Roof advice: Quick guide to choosing a contractor.....

  • Ask them to give advice on what materials to use and how that will influence the price.
  • Invite quotes from each but do not automatically take the cheaper option, also base your choice on; the quality of advice given and your confidence in the contractor and what the contractor provides for evidence of competence.
  • Ensure you get a quote in writing - except possibly for small emergency repairs.
  • Ask for a guarantee for new or re-roofing work.

For more information contact the NFRC on 020 7638 7663 or click here to visit their website.



Additional information

Estimates can change - when a contractor makes an  ‘estimates’ for re-roofing work, this can change once the contractor has gained full access to the roof and removed the roof covering to expose the sub-structure underneath.

Guarantees - remember that contractors can go out of business whereupon their own guarantees become worthless. The NFRC offers guarantee schemes which back up, but are independent of, the contractor’s own guarantee.

Free advice - don’t expect to obtain free advice from contractors unless you have a real intention to assign the contract.

Planning permission - remember that a property owner is responsible for any planning permission that may be required on that property. When carrying out refurbishment work to more than 25% of a roof's area that your Local Area Building Control must be contacted prior to work starting. This is in order to confirm that the roof should be upgraded to meet thermal requirements of Part L of the current Building Regulations. 

Contractor Competence – the best way to ensure you choose a competent contractor is to select one who is a member of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors NFRC. All members operate under the Federation’s Code of Practice and should be able to provide evidence of their competence through the following: -

a.    A company Health and Safety Policy.

b.    Evidence of public, employer’s and third party liability – to a minimum level of £1 million.

c.     Evidence of management and technical staff qualifications – often from the Institute of Roofing.

d.    Evidence of operative qualifications for key members of the workforce on site: City and Guilds, NVQs (UK), SVQs (Scotland only); or identity cards denoting competence : CSCS (England and Wales), SCORE (Scotland), CRS (Northern Ireland).

e.    An insurance-backed guarantee (this backs the terms of the installing contractor's own written guarantee for a 10/15/20 year period in the event of the contractor ceasing to trade by reason of liquidation, receivership, administration or the bankruptcy, State Retirement or Death of Principal).

What will happen whilst the contractor is on site?

The contractor should give a guide on the time to be taken – but this may vary due to bad weather, or if extra work outside the original estimate has to be done. The contractor will try to keep the work site clean but space for storage and a skip may be required. Scaffolding is likely to be erected and must be out of bounds to children and any other unauthorized persons.

What happens after contract completion?

All waste, scaffolding etc should be removed by the contractor. If you have employed an architect, engineer or surveyor to oversee the work, he should be asked to complete his inspection asap, list any defects and hand these to the contractor.

The contractor should inspect on completion. You, as the client, should settle the account as soon as possible because unnecessary delay or ‘retention’ will cause the contractor liquidity problems.

What is the procedure if you have a complaint?

Contact the contractor. He should respond by viewing the problem and acting to correct any faults. If this does not occur, or the problem persists, you may contact your local NFRC Regional Secretary who may ask you to put it in writing. This is to avoid unnecessary or very minor complaints taking up excessive time – on the part of the client, contractor and Regional Secretary.

Where a serious complaint is not satisfactorily resolved, the Regional Secretary may invite both parties to agree to an inspection. This would be carried out by a member of the NFRC’s local regional committee who will submit a report to his committee. The NFRC contractor will be bound to put right whatever may be shown to be wrong in the report if it is the contractor’s fault.

For further information visit the NFRC website

Contact The NFRC
The National Federation of Roofing Contractors Ltd,
Roofing House,
31 Worship Street,
Tel: 020 7638 7663 
Fax: 020 7256 2125
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CompetentRoofer is a Government-authorised scheme which allows professional roofing contractors to self-certify that their work complies with Building Regulations.

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