Most think it’s better to wait to do these jobs when ‘the sun is shining’ but sometimes it’s only when the weather turns wet or windy that you notice your roof has sprung a leak, the wind has lifted some tiles off, or worse, your chimney is about to fall over! Whatever the problem, you’ll want to get it fixed quickly. The roof, after all, is one of the things that makes your property wind and water tight. Fixing roofs and especially chimney problems isn’t a job for your handyman or ‘mate’.

Check the credentials of workmen to avoid rogues because this is a job for which you need to choose a reputable contractor.

Pick a contractor via a trade association’s website such as the Confederation of Roofing Contractors or CORC (www.corc.co.uk). Visit the trade association first then you know they are genuine members. An unknown benefit of working with professionals is some like CORC offer a fully-insured 10-year guarantee through Home Improvement Protection that protects the consumer if a defect arises in that period. That’s a guarantee you pass on if you are selling the house or if staying and something goes wrong you won’t have to shell out all over again.

Once you’ve found a few ‘good guys or gals’ to fix your roof, arrange a few quotes. Some may charge more for their labour, but charge the materials at cost or a bit less and make money on the materials, which depending on your job one may be more cost effective for you.

Checks to make:-

1. Check their insurance as with a roof if something goes wrong it can affect your whole home

2. Know their daily rate – ask for a fixed cost quote

3. Get an estimate in writing of how long it will take

4. If they want a deposit, make sure you don’t pay too much upfront. You can deal with companies such as the Home Improvement Guarantee who will look after this for you and pay it over when the work is done, meaning you protect yourself if work isn’t done. www.homeimprovementsguarantee.co.uk/

5. It’s tempting to book work and then head off to your day job. After many years of work, I don’t do this anymore. You need to be on-site first thing when they turn up and then ideally pop in at lunchtime and in the evening so you can be sure the work being done and materials used are the right ones.

Where most of us go wrong is if we aren’t happy during the job we don’t mention it until the end – and that’s a bad idea! Speak to the roofers and explain why you aren’t happy and especially what you want doing about it, most will just go ahead and if there is an on-going issue, put it in writing so you have evidence of the complaint. Most will then have an independent, third-party complaints procedure you can use if you’re still unsatisfied and you can always engage a local Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors to help arbitrate the dispute as they are independent experts who can help.

Source: Nottingham Post

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