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For more information on CompetentRoofer or to give feedback you can either:

  • Complete an enquiry form using the form below
  • Call us at 020 7448 3189
  • Write to us at CompetentRoofer, 31 Worship Street, London EC2A 2DY

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FAQs

Reportable Work

Q: I am refurbishing more than 50% of my roof; do I need to inform Building Control?

A: Yes. If you are replacing 50% or more of your roof you must notify LABC. This can be done either by using a CompetentRoofer, who can self-certify the work, or going directly to your Local Authority. Once the work has been signed off you will receive a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate, which is legally required.

Q: If I am carrying out roofing refurbishment work but the insulation does not need upgrading, is it still reportable?
A: Yes. Even if your insulation does not need upgrading you will still need to notify LABC.

Q: Are garage roofs reportable?
A: No. Unless the garage has a thermal element (with fixed heating, not portable heaters), there is no legal requirement to notify the work.

Q: Which flat roofing projects are reportable?
A: All domestic, commercial/industrial flat roofing projects are reportable if over 50% of the roof is being refurbished i.e. the roof covering is stripped and there is a thermal element.

Q: Will a change in the weight of the roof coverings require a structural survey?
A: For most roofing types an increase or decrease in load of 15% is considered acceptable before a structural survey is deemed necessary.  An increase or decrease of more than 15% will require a structural survey.

Q: Can a roofing refurbishment job for a Grade 2 listed building be registered through CompetentRoofer?
A: Yes. Providing 50% or more of the roof is being refurbished.

Q: Does CompetentRoofer cover work on property within a conservation area?
A: Yes. All buildings in general need to comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations. CompetentRoofer members can do work that they are authorised to do in a conservation area provided they that they have been tested for the appropriate heritage skills that may be required in that conservation area, e.g. Kent peg tiles, stone tiling, random slating etc.

Q: Is roofing refurbishment work on a conservatory roof reportable?
A: If the doors between the lounge and conservatory still exist then there is no need to upgrade the insulation in the conservatory roof. However, if the doors have been removed i.e. the lounge and conservatory become interlinked then they must upgrade the insulation as the heat from the lounge will pass into the conservatory and out through the roof (and walls).

Q: I am refurbishing a roof where only 50% of it is a thermal element; is this work reportable?
A: Yes, if any part of the roof acts as a thermal element, then refurbishment work is notifiable to the LABC, who can be notified through the CompetentRoofer scheme.

Q: I am replacing slates with clay tiles on a roof. Can this work be reported via CompetentRoofer?
A: This depends on the weight of the slates and the weight of the clay tiles. If the clay tiles represent an increase in load upon the structure of more than 15% then the work should be reported directly through the Building Control department of the Local Authority. It can be registered via CompetentRoofer providing that the structure and loadings are assessed by a qualified structural engineer and their report confirms suitability.

Q: If a flat roof has no insulation requirement (i.e. has no fixed heating nor is a dwelling), is it reportable?
A: If a flat roof is not being insulated because there is no ‘thermal element’ i.e. the area below the roof has no form of heating (or cooling i.e. cold store), such as a garage, then the work does not need to be reported. However, if it is not being insulated because of technical or economic (i.e. payback less than cost) reason then it is reportable.

The Scheme

Q: How is the scheme controlled?
A: CompetentRoofer is licenced by The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and run by The National Federation of Roofing Contractors Limited (NFRC) Ltd.

Q: Will I get a Warranty?
A: All domestic roof refurbishments will be automatically issued with a 10-year insurance backed guarantee, which reinforces the contractor’s workmanship guarantee.

Q: What if I have a problem with work carried out by a CompetentRoofer member?
A: Should you have any problems with the roof following completion of the work we recommend that you contact the roofing contractor first. Should you fail to achieve a satisfactory outcome, you should contact CompetentRoofer via the online complaint form.

Q: My roof needs a structural alteration; can a CompetentRoofer authorise this change?
A: No. The work will need to be reported directly through the Building Control department of your Local Authority.

Q: Can a CompetentRoofer replace my roof light?
A: Yes. A CompetentRoofer can replace a roof light provided no structural alterations are required.

Q: Can a CompetentRoofer install solar panels on my roof?
A: No. A CompetentRoofer cannot ‘self-certify’ the installation of solar panels.

Q: If I convert a flat roof to a pitched roof can a CompetentRoofer self-certify this?
A: No. This falls outside the scope of CompetentRoofer. This would need to be notified via Local Authority Building Control as there are structural elements involved (i.e. the pitched element).

Q: Is CompetentRoofer a Trade Association?
A: No. CompetentRoofer is a self-certification body, created to authorise roofing contractors to self-certify the roofing work they complete complies with the current Building Regulations.

Insulation

Q: What is a ‘cold roof’?
A: For a pitched roof, it means insulation is placed between the ceiling joists. For a flat roof, it means insulation is placed between the roof joists, with cross-ventilation between the insulation and the deck. For flat roofs, in particular, it can be a costly method of retrofitting insulation due to the work required. If not done correctly and with adequate ventilation, it can lead to problems with condensation.

Q: What is a ‘warm roof’?
A: For a pitched roof, it means insulation is placed at rafter level. For a flat roof, it means that insulation is placed between the supporting deck and the waterproof outer layer. This is the recommended method for flat roofs.

Q: What is the minimum insulation that should be in a roof to meet the minimum U-value of 0.35WmK threshold value?
A: Roughly 140-150mm for “quilt” type insulation and 75-80mm for rigid board type insulation depending on material/manufacturer.

Q: What is the thickness of insulation that will give a U-value of 0.18W/m2K?
A: Roughly 270mm for quilt type insulation and 120mm for rigid board insulation depending on material/manufacturer.

Pitched roofs

Q: When stripping an old roof and the existing roof is close boarded, is there a requirement to upgrade the insulation underneath?
A: If the total U-value including the existing insulation does not meet the threshold requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations (i.e. U=0.35), then yes, the insulation will need to be upgraded.

Q: The roof refurbishment job I’m looking at involves a loft which has been converted into a room, and the rafters have been covered over with plasterboard.  Do I need to remove some boarding to look at the insulation thickness and assess the U-values?

A: Yes, you must know if the existing insulation meets the threshold value of 0.35 U-value, i.e. about 150mm of quilt. If it does, then no action is needed. If it doesn’t then the roof should be insulated to 0.16 – which will mean stripping the boards filling between the rafters with extra over the top, and then counter–battens and battens to ensure airspace under the underlay.

It may not be technically possible to do this because you will raise the roof finished level; in that case, you must leave the insulation and boarding as it is. If they do not have an air and vapour control layer (AVCL) between the plasterboard and the insulation, then there may be a possibility of condensation occurring if more insulation is added.

Q: If a house has a fully boarded loft with insulation between the ceiling joists, can extra insulation be added over the boards if required to top up?
A: Yes. Extra insulation can be applied over the boards but, ensure that ventilation is not blocked at the eaves.

Flat roofs

Q: I am NOT stripping the waterproofing off a flat roof – do I need to upgrade the insulation?
A: No. If you are simply overlaying with new waterproofing, leaving the existing waterproofing in place then this is classed as a repair and upgrading the insulation is not required.

Q: For flat roofs when the timber deck is not being replaced, is there a requirement to upgrade the insulation underneath?
A: If the total U-value including the existing insulation does not meet the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations, then yes, the insulation will need to be upgraded if technically and economically possible.

Q: A flat roof needs to be refurbished; if the waterproofing is replaced what is the minimum thickness of insulation required?
A: It depends on the U-value of the insulation, but usually approximately120mm of rigid board is sufficient.

Q: How do I install or upgrade insulation if the material is not a good fit, bearing in mind that insulation material becomes more expensive depending on how thin it is?
A: Insulation should only be installed or upgraded where it is technically practical and economically viable (payback on energy costs saved over 15 years). Whatever insulation is used, the roof must also be ventilated enough to avoid condensation. If it is not technically possible to install full insulation, for instance it would affect threshold heights. Then you must ensure that any insulation installed does not adversely affect the existing building.

Q: A flat roof that is a thermal element (separation of hot and cold space) needs to be refurbished and I don’t know how much insulation there is in the void between the ceiling and the roof.  What should I do?
A: The extent of the insulation must be determined to see if it meets the requirements of the Building Regulations. Any insulation is unlikely to meet the minimum standard if it is between the roof joists i.e. a ‘cold roof’ and so the contractor will need to address this. The contractor will usually create a ‘warm roof’ by removing insulation, sealing any ventilation, applying a vapour control layer (VCL) to the deck, adding insulation to the top of the roof and then apply new waterproofing.

Churches and graded/listed buildings

Q: When refurbishing a church roof – does the insulation need upgrading?
A: Churches are outside the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations so the insulation would not need upgrading. However, Church offices, halls, meeting rooms etc. are included and would need the insulation to be upgraded if currently below the threshold.

Q: I am stripping and replacing the tiles on a Victorian church hall. There is about 100mm of insulation in the roof space, must the insulation be upgraded; the church has very little funds?
A: Yes. Unless the roof was the actual Church it must be upgraded to current standards.

Building Regulations

Q: I am tendering to strip and re-slate a Grade II listed building. I intend to use Spanish slate rather than Welsh slate like the original. Am I allowed to do this and do I need to upgrade the insulation?

A: The first part of the question is a planning not building regulations issue. Changes to the appearance of a listed building should be checked with the planning department of the local council and English Heritage.

With regards to the insulation, most historic or listed buildings will still need to comply with the current building regulations, and you would need to upgrade the insulation if required. However, the work must not prejudice the character of the building or cause degradation of the fabric by using inappropriate materials or design.

Q: For a roof over a block of flats does each flat have to have a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate (BRCC)?

A: Yes. Each flat within the building will need to be registered. Even if they are not directly under the roof, the roof and its function (i.e. weather protection/thermal efficiency) is serving the whole building.

Q: I’ve seen a roofing contractor not abiding by Building Regulations; can I do anything about this?

A: Yes. If you suspect that a roofing contractor may be breaking the law by not complying with Building Regulations, you may anonymously report them by contacting admin@competentroofer.co.uk.

Q: I’ve lost my Building Regulations Compliance Certificate; can I get a new one?

A: Yes. You can apply for another copy of the Certificate (which you will need when you come to sell your home) but there will be an administration charge.

Q: What happens if I ignore the Building Regulations?

A: The building owner would not get a BRCC for the work carried out. This will cause problems for the property owner when they come sell the property. Solicitors carry out searches to prevent the risk of claims made against their own professional indemnity insurance should defects be found which only become apparent after the sale of the property.

There is also the risk of prosecution; under Section 35 of the Building Act, any contractor not abiding by the Building Regulations faces an unlimited fine. Additionally, if the work is found not to be compliant with the Building Regulations. The building owner may be served with an enforcement notice from the local authority requiring alteration or removal of work at their own cost.