Article for Progress Magazine by: NFRC

Despite the roof being one of the most important elements of any home, the roofing sector continues to suffer from the lack of clear differentiation between a qualified skilled worker, and someone who calls themselves a roofer.

When appointing a contractor to carry out roofing work, many homeowners remain unaware of the risks associated with appointing a non-accredited roofer to carry out work on their roof. Rogue tradesmen are not subject to inspection – thereby increasing the chances of carrying out sub-standard work – and they are unable to offer warranties. What’s more, it’s likely
that they are uninsured too, and should a complaint arise, they offer no formal complaints procedure.

Whether it’s a simple roof repair or an entire roof replacement, there is no legal requirement for homeowners to use a specifically qualified or competent roofer. However, this is set to change, as the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) – the UK’s largest and most influential roofing trade association – has unveiled an ambitious strategy that will open
the doors to accredited roofers being an essential requirement in the future.

The new strategy is designed to elevate standards by formalising and standardising a UK-wide training, accreditation and assessment infrastructure that will ultimately help establish a more professional sector. It will also help curb the activities of
non-accredited tradesmen who purport to be skilled roofers.

In the meantime, however, when homeowners are looking to engage a roofing contractor, they need to consider their choice very carefully and check them out before employing them. That way, the potential for problems will be greatly reduced, and
homeowners will have peace of mind… as well as a weatherproof roof.

The first port of call when choosing a roofing contractor should be NFRC. It is recognised as the voice of the roofing industry, and by choosing a contractor that is a member of NFRC, homeowners can rest assured that the contractor is thoroughly vetted every three years. NFRC also actively ensures its members offer high standards of workmanship, all backed by a concise quotation, along with a range of available warranties – typically of 10 years – against the roofer going out of business or there being problems with the roof. NFRC also operates a National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register of qualified roofing specialists for heritage roofing projects.

NFRC also endorses other accreditation schemes designed to protect consumers. Member contractors who carry out domestic work are automatically enrolled in TrustMark – the only Government-endorsed scheme for all trades in and around the home.

TrustMark traders are thoroughly vetted and assessed so that homeowners can feel confident that they are choosing a reputable tradesperson. As well as providing a credible and trusted search facility for quality roofers, the scheme offers
a customer feedback and referral service – often a deciding factor when choosing a roofing contractor.

NFRC members are also fast-tracked to join CompetentRoofer, a scheme which helps homeowners save both time and money when re-roofing 50% or more of their property, and which ensures they comply with the law in terms of Building Control.

Regardless of the size of the job, roofing work should always be carried out by an accredited roofer. Not only can it save the homeowner time and money, and a lot of stress further down the line, it will increase their safety and protection. Better to be safe, not sorry.

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