Horror stories from up on the roof
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.