Roofing | September 19, 2023

5 Key Benefits of Starting Roof Design Projects Early

As a commercial building owner or operator, you know that your roofs are one of the most important facility assets across your portfolio. They protect your building from the elements, keep your occupants comfortable and safe, and can even save you money on energy costs when managed proactively. Managing proactively may sound obvious but when considered alongside myriad other factors from maintenance and repair schedules, Capital and Operating budget wizardry, and a complex competitive landscape of roof designers, engineers, contractors, and consultants, a proactive approach becomes critical to facility management and improved operational efficiency.

This blog focuses on one important aspect of this challenge that you can manage proactively, even tackling projects now to make your 2024 fiscal year that much easier.

By starting your roofing design project early with a measured, comprehensive approach, you can give yourself plenty of time to:

  • Get accurate estimates from contractors
  • Choose the right roofing materials and system for your needs
  • Get the necessary permits and approvals
  • Coordinate with other construction projects
  • Avoid costly delays

So, where to start?

Budget and Weather Cycles

In today's competitive construction market, it's important to consider the inherent annual cycles of both your budget and the weather, a limiting factor for much of North America. Many contractors are booked months or even years in advance, so if you wait until the last minute, you may not be able to get the work done when it becomes imperative, or you may pay a lot more for that work to expedite things. Depending on the project location, the season for favorable working may even be a narrow window.

Roof CQA_web

First, let’s talk about capital planning and budgeting for a moment. Mantis, as a qualified roofing consultant, understands many building owners are planning capital expenditure budgets for the following year at least four to six months in advance. To enter the market and guarantee the execution of your project within the next fiscal year, it’s important to understand how soon to order capital design projects.

A capital roof replacement project design can take two weeks to two months. From there, a typical bidding schedule is another two to four weeks. And finally, contractor mobilization can run out for two to six months.

Now, let’s say the project is in a southern climate. There are fewer restrictions on the working season at the lower latitudes; however, a project located in a northern climate may only have a few months in the summer for ideal working conditions. Mantis recommends projects with seasonal limitations begin design and bidding as early in the year as possible to ensure a competitive bid and contractor availability.

Large projects should also be designed and bid early in the fiscal year to ensure competitive bids as well as contractor and material availability.

5 Key Benefits of Starting Roof Design Projects Early

Here are some of the specific benefits of engaging in the design process early:

  1. Your qualified roofing consultant can get more accurate estimates from contractors by soliciting a very specific scope of work. When contractors have ample time to prepare their bids and a detailed scope of work, they can give you more accurate estimates of the cost of materials and labor. This will help you avoid overpaying for your roof replacement project.

  2. Your consultant can choose the right roofing materials and system for your needs. There are many different types of roofing materials and systems available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. By starting early, there is time to research options and choose the system that best meets your needs.

  3. Your consultant can get the necessary permits and approvals. In some cases, you may need to obtain permits from the city or county before you can start your roofing project. By starting early, there is plenty of time to get the necessary permits and approvals.

  4. Being familiar with your entire portfolio and roof asset management plan, your consultant can coordinate with other construction projects.

    If you're also planning other construction projects, such as a renovation or expansion, it's important to coordinate the timing of your roofing project with the other projects. This will help you avoid scheduling conflicts and delays.

    Your consultant might also be able to bundle scopes of work across all of your roofing projects to garner better pricing from your contractor(s).

  5. You and your consultant can avoid costly delays. If you wait until the last minute to start your roofing project, you may run into delays due to the availability of materials or labor. These delays can add to the cost of your project and inconvenience your building occupants.

Selecting the Right Roofing Consultant

Often, building owners and operators rely on advice from roof product manufacturers and roofing contractors. While these roofing industry partners are valuable in many circumstances, an owner never knows if they are receiving the most appropriate technical or economic solution for a new roof, roof replacement, or restoration project.

An independent commercial roof consultant will always act as your unbiased advocate, with no conflict of interest when specifying replacement or restoration options. Their role ensures you will get the best solution at the lowest practical cost.

Lastly, a quality commercial roofing consultant strives to understand the owner’s concerns and priorities and will confirm a clear understanding of all requirements and goals for the project. This includes:

  1. Visiting the job site and collecting detailed data required to complete a replacement or restoration specification.
  2. Accounting for all aspects of a roof system to recommend the appropriate re-roofing specification.
  3. Working with membrane manufacturers to confirm that all specifications will meet or exceed the owner’s roof warranty standards.

Contact a Mantis pro today and get your roof design projects on track and set up a successful 2024 construction season. Our team is ready to help you plan the right work at the right time for the best value.