FAQ

  • Why Hire a consultant?
    admin16-08-2016

    Have you ever installed a roof? If you have, great. Maybe you wont need us. But if you haven't, we are here to give you our years of experience both on the roof as journeyman applicators, and as field technicians and consultants. We help you with planning your project, implementing your plan, monitoring and reporting on the progress and quality of your roof installation, and act as intermediary for conflict resolution.

  • Why do I need a specification?
    admin16-08-2016

    Who should design your roof:

    • You? Have you been trained in how a roof should be installed? Have you spent years working at installing roof systems in the field? Are you intimately knowledgeable with current roofing standards and practices?
    • The roofing contractor? Think about this one…the contractor will want to get in and out of your project as fast as possible and sell you a roof system that he can make the most profit on and whip off quickly. Is it the right one for your building? Does his quote deal with all of the finite details on your building? Typically a contractor prepared specification is little more than one or two pages in length. Ours run into the double digits and include full front end documentation (tender forms, general instructions, insurance requirements, etc).
    • The roofing supplier? Similar to the roofing contractor, the supplier will have a vested interest in making sure his product is used, and lots of it! They may specify the most expensive products they carry or try to fit your budget with inappropriate materials.

    The best option is to have a company design your roof who is not affiliated with any supplier or contractor. That way material is selected on value for the dollar (not to be confused with value engineering), and the contractor is selected on merit. All of the tricky details that are usually the first place for leaks to occur will be detailed in the specification.

  • What is your relationship with the RCABC?
    admin16-08-2016

    Specifex Building Science Inc. is an Accepted Inspection firm for the Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia. We are a completely independent firm which provides third party, unbiased, independent reviews of roofing applications.  We are not employed by the RCABC or a part of their membership; however, we are actively involved on the Technical Committee at the RCABC for the furtherance of good roofing practice standards.

    We have met all of the requirements of the RCABC to be accepted as a firm to review the application of roofing that will be covered by the RCABC guarantee program. Each one of our Roof Observers must be vetted and tested independently by the RCABC in order for each of them to be given the "Accepted Inspector" status.

    We are very active in the advancement and promotion of the RCABC Roofing Practices Manual standards (which far exceeds  British Columbia's minimalistic building code requirements) , whether your project is covered by the RCABC guarantee or not. As a rule, Specifex uses the RCABC's Roofing Practices Manual's minimum requirements as a base line for all of our Specification design standards and Roof observation standards. We improve on those minimum standards as part of our company's quest for roofing excellence

  • How are your fees structured?
    admin16-08-2016

    Each project is different. Some require more involvement from us and others do not. Our fees will reflect the complexity of the project, the amount of site visits/meetings required, the amount of office time required, etc.

    Another factor that can determine our fees is the choice of roofing contractor. If we are going to be involved with a professional roofing contractor who knows what he is doing and has worked with us before, then our job is easier. But if you insist on using a roofing contractor that is inexperienced and unfamiliar to us, it will require more of our resources, hence higher fees. For specific pricing, visit our Request a Quote page or call our office and ask to speak to one of our consultants. Quotes are always free, so don’t be shy!

  • What benefit does the RCABC Roofstar guarantee provide?
    admin16-08-2016

    The Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia has a guarantee program which offers a 5 or 10 year guarantee on your roof for an additional fee. In order for your roof to qualify for this program it must be replaced by a RCABC member contractor and it must be inspected by an accepted inspection firm (Specifex is an accepted inspection firm).

    For further information on this, please visit www.rcabc.org

  • Why was my neighbours roof less expensive than mine?
    admin16-08-2016

    We have heard this one often. There are many ways to put on a "roof", but doing it in such a way that good materials are used, applied in the correct method and sequence; takes training, skill, equipment, and proper instructions. Anyone with a saw and a hammer can build you a garden shed that looks great the day they collect their cheque, but will that shed last 20 years or will it blow over in 6 months?

    Many people who don't know roofing, who don't go up on their roof, who never look in their attic, will tell you they only paid a small amount for their roof and "It looks great!" but will it last?

    With roofing, you really do get what you pay for. Your roof covers all of your prized possessions, all of your drywall, all of your carpet, all of your electrical appliances, and experiences all weather conditions, so why would you take a chance on its performance?

    We write our specifications with your budget in mind, but also with performance and longevity in mind. We specify good quality material, but not overly expensive material. We specify detailing that will work, but that is not over the top and a frivolous overuse of costly material.

    In the end, its your money and you should be happy you spent it wisely.

  • What is a Condition Report?
    admin16-08-2016

    A Condition Report is a fully detailed report on your roof system. It includes photographs and descriptions of deficiencies we observe during our site visit. We state the materials comprising your system assembly (when possible) and provide a roof plan drawing, conclusions and recommendations regarding your roof system's remaining life span. When your roof is deemed to be in need of replacement in the near future, we provide opinions of probable cost that you can use for budgeting purposes.

  • What standards are used to design a specification?
    admin16-08-2016

    As a base minimum, Specifex will follow the standards of the BC Building code, Roof system manufacturers requirements,  and the RCABC's Roofing Practices Manual (RPM). The RPM has been developed over the last 50 years of roofing application. During that time, many issues have come up with roofing systems that have either caused roofs to fail catastrophically or simply not last as long as intended.

    Twice a year, the Technical committee of the RCABC will meet to discuss issues that have come up and make changes to the RPM accordingly, so that these issues don't happen again, but sometimes, the Technical Committee can be slow to adopt changes, leaving issues unchanged until the next meeting when the issue has become more prevalent.

    Being at the front line of roof inspections, we tend to see these issues when they are actually occurring, whether we see it when we are reviewing an active roof installation, when we do a condition report on a 2 year old roof, or when we review a 15 year old roof, so we can implement changes to our specifications that will improve on roofing standards immediately. As such, we have developed our own proprietary set of standards that go over and above the RPM's standards.

  • Do I have to hire Specifex to inspect the roof if Specifex wrote the specifications?
    admin16-08-2016

    Yes. We combine our specification design service with our roof inspection service so that we can see that the specification is being followed and is being applied as intended. Many contractors will follow only part of a specification if they are not monitored during the application process.

    Who is going to be up on the roof, speaking the same language as the roofers, answering their questions, coming up with solutions?
    If we are not involved in the actual roof replacement/installation, we cannot answer any questions or assist with any issues that come up during the installation.

  • How much does a Roof Condition Report Cost?
    admin19-08-2016

    It will depend on a few factors:

    • Location - how far do we have to travel to get to your roof.
    • Slope - sloped roofs are more difficult to access and draw.
    • Size of building/complex - multiple roof areas or buildings will obviously take more time.
    • Details - if your roof has many protrusions (vents, plumbing breathers, air conditioners, etc), there will be many areas to review. Simple straight forward roofs with nothing much on them are obviously easier.
    • History with Specifex - if we have an existing file on your building, we may have sufficient information that will help reduce the cost of a Condition Report (e.g. roof plan drawing on file, etc).
      For specific pricing, visit our Free Quote page or call our office and ask to speak to one of our consultants. Quotes are always free, so don’t be shy!
  • Do I have to hire Specifex to observe the roof installation if Specifex writes the specifications?
    admin19-08-2016

    Yes. We combine our specification design service with our Roof Observation service so that we can see that the specification is being followed and is being applied as intended. Many contractors will follow only part of a specification if they are not monitored during the application process.

    Who is going to be up on the roof, speaking the same language as the roofers, answering their questions, coming up with solutions?
    If we are not involved in the actual roof replacement/installation, we cannot answer any questions or assist with any issues that come up during the installation.

  • How do you select contractors for your bid list?
    admin20-08-2016

    There are many roofing contractors out there that would love to tell you that they are the greatest and most professional. In our opinion, the proof is on the roof. When we work with a roofing contractor we look for several key points:

    • A professionally organized firm
    • Qualified tradesman on each project
    • Sufficient equipment to suit the project at hand
    • Responsible management
    • Years of experience
    • The ability and desire to learn and improve
    • The willingness to listen and act upon issues pointed out by us
    • The ability to adhere to the specification
  • What are roof inspections?
    admin20-08-2016

    Roof inspections are visual reviews of the application of the roof system by an accredited RRO (Registered Roof Observer) as it is being installed. We attend the site and meet the roofing contractors’ forces and document the application (good or bad) and reports are produced and sent back to you. This allows you to be connected to the roofing process and benefit from our experience as professionals in the roofing trade. We document whether the specifications are being followed, answer questions, document progress (used as a guide when invoices are issued) and relay concerns back to the design authority so that the roof designer can amend any unforeseen issues.

  • What is a registered Roof Observer (RRO)?
    admin20-08-2016

    A Registered Roof Observer (RRO) is a person who has passed a test given by RCI, Inc (the Roof Consultants Institute, www.rci-online.org ). First the proponent must meet the minimum requirements in order to write the test and then take a test which covers all types of roofing application, ethics, codes, responsibilities, procedures, etc.

    At Specifex, we also require a certain level of practical work experience (minimum 5 years "on the tools" and journeyman roofer certification) before we hire someone to observe roofs. In our opinion, having the RRO designation alone without practical work experience is not enough to be a Roof Observer. There are too many “tricks of the trade” that are not written into any manual that roofers will try to use that may go unnoticed if a roof observer has never actually applied roofing.

  • What guidelines do you follow when doing a roof inspection?
    admin20-08-2016

    This will depend on a couple factors:

    1. If Specifex wrote the specification, we will review the work of the contractor to document whether or not they are following the instructions written into our specification or not. This will tell you whether or not you are getting what you are paying for. In these cases, we can make changes to the spec as issues arise during the project. Our specs are written to exceed the BC Building Code, Manufacturers requirements, and the RCABC's minimum standards.
    2. If someone else wrote the specification, we must document whether or not the roofing contractor is following that specification. In these cases, we cannot make changes to the specification unless the design authority (Architect, Engineer, General Contractor, Building Owner - who wrote the spec) agrees with our recommendations. Sometimes, when a specification is written by a "professional" who does not actually have a roofing background, there can be many conflicts or errors that do not complement the roof application.
    3. If the roofing contractor wrote the specification (or simply quoted the job with little or no detailing in the quote), we are limited to following whatever was written on their quote/spec, and the BC Building Code. This is the least beneficial method of reviewing a project, as there is no clear guideline to refer to when we comment on something being wrong and the roofing contractor thinks he is correct. The contractor may purposely avoid noting detailing on his quote so that he can seek extra charges for work that really should have been included. Beware of this when beginning your roofing project.