Who’s Who in Commercial Roofing

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It takes a village to design and develop a commercial roof, and with many partners lending a hand, it can be confusing to figure out who does what. Learn the roles of all parties potentially involved in the project and how they collaborate to secure the best roof possible for your building.

Architects design and put the specifications together for the roofing project. They are tasked with roofing system design, material selection, warranty coverage, and code compliance. Their specs can be generic for a building, but also can be proprietary if the architect determines it’s the best option for a particular project. Architects are usually key on new construction projects and on large or publicly owned reroofing projects.

Consultants are hired by a building owner to handle the entire roofing process, from generating specifications to approving manufacturer choices and inviting contractors to bid on the project. Consultants can also provide project management and quality assurance for the whole project from beginning to end, when warranty documents are issued.

Manufacturers play a vital role in the roofing process, as their materials are ultimately what keeps the building watertight for the duration of the roof’s life. A manufacturer can also recommend certified contractors, architects, and consultants. In addition to supplying materials, manufacturers offer the guarantee. Depending on the level of warranty selected, guarantees can cover material defects and workmanship errors, repairs, and labor to ensure the system will last for many years. Most major manufacturers have representatives who assist the project team from roof material recommendations, contractor referrals, warranty assistance, and maintenance recommendations.

General contractors are hired by the building owner on new construction projects to handle the entire building process. A building owner relies on the general contractor to get everything done on time per the architect’s drawings and specifications. General contractors hire the subcontractors to complete the actual work. Subcontracted trades often include, but are not limited to, structural, electrical, mechanical, and roofing.

Roofing contractors are hired by the building owner to do the actual installation and can offer different types of services, such as preventative roof maintenance. A maintenance agreement can help prolong the life of the roof and forge a long-lasting relationship between the contractor and the building owner. A roofing contractor can also provide manufacturer benefits to the owner through programs such as GAF’s Well Roof® Advantage that extends the length of GAF’s Diamond Pledge™ NDL Roof Guarantee for free when inspection and maintenance of the roof is scheduled and completed annually.

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