Commercial roofing is what separates professionals from amateurs. Because the scope of commercial roof installation jobs is usually significantly broader than residential roofing jobs, commercial roofing work tends to be much more rigorous. Also, codes commercial roofers must adhere to are particularly stringent.
However, the more rigorous it is for the contractors, the more complicated it is for the property owners. As the property owner or project manager, you must consider which contractor to go with, what type of roofing system you will need, and many more while keeping your budget in mind.
Consider these factors before commercial roof installation:
- Cost & Timeline
- Contractor Selection
- Roofing System Selection
- Business Operations
There are no two ways about it; commercial roof installation is a very involved process. But if there’s one thing we know here at Roofer’s Guild, it’s roofing. That’s why we wanted to compose today’s blog, all about what you can expect before, during, and after a commercial roof installation project.
We will also be taking a look at some of the most popular types of commercial roofing systems and how they can benefit your property.
1) Cost and Timeline Considerations
At the outset of your project, you must carefully determine your budget and timeline. These will be the most important guiding factors for the project and will inform every decision you make. But how do you calculate commercial roofing costs? That will depend on the roof’s size, the materials used, and whether you are building a new roof or replacing an old one.
For example, if you opt for a single-ply membrane roof typical for commercial properties, you can expect to pay $3.40-$7.50 per square foot. And if you are replacing an old roof, add ten cents to four dollars per square foot for preparation/removal.
And because commercial roofing work varies so much, the timeline will also be determined by the roof’s size. But generally, if the weather permits, an average commercial roof should be a 2-3 week job.
2 ) Contractor Selection
Choosing the right contractor for your commercial roof installation is crucial. It would be best if you went with a local contractor with much experience. Ask for references, ask to see pictures or a portfolio of past work, and make sure they give free estimates. One sign of the right commercial roofing contractor is detailed consultation.
When they come to provide an estimate or at a later time set aside expressly for consulting, they should be able to break down the job for you in great detail, including an estimate of how many materials are needed, how many men will be on the job, the type of work that will occur and a general timeline.
And it would help if you insisted on a licensed, insured, and bonded commercial roofing contractor. Also, please don’t take any contractor at their word. Ensure that they show you a current commercial roofing insurance certificate, or you could be left holding the bag.
3) Roofing System Selection
Your contractor should be able to help with roofing system selection. But before you go into any consultation or entertain any estimates, you should know about some of the most versatile commercial roofing systems available for your property:
Built-up roofing systems have been around for a very long time. It’s hard to go wrong with this type of roofing system because it is foolproof. It is essentially multiple layers of seamless roofing fabric layered on top of each other and topped with gravel to reflect the sun’s rays.
The layers are adhered together (and to the roofing substrate) with asphalt. Built-up roofing provides adequate weatherproofing and lasts an average of 15-30 years, with some systems lasting up to 40.
Modified bitumen roof systems are installed similarly to built-up roofs because they are layered. Modified bitumen is a type of asphalt that is incredibly flexible and strong.
The combination of flexibility (which gives the entire roofing system the ability to expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate without cracking) and strength (modified bitumen is strong enough to withstand regular foot traffic and inclement weather) make it one of the most common types of commercial roofing systems.
Single-ply roofing membranes usually come in rolls and apply with an adhesive or seam welding. Single-ply roofing membranes are known for superior rain protection because they are virtually seamless. They are also relatively simple to install and don’t put much-added pressure on the existing structure.
4) Business Operations
Operations are where project length comes into play. If your business is already running, you need to ask yourself how long you can afford to shut down operations during installation. You won’t have to close your doors in some cases, but severe and comprehensive safety precautions are necessary to keep your workforce and patrons safe during construction.
Before the project begins, find out what type of labor warranties your contractor offers. You should also find out what kind of material warranties are available from the manufacturer, either by contacting them directly or asking your contractor. Be sure to get all warranty information in writing and keep them safe for your records.