Steve Jobs didn’t sit around and wait on consumers like you and me to tell him what we wanted. He and his team decided what we needed, came up with the next great thing, and then sold it to us. Often as not, we said, “OK,” and bought it. And we often found the new products to be very cool, entertaining, and useful. 

I believe residential roofing contractors likewise have the opportunity to sell their customers products they don’t know that they want; products that add value to their living spaces and brighten their lives. Pun most definitely intended, since I’m referring to daylighting products: roof windows and skylights.

What most homeowners don’t know is just how much value adding natural light can bring to their spaces. What many roofing contractors don’t seem to know is how daylighting products have changed and improved over the years.

Today’s skylight systems may be outfitted with remote-controlled solar-powered operators for shades or venting skylights. They come with rain sensors that automatically close to keep things dry inside. Some systems come complete with tunnels and LED light packages that work in tandem with the sun to provide not only daytime, but energy-efficient night lighting. Some daylighting products are so efficient they even qualify for incentives by way of tax credits. 

Like roofing material upgrades, attic insulation, and ventilation, selling daylighting with a new roof seems a very natural thing to me. Many owners, even the ones who seem the most concerned with price, appreciate a holistic approach to improving their property. They called on you because they needed their roof repaired or replaced, but they trust that you will give them information on all options available to them. 

Here are some key reasons I think you should position yourself to offer daylighting on virtually every retrofit roofing job you win:

Taking a holistic approach to selling a replacement roof or roof repair sets you apart from the vast majority of your competitors. Taking the time to make note of the things you discover while you are in the owner’s attic will also set you apart. Taking the time to speak with a homeowner about how dark interior spaces, including bathrooms, hallways and closets, could be greatly enhanced by better lighting will make you seem like someone who really cares about the outcome of the project.

You may not sell extras on every job you land, but think about the difference it will make in your billings this year if you were able to sell daylighting systems to ten or twenty percent of your customers. Remember how time-consuming, difficult, and expensive it was just to get that prospective customer to call you? Then remember what it took to win their signature on your roofing contract. For the skylight upgrade you do not have those to factor in; you’re already the contractor on the project.

The biggest risk you take is being remembered as the guy who changed the look and feel of the inside of the house when you really wanted to be remembered for the great job you did on the roof.

To learn more about residential skylight systems, click here to check out some of our previous content.