Hor­ror sto­ries from up on the roof

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

Jess Hu­bert and Maxime Des­marais, of TCF Roof­ing and Con­tract­ing, do not like what they see as they check out a leaky flat roof.

“This was not done by a pro­fes­sional,” says Mr. Hu­bert, owner of the North Lan­caster-based com­pany. “Who­ever did this did not do a good job.”

Sev­eral lay­ers of cov­er­ing have failed to pre­vent wa­ter from seep­ing into the in­te­rior of the build­ing. Even af­ter an un­usu­ally dry sum­mer, mois­ture has ac­cu­mu­lated in a cor­ner of the roof. Un­for­tu­nately, this shoddy piece of work is not an iso­lated case. Mr. Hu­bert es­ti­mates that 30 to 35 per cent of his firm’s busi­ness in­volves re­pair­ing what he calls “sub­stan­dard in­stal­la­tions.”

Flat roofs are al­ready fraught with enough po­ten­tial prob­lems; they cans be par­tic­u­larly prob­lem­atic when they are in­stalled by un­trained con­trac­tors and do-it-your­selfers.

Mr. Hu­bert has seen a lot of sub­stan­dard work over the course of the 32 years he has been in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

Flaws com­monly oc­cur sim­ply be­cause in­stall­ers are not fa­mil­iar with the On­tario Build­ing Code.

Deal with some­one lo­cal

The On­tario Min­istry of Gov­ern­ment and Con­sumer Ser­vices stresses that home­own­ers should do some home­work be­fore they choose a con­trac­tor.

It is al­ways eas­ier to deal with a lo­cal com­pany. This makes it eas­ier to check ref­er­ences, en­force a war­ranty or have fol­low-up work car­ried out.

Make a list of ex­actly what you want done. Re­mem­ber that chang­ing plans in the mid­dle of a pro­ject will cost ex­tra money. Set a clear bud­get. Ask for rec­om­men­da­tions from friends and neigh­bours. Get writ­ten es­ti­mates from at least three con­trac­tors. Never ac­cept an es­ti­mate over the phone or with­out the con­trac­tor in­spect­ing the area.

Re­mem­ber that good con­trac­tors ask a lot of ques­tions so they can un­der­stand and plan out the pro­ject. Do not go for a deal that sounds too good to be true. If it’s a ma­jor pro­ject, you might need an ar­chi­tect or en­gi­neer to draw up plans and give di­rec­tion. You will also likely have to get a build­ing per­mit. Ask your town hall how much build­ing per­mits cost and how to get them.

TROU­BLE SPOTS: Jess Hu­bert and Maxime Des­marais, of TCF Roof­ing and Con­tract­ing, ex­am­ine a roof.

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