By Henry Staggs, RRO
What is a "Roof Consultant"
For many people, the role of the roof consultant is a bit of a mystery. Some people have never heard of roof consulting, others have but never worked with one. And still, others have worked with roof consultants and are still not exactly sure what their role is. So what is a roof consultant? I hope to answer that question in this article.
No license needed
That that there is very little if any requirements to start a consulting business, that is to say, that there are no licenses or certifications required to call one's self a roof consultant. It does not help clearly define the role of the roof consultant. Unfortunately, like any other industry, there are numerous people out there calling themselves roof consultants who are not DOING what a roof consultant should be doing.
Setting the standards for the industry
In comes RCI (Roof Consulting Institute), a group of roof consultants and other design professionals who came together to establish some standards. To develop and adhere to a code of ethics and standards of good practices. Offering training and certifications to help to create a more cohesive understanding of what the role of a roof consultant is and is not. In 2019 RCI re-branded its self as IIBEC (International Institute of Building Envelope Consultants), expanding its reach to the entire building envelope, not just and the whole world, not only the United States. At the time I am typing this blog, I am the current president of the Arizona Branch, standards matter enough to me that I am doing my best to be part of the solution by stepping up and taking on leadership roles in the industry.
RCI, now known as IIBEC, has become the accepted standard-setting organization in the world for roof and not building envelope consulting and observation standards. When industry professional sees an RCI now known as IIBEC credential behind someone's name, it means something, and it demonstrates that a person is committed to doing an excellent job for their client.
What does a consultant do?
Why do you pay someone to be YOUR roof consultant? In short, they are your experts who offer you their expertise, knowledge, and understanding of the roof system. Materials, the industry, and how to work with roofing contractors, which can be a challenge at times. They help you design, get bids, and watch over the work to make sure it is all done correctly. They are your protector, your eyes and your ears, your professional who works for your benefit an owner alone.
A consultant will:
- Perform roof surveys and evaluations of existing roofs
- Perform forensic inspections
- Perform testing
- Design roof systems and roof solutions
- Prepare construction documents
- Assist in the bidding process
- Provide quality assurance monitoring services
- Be an expert witness when needed
- And more ...
Being a roof consultant "aint" easy
The roof consultant needs to have a comprehensive understanding of roofing, roof materials, roof systems, and construction industry standards and practices. He or she needs to know and understand codes, manufacturing installation standards, local workmanship standards, and construction management. The roof consultant is an endless struggle to keep learning more, honing their expertise, and earning more and more credentials as they grow. They do all that hard work, so they can bring the very best they can and help you get the right roof for your needs, one that will last or outlast it's predicted life cycle. Being a roof consultant takes a lot of time, energy, and money; being a good one is not easy by a long shot.
What a roof consultant is not!
A roof consultant is not a project manager, not a general contractor, not an architect, not an engineer, and, more importantly, NOT a contractor. There some people who will haze those lines and work with several hats only, however, based on the standards set by RCI is now known IIBEC, the actual consultant will not do anything that would present a conflict of interest. The consultant works with all those other people, sharing their expertise to guide the project, on your behalf (the owner). It is important that when you hire a roof consultant, you and that person define what their role is, most consultants will define their roles in their contracts and their specifications. What you need to know is that the consultant is there to help you, and they can help you a tremendous amount, but they do are not your project manager or contractor. Make sure that your consultant is staying in their lane, knowing what each person's roles help the project run much better.
When do you need a roof consultant?
My answer might sound a bit biased considering I am a roof consultant, but if you are about to spend a sum of money on a roofing project and you are not a roofing expert. You need a roof consultant to come alongside and help you protect your property and your investment.
I hope this article was helpful, if you have any questions at all about this or any other roofing relevant topic, give me a call (480) 265-1613 I am always happy to help in whatever way that I can.
Henry Staggs, RRO (an RCI/IIBEC certification, Registered Roof Observer)