The Federation of Traditional Metal Roofing Contractors (FTMRC ) brings together 67 contractors that specialise in the installation of hard metals roofing and cladding. The metal roofing market in the UK has expanded rapidly in recent years and this increased demand for installers has drawn in inexperienced and unskilled contractors, which have proceeded to take business away from the specialist contractor.
However, there is growing recognition for long term value of quality when tit comes to design and workmanship.
The evidence is there in every aspect of the industry:
- The increasing number of specifications stating the metal roof must be installed by a member of the FTMRC
- The increasing number of roofing contractors wanting to be a member of the FTMRC
- The new training initiatives such as the Basic Competency Programme, designed to help every metal roofer get the right training and take the first steps towards gaining a formal qualification.
We won’t solve the problems caused by cowboy installers overnight, but recognising there is a significant and potentially costly difference between good and bad detailing and good and bad workmanship is definitely a start.
During the recession there were a number of clients, specifiers and main contractors caught out by taking what they thought was the cheapest option and using the roofing contractor that offered the lowest price to save money. These particular pigeons are now very much coming home to roost and last year our technical department was inundated with requests to carry out inspections and provide reports on failed metal roofs that have been installed by non members.
More often than not the problems have been caused by a lack of knowledge and experience in initially setting out and detailing the work required and not taking full account of location, exposure, precipitation, substrate design, ventilation and all the other critical issues that affect the long term performance of the metal before the first bay is installed.
Through our mandatory vetting programme, mandatory supervisor training, technical seminars and Guide to Good Practice, FTMRC members are not allowed to forget such essentials. Any non conforming detail identified during a site inspection (vet) must be corrected (at the member’s own cost) or our Council has the power to withdraw membership from the offending contractor.
These rules have been put in place by the members themselves to reflect their own commitment to providing a first class quality standard for their clients. This quality standard ideal remains the main requirement for membership, so it doesn’t matter how big a company is, or how much money they have, if they do not have adequate knowledge or skill in traditional metal roofing they cannot become a member of the FTMRC.
It’s a hard fact of life that those who use our members (and those that don’t!) are becoming increasingly aware of.
Centurion House, 36 London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 1AB