Who Will be Involved With My Roofing Project?
A roofing project may have just a few players or it may have a full team. At a minimum, there will be an owner’s representative (aka facility manager, plant manager, plant engineer, etc.) and the roofing contractor of his/her choosing. The roof system manufacturer will also be involved to inspect the workmanship and issue a warranty at project close-out. Other design and construction professionals that may be involved are a(n):
- Roof consultant.
- Structural engineer.
- Subcontractors or specialty contractors.
The type (e.g. new construction, recover of an old roof, or tear-off and reroof) and complexity of your roofing project, the building code, and how you choose to solicit for the work will influence who’s on the team.
If the customer hires a design professional, it’s likely they’re undertaking a bid process for the project. In a competitive bid situation, developing project specifics will ensure that every contractor bidding is quoting based on the same scope of work. While this won’t differentiate the means and methods and quality of workmanship, it will assist with an apples-to-apples comparison between bids. Roof consultants (and sometimes architects) can help with spec writing.
Otherwise in a traditional lump-sum contracting situation, customers may not be aware that the project needs extra expertise. If the roofing contractor evaluates the project and identifies problems with the structure, etc., additional insight may be sought out.
If the amount of design needed is significant, or if it is of such a high level of complexity, the roofing contractor may bring a roof consultant to do the design and drawings. While most roofing contractors are able to use a manufacturer’s standard roof system designs, they are largely concerned with means, methods, and safety and may want (or need) some extra design expertise. Additionally, some local jurisdictions require an architect or engineer sign off on the scope of work.
It’s likely the project will need some extra expertise, whenever there are concerns about:
- Structural issues.
- Drainage issues. Older facilities may need secondary drains so if one drain plugs up, there’s an alternative path for water to exit the roof, and the weight of excess water doesn’t lead to collapse.
- Seismic/wind loads. Is this roof ready for a hurricane or earthquake?
- Snow loads. Is the structure capable of handling the additional weight of several feet of snow?
- Adding an additional roof over an existing one may raise structural and code issues.
- Impact to operations inside the building. For example, if it’s a data center, high heat manufacturing, etc., how will the roofing project impact sensitive processes?
- Building codes. You want to make sure you have the right assembly (R-value) to meet the energy code.
- If there is asbestos present or you’re radically changing the height of ammonia lines, a specialty contractor will be called in.
An experienced roofing contractor is qualified to tell you when additional expertise is needed.