News, views and opinions from the UK roofing industry

Nine things we learned at Contractor’s Day

The seminar theatre, sponsored by Knowledge Partner SIG Roofing, was packed with useful information

Contractor’s Day, which took place on 2 October at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, gave roofing and cladding contractors a chance to meet with suppliers and gain useful information. So, what did we learn at the seminar theatre, sponsored by Knowledge partner SIG Roofing?

1 Rooflights are seen as complicated, but they needn’t be

    Tony Isaac at Brett Martin Daylighting explained how modular rooflights are easy to specify, can be manufactured more efficiently for reduced lead times and easier to store on site. Most importantly, roofing installers can install them with no need for specialist skills or specialist tools.

2 There’s only one direction U-values are going and that’s down

Richard Powell of Ravago and Paul Davies of Quantum Insulation, explained how they were responding to lower U-value requirements in Part L of the Building Regulations. They have XENERGY ULTRA for inverted flat roofs with a U-value of 0.027 W/mK and believe they can go lower if the market needs it.

3 Reverse Charge VAT is going to affect cashflow

Tax advisor Liz Bridge explained what the VAT rules coming in on 1 October 2020 will mean for roofing contractors. If you are working for a main contractor or main subcontractor, you will no longer be collecting VAT, but there are exceptions.  

4 Only use a competent scaffolding company

According to Stephen Allen-Tidy, NASC Health & Safety Advisor, roofing contractors should always hire scaffolding companies who have operatives and supervisors that carry Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) cards.  

5  Being a qualified roofer isn't the be all and end all 

An NVQ is a snapshot of someone’s knowledge at a particular time. So, whether you have a qualification, or learned your trade entirely on the job, you need to keep up to date with changing technical standards and basic competencies. The RoofCERT accreditation scheme offers you that ability say RoofCERT’s Jon Vanstone and Richard Miller.

6 Safe2Torch guidance (and common sense) will help make your hot works safer

Gary Walpole, the NFRC’s Safety, Health & Environmental Officer, explained a new Safe2torch training module and guidance for carrying out hot works. Things to avoid, include rolling or storing LPG cylinders on their side, or torching directly on timber.

7 Planning and strategy is key to good marketing

Richard Kendrick, SIG Roofing’s Marketing, explained some marketing fundamentals. Key to a successful marketing campaign, is understanding what you want to achieve and how you want to get there with the right time and resources.

8 Bid less and bid better

Chris Blackburn of Lancashire Bids says focus on the tenders that you are most likely to win and when you do, submit a quality bid, with information tailored to project, answering the questions and peppering it with case studies and testimonials.

9 Wind load calculation software requires the proper input data so get it right

Dr Ronan Brunton of SPRA says that to get the best result, the data should include precise location, perimeter zone calculation, building height and parapet walls, plus the roof and deck type.