Roofing may be a small trade in the massive construction industry, but it is still quite tedious. The roof is one of the essential features of any building as it protects its occupants from environmental factors, such as weather and pollutants. Consequently, the roofers required for any project, whether for general contracting or a roof-only job, has to be skilled and qualified.
Fresh roofers need to have substantial experience under their belt before they can call themselves “professionals.” Alternatively, roofers who have been in the trade for a while need to sharpen their skills and widen their knowledge constantly. To do so, both new and old roofers must understand the business of roofing, from the basics to modern methods and technologies.
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10 Do’s of Residential Roofing:
1. Do go over other options for material
During the planning phase, show the homeowner different options for roofing materials. Inform them of each material’s pros and cons because the one they had in mind may not be suitable for their location or lifestyle. On the same note, some homeowners who have their roofs replaced opt for the same material they had before. Again, open them to alternatives that might even be better.
2. Do make sure that the project complies with all local, federal, and state codes
Before getting started on construction, make sure that everything that will be done is in line with the proper laws and OSHA codes. This includes HOA (Home Owner’s Association) regulations because HOA restricts certain colors, materials, and styles.
3. Do consider adding a layer
As a professional roofer, you must have your client’s best interest in mind. If the situation calls for it, open to them the idea of adding a second layer to the roof. This can strengthen it and prolong its lifespan.
4. Do prepare a detailed estimate
Clients would want to make sure they get their money’s worth. So, please give them a detailed written estimate that would include materials, labor, time. The projected start and finish date should also be written down. This benefits both the client and laborer as it can serve as physical proof if and when disputes come about.
5. Do inform homeowners of expected disruption
Any construction project would be a noisy and messy business, even small-part jobs like roofing. It’s the contractor’s job to tell the residents about how loud and chaotic it would be so that they may be able to prepare themselves.
6. Do minimize damage
Even though roofing is a disruptive event, the roofing crew should still strive to minimize damage. Be careful where materials and equipment are set down and where feet should step. Avoid tarnishing delicate areas like gardens, and the house’s inside. Tarps can be laid on top of plants. Remember that the only job is roof installation; you don’t want to add landscaping and flooring to the tasks list.
7. Do be neat and organized
Like limiting property damage, being neat and tidy means being careful where things are set down. Having all the materials and equipment in one area can improve efficiency because time won’t be spent looking for this.
8. Do prioritize safety
Roofing is one of the most dangerous trades in construction. Not only do laborers work in high heights, but they also work with sharp and dangerous equipment. A few safety measures for workers include:
- Wearing safety gear like protective goggles and harnesses;
- Paying attention when working with nails; and
- Having an insurance plan.
To protect the residents, roof workers should be careful where they discard or set down nails and roofing materials. They should look around before throwing down old roof parts and place materials and equipment in the most suitable place.
The residents must also be aware of their safety. Advice them not to hang around while construction is underway; if they have children, emphasize that the kids should be allowed to play and run around the site.
9. Do make sure gutters and eavestroughs are not clogged before installing shingles.
If the client chooses to have shingles installed, take time to clean the leaves and dirt gutter.
10. Do build a good looking roof
Prior to construction, ensure that the roof design you and the client have agreed on is really what they want. Go over styles, materials, and colors multiple times to maximize curb appeal. Clients wouldn’t want a roof they would regret in the long run. Then when it’s time to build, get as close as the design as possible. Since you have thoroughly spoken to the homeowner, you’ve planned all the details, so deliver.
8 Don’ts of Residential Roofing:
1. Don’t start without an in-depth talk with clients
Before starting on the roof’s construction, talk with the clients about their wants and requirements. Then, survey the area, think of the best course of action, and open it up to them. Ask follow-up questions to get to the most specific answer. It’s better to spend a lot of time planning and creating a great roof than going into it blindly and disappointing the clients.
2. Don’t begin until the home is prepared
This means giving time the residents time to get ready and fix what they have to fix. Tell them to take down valuable, delicate, and fragile objects, like figurines and picture frames, so that they won’t fall off. Also, since the construction on the roof will bring down some dust and debris on the second floor, advise them to temporarily sleep on the first floor, if they have one.
3. Don’t forget to check fire and wind ratings
Although some manufacturers do not submit their products for testing, many roofing materials are rated on their fire and wind resistance. It’s recommended that these should be chosen to increase the roof’s longevity and prioritize the homeowners’ safety.
4. Don’t add layers without checking structural strength
Multi-layer roofing will undoubtedly be heavy, so be sure to test the roof’s and home’s structural integrity before making any decisions. This also applies to lay a new roof over an existing one.
5. Don’t take shortcuts
Roofing projects can be a very taxing a time-consuming job, and most contractors are tempted to take shortcuts. They try to cut costs by taking it out on material expenses, like with drip edge. If tasked to install this, some roofers will lay one with an overlap as small as wide as an eighth of an inch. This should be at least one inch.
In addition to that, time-saving strategies could sometimes mean shoddy work. You have saved time and money for now, but the clients will be paying for your incompetence down the road. Unfortunately for contractors, this could mean a bad reputation is starting to build.
6. Don’t block ventilation
Make sure of the house’s structure so as not to block important ventilation systems in the process. Closing them off can cause a few problems like shingles overheating, or melting, or ice damming, which in turn can shorten the roof’s lifespan.
7. Don’t go cheap on materials
The resident paid for the materials, so give them what they paid for. When purchasing materials, make sure that they fit the budget but are also sturdy and of high-quality. It is not only a contractor’s responsibility to deliver the best, but doing so can also help build their reputation in a good light.
8. Don’t place nails incorrectly
In line with saving time, contractors who rush their jobs can do them incorrectly, specifically when placing nails. If installers work too quickly, they might find the nails under driven or overdriven. When nails are under driven, the shingles might lift because they are not attached properly. Alternatively, overdriven nails can make the shingle more vulnerable to nail pull-through in high wind.
So, What Makes a Good Roofer?
A good roofer is licensed. This does not only prove that they are educated roofers, but also that they are legitimately registered to do business. In addition to that, insurance protects the client from being financially liable for a work injury or property damage.
Knowledge can only get people so far; experience is what makes freshly employed roofers good. Working hands-on will give them a more in-depth understanding of how the trade works.
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How Construction Software Can Help Roofers
While new and old roofers can benefit from each other, seasoned professionals still take the lead in projects. However, it can get a bit chaotic, especially when they a relatively large crew. This is where construction project management software comes in. It is typically used for general contracting projects, but roofing contractors can take advantage of it, as well.
When working on roofing projects, construction management software can significantly increase efficiency and productivity. Platforms like Pro Crew Schedule can help manage almost every aspect of the project, like resources, documentation, and delivery.
Moreover, project management tools are an excellent way to keep track of the roofing crew. Aside from storing documents, contractors can fluidly create a builder schedule to keep the team organized with just one tool. The best construction management software will ensure that construction is efficient, and progress is smooth.