A builder on your stoep
allowed for curing. In the case of cement tiles check that the tiles are hard and don’t break easily. Check the tiles for hairline cracks and chipped corners before they are fixed in place.
All roofing materials are designed for specific purposes, and are fixed differently in different areas, so check with your contractor that he has copies of the relevant fixing guides. Certain materials will not work right if fixed at the wrong pitch. Metal roof sheeting comes in different thicknesses – check that you are getting what you have paid for.
If your contractor is using metal sheeting, insist that any cutting is done on the ground, in a sheltered area. Loose filings in your own or the neighbour’s swimming pool are not something you want to deal with.
Spend a little more money on pre-coated sheeting which avoids the necessity of painting later. If you do choose an uncoated sheet, wait at least a year before painting; this allows nature to remove all grease or other factory coatings, which do not allow a good bond for the paint.
Roofs do need to breathe, but openings at the edges should be closed with the relevant filler pieces for the materials chosen. This will keep starlings, squirrels and other unwanted guests out.
A finished roof should be level, look neat and be free of sags, raised joints and, in the case of sheeted roofs, dents.
Ensure that the roof is checked by a suitably qualified person before you accept it and ensure that you have a written guarantee, underwritten by the manufacturer where applicable.
Next Week: Starting the finishes