10 tips for a trouble-free roof replacement

Replacing your roof can feel like a daunting task. Here are 10 tips to guide you through everything from finding the right person for the job to signing off the work at the end.
Download as .PDF
Man gardening

Your roof deserves the best

Understanding what you need to do will help the work go to plan

A new roof is a big investment. When you decide to carry out such a significant project, it’s important that your chosen roof is high quality, well installed, and completed to your satisfaction, so that it will protect your home for many decades to come. It is therefore essential to have a clear idea of the process so that you can feel confident every step of the way.

Our 10 top tips

Finding a trustworthy contractor - key steps for selecting the right person for the job

When hiring a professional, it is important to select someone qualified, experienced and trustworthy. After all, you will be leaving your home in their care.
 
Here are 10 tips for getting the perfect contractor:
 
1.    Ensure it’s a qualified company
Roofing is complex work and should only be carried out by qualified professionals. You can check whether a company has the required qualifications and processes through relevant trade associations. You can also search our database of [recommended/BMI-certified] contractors here.
 
2.    Check references and reviews
A great method to check the reliability and quality of a company’s work is to look at what previous customers have to say. Check reviews and ratings online, as well as consensus on social media. You can also request references from the company, which they should be happy to share.
 
3.    Double-check the company’s legitimacy
Unfortunately, there are many cases of people claiming to be qualified professionals despite little to no association with a legitimate business. A legitimate company will have a registered company number. Verify that the company has a working telephone number and a valid address. This ensures that you can easily contact them should any problems arise in the future.
 
You can also identify reliable roofing contractors through our RoofPro network. Roofs installed by our accredited partners also benefit from enhanced guarantees.
 

Getting the details right - small things make a big difference

 On such a big job, there are a lot of details that need to be agreed. To prevent any confusion and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible, get those details written down.
 

4.    Put your initial request in writing

Provide a detailed, written description of your request and ask for a roof inspection with follow-up written report. This way, both you and your contractor are clear about the scope of the work required and any additional requests.
 
5.    Request a written quotation
Once the scope of the project has been defined, request a written quote for the services to be provided. This should include a minimum price, an outline of the agreed work, a time frame for completion and details of products that will be used. The tender should also confirm the competency of the company to carry out the job.
 
6.    Sign a standard contract
Once you have chosen the company and officially accepted their quote, it is important to enter into a written agreement or standard contract before work begins. A contract helps to avoid disputes after the work is completed and ensures the project is clearly defined for all parties.
 
7.    Agree any additional work in writing
With large projects such as roof replacements, the need for extra work is not uncommon. As with the initial request and quotation, all aspects of additional work should be put in writing, including the exact specifics of the work, the cost and any changes to the estimated time frame.
 
8.    Ensure responsibilities are clearly agreed upon
If you enter into an agreement with a contractor to carry out your roof replacement but hope to save some money by supplying materials – or even carrying out parts of the work – yourself, there are a few things you need to consider. Becoming directly involved may disrupt the working relationship and lines of responsibility for the project and you also may assume responsibility for related damage or issues.
 
If you communicate over the phone or in person at any point in the process, it is advisable to follow up with an email or letter detailing what was discussed and agreed, and to ask your contractor to confirm what you have written.
 

The perfect finish - seeing your project through to the end

 As the work comes to a close, it can be tempting to relax and assume that it’s over. However, getting the right handover is just as critical as finding the right contractor.
 
9.    Formally sign off on the project
When the work has been completed, we recommend carrying out a final inspection with the contracted company. If there are any issues or inconsistencies that need to be rectified, this should be done according to an agreed deadline and before final payment is made. If you choose to withhold a percentage of the final payment for defects that have not been addressed, the amount withheld should be proportionate to the value.
 
10.  Get documentation for the work at handover
Once the job is finished and signed off, make sure to get documentation detailing all the work carried out and what products are on your roof, along with information regarding any guarantees, as this will be necessary to ensure proper maintenance in the future. This documentation will also be useful if you choose to sell the house at any point, as it will help with the valuation of the property before sale and provide useful information to the new owner.
 

Making a house a home - obtaining what you need from the re-roofing process

 Roofing work presents further opportunities for creating your dream home. For example, if you are thinking of painting your property’s exterior, this could be done once the roof is completed whilst the scaffolding is still in place, preventing additional work and costs. It may also be the perfect time to explore adding energy generating technologies, such as solar PV panels, to your home.
 
Throughout the process, make sure you are clear about what you want and ask questions if you have any doubts, concerns or in need of advice. Your roof is a vital part of your home and it is important to get it right.