If you are managing your own project, it’ll pay to understand how the different trades work together, when they are needed on site and what they will need when they get there. Here we focus on all you need to know when it comes to working with trades for the roofing stage of your project.

Many self builders – perhaps even a majority, and especially those on a low budget – choose to build using subcontractors.

In some ways, this is like learning to swim in the deep end: some who take on the task will experience a very steep learning curve that involves mistakes, delays and misunderstandings on site, which the repeat self builder will make certain never happen again.

Learning the sequence of events on a building site is invaluable. Learning what each trade does and where their responsibilities begin and end is vital. Furthermore, learning that the critical path in building can so easily be thrown off course – and how to get it back on track again – is essential.

Roofers: What Will They Do?

  • Cover in roof with underlay and rough batten
  • Fix GRP valleys or attend plumber fixing lead valleys
  • Bed or fix undercloak to verges
  • Fix counter battens if necessary
  • Gauge and fix tiling battens to suit tiles or slates
  • Load out tiles/slates
  • Lay roof tiles/slates, nailing as appropriate
  • Lay valley tiles if appropriate
  • Fix verge tiles/slates
  • Interleave upstand and cover flashings to chimney
  • Interleave lead soakers
  • Attend to and interleave vent pipe skirts
  • Fix or bed ridge and hip tiles
  • Point up space between underside of tiles/slates and undercloak
  • Clean off excess or spilled mortar

What Other Trades Do They Work With?

  • They work with the carpenter to establish fascia levels
  • They work with the plumbers and bricklayers to interleave leadwork and flashings
  • They liaise with the plumber on soil vent pipes that carry through the roof

What Equipment Do They Need?

  • All of the materials, not forgetting the important ancillary materials, such as nails and fixings
  • A good scaffold, preferably left over from the bricklayers and others
  • A hoist to get tiles up to the top lift
  • Any lead soakers, upstands and flashings will also be required

When Are They Needed?

They’ll need to come in between the tenth and twelfth weeks and may be there between one and a half and three weeks depending on the chosen roof covering.

How Much Do They Cost?

Roofers expect to earn approx £130 per day. Labourers cost around £80 per day.

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