Tradespeople part 6: Local roofers

In part 6 of 7 where we discuss the professionals you’ll need for a self-build, we talk about local roofers and what they’re responsible for.

local roofers

As with most professional tradespeople, the job of local roofers is all in the name. In a nutshell, they are the ones who’ll sort you out with a decent roof.

Local roofers are responsible for covering the timber roof structure with a membrane capable of withstanding damp and weather damage, and battening it so that it’s ready to be fitted with whatever roof surface you have chosen to have, for example roof tiles. You’d have thought that they would also deal with the insulation, but not all local roofers do. If your roofer doesn’t, then you may want to ask them for a recommendation of someone who can, or ask your carpenter as they may be able to deal with it.

Other aspects of the roof that your local roofers should be able to sort out include the guttering, flashing joints and drainage valleys. The other thing that they don’t generally deal with is chimneys as they aren’t actually part of the roof structure; they merely rise up through it.

How involved do I have to be with their work? 

You should be reasonably involved, but compared to the size and scale of the rest of your self-build’s construction the roof isn’t a very large or complicated stage.

It’s important that a roof is installed properly so that it is able to divert rainfall away and into the guttering to flow down the drain rather than into your loft. So if you’re your own project manager you should check on local roofers to make a note of their progress and the quality of the work they’ve done. Otherwise, you can leave it in the hands of whoever is in charge of your build. As long as decent research has been done on what local roofers should and shouldn’t be hired, you shouldn’t have to be too involved with the roofing process.

Where can I find local roofers and how much do I have to pay?

You can find an almost unlimited amount of local roofers online, but it’s advisable that you check they’re registered with the NFRC (the National Federation of Roofing Contractors limited). They ensure that all local roofers satisfy very strict criteria before they can become a member. Amongst other things, an NFRC roofer will have a satisfactory trading record and financial stability, good public, employers’ and third party insurance cover, and compliance with relevant health and safety legislation. If you want an absolute guarantee of hiring someone who has extensive experience and knowledge of their craft, NFRC-registered local roofers will provide it.

The other advantage of hiring an NFRC-registered local roofer is that they are required to give you a fair price which will make clear to you whether you are to pay VAT or not. They’ll also establish all terms and conditions of their contract and offer you technical and contractual advice whenever you require it.

Tradespeople part 7: Local decorators.

Image: Jon Sullivan

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