“Ploughcroft are very knowledgeable but too expensive,” we hear some people say. We often hear this from those who compare quotes but only look at the headline price. “How much does a new roof cost?” you wonder, but the price isn’t the only thing to consider, because cheaper quotes are often for a lower-standard service. When you think you’re comparing two very similar things for very different prices, a little bit of digging can tell you otherwise.
So, to help you compare apples to apples for your new roof quote, here are eight things you should always consider when looking for a cost-effective and high-quality service.
“Which British Standard in roofing will you work to?”
“BS 5534, of course!”
Do not accept anything else. When comparing apples to apples, BS 5534 is the British Standard that all re-roofs and new roof installations must comply with. Your 10-year insurance-backed warranty depends on it. Any manufacturer’s roof warranty will state that the material’s warranty is based on their product being installed by a competent roofer complying with BS 5534. No compliance, no warranty.
“Within my quotation, how will BS 5534 affect my roof?”
“It affects the head-lap of the roof slates.”
Make sure your roofer knows what BS 5534 actually is and why it is important. The head-lap of the roof slates is how much they overlap. The right head-lap makes sure your roof is fully resistant against rain and snow. So, not only do non-compliant roofs have an invalid warranty, but also a higher risk of inadequate weather resistance.
“Does your quotation cover the appropriate Building Regulations? Which part in particular does it cover?”
Some roofers don’t know that Building Regulations apply to some roofing projects and therefore don’t factor them in. But Building Regulations Part L (conservation of fuel and power) applies when re-roofing a flat or pitched roof. Part A (structure) applies to Velux windows, lanterns or rooflights. And Part C (site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture) applies to the water integrity of a roof.
Ignoring Building Regulations could result in an illegal work practice on your property.
“What will you do to comply with CDM 2015?”
Expect some strange reactions to this question. Since 2015, these regulations have applied to construction in and around the domestic home, but many roofers are still unaware of this. By law, the contractor “must have the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, the organisational capability to carry out the work safely and without risk to health“.
“Does your quotation include costs for scaffolding and associated PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)?”
For any work at height, a contractor must use access equipment. Working without scaffolding is illegal, which will invalidate any insurance a contractor holds. Working without scaffolding risks not only your roofer’s safety but also your own. Imagine the risk if they drop a hammer, a roof tile, a Stanley knife or a roll of felt. It’s not worth cutting the cost!
“Which brands of roofing materials do you plan to use? Does your quotation cover all the roofing materials required the complete the job?”
A cheap quotation could mean cheap materials of poor quality. The first question makes sure you can compare the quality of materials between quotations. The second can prevent any nasty surprises somewhere down the line if your contractor brings up any hidden/additional material costs during the project.
“What guarantees or insurance policies do you have in place to protect my deposit and the work carried out?”
The answer should include a payment protection policy and insurance-backed warranty. Make sure your finances are protected when dealing with an investment as expensive as a new roof.
“Please can I see proof of the level of qualifications all members of your roofing team have?”
It sounds almost unbelievable, but many contractors employ unskilled labourers to cut corners — at what cost? To ensure the safety of yourself, your family and your roofers, make sure they have Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards and other relevant qualifications.
“How actively have they ensured that I’m happy and fully informed? How accessible have they been when I needed to contact them? When arranging to meet me to assess the costs, did they show up on time? If they didn’t, did they let me know?”
To gauge the quality of customer service you can expect, think about the quality you have seen during the quotation process. We also recommend looking at online reviews, especially if you’re not sure what to expect.
However, if you’re satisfied by a quotation on all eight counts, then you can make a better apples-to-apples comparison with our re-roof and new roof costs.