More demanding client base is good news for LCA members

by Laura

For some people involved in construction, a demanding client is one to be avoided. A customer that puts contractors on the spot over things like the standards they work to, who validates their work or what guarantees are provided, are regarded by some as a bit of pain. But not by members of the Lead Contractors Association.

LCA members can happily point to our Constitution, our vetting programme and our unique 25 Year Guarantee Scheme as immediately satisfying the requirements of the most demanding client.

Our Constitution requires all members to work to BS6915 – the British Standard Code of Practice for the Design and Construction of Fully Supported Lead Sheet Roof and Wall Coverings – which states the requirements in sizing, fixing and setting out  of lead sheet to maximise its legendary lifespan (100+ years of maintenance free performance).

If this wasn’t enough, the CoP is backed up by the Lead Sheet Manual, a comprehensive technical reference issued by the Lead Sheet Association which provides further and more detailed guidance with regard to the specification and installation of lead sheet roofing and cladding, supported by innumerable tables, charts, illustrations and photographs on every aspect of the craft. The Lead Sheet Manual is the “Bible” for leadwork and all LCA members are dedicated to using it.

The LCA Constitution also requires all members to regularly offer their work for inspection by a representative from the LCA Council. These inspections take place on the roof (not from the car park!) and can involve lifting the sheet to check sizing and fixing details. A thorough report is prepared for each site so that a members’ ongoing standards can be verified and graded (Satisfactory, Good or Excellent) by the Chairman of the Vetting Committee.

Finally, an LCA member can offer the long term peace of mind of our unique 25 Year Guarantee Scheme, supported by a ring fenced Trust Fund which is insurance underwritten through Lloyds of London. For a small extra cost, any client can have their project registered under this scheme, which provides a 25 year labour and materials warranty.

The difference between this scheme and any other is that it does not depend upon the installer continuing to trade (or even remain a member of the LCA) throughout the guarantee period. If a problem occurs with a registered project within the guarantee period and the original installer is unable (or unwilling) to return to site, another LCA member is designated to investigate and if remedial work is required under the terms of the guarantee, will carry out such works at no further cost to the client.

So if any client, architect or main contractor is looking at tenders received to carry out leadwork and is tempted by the low price being offered by someone who is not a member of the Lead Contractors Association, perhaps the questions they should ask themselves are:

  • Why is the price much cheaper (what corners are being cut from BS6915)?

LCA members must work in accordance with BS6915 as a condition of membership

  • Who will check that the work has been carried out correctly?

LCA members have their work regularly inspected and graded as a condition of membership

  • What value is a contractor’s guarantee if the contractor has ceased trading or won’t return to site when there is a problem?

Under the LCA members’ 25 Year Guarantee another member would be designated to investigate and carry out any remedial work.

So at a time when the quality standards bar is being raised by more demanding clients expecting the very best and looking for long term value for money, when it comes to leadwork design and installation why use anyone else other than a member of the Lead Contractors Association?

Mike Hempstock
Lead Contractors Association

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