Roofing Projects: What is in the Specifications?
Roof remediation averages $8-12 per square foot, so it is imperative managers approach roof projects with the same level of due diligence they do with other major projects or purchases. The best strategy to ensure a successful roofing project is to use a construction specification that addresses every aspect of construction and clearly delineates all products contractors will use.
When reviewing specifications, managers must address several critical issues. The specifications must:
- List at least four manufacturers and verify their products are compatible with existing roof and building components. Specifications provided by manufacturers offer only their products, thus nullifying one-half of the purpose of bidding. In these cases, only labor will be negotiable.
- Incorporate the organization's needs and expectations and spell out these items for bidding contractors.
- Address all products and have detailed drawings detailing the system installation exactly. These specifications must meet or exceed all manufacturers' requirements for the warranty.
- Follow an accepted format, such as those from The Construction Specifications Institute. Managers must not accept only a description of services offered.
- Demand insurance and bonding based on the size of the project. This stipulation assures managers the bidders can perform the work and carry policies that protect the organization.
- Include line-item pricing on tasks such as deck replacement, which would protect the organization from inflated as-needed materials.
- List material warranties — usually 20 years — and contractor guarantees — at least five years.
Besides such detailed specifications, managers also should give serious consideration to investing in project management by a neutral party to ensure the project adheres exactly to specifications. Mandatory pre-bid attendance on site and avoiding voluntary substitutions will ensure all bidders are familiar with the job site and conditions, and it will ensure they do not bring to the site products managers might find less desirable.
Finally, even though warranties and guarantees are part of the specification package, managers must remember these are marketing tools and should never be the sole consideration for choosing a contractor or manufacturer.
Ken G. Louisignau is marketing manager with StructureTec, a building-envelope consulting firm that assists facility managers in maintaining the integrity of their institutional and commercial buildings.