The Eleven Percent:
Meet Greta Bajrami, Roofing and Siding Company Owner

The industry leader in roofing and siding talks about the benefits of new roofing tech, getting creative with siding, and proving nay-sayers wrong.

Making the Most of It

When she was 10 years old, Greta Bajrami and her family left their home in war-torn Albania for Massachusetts. For her mother, the move meant going from being a doctor to working at a donut shop. Still, she didn’t think twice about the chance to give her daughter the opportunity to grow up in America.

Today, Bajrami is making the most of it.

Meet Greta Bajrami, Roofing and Siding Company Owner

Note: This article was first published in Famly Handy Man.

At 32 years old she is CEO of Golden Group Roofing, leading the company’s two offices and recent expansion into siding and solar. Bajrami developed the first online roofing cost calculator for homeowners and created the app Rootless, which helps people connect with careers they may not have thought they could enter. This impressive resume was recognized in 2023 when she won the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

“I grew up as an immigrant with zero English, but I’m loving the American dream more and more every day,” she says. “My mom always told me that you can do anything with your head held high. Watching her build her career back up taught me that I was capable of great things as well.”

We caught up with Bajrami, who shared her newbie roofer challenges and some thoughts on breaking free of traditional-siding expectations.

Q: How did you end up choosing roofing as a career?

A: I developed a business plan and operations strategy for a theoretical company during an entrepreneurship class in college. I loved it, but it was just on paper. Then that summer, I stumbled on a Craigslist ad for a roofing company foreman. It paid $300 a day. I started calculating 365 times $300, which was a lot, so I applied for the job. I wasn’t necessarily passionate about becoming a roofer at first, but I knew I had a skill set to manage people and job sites.

Q: Did you have any background in the trades?

A: No, and my first day on-site I was pretty bad at my job. They called for an ice-and-water shield membrane, which is a leak barrier that you use on roofing systems, and I literally thought that they wanted ice and water. So I went to CVS to get them ice and water.

Q: How did you fit in?

A: At first the crew was gentle toward me, but that wore out quickly because construction is a very high-pressure, fast-moving job. Then I had to step it up and be the one who carried the bundles of shingles and drove the trucks. I quickly realized that in this industry, you’ll get a seat at the table, but you also have to show up. That made me the strong leader I am today.

Q: How did you go from roofing foreman to owning your own business?

Greta with another woman behind a golden group roofing sign


A: I did the foreman gig for three years, and it was really painful. There were a lot of times of self-doubt. There were a lot of tears. Social media was starting to pick up, and I would see my friends out in Boston having drinks while I was at a job site with dirty fingernails, in desperate need of a shower, and eating out at a gas station. I had a lot of moments when I wanted to quit, but I didn’t want to be called a loser or a failure.

One of the reasons I stuck it out was that I really wanted to prove to the world that a woman can do it. Then, when I decided to open my own company, my then-boss said I was crazy. Who was going to buy from me? And I told him that I had to try because if I didn’t, then I’d be miserable for the rest of my life. It took weeks to get my first call, but by the end of the year, I was up to 15 clients.

Q: What are some of your more memorable projects?

Siding a beautiful house

A: We had a client who loved to go to Cape Cod. She wanted to bring Cape Cod to her home in the city, but she couldn’t afford the shake. Her house was so beach-themed, that the only thing missing was the actual beach.

But the outside was this vinyl, traditional white siding. Other contractors just wanted to replace it with the same thing, but we were like, “No, we have options here.” When I showed her Beach House Shake composite shingles in a natural cedar color, she was so happy that she was in tears. She was the sweetest woman, and there was so much passion there. I was really happy to be part of bringing Cape Cod to her home; of being more than just another contractor. Experiences like that, and finding unique products to offer, have helped launch us into successfully expanding our business to include siding.

Q: What trends are you seeing in the industry?

A: I’m seeing tremendous change with the use of technology, in applications from eagle views and animation to customer management. I love technology. Apps are enhancing the buyer experience; we can digitally bring the roof inside their home instead of having to build mini-roof displays like I used to. Through science and engineering, manufacturers are also revolutionizing so many products, from algae-resistant siding to solar shingles.

We’ve also become one of the first companies to do solar-ready roofs, integrating panels like you would a skylight. I think in the next 10 years, you’re going to see a lot more roofers start doing that because it just makes sense.

Q: Any advice for fellow roofing and siding contractors?

A: I’d like to see more contractors getting creative with projects, like playing around with siding texture, style and new materials. There are so many options for exterior building products, but a lot of contractors don’t take advantage of them. If we just slow our roll a bit and show homeowners what we have access to, rather than what’s in stock, we can really make a big difference. And if we lead with that mindset, we’ll have a lot more satisfied customers.

Also, our manufacturers are working around the clock to produce so many product lines, so it’s not fair for us to continue showing just the traditional ways that it’s always been done. I think it’s time now to show customers all of the bells and whistles and make their exterior dreams come true.

Q: Do you have any advice for young people getting into the trades?

A: Construction is not for everyone, but those who like it tend to stay forever. If you’re okay with the pressure of fast-moving pieces, then this industry is a good fit for you. Find someone you enjoy following on LinkedIn or social media and reach out to see if you can join them as a summer intern.

This industry contains a gazillion amount of money, and it’s never going to go away because we’ll always need houses and buildings. So it will welcome you with open arms the way it did me; male, female, immigrant, minority; whoever you are.

Q: How have you retained employees post-Covid?

Greta with two employees checking some roofing shingles colors

A: A lot of people didn’t want to come back, so we redesigned our offices to be like a cafe, with couches, a high-top island sitting area and a pool table. Freddy and I got rid of our offices. We now sit at a huge conference table, so everybody knows that we lead with them, not from behind the scenes. It’s the future of leadership.

Nobody really cares about your title or your fancy office. People want you to eat lunch with them and talk with them. They have options to take their talents elsewhere. It’s our job to make it known that we appreciate them and value their opinion. And so far, they love it.

They play too much pool, though. I should’ve never added the pool table.

Q: What are your pro-specific tools?

A: Hover is an app we use every day to give people the chance to play around and visualize what their home could look like. Hand in hand with that is our DJI drone. Drones have eliminated ladders from our sales team, making sure they stay safe. Of course, there’s Beach House Shake authentic composite shingle, which elevated us into the siding business. We also love Tapco breaks for bending aluminum and all the Hitachi nail guns.

But more importantly, let’s talk about CRM (customer relationship management) because that’s what really runs our company. We use Leap Job Progress, which has revolutionized the way we carry the customer from A to Z, making sure we don’t drop the ball on anyone. I really love that software and we use it daily at the office.

Then, I don’t know if this is really a tool, but there’s a Verizon tracking app Reveal, which has also been a game changer. It allows us to track our driver’s routes, driving habits, and how much driving time we are spending doing unnecessary tasks. I’m really passionate about strengthening operations whenever we can, especially with safety and efficiency. That app has helped us become a more profitable company, so we can reflect those profits back to our employees through better quality of life and benefits.

Greta Bajrami Bio

Greta Bajrami is the CEO and founder of Golden Group Roofing in Hudson, Massachusetts. After graduating with a business degree from Worcester State University, she turned her senior project into a multimillion-dollar brand, now expanded to include siding and solar. Bajrami has made it a personal mission to innovate the construction process, elevate the customer experience, and change the face of construction by advocating for women in the industry.

Her long list of recognitions includes the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, ProRemodeler’s Forty Under 40 list, Female Roofing Professional of the Year finalist, Big 50 for Remodeling Magazine, 40 Under 40 by Worcester Business Journal, BBB Market Excellence Award, Massachusetts President and Chair of National Women in Roofing Council, Executive Board of Director and Treasurer of the New England Roofing Contractor Association, and Foundation Board Member and Scholarship Committee of Worcester State University.


Writer Karuna Eberl Bio
Karuna Eberl is a regular contributor to Family Handyman. She spent the last 25 years as a freelance journalist and filmmaker, telling stories of people, nature, travel, science, and history. Eberl has won numerous awards for her writing, her Florida Keys Travel Guide, and her documentary, The Guerrero Project.

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