How do I choose a roofing contractor?

One of the best places to start looking is in the NFRC (National Federation of Building Contractors) Directory which lists proven property professionals from all over the UK. Always make sure the roofing contractor you hire is registered.

Weeding out the cowboys, or how to spot a dishonest contractor;

It is every homeowner’s nightmare. Hiring a contractor that seemed capable on first impression, only to have the make a mess of your beautiful home through lack of skill!

Ask the prospective contractor for a portfolio of references and photo’s of their work. Any good contractor will be happy to show you these. If they’re not, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

What to look out for

  • No VAT!  You pay for the materials and I’ll supply Labour!  (You still have to pay VAT on materials, research, guarantee and sort out in your time!!)
  • Commonly used ‘sales pitches’; anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. Be especially aware of very low initial estimates.
  • Door knockers: never hire a contractor who offers their services door to door.
  • Pointing out functional problems: view descriptions of awful or very complicated problems with suspicion. If you can’t easily find out about it online, it’s probably not true.
  • It’s urgent! Undue stress of this point is always a bad sign. An honest contractor will not pressure you into making a decision.

Pricing and costs

Pricing for roofing jobs depends on the extent and complexity of the job and on the materials used. Always consider written quotes (never verbal) before settling on a roofing contractor. Most professionals will produce a quote within 3 or 7 days.

Questions to ask your roofing contractor

Are you a registered trade member?

We recommend that your contractor be registered in a national trade association, such as the NFRC/ LSA

Does the company carry insurance?

Workers compensation and liability insurance to be specific, if the worker is hurt, and the roofing contractor does not have insurance, then the home owner is liable. Ask to have current certification sent to you. Do not accept the roofing contractor at their word. They may carry health, life and car insurance. Bland assurances of health coverage may refer to these. (Does your roofer’s insurance cover him if he is not qualified?)

What is the company’s workman ship warranty?

Some warranties are for one year, some are for longer.

The length of a roofing contractors warranty is not really as important as customer referrals. Most workmanship errors will be found within the first year, probably the first good storm. The reason this question is important is most roofing contractors will warranty the workmanship, and the manufacturer will warranty the product as long as it is installed correctly. Make sure you understand warranties. (Warranty’s apply to new works excludes repair works)

Does your roofer carry out risk assessments and method statements for each job by a qualified site supervisor /operative? What is a risk assessment?

i)   Identify the hazard

ii)   Decide who may be harmed and how

iii)   Evaluate the risk and decide on some precautions

iv)   Record your findings

v)   Review your assessment and update if necessary

Is your roofer trained to work at heights?

Does your roofers have an NVQ or is trained/approved in the job to be carried out?

Do you need scaffolding?

The answer is yes if the works take hours rather than minutes

The cost of a tiles and the time to replace them can be almost insignificant compared with the cost of access. No sane roofer will place their safety below cost-cutting. Watching a man in his thirties being lifted on a spine board into an ambulance… is not a  sight or responsibility you want to be left with!!!!!


O’brien Roofing and Leadworks Limited are a professional roofing company, registered with the NFRC – see our official listing

For more information about our company, please click here. Alternatively, you can contact us or telephone us on 01308 459651

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