Builder’s Roofer Madness booklet aids homeowners

Roofer Madness BookletKerr Construction, which has been in the renovation business for 15 years, had trouble finding good roofers.

So four years ago, owner Doug Kerr started his own roofing company – Absolute Roofing Solutions.

“We found roofing the worst trade in the construction business,” says Kerr. “But when we got into the roofing business we really discovered just how bad it was.”

To help homeowners with their roofing problems, Kerr has written a free booklet, Roofer Madness: How to avoid the roofing rip off, which is packed with all sorts of useful tips.

For example, unless you know or trust your roofing contractor, Kerr recommends hiring an independent inspector who specializes in roofing.

”You may find you need only spend a few hundred dollars in repairs now and the expensive re-roof project can be safely put off for some years,” the booklet advises.

Other suggestions:

– Check that your roofer has proper, up-to-date liability insurance that will cover water, fire or other property damage; many roofers don’t have this insurance now as prices have increased and it’s harder to qualify.

– Go around your property with the potential roofing contractor and point out the areas you want to protect. Have the contractor propose a solution to protect them and then make sure the solution gets written into the contract.

– Ask the roofing company if the crew will have magnetic roller to pick up nails. This will be a clue as to how seriously it takes the clean up.

– Ask your potential roofing contractor how he will keep the water out of your house if it rains.

– Make sure the crew that shows up is big enough to get the old roof off and the new roof on in a timely manner (two installers and two labourers minimum). If the roof is too big to do in one day, even with a larger crew, then have them do it one section at a time.

– Have an agreement with your contractor to always tarp unfinished roof sections at the end of every day. Never leave the roof open overnight no matter what the weather forecast and never let the installer on the job talk you into leaving it exposed overnight.

– There are two parts to a warranty: The materials warranty supplied by the manufacturer and the labour warranty supplied by the installation company. Keep in mind that if the installers don’t install the roofing materials as per the manufacturer’s specification, the manufacturer will void the material warranty. So hire a quality-minded installation company if you want the manufacturer to back its warranty.

By Rod Nutt
The Vancouver Sun: Saturday, November 15, 2003

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