Roof Management Options for Facilities Managers and Owners

Never has it been more difficult for a facility manager or owner to determine a proper and cost effective solution for their roofing needs. There are literally hundreds of different roofing systems, configurations, and roof managment business models throughout the industry. It’s easy to fall victim to a variety of sales schemes out there – some old, some  new, and fresh money-making schemes coming to market regularly. How can you find a knowledgeable, reliable partner to help you mange your roof assets efficiently?

4 Ways to Manage Your Roof Assets

Absent dawning a fall arrest harness and maintaining your roofs yourself, there are 4 main ways to manage your roof assets:

1. Roofing Contractor in Residence

Some companies have a preferred roofing contractor who performs most or all of the roof maintenance for their buildings. This can be a decent option for companies with smaller buildings provided the contractor provides excellent service. Problems can arise, however, when larger projects are required. It’s always a good idea to tender these projects out to a variety of contractors in order to get the best value for your dollar. But your contractor in residence may feel entitled to the work, having considered your company a “house account”.  Less competition usually means higher pricing for the customer.

2. DIY Bids

Some building owners manage their roofing on a project by project basis. When roofing problems arise, they tender the project to a variety of contractors, managing the bid process on their own. This may work out if the owner or manager has a great deal of knowledge about roof construction, design and materials. If not, however, it’s difficult to know whether the specifications reflect the optimal design for your building and budget parameters. It’s important to note that contractors competing with one another will often specify the cheapest system available in order to win the work.

Choosing a solution on price alone can end up costing a lot more in the long run. Our consultants are often brought in to represent the owner’s interests in situations where roof systems have been improperly designed or applied or where contractors are trying to invoice for unreasonable extra costs. Quality assurance inspectionsby a professional roof consultant can help you avoid these hassles.

3. Manufacturer’s Sales Representative

Some roofing materials manufacturers hire sales professionals to offer “all in one” solutions to facilities managers. They offer roof consulting services, often starting out with a “free” inspection. Some of these sales reps use very aggressive sales tactics and are often much more knowledgeable about selling than roofing.

This model is typically the most expensive and least transparent way to manage your roof assets. The consulting fees are usually buried in materials that are sold at prices around 10 times industry standards. These inflated costs are often justified by material formulations that are tweaked slightly so that the specificationsare proprietary. That means the manufacturer has a unique opportunity to put as much of their material as possible into the spec. Make no mistake about it: the aim of this business model is to sell the company’s roofing materials.

4. Independent Roof Consultant

An independent roof consultant does not work for a manufacturer or a contractor. They work for you. Their job is to design a cost-effective, long-term roof management plan that provides you the best value for your money. They can choose the best materials for your unique building and budget requirements and set up a preventative maintenance plan to prolong the life cycle of your roof assets. Regular preventive maintenance inspections ensure that problems are detected while they’re still small. Quality assurance inspections during a project mean the roof is applied correctly and according to the specifications.

Roof consultants typically work on a fee-based model where they charge a set fee for specific services or a percentage of the project value. Either way, these fees should be spelled out in advance so you know exactly what the project will cost. This is the most cost-effective and transparent roof management model out there. It’s worth noting, however, that there’s some variability among consultants in terms of how much accountability they will take on for projects. Make sure you understand who’s accountable for problems with design, materials, and application before you commit. The aim of this business model is providing roofing expertise that represents the owner’s interests.

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