Also consider the following points:
- Select up to three contractors to look at the job. If possible, obtain recommendations from family, friends, neighbours or a reputable trade association.
- Ask each of them to give advice on which materials they would suggest using.
- Invite quotes from each contractor but do not automatically take the cheapest option. Base your choice on the quality of the advice given and your confidence in the contractor.
- Ask for a guarantee on new or refurbishment work. NFRC offers guarantee schemes which back up, but are independent of, the contractor’s own guarantee. Remember that even the best contractors can go out of business whereupon their own guarantees become worthless, so make sure you will be covered.
- Ensure that the quote or estimate selected is given to you in writing – except possibly for small emergency repairs.
- Bear in mind that ‘estimates’ for refurbishment work can change once the chosen contractor has removed the main covering (e.g. tiles/ slates) to expose the sub-structure underneath.
- Agree payment terms before the work commences. Be careful on upfront payments ensure you know what you are getting for any upfront payment. It may be difficult to get monies back. Contractors offering cash / VAT-free deals are not easily tracked down if things go wrong.
- Don’t expect to obtain free advice from contractors, unless you have a real intention to assign the contract to them.
- Remember that a property owner is responsible for any planning permission that may be required on that property.
Please be aware that when carrying out refurbishment work to 50% or more of a roof's area that either a roofing contractor that is registered with the NFRC Competent Person Scheme must be employed or your Local Authority Building Control must be contacted prior to work starting. This is in order to confirm that the roof should be upgraded to meet thermal requirements of Part L of the current Building Regulations.