Working at heights is a normal every day occurrence for roofing companies – but that does not negate the fact that they must be vigilant every single time and not be complacent about the safety of their roofing team
But it is not just the roofing contractor that has to be vigilant – so does the owner of the building. Although there is no contractual obligation for a domestic homeowner to carry out safety checks, there is an expectation that the area is kept cleans and tidy to avoid any hazards.
For large commercial projects adherence to Health and Safety regulations comes as part of the project management, and responsibility for complying to those regulations often lies with a dedicated H&S Manager, or the owner of the company.
To make sure that they are fully compliant in all aspects of health and safety on a roofing project, the following are important questions to ask:
How long have you been in business?
Much as we don’t want to make things more difficult for eager new roofing companies, it is important to ascertain that there is a degree of experience and expertise. Get to know the company, how they came about, what experience they have in their team.
Do you have some recommendations/references?
You can check these out quite easily through online searches such as Checkatrade.com, or on Google My Business. However, it is always worth asking the question as well – a company who has nothing to hide will also be happy to hand out the names and details of those who have agreed to act as testimonials.
Do you have the correct liability insurance?
Make sure that your roofing contractor has full liability for all its workers and all people and working area on site. If an accident were to occur, the ensuing costs could be eye watering. Liability insurance is the very basic of criteria that a responsible roofing contractor will have.
Do you carry the right certifications and licenses to operate?
You may want to check out the relevant scheme for the country you are in. In the UK, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors manages a Government authorised scheme called Competent Person Scheme for Roofing, which ensures that all roofing work is compliant with Part L regulations. This certificate is applicable nationwide, whether you are offering roofing services in Leeds or London.
What is the warranty on the new roof?
If you are having the full roof replaced, you can start again with a brand new guarantee. This should be in the region of 30 years, depending on the material used.
Do you supply me with a detailed quote?
Initially you may receive an ‘estimate’ for the job. This is just that – an estimate. It could be more if unexpected incidences arise during the course of the works which means that more resource and materials are required to remedy the situation. Instead, you need to insist on a detailed quote which walks you through the project from start to finish. This is the price that your roofer is contractually obliged to honour, and that you are contractually obliged to pay according to any payment schedule that you have negotiated.
Do you get rid of all the old materials?
It is definitely important to ask this question and include it in the overall detailed quote. Some companies may deliberately on purpose exclude it from the original quote in a bid to push up extras on the contract value. Don’t let them. Make sure it is specifically detailed in the quote.