About Roofing Supplies - 20 Years Of Trading: Enviromental Impacts

About Roofing Supplies 20 Years Of Trading: Enviromental Impacts

At About Roofing Supplies between our four branches and our website at, we receive and deliver literally tens of thousands of tons of roofing materials every year - in fact we estimate that on an average day we deliver over 200 tons of roof tiles alone!

We are concious that we have an impact on the enviroment - the production of concrete (from which many roof tiles are made) is the largest single emitter of CO2 globally, roof tile manufacturing is the largest industrial user of gas (to fire the tiles in kilns), and of course the delivery lorries running to and from our depots emit exhaust fumes. Add onto that cardboard and plastic packaging, and our enviromental footprint is significant.

We have been taking steps for many years to mitigate our impact where ever possible, and this post will update you about the steps that we are taking.


We operate a large fleet of HGVs which are replaced every three years or sooner.

Most of our current fleet are Euro 6 compliant, with the handful that are Euro 5 being due for replacement shortly.


We are upgrading our company car fleet to the latest hybrids - two of our staff have just taken delivery of Kia Niro Petrol - Electric low emission hybrids.


We generate waste cardboard from packaging, which we compress into bales, and is then collected for recycling.


At any one time we have around a thousand pallets in stock or on the backs of lorries going out for delivery - each pallet is wrapped in plastic, which can't be reused once the pallet has been opened.

We recycle this plastic, which we then pay a specialist recycling contractor to take away, sort and recycle responsibly.

About Roofing Supplies Enviromental Impacts | About Roofing Supplies Limited

Our commitment to recycling even extends to small details, such as drinks machines! Every day our customers enjoy free tea, coffee and hot chocolate from machines in our branches. Each drink was supplied in a single use plastic cup which was then thrown away.

We have recently replaced these machines with new drinks machines that do not use single use cups.

Food packaging:

We have kitchens in our branches where our staff can make themselves hot drinks, cook food etc - just like at home, these activities generate packaging, however unlike at home, local authorities do not have schemes in place to collect and recycle this waste when it is generated commercially. Our solution? Rather than simply throwing it away, our staff members simply take it home and add it to their domestic recycling.


Roof tiles & slates are supplied to us on pallets by the manufacturers, many of which we reuse for delivering to our customers.

However, we are not always able to reuse these pallets as not all types of pallets are suitable for delivery by the cranes fiitted to our lorries, so these are either returned to the manufacturers for reuse by them or passed onto a pallet recycling company for reuse in other industries.

About Roofing Supplies - 20 Years Of Trading: Interviews With Key Figures - Mark Simmonds

In this, the first of the special interviews that we will be sharing to celebrate our 20th year in business, we have spent some time with Mark who is the Branch Manager at our Dorking branch.

At only 45 he has been with About Roofing Supplies for most of his working life!


Q: About Roofing Supplies opened the doors of our branch at Esher in Surrey to customers in February 1999 – when did you start working for the company?

It would have been in March or April that year.

Q: And you were the first employee?

Yes, I was the first member of staff apart from the Directors who started the company to begin with.

Q: So you have been with the company for 20 years: What job did you start doing, and how have you got to where you are now?

I was actually taken on to work part time for two days a week, as the company had not been open for long and no one was sure that there would be much for me to do.

Initially I was helping in the yard and delivering goods on the small truck that we had then – by hand of course as we did not have a lorry with a crane to begin with.

In my second week I worked for three days, and in my third week I went full time – it got very busy very quickly!

After a few months I was put through my HGV training, and I then drove HGVs for the company for the next four years.

I left briefly, before coming back to work with Garrett (Courtney our Sales Director) at our new, as it was then, Redhill branch.

After a spell driving again, I was promoted to Assistant Manager of our Redhill branch, and then became Branch Manager of our Dorking branch three years ago.

Q: What is it about the company that has made you stay for so long?

I like that it is family run and still independent. I knew two of the Directors when we were all at school together, so it feels that I am working with the guys who own About Roofing rather than for them. It’s a family, which although it is a cliché is true in this case. I also like that you are valued as an individual – too many people work for companies where they are ‘just a number’. At About Roofing I matter……we all matter.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the best thing about this company?

Apart from my answers to the last question, I like the opportunities that I have been given to advance personally. As the company has evolved, I have been given the chance to do jobs that are different than the job that I was originally employed to do – not many companies do that these days.

Q: What would you say is your proudest achievement at work?

Becoming Branch Manager of our Dorking branch. I never dreamt when I started in the yard at our Esher branch as a young lad that one day I would be the manager of another branch.

Q: What does this company mean to you?

Everything really! There is nothing worse than waking up and dreading the working day ahead – I enjoy coming to work. Every day has its challenges, but I enjoy that – it’s never boring!

About Roofing Supplies - 20 Years Of Trading

20 Year Anniversary | About Roofing Supplies

2019 is a very special year for us!

 We opened our doors to our Esher branch for the first time in February 1999 - 3 more branches, thousands of customers and tens of thousands of deliveries later we are celebrating our 20th anniversary.

We started trading online in 2009 - amongst the first roofing and building materials suppliers to do so - so 2019 is also the 10th anniversary of

We will be featuring interviews with our three founding directors on this blog shortly - they still run the company, and their story of how they turned a dream into a successful business is remarkable.

We will also be featuring an interview with our first ever employee - who is still with us - and our first ever customer - who is also still with us - as well as interviews with customers and staff over this special anniversary year.

About Roofing Supplies is more than a 'just a company': To many of the staff and customers it is a family and a part of everyday life. We look forward to sharing some of the stories about who we are, how we got here and where we are going in the coming months!

About Roofing Supplies Dorking branch improvement works

About Roofing Supplies Dorking branch improvement works

 About Roofing Supplies Dorking Branch Improvement Works November 2018 | About Roofing Supplies

About Roofing Supplies Dorking branch has been undergoing improvement works over the last few months, the latest of which was the laying of a new heavy duty tarmac surface at the front of the branch, which will make loading and unloading our customers and suppliers much easier!

We have also been increasing the range of stocks held at our Dorking branch recently - in particular we are carrying more roof tiles, roofing batten and building aggregates than ever!

Why not pop in and meet the friendly Dorking branch team soon! The branch is open between 7.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 12pm on Saturdays.

Alternatively, you can call them on 01306 770490 or email them at

About Roofing Supplies Dorking Branch Improvement Works November 2018 | About Roofing Supplies

About Roofing Supplies Dorking Branch Improvement Works November 2018 | About Roofing Supplies

Meet the latest addition to the About Roofing Supplies fleet!

Meet the latest addition to the About Roofing Supplies fleet!

New Addition To Our Delivery Fleet November 2018 | About Roofing Supplies

We like lorries here at About Roofing Supplies.

Why you might ask?

Lorries enable us to get orders out to our customers.

And that keeps our customers happy.

Happy customers = happy us!

The lorry pictured here has just been sign written, had the crane fitted, and will soon be out and about delivering.

With it's large capacity it will be extremely useful for large projects, and sites where space is not an issue, such as large housing developments.

Why not place an order with us today, and you never know it might be this nice shiny new lorry that delivers it to you!

 New Addition To Our Delivery Fleet November 2018 | About Roofing Supplies

 New Addition To Our Delivery Fleet November 2018 | About Roofing Supplies

How To Choose The Right Roofing For Your Home

Make sure you choose the best roof for your home

When it comes to buying a new roof for your home there are many decisions to make, from the materials you choose to whether you need to employ roofing contractors to carry out the project for you.

The choice of materials to use for your new roof is vast: Natural materials such as slate, traditional roof tiles manufactured from clay, to man made products such as GRP, bitumen or concrete roof tiles can all be used to create a roof, and each has its own merits and will have a different impact on the design and appearance of your home.

When it comes to choosing the materials for your roof, here are some of the things you should ask yourself:


How long will the roof last?

Durability is extremely important. Installing a new roof is costly, even if you go for the cheapest options, therefore it is essential that you trust the roof will last a long time. 

Broadly clay and slate products will look better for longer and have a longer service life – for only a small price premium over concrete products.


How much does it cost?

Price, of course, is a major factor when deciding which roofing materials to choose.

Roofing materials vary greatly when it comes to cost, so make sure you know exactly how much you will be paying out for your new roof before you decide on the materials.

Everyone has their own budget that the need to will work to, so make sure that you stick to that, and that there are no hidden costs you haven’t considered before you start work. Calculating costs before you begin means you don’t end up paying out more than you can afford.


How durable are these materials? What are the installation costs such as labour and scaffolding? 

Your new roof should last a long time. However if unexpected, violent weather occurs you need to know that your roof will stand up to it. If you live in an area at high risk of adverse weather, take this into consideration when choosing your roofing materials.


Will the end result look the way I want it to on my home?

Of course you want to be pleased with the end result. Make sure you choose a material that complements the style of your home, and the buildings that surround it.

There are links on our website from which free samples can be ordered – we encourage customers to take advantage of this service, particularly because colour reproduction on websites and in brochures is never 100% accurate, and there is no substitute for actually seeing and holding a physical roof tile or slate in the colour that you are interested in.


Which supplier should I use?

Make sure you do your research before selecting a supplier and go with a reputable, experienced supplier who understands the products and can offer help and advice.

Whilst price is an important factor, make sure that your supplier has experienced staff and are authorized manufacturer’s distributors – many sellers give the impression on their websites of being stockists, but in reality simply pass the order onto an authorized distributor such as us.


Do I need planning permission and what are the local regulations?

Make sure that you know what the rules and regulations that apply to building a new roof on your home in your area are before you start.

Find out whether you need planning permission and whether there are any local regulations in place that might restrict what you do, this means you won’t run into any trouble further down the line.

You also need to take into consideration your existing roof, in particular the roof pitch, as this may mean that some materials are not suitable and can be ruled out in the first instance.

To assist you with your choice we have broken down the pro’s and cons of the most common roof tile types. 


Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete tiles are a popular choice. They are very durable and will last a long time. They are cost effective and quickly and easily laid. Some are manufactured to resemble more expensive clay tiles giving your home a similar look for less. 


Clay Roof Tiles

Clay roof tiles are eco-friendly as they are made from natural materials.

Clay is long-lasting and stylish design-wise, with a wide range of styles to choose from, and is seen as a very desirable feature – hence most “new build” properties have clay roof tiles as feature conscious buyers are actively seeking features such as these on modern, as well as traditional properties.  

The price differential between clay and concrete products has narrowed significantly in recent years meaning that clay roofing products can be purchased for a very similar price to concrete, however clay roof tiles look better, lasts longer and add value to the property many people feel that this is a wise and worthwhile investment.


Man made Slates

Cembrit tiles are man-made from fibre and cement. These tiles are popular due to their low price and high durability, and are easy to install. Cembrit tiles are among the most lightweight of all the tiles and therefore can be used on a frame that cannot withstand the greater weight of slate, concrete or clay tiles.


Natural Slates

Slate is a traditional roofing material and has been used for many centuries.

It is made from natural materials and therefore eco friendly, with a grey or green irregular appearance.

By carefully considering the the factors above and doing thorough research you should be able to make an informed choice about the type of roof that will work best for you and your home, and hopefully be delighted with the finished result. 

About Roofing Staff Stories: Introducing Tom

Tom - About Roofing Supplies

Tom joined us 3 years ago, fresh out of college, initially to start work in the yard. His likeable personality quickly shone through and it wasn’t long before he moved into a sales position at our Redhill Branch. At About Roofing Supplies, we encourage career progression and personal development and take great pride in allowing our team members to move into positions which build on their skills and showcase their strengths. Tom is a great example of this.

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About Roofing Staff Stories: Introducing Morgan

As a relatively new addition to the team, Morgan joined About Roofing last June just after completing his A-levels. Morgan, who is currently working within the sales team, will be eventually taken on formally as a member of the Redhill Sales Team.

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About Roofing Staff Stories: Introducing Greg

Greg - About Roofing Supplies

Greg is our Transport Manager and is responsible for coordinating our delivery fleet of 12 crane lorries and vans. He ensures that our customers get their complete orders on time, from roofing tiles and home and garden supplies to VELUX roof windows and roof vents. 

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About Roofing Staff Stories : Introducing Woody

 Woody - About Roofing Supplies

As a dedicated employee, Woody’s career with us has spanned the last 10 years, making him an expert across all About Roofing Supplies branches and services. Beginning his 10 year career in our Esher branch, Woody has worked on the sales teams in our East Grinstead and Dorking branches and is currently a key member of the Sales team at our Redhill branch where he is able to put his wide experience to excellent use.

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About Roofing Staff Stories: Introducing Jason

Introducing Jason - About Roofing Supplies

Jason has been a dedicated employee at About Roofing Supplies for nearly 15 years. Initially, Jason started working in deliveries where he was responsible for driving a small van. His excellent driving skills and outgoing personality made him very popular with our customers. To further Jason’s career, we invested in HGV and crane training, which resulted in him delivering many hundreds of tons of roofing materials across the country, for over a decade!

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About Roofing donates roofing felt to local NHS hospital

Recently About Roofing Supplies at Esher were approached by local NHS hospital, St Peter’s hospital in Chertsey, who were looking to purchase some roofing felt to re-cover the roof on their allotment shed that was leaking after the winter storms.

The allotment is being used by the hospital to help in the treatment of patients as it has been proven that exercise outdoors – whether it be walking, or in this instance gardening – can be beneficial to the health of us all, particularly patients recovering from illnesses.

Conscious that the Health Service are under severe budgetary pressures, Luke Hossack, the About Roofing Supplies Esher Branch Manager provided the roofing felt for the shed free of charge.

In response, St Peter’s hospital have written to the Esher branch thanking them, and said “….a massive thank you for the roofing felt that you kindly donated for our allotment shed. It means a great deal to our team that local businesses support what we are trying to achieve”.

Luke, who has worked for About Roofing Supplies for over 9 years commented “everyone is aware that the NHS is under severe funding pressure. All of us benefit from the care of the hard working health care professionals within the NHS at some stage in our lives, every one of whom is an unsung hero. This was our opportunity to give something back and to say thank you from About Roofing Supplies on behalf of us all”.

At About Roofing Supplies we value local charities and we were delighted to be able to help St Peter’s hospital with their project which supports their continued mission of patient treatment and care. We strive towards an ethical and customer focused approach which we employ in all our interactions. To find out more information please contact us at


About Roofing Staff Stories : Introducing Graham

Customers who are familiar with our company and staff will quickly recognise our long-standing and highly valued team member, Graham Chappell. Graham’s commitment to About Roofing Supplies has spanned the last 14 years, where he originally started out on the Trade Counter in our Esher branch. After a few years, he was promoted to a Sales Representative role, before becoming Branch Manager of our Redhill branch in 2009. Graham strongly believes “people prefer dealing with people”, so you’ll often find him on the Redhill trade counter and telephones, or working closely with our customers on site.

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Choosing The Right Roofing Materials For Your Home

Choosing The Right Roofing Materials For Your Home

There is a wide range of options available to the property owner looking to choose roofing materials for their property.

Various factors need to be taken into account when selecting which roofing products to use, in particular the intended look of the finished roof, the available budget, the roof pitch and planning authority restrictions.

Broadly, roofs can be split into two types: Pitched roofs and flat roofs.

A roof at a pitch of between 0 degrees and 10 degrees is considered a flat roof, while a roof between 10 degrees and 75 degrees is considered to be a pitched roof.

Pitched roofs

Pitched roof coverings fall into two broad types: clay and concrete.

Clay Roof tiles

Clay roof tiles are currently the most popular choice of roof tile in the UK. They look superb when first laid, look better over time as they weather and gain character, and last for a long time: 100+ years is common – we have seen perfectly serviceable clay tiles that are estimated to be at least 200 years old!

It is worth noting that except on the most budget conscious projects, such as Housing Association and Local Authority projects, the major housebuilders and small developers purchase clay roof tiles in preference to concrete roof tiles, despite their small cost premium over concrete roof tiles.

This is because not only do they look better and last longer than concrete roof tiles, but they are appreciated for these qualities by property buyers and are seen as a desirable feature that adds value to a property in much the same way that a new kitchen does.

Clay tiles add ‘kerb appeal’ to a property and give an impression of quality, longevity and character to any property – particularly over time as the effects of weather give each clay roof roof a unique character.

Clay roof tiles also offer peace of mind to a house owner as they will almost certainly last longer than the property – and certainly longer than the owner!

Clay roof tiles fall into three main types:

Plain Clay Roof Tiles: Handmade, Hand Crafted and Machine Made

Plain tiles are still manufactured to Henry VIII’s specification (really!) of 10” long x 6” wide – or 265mm x 165mm in modern terms.

There are three broad types:

Handmade Clay Plain Tiles

Hand made clay plain tiles are, as the name suggests, manufactured by hand, using a blend of traditional and modern techniques to ensure a unique variable look whilst conforming to all the latest standards.

The two leading brands, Tudor Roof Tiles & Keymer Roof Tiles, have reputations for producing the finest roof tiles, and are often used on heritage and listed buildings. As you would expect this level of quality and manual finishing attracts a price premium.

Handcrafted Clay Plain Tiles

Handcrafted clay plain tiles are manufactured on an automated production line, and then have an element of hand finishing to produce a finished roof tile that closely resemble a Handmade plain tile.

Hand crafted tiles are very popular as they offer the looks of a handmade tile at a significant cost saving.

It is worth being aware that there is no legal definition to what constitutes a ‘handcrafted’ tile and the finish and level of hand finishing and variation varies greatly between different brands and we always strongly encourage customers to compare different makes of handcrafted tiles as the differences can be substantial.

Machine Made Clay Plain Tiles

Machine made plain tiles are the biggest selling type of clay plain tiles as they offer a contemporary look at a very economical price, with a typical roof laid in clay machine made tiles costing only a few percent more than the equivalent tiles in concrete – to many people, housebuilders and developers choosing machine made clay tiles over concrete plain tiles is a ‘no brainer’!

Machine made clay plain roof tiles tiles are particularly suitable for modern and ‘new build’ properties as they offer contemporary looks and are available in a large range of colour options.

Interlocking Clay Roof Tiles

There are various kinds of interlocking clay plain tiles, with the most popular types by far being the ‘low pitch interlocking clay tiles’ such as the Sandtoft 20/20 and the Imerys HP10 & HP17 roof tiles.

When laid, these tiles closely resemble clay machine made plain tiles, however unlike clay plain tiles, whether Handmade, Handcrafted or Machine Made, interlocking clay roof tiles can be laid on low roof pitches down to 15 degrees, such as extensions.

Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete roof tiles are the preferred choice of the cost-conscious buyer.

Although they have been eclipsed in popularity in recent years in favour of clay roof tiles, concrete roof tiles remain very popular, particularly where the look of the property is of less importance such as in urban environments, or where cost is critical.

Concrete roof tiles tiles degrade as they weather, and will not age as gracefully as clay tiles. Typically, they have a shorter lifespan than clay roof tiles of around 60 – 70 years – however this is still a long time!

Concrete roof tiles fall into three main types:

Concrete Plain Tiles

Concrete plain roof tiles are still the best-selling type of roof tiles overall in the UK. Available in a wide choice of colours they are economical to purchase and quick and easy to lay.

Concrete Interlocking Plain Tiles

When laid, concrete interlocking roof tiles closely resemble concrete plain tiles, but because of their modern interlocking design can be laid at lower pitches than concrete plain tiles, making them popular for projects such as house extensions which are often laid at low pitches.

Concrete Interlocking Roof Tiles

Commonly known as ‘metric tiles’, this broad group covers such popular designs as the Double Roman (such as the Sandtoft Double Roman and the Redland Double Roman), the 49, also known as the ’15 x 9’ (such as the Marley Ludlow Plus, Redland 49 and the Sandtoft Standard Pattern), Double Pantiles (such as the Redland Grovebury and Sandtoft Double Pantile), Castellated tiles (such as the Sandtoft Lindum and Redland Renown) and flat interlocking tiles (such as Sandtoft Calderdales, Redland Mini Stonewolds and Marley Moderns).

There are also older designs that are still available such as the original Redland Stonewold and Redland Delta.

These tiles are economical to purchase, quick and easy to lay (typically using only 10 tiles per square metre), and many can be used at low roof pitches – with some able to be used at pitches as low as 12.5 degrees.

Flat Roofs

Flat roofing materials fall into three main types: Roofing Felt, GRP and EPDM

Roofing felt

Roofing felt is available in two broad types: The first type is known as ‘Tack down’, often called ‘Pour And Roll’, which as the name implies is nailed onto the roof. The second type is  ‘Torch On Felt’ which is heated with a blow torch so that it bonds to the roof, with successive layers being bonded onto the layers below creating a single, thick layer of felt.

Tack Down Roofing Felt

Traditional bituminous roofing felt is nailed onto the flat roof, usually in two layers. Easy and quick to lay, this type of roofing felt remains enduringly popular, and is easily laid by those with little experience of construction methods.

Torch On Felt 

Torch on roofing felt is popular with both contractors and property owners as it offers a long lasting roof covering, that to an experienced and skilled contractor, can be laid quickly.

This versatile product is available in different grades, at different price points, offering varying guarantees as to the lifespan of the felt. As you would expect, the longer lasting felts are the most expensive, however even a budget torch on felt should last for at least 15 years, with a premium quality felt lasting around 30 years.

These felts are laid typically in a three layer system, with each layer heated using a blow torch so that it fuses with the layer below, sealing joints and creating a thick, durable roof covering.


Also known as ‘fibreglass roofing’, this popular system is laid in two layers and gives a seamless, long lasting roof that has a modern contemporary look.

GRP roofing is easy to lay, even by those with little skill in DIY, although it is imperative that the manufacturer’s installation instructions are followed to the letter.

In recent years GRP roofing has attracted an undeserved reputation for failing (eg leaking), however in our experience issues with GRP roofs are solely caused by poor installation and workmanship rather than issues with the product.

Laid correctly, GRP roofing has a long service life of at least 40 years – although roofs of 50+ years have been reported. With it’s contemporary looks, seamless finish, and durability GRP is an extremely popular choice of flat roof covering.

GRP roofing needs to be laid in dry conditions, above 0 degrees c, using a number of components such as pre-formed edge trims for ease of installation.


Also known as ‘rubber roofing’. This is a specialist roof covering, usually applied by specially trained contractors on commercial and industrial roofs.

Where is the best place to source roofing materials such as these?

Specialist roofing suppliers such as About Roofing Supplies is the answer!

You would think that the large chains of builders merchants would be the place to go, but in fact these businesses specialise in other building materials and rarely keep, or even have direct access to roofing materials – they will usually source them via a specialist supplier such as us.

The reason for this is that the estimation of roofing materials is remarkably technical, and that you need specially equipped lorries to deliver them. 

Roofing materials suppliers know their products and pricing inside out. Traditionally our staff are paid a flat wage so they have no incentive to sell you any particular brand or type of tile. This means that the advice, guidance and pricing that you receive will be impartial, and will simply be tailored to your requirements and will be the best advice under the circumstances.

A specialist supplier will also have an understanding of legislation & the Building Regulations applicable to the roofing sector so they will be in a position to give you technically correct advice.

Whatever your requirements are, please feel free to call or email us – our friendly sales teams are here to help! 

We are able to offer prices tailored to your exact requirements & project: Please call us on 01737 763008 or email us here for a free quotation.

Estimates, Quotations & Take Offs

Availability Of Roofing Materials

At About Roofing Supplies, we stock and supply a vast range of roofing materials with thousands of products being available to order directly from all the leading manufacturers such as Sandtoft, Redland, Marley, Klober, Manthorpe, Tyvek, Cromar, Oxyturbo, Cure It, Tudor Rood Tiles, Keymer, Chesterfelt. We also stock & supply lead roll for flashings,Velux windows and upvc fascias and soffit.

Collection of roofing materials from our branches, and telephone orders are always welcome - however at early stages in a project, the quantity of materials that are required may not be apparent, and this is where our estimation and take off service is be the solution!.

Quotations For Roofing and Building Materials

We welcome the opportunity to provide quotations for roofing and building projects. Many customers call or email lists of their requirements, and we can then provide a priced quotation, with VAT clearly displayed, and costs such as delivery charges listed as a separate element giving our customers complete control over the pricing for their projects.

Estimates From Plans

Unlike our competitors, not only can we carry out estimates - commonly known as 'take offs' - from drawings but we have also invested in a special printer to enable us to print drawings off at full size, enabling us to accurately estimate the materials need for each project.

We welcome the submission of plans and drawings for take offs - where possible we would prefer not to estimate from .pdf drawings as the compression process to reduce a full size drawing to a .pdf document results in inaccuracies in the measurements, which in turn has a negative effect on the accuracy of the estimates that we are able to carry out.

Accuracy Of Estimates

When estimates are carried out, the following points are worth being aware of:

Whilst we try to ensure that the estimates that we provide are as accurate as possible, we cannot be held responsible for any extra costs incurred as a result of discrepancies in quantities.

For examples, many of the drawings that we estimate materials from are 1:100 or 1:50 scale. This often means that we cannot be completely accurate with the quantity of tile or slate courses on any given slope. Even just one tile course out around the perimeter of any building can result in a significant difference in the final tile, bonnet and valley count. We also allow one gable tile per course, per elevation, because we cannot know with any degree of certainty exactly how the tiles will lay along the length of the batten and consequently whether or not a gable tile will be necessary or not. This is particularly apparent when valley and bonnet hip tiles are used. The gable count that we give is the maximum we consider will be used on a contract but the actual requirement may be much less. This obviously has a bearing on the final tile quantity.

Similarly we allow a percentage of materials for waste when estimating interlocking tiles for cuts into valleys and hips, however accuracy is difficult, and any quantities quoted should be treated as an indication only. As a result, we strongly recommend that a final measure be taken on site once the carpentry work is complete.

Due to the inaccuracies inherent in scaling off dimensions from architectural drawings, quotations should only be used as a guide to the final quantities required for each project, as some assumptions may have been made in our calculations.

In the current envioroment, many products are subject to price fluctuations, because of the Exchange Rate for example, so quotations are valid for 30 days from the document date. If the commencement date of your project will fall outside this time frame, please make us aware of this as we may be able to extend the validity of the quotation on a case by case basis.

A Contemporary Felt Shingle Project

Felt Shingles are a very popular product for roofing sheds, garden buildings, workshops, garages etc, and we sell literally thousands of packs annually. We were contacted by a customer recently who has purchased some felt shingles from us, but had imaginatively used them for an application that we have never seen previously - and we were so impressed that we just had to share what he had to say, and the fantastic images that he kindly forwarded to us

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When Is It Best To Install A New Roof?

About Roofing Supplies - Nationwide Roofing Materials Suppliers

Knowing when the best time is to install a new roof in your property can save you a significant amount of money.

Read our guide below for our money saving tips:

Firstly, let’s look at the three main reasons for having roofing work carried out

1) Your roof has reached the end of its useful life and needs replacing. Signs of this can be obvious such as leaking due to broken or missing roof tiles or slates, however, particularly in the case of concrete tiles (with a life span of around 60 years) the faded, bleached appearance is usually the most obvious sign that your roof needs replacing. In much the same way that you may decide to replace your car because it is rusty and starting to cost too much in maintenance and repairs, a bleached concrete tile roof, or one where the tiles are literally disintegrating is a sign that it is time to replace it.

2) Cosmetic reasons. You may simply not like the look of the tiles on your roof, or perhaps the exterior of the building has had some decorative improvement works carried out and a new roof would set the appearance off nicely.

3) Necessary roofing. You are adding an extension or new wing or outbuilding to your property, and it needs a roof.

When is it best to have a new roof fitted?

There is no “best” time as such!

Roofing contractors tend to be booked well in advance so you will usually have to plan ahead by a few months – if you are looking to have a new roof fitted by a specialist contractor you may have to wait six months or more.

Part of the reason is that because of its physically demanding nature, and dependence on weather, roofing as a trade is less attractive to those wishing to take up a career in the construction industry, and many new entrants decide to become electricians or plumbers instead, leading to a relative shortage of roofing contractors compared to many other building trades, which in turn keeps demand for their services high.

Who should I employ to carry out the work?

If you do not know any roofers personally, or have friends or contact who can recommend one, this can be a tricky decision.

Firstly it is always wise to deal directly with specialist roofing contractors. Lots of other contractors in the general building or maintenance sectors carry out roofing works – and most are very good – however roofers are specialists, and well, you wouldn’t employ a car mechanic to service your motorcycle? Or a Doctor to give you a filling would you?

Checkatrade can be an excellent source resource to identify roofing contractors as you can read written testimonies from local people in a similar position as yourself who can give you first hand feedback on the work carried out and the contractor’s overall professionalism and work ethic.

Membership of a trade body such as the NHBC by the roofer is often a sign of a good roofer.

Should I buy the materials or get the roofer to supply them?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question! In many cases it is more convenient to let the roofer source and supply the materials – he will know where to go, and can charge you one overall price for the job: Labour & materials all in one bill, which is convenient

However, an increasingly popular approach is for the property owner to source the materials themselves. Once they have engaged the roofer, he can provide a list of what is needed, or the materials supplier can carry out an estimate from drawings or a site visit.

Often, if the property owner is seeking a particular “look” for their property, or if they are working to a budget, or simply don’t know what is available, it is better for them to research and purchase the materials themselves so that they are in control of costs and decisions made.

Is there a good or bad time to buy the materials?

The short answer is no. Prices tend to remain fairly stable – roofing suppliers don’t have often have sales or special offers as such, although roofing tiles are priced according to quantity: The more that you buy the cheaper that they get!

It is worth bearing in mind that traditionally, many roofing materials manufacturers apply price rises in the first month or two of each year, so you can usually save money by ordering and having your roof tiles or slates delivered before Christmas.

Where is the best place to source roofing materials?

Specialist roofing suppliers such as us is the answer!

You would think that the large chains of builders merchants would be the place to go, but in fact these businesses specialize in other building materials and rarely keep, or even have direct access to roofing materials – they will usually source them via a specialist supplier such as us.

The reason for this is that the estimation of roofing materials is remarkably technical, and that you need specially equipped lorries to deliver them. Similar to the analogy used earlier in this article, you would not go to an optician for a haircut, so why not go to a roofing merchant for roof tiles?

Roofing Materials suppliers know their products and pricing inside out. Traditionally staff are paid a flat wage so they have no incentive to sell you any particular brand or type of tile. This means that the advice, guidance and pricing that you receive will be impartial, and will simply be tailored to your requirements and will be the best advice under the circumstances.

A specialist supplier will also have an understanding of legislation & Building Regulations applicable to the roofing sector so they will be in a position to give you technically correct advice.


Selection of the correct type of flashing for your roof pitch and roofing material is essential - please do not hesitate to check with us before ordering if you are unsure

Do I Need Ventilation In My Roof?

Welcome to our short guide to roof ventilation for properties that were build pre-war, post-war and after the mid-1990s.

About Roofing Supplies - Roof Tile Vent Range

We are often asked by our customers, both trade and public, about whether there is a need for ventilation in their roofs.

The answer is almost always YES!

Almost everything that we do generates moisture in the home from cooking, bathing and showering to washing up, drying our clothes and even breathing!

Over time this moisture naturally percolates up into the loft space, and this is where problems with a lack of ventilation in the roof occur.

The moisture gets trapped in the roof space, leading to mould, damp and damage to items stored in the loft space – and more importantly to the roof structure itself, which can prove extremely costly to remedy.

Often this situation goes unnoticed – however in certain circumstances, such as when the roof is insulated, or there is snow on the roof, or it is cold outside – the moisture condenses on surfaces and become more noticeable.

By the time that this happens, you have a serious problem and steps need to be taken swiftly to address the situation. Even if you do not have condensation issues now, you should consider a pro-active approach and take steps to ventilate your roof sooner rather than later.

Depending on the age and construction of your property, how you will address this situation varies considerably:

Ventilation for roofs on properties that were constructed pre-war

Properties of this age were usually constructed with clay tiles laid straight onto the rafters. Often the tiles were handmade, or, at best, were manufactured in factories using techniques that resulted in the tiles fitting together rather loosely.

Because of this the roof is naturally porous, so ventilation is rarely an issue. However, because there is no roofing felt (often called “sarking felt”) underneath the tiles, the loft space will be cold, dusty and windswept and not at all suitable for storage.

The solution in this case is often dictated by the condition of the roof tiles, that by now, will often need replacing: When the roof is re-roofed, this is the ideal opportunity to replace the tiles with modern roof tiles or slates, with appropriate underfelt and ventilation meeting the current regulations such as BS5534 & BS5250.

Ventilation for roofs on properties that were constructed post- war, but before the early 1990s

Properties of this age are those that are most likely to experience issues with condensation, damp & mould.

Building practices during this period used modern roof tiles (which because of modern manufacturing processes fit together with fine tolerances, resulting in an almost airtight roof) usually with a bituminous non-vapour permeable underfelt.

The problems with roofs constructed in this fashion are two-fold: The bituminous sarking underfelt, because it is non-breathable, creates a nearly airtight seal, and any moisture the does get past then struggles to get out past the tight fitting roof tiles resulting in the moisture effectively having nowhere to go, condensing and causing problems.

The solution in this case is relatively inexpensive if the roof tiles are still in good condition. However, roofs built in the 1940s and 1950s often need replacing or will do soon, as concrete roof tiles have a shorter life span than clay tiles and most concrete tiles of this age will be crumbling and well past their best – particularly in high pollution areas such as cities or industrial areas.

If the roof does need re-roofing, then this will be the ideal opportunity to construct the roof to modern regulations such as BS5534 and BS5250, using BBA approved breathable membrane under the tiles, ventilated eaves (using fascia vents) and ventilation near the top of the roof (using either vent tiles and / or dry fix vent kits at the ridge).

If the roof tiles do not need replacing then vent tiles can be installed into the roof replacing existing roof tiles, ideally coupled with ventilation at the eaves in the form of soffit or fascia vents.

Ventilation for roofs on properties that were constructed after the mid 1990s

Properties built in this period would have almost certainly been built with breathable membrane under the tiles: At the time this was seen as a simple solution to ventilation & condensation issues.

However, during the cold winters of 2010 -2011, 2011-2012 and 2012 – 2013, many people discovered to their horror that because of the covering of snow on their roofs or the cold weather outside that the breathable membrane was being overwhelmed and they were experiencing issues with damp in the roof space that they had not anticipated.

Again, the remedy is the addition of vent tiles near the apex and ventilation at the eaves – many homeowners and contractors have routinely fitted them believing that the modest costs incurred are far outweighed by the benefits of peace of mind.

Warm roofs, Cold Roofs & Loft Conversions

If your loft has been insulated, or even converted into living space, then this can affect the type and amount of ventilation that you will need, however the principles are broadly the same in that the roof space will need ventilating to ensure the movement of air.

Building Regulations for Roof Ventilation

In this article we have made reference to Building Regulations, such as BS5250 the Code of practice for control of condensation in buildings and BS5534 Slating and tiling for pitched roofs and vertical cladding code of practice. These are mandatory regulations that apply in England and Wales, and are issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and are administrated by Local Authority Planning Departments.

Similar regulations apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are overseen by the relevant national authorities.

Building Regulations are law, and must be complied with for all new build projects, and most refurbishment projects. Because they have been carefully thought out, and are seen as “best practice” in most cases they are followed, even where the law does not make them mandatory simply because it is very prudent to do so!

Compliance with the Regulations is the responsibility of the designer of the building, the owner of the building and the building contractor - often this is the same person in the case of self-build properties, however it is worth noting that the responsibility falls on multiple parties rather than just being the responsibility of, for example, the builder alone. Of course if you are the house owner and the house was not built by you, then the responsibility is yours!

About Roofing Supplies - Breathable Membrane range View our 


 About Roofing Supplies - Roof Vent TilesView our 


 About Roofing Supplies - Roof Slate Vent rangeView our 


About Roofing Supplies: A Family Run Company Investing In Staff

About Roofing Supplies – the people behind the name.

About Roofing Supplies | Staff

Many companies go to great lengths to promote themselves as ‘family businesses’ that value their staff and customers.

The feedback on our website and elsewhere reflects how much we value our customers and our successful approach to customer service.

However, we value our staff as well: We have a policy of training and developing all of our staff, giving each team member the opportunity to develop as individuals and within the company.

At About Roofing Supplies we really are a family company – our three directors (two of whom are brothers) founded and still own the company (no faceless shareholders here!), and are based and work at the branches. They believe that our staff are our greatest asset and that individuals should be given chances to grow and develop and to reach their potential.

Since we started trading nearly twenty years ago, many staff who joined have stayed: myself and two colleagues will shortly be celebrating our fifteen year anniversaries, and we are by no means the longest serving!

Because we value our staff and train and develop them, not only do they stay with us – which gives us consistency and experience, unlike many of our competitors - it results in a better service for our customers, many of whom get to know our staff and value dealing with ‘real people’ on an ongoing basis who know them as individuals, not just as 'another' customer.

One of our drivers, Gary, is a recent example of this: Gary joined us in 2016 as an experienced van driver, to drive one of the smaller vehicles in our fleet.

Gary immediately shone as a concientous individual, and was popular with our customers, whilst completing his deliveries promptly and efficiently.

He expressed an interest in progressing his career and skills, and driving one of our 18 ton crane lorries – driving an £85,000 vehicle on the busy roads of the South East is a big responsibility, and one not to be taken lightly. However, Gary was keen and we felt that he was an ideal individual to invest in.

About Roofing Supplies funded Gary’s HGV training, his advanced CPC training and his HIAB crane training (which represents a significant investment by the company in him as an individual) and he passed his tests earlier this month, and having had a period when he was accompanied by one of our Transport Managers, is now out driving one of our fleet – perhaps delivering to your site!

Another of our drivers, Steve, is having HGV training currently, and we are confident that he too will be out delivering on another of our crane lorries soon.

In fact, of our HGV driving team, the only drivers who have not been trained at About Roofing Supplies’ expense are two individuals who learnt to drive whilst serving in the Army.

Similar tales of investment and advancement can be told by all of the members of our Management team, our Accounts team – even our yard team have opportunities to advance: a number of them have progressed into either the driving or sales teams over the years.

Roof Tile Availability - Separating The Fact From The Fiction: Summer 2017

Roof Tile Availability: Separating The Fact From The Fiction: Summer 2017

A related post entitled 'Roof Tile Availability - A Permanent Change To Roof Tile Availability?: Autumn 2017' is available here.

We receive calls and emails every single day from roofing contractors, developers, commercial Facilities Managers, householders, and even other roofing suppliers desperately trying to source roof tiles. Many have been told snippets of truth, half heard rumours, and occasionally complete fiction as to why roof tiles are "hard to get" or "discontinued", so the point of this blog is to separate the fact from the fiction, and to shed some light on the situation as we know it.

Firstly, lets dispel some myths: Many roof tiles are readily available, none of the manufacturers are going bust and nothing has been discontinued. Honestly.

Secondly, it is rare that we are unable to find a suitable product that can be supplied quickly, to enable our customers to complete a project. We may suggest or offer a different colour, a different tile, or even another solution altogether, but there is almost always a solution that enables jobs to be completed.

So what is going on? The reality seems to be that some popular roof tiles are on long lead times, which puzzles people. All we hear on the news is that new houses are not being built, that there is a lack of affordable housing and that many of us, especially those in their twenties and thirties, have become "generation rent" because they can't afford to buy the few houses that are being built.

However, the truth is that far more houses are being built that people realise, as the following statistics released by the Department for Communities and Local Govenment in March 2017 illustrate: 

House building; new build dwellings, England: March Quarter 2017

  • On a quarterly basis, new build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 43,170 (seasonally adjusted) in the latest quarter, a 3 per cent increase compared to the previous 3 months and 21 per cent increase on a year earlier.
  • Completions were estimated at 39,520 (seasonally adjusted), 9 per cent higher than the previous quarter and 21 per cent higher than a year ago.
  • Annual new build dwelling starts totalled 162,880 in the year to March 2017, up by 15 per cent compared with the year to March 2016. During the same period, completions totalled 147,960, an increase of 6 per cent compared with last year.
  • Private enterprise new build dwelling starts (seasonally adjusted) were 4 per cent higher in the March quarter 2017 than the previous quarter, and completions were 12 per cent higher. Starts by housing associations were 2 per cent higher compared to the last quarter and completions 5 per cent lower.
  • All starts are now 152 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2009 and 12 per cent below the March quarter 2007 peak. All completions are 57 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2013 and 18 per cent below their March quarter 2007 peak.

All of those new houses need roofs - and that is what is causing some supply issues.

One of the major manufacturers recently revealed - off the record - that they can manufacture 1 million roof tiles a week, but they are actually taking orders for 1.4 million roof tiles on average every week - so every month they have back orders of 1.6 - 2 million roof tiles!

So, demand is oustripping supply? Well, yes and no.

With a handful of exceptions, all brands, types and colours of roof tiles are still being manufactured and are being supplied by the manufacturers, albeit with a wait of a few weeks to a number of weeks, depending on the tile and colour.

It s certainly true that the traditional roofer's practice of turning up on site, stripping the roof and ordering the replacement tiles that day, for delivery the next working day is inadvisable at the moment, and may well be for the forseeable future, because with supplies not as readily available from the manufacturers as they used to be, every tile, in every colour is not always available on demand.

However, plenty of tiles are available, and we have large stocks - this is because we are placing large orders with all of the manufacturers to ensure that we are receiving regular deliveries to keep our stocks topped up.

One solution to this situation that many prudent customers are adopting, is to forward order the tiles that they require. Particuarly with new build projects and re-roofs, as they are not emergency jobs, roofers and developers often know when they are looking to carry out the work months before, so they wisely order the tiles that they require in plenty of time to ensure that the brand, type and colour of tiles that they require are on site exactly when they want them to be!

Alternatively, many customers come to us with an open mind, knowing that even though they may not actually be supplied with their original choice of tile or colour, that we will work hard for them to ensure that we can supply an alternative product that will fulfill their requirements.

So, we suggest that you don't listen to the doom and gloom stories, but contact our friendly sales team instead to see how we can help!

We are able to offer prices tailored to your exact requirements & project: Please call us on 01737 763008 or email us here for a free quotation.

Roof Tile Availability - A Permanent Change To Roof Tile Availability?: Autumn 2017


In June this year I wrote a blog entitled “Roof Tile Availability: Separating The Fact From The Fiction” in which I addressed some of the rumours that were circulating regarding the current availability – or otherwise – of many popular brands, types and colours of roof tiles, and why many can seem to be be hard to obtain.

In that blog I explained that demand is currently outstripping supply, and that the roof tile manufacturers are working flat out to meet demand.

We are still receiving calls and emails on a daily basis, from customers frustrated in their efforts to easily locate roof tiles and fittings for their projects, and many of them are expressing surprise that lead times apply to many roof tiles.

The situation affecting the availability of roof tiles has been existant since Summer 2016, and as the latest figures from the Government show (below), with the pace of housebuilding continuing to increase – despite what you hear on the news – the situation regarding roof tile availability does not look likely to improve in the short term, or possibly ever:

Housebuilding starts reach eight-year high, says DCLG

  • New home starts in the past year have reached their highest level since the slump of 2009, according to housebuilding statistics issued by the Department for Communities & Local Government.
  • The report stated that there were 164,960 homes started in the year to June 2017, an increase of 13% on the previous year.
  • More than 153,000 homes were completed during the same period, 11% ahead of the June 2016 figure.
  • However, housing starts in England decreased by 3% to 41,180 in the latest quarter, compared to the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, though that was a 10% increase on the position a year earlier.
  • Seasonally adjusted completions were estimated at 40,310, which was 2% higher than the previous quarter and 15% higher than a year ago.
  • Private builders’ contributions to the totals were unchanged for both starts and completions against the previous quarter.
  • Housing association starts were 19% lower at 5,280 compared to the previous quarter, though completions were up by 17% to 7,200.
  • Local authorities starts were down by 3% at 320 but completions were up by 2% to 380. DCLG said starts of all kinds were now 141% above the low point of March 2009 and only 16% below their March 2007 peak.

Demand was outstripping supply in Summer 2016, and now that demand has continued to grow, is there any likelihood that we will see a return to the days when roof tiles could effectively be supplied on Demand? Industry insiders suggest not.

Bear in mind that the situation is not that tiles are not being manufactured and supplied – far from it! The manufacturers are continuing to manufacture roof tiles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – and we are selling them as quickly as they are released for sale by the manufacturer, the issue simply remains that demand continues to outstrip supply.

Traditional practices of stripping a roof, and ordering the tiles at that stage are no longer applicable in today’s market – if the materials required for a project are ordered in good time, then they can be supplied to site as and when required.

We have already seen a major shift in roofing contractors and builders who have adjusted their planning methodology and are now ordering the tiles that they need well in advance of actually needing them – for example, we have received a delivery of 36,000 clay interlocking tiles this week that we ordered 8 weeks ago because of the lead time – 35,000 are sold before they are even delivered to us, because the customers who have contacted us searching for them have followed our suggestions and have ordered them in advance of needing them, and will subsequently have the tiles delivered to site when required, and their projects will be able to proceed according to plan!

Interestingly, colleagues in builders, joinery and plumbers merchants have told us that lead times apply to many of their most popular products and have done for years, so perhaps the roofing industry is simply evolving in the same way, and as mentioned above, a lot of professional contractors have adapted to the paradigm shift in availability quickly – perhaps because they are already used to a similar situation affecting the other materials that they purchase for other aspects of their projects.

If time is an insurmountable factor then we will continue to suggest alternative brands, types and colours of roof tiles - often we can guide a customer towards a tile that they had not even considered or been aware of, and can even on occasion save them money by sharing our knowledge and experience of the products available.

So, please continue to call and email us – our friendly sales teams are here to help! 

We are able to offer prices tailored to your exact requirements & project: Please call us on 01737 763008 or email us here for a free quotation.

Velux Roof Windows, Domes & Blinds

Velux Windows from About Roofing Supplies


In the meantime, please call us:01737 763008 or email us for pricing


Velux Rewards Promotion: September & October 2017

Velux Rewards Promotion Sept Oct 2017 - About Roofing Supplies

Earn £25 of rewards every time you buy a VELUX white-painted roof window or up to £65 of rewards with VELUX flat rooflights this September and October!

Simply log in or sign up at and upload your proof of purchase to earn rewards.

Just remember to register you purchases before 17th November 2017.

Earn, save and spend your rewards with top-brand partners; M&S, Thomas Cook, Ticketmaster, Argos, Pizza Express, Curry’s PC World, John Lewis and Tesco. Terms and conditions apply