Michelle Ly Hall still gets the "looks." A puzzled shrug or head tilt from homeowners when they realize the "we" referenced in her explanation of the roof inspection process actually means she, and "she" is definitely getting up on your roof, like, right now.
It rarely happens at the kitchen table; it sometimes occurs in the doorway, but most always catches the customer’s attention when she pulls the ladder off the truck.
As co-owner and operations manager of Hall Roofing and Construction, Ly Hall understands the perception of women working in a male-dominated field like roofing. She said she also understands people’s surprise — and skepticism — as she secures the ladder and climbs up for a look, regardless of the elevation or roof pitch.
“People still get shocked when they see me pull up in a truck with a ladder, ready to go,” she said. “You don’t think you’ll get a female [showing] up at your doorstep when you order your roof inspection; you don’t expect a woman to pull out a ladder, climb up on your roof, do a thorough inspection. But that’s what I’ve done since I’ve been in the roof-climbing business.”
After more than a decade, it’s just part of the job she endures. But, as a future leader in both the industry and her community, Ly Hall also understands the tremendous opportunity she has to change that mindset, even if it’s one person at a time.
“I understand, and I just keep at it,” she said. “Sometimes when I get that reaction … sometimes I know you [must] build that trust first. Women, in general, can have a softer feel, and selling can … be easier. It’s buying into their overall trust that I’m a female, I know the materials, and I know the best method to fix your roof.”
Ly Hall says much of her inspiration has come from her daughter, and she hopes to leave the world a better place for her and other generations.
The skepticism started long before Ly Hall set out to provide shelter for families or business owners as a career when her husband, Erik Hall, founded Hall Roofing and Construction in 2012. The couple’s entry into roofing was more of an evolution. They began on the insurance side of the business as adjusters, validating or denying claims by inspecting roofs for hail and wind damage caused by the storm du jour.
And they were busy. The opportunities in and around central Texas during traditional storm seasons kept them on the road; eventually, they wanted a slower pace. Roofing, they soon realized, didn’t offer that deceleration, but at least they could establish roots near their hometowns, start a family and build their business locally.
“Since we’re homegrown, we’ve started out with trust in our community and built it from there,” she said.
Erik, who started the company, is the "dreamer" of the pair and isn’t afraid to dream big when it comes to growing the business or other entrepreneurial endeavors. The couple also owns a local sports bar and other establishments outside of their roofing firm.
Specific to their contracting business, since its founding, Hall Roofing and Construction has expanded its exterior services to include gutters, HVAC, painting, plumbing and electrical services.
By his side from the start, Ly Hall was officially brought in to help organize operations and be "the glue" that pieces everything together to function smoothly. She has a business administration degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and is an active member of the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce.
She said her specialty is being able to focus on people, whether employees, vendors or customers and understand what they’re looking for. After that, finding a solution or developing a resolution plan can become routine. Solving problems and preventing some from arising are why the couple turned to roofing.
“We decided to jump in and do this because, being on the adjuster side, we’ve seen the bad contractors, the aggressive ones,” she explained. “We want to be the ones that help the process, be the liaison between the customer and insurance.”
Location: Round Rock, Texas
Owners: Erik Hall and Michelle Ly Hall
Specialty: Full-service roofing company offering additional exterior services in residential and commercial settings.
Did You Know? Michelle Ly, who also serves as operations manager, won elections to the Round Rock City Council and Beacon Roofing’s Female Roofing Professional of the Year within weeks of each other.
In Campaign Mode
That attitude sets the company apart in the marketplace and Ly Hall from others in the industry. Earlier this year, Beacon Building Products named her its 2023 “Female Roofing Professional of the Year” after a months-long nomination process through a public vote. The honor, launched in 2021, recognizes a roofing contractor who faced adversity or went above and beyond for a customer, co-worker, or community.
She and other women from Hall Roofing applied before but leaned into their community involvement when submitting this year’s nomination packet. That included not only “philanthropic efforts” but testimonials among the thousands of customers they’ve helped, with properties ranging from single-family homes to restaurants, schools and healthcare facilities over the years.
While other roofers could have, and likely did, relay similar information in the nomination process, Ly Hall had a trump card: No other nominee could say they also held public office. In May, Ly Hall, an incumbent, earned another term on the Round Rock City Council with roughly 56% of the vote.
Barely a week after clinching another three-year term, Beacon announced this year's five North American finalists. That announcement triggered the public vote component of the contest, and Ly Hall’s team hit the ground running.
Her involvement with public service isn’t new. Before winning a seat on the city council in 2020, Ly Hall served as a commissioner on the city’s planning and zoning commission and on the capital improvements advisory committee. Staying active has helped her business and personal network locally and laid the groundwork for a steady "ground" campaign when she needed it.
She mobilized that base of community support and pushed the opportunity to her network of professionals from her roofing and insurance careers to flood the online ballot box. That included direct appeals to National Women in Roofing members, social media pushes, text message campaigns, and enlisting support from their contacts — and their contact’s families.
“Coming out of campaign season, we were already in full campaign mode, reaching out to people and ready to share our story,” she said humbly. “My name is on the reward, but it was our team. I would not be where I am right now without their help and support.”
Christine Reddy, executive vice president and general counsel at Beacon, said the company was excited to name Ly Hall the winner of the thousands of nominations — and the first woman from Texas to win.
“We highlight Michelle’s tremendous work ethic and dedication to empowering women,” she said in a statement. “Her achievements as a leader in the roofing industry and the community, combined with the impact her story had on all those who read it, have earned her North American Female Roofing Professional of the Year.”
The recognition is a point of pride for her team and validation of hard work. A feeling not much different than when she routinely packs up her ladder, leaving a once-baffled customer with a fair estimate, a warm smile and a broader scope of the roofing world.
“People are noticing that women are few in this industry … it’s pretty cool that we’re recognizing that it’s a tough job and that we can do it, too,” she said.
As far as getting more women on the rooftop, Ly Hall said both women and men need to keep open minds and stop adhering to perceptions of the past.
“People shouldn’t limit themselves,” she said. “It’s a job for anyone, as long as you want to do it, and it’s really fun, to be honest with you.”