Many property owners are already expecting to shell out for work on their roof following their survey and may have negotiated a discount because of this – or have had the bad luck of discovering a roofer is required after moving in.

Either way, it’s good to get to know a reliable local roofer who can help keep the weather out of your home and you and your contents safe and dry.

What they do

Roofers carry out all kinds of tasks up top, from repairing minor leaks to replacing the entire structure. The nature of their work means they work at heights and in all kinds of weather. Some roofers specialise in certain types of roof such as flat roofs or metal or shingle. Most work across all types. Their job involves:

  • Removing and repairing broken tiles or slates
  • Checking roof timbers
  • Fitting felt sheets to roofs
  • Covering roofs with slates, tiles or cladding
  • Cutting and fitting lead flashings around chimney stacks and walls
  • Repairing chimneys and pointing brickwork
  • Sealing roof joints
  • Fitting and repairing fascias, soffits and guttering

What they charge

As with many trades, the price of roofing services can vary depending on location in the UK, how complex the task is and whether it’s an emergency or not.

Roofers charge, on average, £10 – £12 per hour. You will often be given a quote for the entire job which prevents unexpected shocks when it’s time to pay, but ensure you know exactly what’s included as costs for things like scaffolding hire can drastically increase the bill.

Here are a few example prices of typical roofing jobs to give you an idea of what you should pay:

  • Fix leaking roof on a small house (replace slates) – £100
  • Replace lead flashing on chimney – £400
  • Replace flat roof on conservatory – £1,000
  • Replace fascias and soffits on a typical three-bed detached bungalow – £2,500
  • Replace whole roof on a three-bed, semi-detached, two-storey house with plain tiles – £5,000

What to ask

A few things cleared up before the ladders are taken off the van can prevent you hitting the roof when it comes to shoddy work, inflated costs or problem resolution.

Ensure you ask your roofer:

  • If they are fully insured to cover employers’ liability, public liability and contract works
  • If they are registered with the NFRC or CoRC (see below)
  • If the work is guaranteed (the NFRC provides independent guarantees)
  • To provide a quote on writing
  • What will happen if further work is uncovered
  • How they want to be paid (cash up front is a very bad idea)
  • If planning permission will be required
  • Will you use ladder stabilisers or standoffs to protect my gutters?
  • Does the cost cover all rubble and waste removal?

Trades to trust

Competent Roofer is the Government-licensed competent person scheme that allows professional roofing contractors to self-certify that their roof refurbishment work complies with building regulations within England and Wales.

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors Limited (NFRC) is the UK’s largest roofing trade association, representing over 70% of the roofing industry. Established in 1985, the Confederation of Roofing Contractors (CORC) is another UK roofing trades association whose members are vetted and qualified.

The law

When carrying out refurbishment work to 50% or more of a roof’s area, either a Competent Roofer (a Competent Person Scheme for roofing) must be employed, or your local authority building control must be contacted prior to work starting to meet Part L of building regulations. Read more about how to comply with building regulations here.

Ready to hire?

3 is the magic number

As always, try and get three quotes from three different roofers to ensure you pay a fair price for the job.

Certification and references

Don’t be shy about asking for any relevant certification, proof of public liability insurance and references or photos from previous jobs. If the roofer is trustworthy and competent, they’ll be pleased (and proud) to show you both.