For most building owners and managers, the cost for roof replacement projects is accounted for as capital expenditures. Roof retrofit (recover) and major repair/restoration projects sometimes fall into this category as well. Costs for yearly preventive maintenance and minor repairs are typically expensed during the course of the business year.
Planning and large expenditure budgeting are critical elements of the long-term, successful management and operation of most large businesses. Accurately identifying required large expenditures in advance allows top management to factor them into the overall business plan during the planning period. Budgeting for the next business year is predominant.
It is also crucial that the expenditure amount is identified with a good level of accuracy. While slightly or moderately over-budgeting the cost of a project is generally accepted (even sometimes valued) by top management, a higher projected cost may compromise the project/budget approval. Alternatively, with the costs of roofing materials these days, under-budgeting a project’s cost can result in serious repercussions upon the project initiator, especially after the budget has been approved.
During our decades in the roofing industry, we have encountered numerous situations where the budget amounts for roof replacement projects were discovered to be inadequate. In literally every case, this was caused by not accurately understanding the existing conditions and/or inadequate design to meet the real project requirements.
Common Mistakes Made in Identifying Roof Replacement Costs
1. By far, the most common mistake made is not identifying the existing roof system/building components and the condition/function of each. This includes:
• What is the existing roof assembly make-up? How are the components attached to themselves and the deck?
• What is the condition of and thermal resistance (R-Value) of the insulation components?
• Can this roof really be effectively recovered with another roof system?
• What type of roof deck exists and what is its condition?
• Does the deck provide structural slope or is slope/drainage presently provided/enhanced by tapered insulation?
2. Another very common mistake is not identifying nonrelated roof work that needs to be (or should be) accomplished before or during the roofing installation.
• Are there obsolete roof fixtures/equipment that would best be removed and deck openings closed?
• Is there roof equipment that needs to be raised or remounted on new supports to allow effective flashing height and/or methods for Florida’s new code requirements?
• Are there older pieces of roof-mounted equipment that really should be replaced at this time?
• Are there deteriorated, associated adjacent surfaces allowing water infiltration and in need of repair prior to or in conjunction with the roof replacement work?
3. It’s been our opinion that many other roofing contractors pay little attention to following the various building codes when talking to building owners about their roofs. Building Codes are “the law of the land” and an owner risks incurring penalties if they are not followed during almost any type of construction or reconstruction project. Further, many buildings are insured by companies which have specific rigid requirements that must be followed by their insured’s to avoid cancellation or at a minimum, higher premiums. Discovering code provisions or insurance mandated requirements that were not identified or factored in, after the project budget has been set, can become a real problem.
• RAMCON Project Managers always identify and investigate the applicable Building Code(s) which apply.
• RAMCON Project Managers pay special attention to all energy conservation codes that have been adopted. A project budget could be significantly impacted by the additional cost of increased insulation along with the associated costs of work required due to an increased roof assembly thickness.
When you get ready to move forward with your roofing projects per your budgeting, make sure you take into consideration all of the factors that could potentially increase your costs significantly. If you have any doubts, RAMCON team members can assist you in ensuring you’re roofing budgets are right, that you are on track to meet the required Florida Building Codes and that there are no ‘unforeseen conditions’ lurking before you. Never forget, proper planning prevents poor performance and your team at RAMCON is here to assist you.