GOOD ROOFING CONTRACTORS? THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM ABOUT!
The heading to this article may come as a surprise to those who avidly watch TV consumer programmes which thunder, quite rightfully and helpfully, dire warnings against 'cowboy' operators in the construction industry. However, as far as roofing work is concerned, there are some consumer safeguards in place.
Good advice to anyone planning to roof or re-roof a building, whether it is a major project or a private house, is 'look for the NFRC badge'. The National Federation of Roofing Contractors was established one hundred years ago this year, through its country wide membership, sets the standards and provides the safeguards that help to guarantee good workmanship in this vital area of the construction industry.
Whilst it is generally true that 'you get what you pay for' in this life, it is also sadly true that many thousands of people every year get far less than that which they believed they were paying for when entering into a contract for building work. Whilst householders are an easier target for lazy, inefficient or dishonest tradesmen, companies can also be caught out.
Promises of good workmanship, the use of high quality materials and conformity with building regulations, British Standards, codes of practice etc., are easily made by contractors chasing their next job. Yet how many householders having a roof repaired, renewed or extended, or managers seeking quotations for the repair of the company's roof are qualified, or have the time, to ensure that the roofing contractor is delivering what he promised in materials and quality of workmanship once the work is under way? The answer must be very few indeed.
As far as roofing work is concerned there is, fortunately, a way round this dilemma that works equally well for the householder, a private company or the local authority.
Roofing 'badge' of reliability
The 'badge' to look for, in advertisements in the local paper or in the yellow pages, and on contractors' letter headings, literature, vehicles and tenders is that of the NFRC. Around 650 roofing contractors and close on 70 roofing materials manufacturers are members of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors. They clearly find it worthwhile to belong to an organisation that has been promoting higher standards of workmanship for over 100 years, but what are the advantages for the roofing contractors' clients?
Membership of the federation is open to contractors, large or small, who qualify by having been well established for a number of years, by their reputation and by the quality of their work. All companies are carefully screened before they are accepted into membership. As federation members they are committed to technical competence, reliability and fair dealing.
Training at all levels, from roofing techniques to managerial skills, is an important part of the service that the federation provides to its members. Well-trained staff serve the contractors customers more efficiently and the finished roof whether pitched or flat, large or small, is less likely to develop defects in the future. In the few cases where the client and the contractor do disagree over the finished contract, the federation will provide independent arbitration arrangements to assist in reaching an equitable solution. The NFRC has recently launched its code of conduct to members who by signing up for it become registered contractors and pledge to conduct their work according to the strict guidelines.
Source: Southern Homes Magazine Article