In the second of a series of articles, we look behind the scenes of Bracknell Roofing and ask key members of staff about their areas of specialism and what makes our business stand out. Clive Naish, Contracts Manager at our Reading branch, looks at materials.
It’s fair to say that on 95% of the pitched roof projects that we are initially asked to quote or tender for, the materials have already been specified. But, as we all know, the materials that are eventually used may differ from the original specification for a variety of reasons – which is where we’d like to think that our knowledge and expertise are vital.
There is a desperate shortage of concrete roof tiles at the moment, and this has had a huge knock-on effect across the industry. As Dave Cook said in his article about looking after customers, we have some of the strongest supply chain relationships in the industry; so, while we are still feeling the effects, we’re in a much stronger position than most other companies are. But our knowledge is being relied on more and more to suggest alternatives, and factors such as the availability of tiles and their performance are coming to the fore.
Whilst it’s understandable that concrete roof tiles are the default choice for most new-build developments – largely for cost reasons – as roofers, it’s great to see other materials being considered. We’ve seen increases in the use of clay tiles and even slate tiles. I have a soft spot for them, as they are great materials to work with and the aesthetics of the finished clay are, in my opinion, far superior.
There have been big changes in respect of timber batten over the last few years, and the introduction of BS5534 laid down very clear guidelines around the quality and specification of batten used on both new builds and refurbishments.
There are different coloured battens on the market, but the range of colours isn’t necessarily a guide to the level of compliance with the British Standard. We make recommendations based on our experience and the intricacies of the roofing project.
On the face of it, the choice of membranes is mindboggling, but it’s actually easy for us to narrow down the right choice dependent on the roofing project. This is probably where we have most scope in making recommendations when quoting on tenders for projects.
We’ve fixed more membrane than most people have had hot dinners, so we know every type inside out and back to front, meaning that our level of know-how makes all the difference when housebuilders need to make every penny count.