Choosing a School Roofing Contractor
With the government’s much needed announcement around investment in school refurbishment, we wanted to share our knowledge on some key points to consider when choosing a school roofing contractor.
School and educational roofing projects will always have their challenges, that’s why it’s hugely important to ensure that you’re working with a contractor who understands how to approach school roofing projects and manage the complications that may arise.
We’ve looked at a couple of frequently asked questions from our clients, to hopefully shed some light on concerns others might have.
Will my pupils and teachers be safe?
Yes, and if you’re ever in doubt – then choose again.
The safety of those using the school should always remain the highest priority with any work on school buildings. The contractor should ensure works are always isolated and clearly establish boundaries in doing so. Experience in school refurbishment in key, and understanding the issues that may arise is vital.
Checking workforce have relevant DBS checks, and this information provided to not only management staff, but to school staff is also crucial too. Risk assessments should be shared with all stakeholders to give added peace of mind prior to the project commencing.
Any concerns you may have however small you perceive them to be, should be discussed, and plans put in place to manage any risks you might see arising.
There is no such thing as a silly question when it comes to the safety of others, and ensuring you’ve collaboratively addressed any concerns prior to any work starting is crucial.
Can lessons continue as normal?
In short, yes. If the works being undertaken are to the exterior of the building there is no reason why works cannot be carried out during term without any effects on the buildings use. Works should always remain completely isolated, and thus have no effect on the building below.
That said however, many schools use their long School holiday periods to undertake the majority of refurbishment work.
Works can sometimes be loud, and some might be dusty, but ensuring that these are either undertaken when adjoining rooms are unoccupied, or working with the contractor to manage their and your schedule to accommodate the building use enables you to ensure lessons continue whilst works commence.
How do I know the work will be finished in the school holidays?
Contract periods should be agreed in advance of any work. However, it’s crucial to ensure you’re being told a realistic time frame, and not just what the contractor wants you to hear, and in turn being realistic about the time-frames you would like to achieve.
It’s the nature of any refurbishment work that projects can take a long period of time. Working in partnership with a contractor will allow you to collaboratively set realistic time-frames and if needed ensure that plans are in place at the beginning of the project to cover any aspects of work that may run into term time.
However where it is realistic and crucial that works are completed during holiday periods, ensuring a contractor has the capacity to manage the work is really important, and being able to give as much notice as possible to plan will go a long way in ensuring tight time-frames are met.
The important of working in partnership
Here at Maguire Brothers, our approach to working on School roofing projects is to embrace a partnership approach. Even from tender stage, understanding the individual needs and desires of not only the surveying and construction stakeholders, but the head teacher, teachers and pupils allows us to implement strategies well before we’re on site, unique to each project.
Whether that be carrying out assemblies to involve pupils and educating them on the project, to understanding individual school timetables and planning deliveries around these. By knowing our clients as well as possible, engaging all stakeholders throughout it has enabled us to carry out hundreds of successful school roofing and refurbishment projects over the last 40 years.
How do I find a suitable contractor?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to a perfect contractor, and we work in an industry that is hugely driven by price. However, ensuring they are members of relevant trade and professional organizations, they have vast experience working on similar school projects, have the resources on hand to manage any given project can go a long way to helping make a decision.
And finally, speaking with them and seeing if they seem a suitable fit, both professionally and personally. Key to any successful project is the working relationship, and knowing that should any obstacles arise throughout, you’re both working together to ensure these are overcome.
Here at Maguire Brothers we’ve been working on school roofing and refurbishment projects for over 40 years, from local authority contracts, to academies, private schools and universities. More information on our education approach can be found here so please do not hesitate to get in touch for any educational roofing or refurbishment projects you have coming up.