Roof consultants provide expert guidance on how to design and build roofs, or how to repair or replace problematic ones. Of course, there are benefits and drawbacks to hiring a third-party consultant as an advisor on a project. Since many roof consultants have never installed a roof system, the ideal situation is to work with a contractor who also has the skills and expertise to act as a consultant and complete the work. When that is not possible, consider the following pros and cons before you hire a roof consultant.
Hiring a Roof Consultant: The Three Pros
- Administrative expertise: A roof consultant can be an excellent go-between on projects where a lot of bureaucratic scrutiny or administrative oversight is required, such as governmental or institutional buildings. These jobs often require strict and thorough documentation, and require a justification for every decision and expenditure. In these situations, a consultant’s academic and administrative expertise can be valuable.
- Design feedback: During the design phase, roof consultants offer helpful feedback and guidance on the architect’s plans. They might identify issues or spot problems that an architect isn’t able to foresee or solve alone.
- Project leadership: A roof consultant can act as a unifying force on projects that require third-party management. Real estate investment trusts (REITs), for example, involve several different interested parties, who may all look to a consultant for unified direction.
Hiring a Roof Consultant: The Cons
- High costs: Roof consultants don’t come cheap, and many cases their fees are based on a percentage of the contract. On larger scopes of work, this could become very costly.
- Identified, but unresolved, problems: Roof consultants are paid for presenting concepts or identifying issues without actually performing the work. A qualified contractor can identify issues and fix them while onsite.
- Change orders: A good contractor can avoid time delays and change orders by addressing issues as they arise and value engineering a solution while onsite.
Roof consultants can be valuable assets on some specialty jobs. But, they can also be expensive without being accountable for implementing their proposed solutions. It is always ideal to work with a contractor who has the experience and skills to act as a consultant, and then complete the work without inflating the cost.