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.