Managers of condominiums and other multi-unit properties need to be highly selective when choosing trades, including those that do roofing work.
There are three key considerations:
- How capable are they to work on larger properties?
- What are the warranty provisions on workmanship and materials?
- What ongoing services they can provide if repairs or maintenance are required?
The scale of most commercial properties, including multi-unit rental properties and condominiums commonly exceeds the capability of many small roofing companies. This can result in longer completion times and less experienced workers on the job. The longer it takes, the more hassles for residents and the more potential for bad weather delays.
Warranty provisions on workmanship and materials should be carefully analyzed. Unlike houses, which can have several owners over 20 years, condominiums and apartment complexes typically have long-term owners so warranties remain valid for longer periods. Issues are more likely to appear several years after the initial installation so you want to be sure that the company is still in business if needed. This is a real issue in the roofing industry where companies come-and-go quickly. It is an even bigger problem if the installers are part-timers that only work occasionally – many do not even have a regular business number you can call.
Ongoing service requirements are common on commercial and multi-unit buildings. Problems can arise from accidents, environmental issues and the simple aging of the building. Without quick attention, the costs of repairs and increase significantly. To limit these problems, it’s advisable to ask the roofing contractor to make an annual inspection and report their concerns. It’s easier to take this report to the owners than explain the cost of major repairs that could have been prevented. If your the building has many vacancies during the winter months, ask that an inspection be completed then. If the company also does insulation they will be able to report on heat-loss, ice-damming and poor attic ventilation.
In short, condominium management boards and property managers need to contract roofing companies with consideration for the long-term rather than the lowest price today. Roofing can be expensive but even more so if it fails prematurely.