If the recent severe weather has left your roof in need of repair, you know it could be an expensive job and for this reason, it is really important that it’s done correctly. Read on to find out what you should know before you start.
The energy performance of buildings became far more important following introduction of Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the building regulations 2006. The aim being to reduce energy consumption by 20% compared to 2002 levels. As a roof is considered a ‘thermal element’ under Part L, work to re-cover a roof should also include improving its thermal insulation properties.
If your roof is to be fully or partially stripped and re-covered, then in most cases the thermal insulation layer will need upgrading to meet the current standard. If the thermal insulation layer already complies (which in most cases it won’t) then no upgrade is required but you still need to employ a Competent Roofer or submit a building notice application to building control before you start work.
Will my roof repairs need building regulations?
The regulations will affect your property if you intend to repair or replace more than 25% of the surface area of your roof. To make sure you comply with the building regulations you have two options:
- To employ a roofer registered under the Competent Roofer Scheme, who can then self-certify their work and notify building control on your behalf or
- If they are not registered under the Competent Roofer Scheme, ask your roofer to make a building notice application to building control before they start work. They will then call us out to inspect work is being carried out correctly and we will issue a completion certificate to you after satisfactory final inspection.
If your home is in a conservation area or is listed, you may need planning permission from your local council planning department. There are also usually strict guidelines on what alterations can be made and what type of roofing products can be used.
Employing a roofer
We would always recommend you get at least two quotes for any reroofing work. Asking friends and neighbours for recommendations is the best idea or there is a search facility on the Competent Roofer Scheme website to help you find local roofing contractors.
The list below should give you some pointers to discuss:
- In most cases, a new roof will also need to include additional thermal insulation so it complies with Part L. A cold roof system is where the insulation is placed between the joists or rafters and a warm roof system is where insulation is placed on top of the joists or rafters. What would your roofer suggest is the best option for your roof?
- Will the weight of the new roofing material affect the current rafters or roof structure? You may need to improve the structure to allow the roof to take a heavier roofing material. (This is fairly common in older homes where the roof has not been replaced for 30 years or more.) For example, slate tiles are really popular now but are heavier than many standard tiles.
- How will ventilation be provided? This is especially important where a cold roof system is being used, where the insulation is placed between the loft and your home. You may need additional permanent vents, continuous open eaves or even a rooflight. Without these measures condensation can build up inside your home and result in mould and poor air quality.
- How will the weight of snow or ice on your new roof affect it?
- Will uplift wind load have an effect? This is the upwards force of the wind that could affect your roof structure as the wind flows under it, pushing the roof upwards and the wind flow over the roof pulls the roof upwards. If this is an issue, the roof may need ‘strapping’ and will depend on whether your roof is warm or cold.
- Ensure your roofer will be working safely. For example, will they be providing scaffolding to ensure workers are not at risk?
What about garage roofs?
If you need to reroof your garage and it is under 30m2 the building itself doesn’t come under the building regulations so neither will the reroofing works. If however you have converted your garage and it contains habitable accommodation then the Part L rules apply and your roofer will need to self-certify the work or make an application to building control.
Hopefully this has given you some useful tips on what to consider before employing a roofer and you can also read more on reroofing in our Guide to Renovating your Home here. If you would like to discuss your reroofing project with us, please contact us at email@example.com or call us on 0330 0249355.