I know, I know, when most people think of spring, they’re not visualising roofing the house! But if you need to undertake such a project, better make it snappy as this is a good time of year, and unless you like your home life with a large dose of risk, I’d avoid thinking about getting such a critical task done during winter. So here are a few tips to help you on your way.
- Go it Alone or Use a Project Manager?
Depending on the size of your job, it may well pay to have it project managed by a chartered building surveyor/property construction consultant. This can ensure that the best firm for the job is engaged and any cost saving can hopefully cover the project management fee. A project manager will probably invite three recommended companies to tender. So, if you are going it alone, don’t just approach the first company that springs to mind, speak to a few on site and ensure that they do a full inspection of your roofing requirements.
- How to Choose?
Things to consider when choosing your roofing company are:
*Get references, follow them up and go and visit properties that have been worked on, take a look and have a chat with the previous client (even neighbours).
* Meet who is in charge and satisfy any concerns or questions, enquire about the team that would undertake the work and specifically the lead work (really important) and their experience.
* Make sure every aspect of the job is discussed and the property fully inspected – surprises should be saved for birthdays not roof jobs.
* Enquire about health and safety practice – of utmost importance and speaks volumes about the professionalism of a firm.
* Whilst not always possible, it’s so much better to reroof before any external repaint of the property, roof work involves heaps of dust.
Now you’d be forgiven for thinking that this didn’t require your attention as the roofing company takes care of all that. Well they do, of course, but I’m telling you to think about your drive, your patio, your newly decorated external wall (just in case you decide to reroof after the external decoration, oops!).
Ask your prospective roofing company about the scaffolding company they plan to use:
* what is their experience of working with the firm?
* enquire about attitude to health and safety again.
* request that boards be placed on the ground around the perimeter of the property, underneath the poles, underneath the skip, where poles and brackets etc. are dropped – this will avoid your driveway and patio being marked and permanently scratched.
* Request that caps are placed on the end of the poles touching the walls and if you have recently had the walls painted, brand new caps are well worth it.
- Choice of Tiles
Clay versus concrete. The type of property is a critical consideration here: concrete whilst cheaper may not be in keeping with your property. If your home is in a conservation area, the decision may be already made for you. Whatever the construction of tile it is a good idea to get samples, try and imagine what it will look like on a large scale and be careful to avoid that accidental “tetris” look. It’s worth considering how a valley tile might look (you can see them in the bottom right supporting photo), a lovely aesthetic addition.
- Process of Work
Check that the team will have a safe, efficient and thorough system of work involving attention to detail. How will they make sure that an unexpected downpour isn’t going to result in soaking loft insulation! If you have any electrical equipment in your loft space, consider how to protect it safely. The team can also check that your gutters are clear and give all downpipes and gutters a thorough check whilst they are up high. The perimeter of your home should be thoroughly inspected and swept every day to avoid those nails deflating your car tyres as well as your optimism!
- Don’t Skimp!
Everyone likes value for money but don’t confuse this with cutting costs at the expense of a quality job. Roofing is not something to cut corners on, it would be a false economy, affecting your back pocket and your peace of mind. Choose the best firm you can afford, aim to get a fair price for the job and demand best practice.
- Your Roofing Team needs to be “On Your Team”
You want the team to have your best interests at heart, all the time. Once you’ve chosen, requested best practice and all of the above, look after them! Roofers and scaffolders are doing a very physical and dangerous job; it is incredibly hard work. Keep them fed, watered and as comfortable as possible. I’m not talking about sky sports in a coffee area just regular supplies of hot and cold drinks, nourishment and somewhere for their comfort breaks and of course respect for what they do – you’d be amazed how often that doesn’t take place and how much it is appreciated when it does!
If you’re looking for your perfect home in the Harrogate area, regardless of whether or not it requires roofing work, feel free to get in touch. Sheree Foy MNAEA Principal and Property Consultant of Source Harrogate, the property finders, specialises in sourcing premium homes (including off market), negotiating and securing to exchange of contracts and is dedicated exclusively to the Harrogate area. Please feel free to contact us at an early stage for a friendly, no obligation chat 01423 788759 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org