how he got started and some of his most memorable roofing projects.
Jacob Hurwith: What are some of the services you offer and where do you serve?
Danny Harding: As far as roofing, we do it all. We offer roof repair and installation. We handle new construction for roofing. We work on everything involved with roofing.
We cover the zip code of 19135 in Philadelphia and each city within 40 miles. We travel across Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.
Hurwith: What do you love about the business?
Harding: The money doesn’t hurt, but I’ve been doing this since I was a kid and really stuck with it. I started working with my dad at 13 and over time, have had friends who were roofing contractors as well. I was pretty good at it from the start and it’s a good way to make a living.
After years of working on other crews, I knew it was time to branch out on my own. After getting the proper certification, I started running my own jobs. Instead of making $500 a week, I started making $5,000.
Hurwith: Any aspects of the business that you dislike?
Harding: It’s difficult to see every problem with a roof until you go in. Sadly, you may underestimate the project and it turns into something more. When you start working and tear stuff up, other issues are below. You may rip off the roof and you find out that you have to replace the rafters, beams and other aspects of the roof. You may just assume plywood and then realize you have to replace everything.
When you see water damage, rot or mold, you have to find the source of the problem. There’s no sense in putting on new plywood if it’s going to cave in next year.
Secondly, it’s very hard to compete with other pros offering contracts for so much less. It makes it difficult for the consumer to say no.
Hurwith: What is your favorite remodeling story?
Harding: A few years back, maybe my eighth or ninth job with Tanks Roofing, we did a job for a cancer survivor. The homeowner could not afford a new roof so the local cancer center bought all the materials (roughly $2,500 for a 1,200-square-foot roof). I got all my guys together and we replaced the entire roof for free. It was a terrific job that we were happy to do.
Hurwith: How do you find most of your jobs?
Harding: Word of mouth usually. We are now getting a nice amount of jobs from CraftJack, but our bread and butter has been word of mouth.
Hurwith: Is there anything else you would like to share about your business or the roofing industry?
Harding: My advice to homeowners is to always double check with everyone before you hire a pro. A better price does not always mean he or she is the best person for the job. Make sure they are the type of company that would come out right away and fix your roof in a jam.
As we have heard before, the cheapest price is not always the best. It pays to double check and get multiple bids for your next roofing project.
If you need an experienced roofer in Pennsylvania, Delaware or New Jersey, you can contact Danny at TanksRoofing@yahoo.com or click here and get connected with up to four other roofing professionals near you!