Investing in roof repairs or a complete replacement is a hefty commitment for most people, whether a private householder or the owner/manager of a business premises. This kind of financial investment in a property makes it vital that the work is done both to the highest possible standard and within a decent time frame.
If you are looking for a great roofing contractor in West Lothian you may feel a little overwhelmed by the choice of companies on offer. When trying to decide which are trustworthy, honest, professional and able to work to a high standard it may be tempting to simply stick a pin in the listings and hope for the best – but there is a better way.
Here we look at the tips and tricks which will help anyone in need of a roofing contractor in West Lothian narrow down the endless choices to find the right person for their particular job.
Roof Repair and Replacement in West Lothian
The place to start is to find out exactly what kind of work needs to be done on your roof. Is it still repairable, or is a complete replacement the only reasonable option? A good company will ask extensive questions about your current roof to try to ascertain what the outcome may be. In many cases it is leaks which drive someone to seek professional advice, so you, or the person who inspects your property before coming up with a quote or estimate, could be looking for:
- Missing tiles
- Broken or damaged flashing
- Wear and tear to chimney stacks or skylights
- Water pooling on low pitch roof surfaces
Another thing to bear in mind is the age of the roof. Depending on the materials used to construct it, the average UK roof has a fairly long life expectancy. Presuming they haven’t already been extensively repaired before now a roof laid with shingles should be fine for 10 – 30 years, while cement tiles are good for around 40-50, and clay tiles will probably be still going strong after one hundred years on your roof! On the other hand a fairly old flat roof covering may be beyond saving.
A professional roofing company will not try to force someone into replacing s roof which is capable of being fixed, so if a replacement is suggested be sure to get lots of feedback on how that decision as justified.
Residential & Commercial Roofing
To the average person a roof is a roof, right? But in reality there are many differences between them. This can be down to size or style, but also whether the property involved is residential or commercial. Repairing or reroofing a business related property calls for different considerations which may not arise in a residential project. Let’s look at the main points of each to get a clearer idea of why it’s vital to check a roofing contractor has adequate experience in the field to know how to best fix or replace it.
Typically these are steeper, smaller, and have fewer obstacles – often just a single chimney – that needs to be worked around.
In many cases a commercial roof will be larger, flat rather than sloped, made from different material – such a bitumen or metal, and have more obstacles like air conditioners, TV antennae and even gardens contractors need to work around. These days it is also more likely that either type of building will have solar panels to consider too.
Cost of Roofing in West Lothian
Don’t be surprised that the total costs quoted will probably differ quite drastically between companies. Some have bigger overheads, others are not yet big enough to be VAT registered, so rather than accepting them at face value ask for each to be broken down into sections.
The average costs for a complete reroof range from around £4500 for a two bedroomed terrace, to £6800 for a four bedroomed detached home. Repairs may cost just a few hundred for some basic tile replacement work, up to a few thousand if new fascias and soffits are needed.
Bear in mind that larger roof spaces need more materials, while taller properties may require scaffolding. Add in any skip hire or waste disposal fees, labour costs, insurance payments, VAT, and company profit and you can see how the costs can quickly add up.
If a roof needs to be replaced completely it is possible some of the old materials can be recycled, reducing costs a little.
Different types or roofing
Metal roofing (cladding)
This is a increasingly popular choice for commercial buildings as it is extremely waterproof, lightweight – so it doesn’t compromise the building’s structure, looks smart, flexible enough to be used on curved or oddly shaped roofs, and long lasting – with just a little maintenance it could easily last around 50 years. Another major plus point is that this kind of metal cladding can be coated in a colour of your choice and not stand out as odd looking. Several types of cladding are available, but metal (steel) is the most common.
Another popular choice for commercial buildings, and also for large apartment blocks. In both cases they are often used to hide air conditioning units out of sight, or to provide a garden and seating area to workers or residents. However, these days flat roofs are coming back into fashion for residential properties too. Once notorious for leaks due to their design, modern flat roofs are built with waterproof materials and a slight pitch to help avoid water pooling. Flat roofs above extensions can double up as a pleasant raised patio, perfect for sunbathing or drying laundry.
With their two-sided sloping roofs forming an attractive triangle at either end can be seen on many homes around the UK, which is no surprise as it’s the most common roof design for domestic properties. Gable roofs are easy to construct and there’s lots of choice between potential materials.
Whatever type of property or roof you have, always ask a potential contractor for visual evidence of previous work they have done on similar lines.