While some sectors of the construction industry remain unprepared for the impact of the Building Act 2004, the Roofing Association of New Zealand Inc (RANZ) has been actively preparing for one of the biggest changes in the history of construction in this country — occupational licensing.
RANZ was established as a national body in 1994, representing the interests of the roofing contracting industry and encompassing every type of roofing system available in New Zealand.
RANZ members represent more than 200 specialist professional roofing companies throughout New Zealand that are directly involved in the installation of roof systems, roof coating/restoration, repairs and fitting of related roofing products.
In addition to these primary members, there are more than 40 key manufacturers and suppliers of roofing products that are associate members of the association, along with industry service providers.
RANZ is proactive in ensuring New Zealand has a more professional, well trained, skilled and qualified industry so that, collectively, quality installation is achieved.
The installation of a quality roofing system for a home or business is a substantial investment, and RANZ encourages people to use a member of the association rather than risk employing an incompetent tradesperson.
When looking for a professional roofing company, the association says for peace of mind one of its members should be used.
Contractors wishing to join the association must submit to an admission process that ensures they meet the high standards of professionalism required of member companies.
With roofing a restricted trade where regulation will be required under the Act, RANZ is working closely with the Department of Building and Housing on the development of the Licensed Building Practitioner licences and the direction the process takes as it applies to roofing.
Licensing is welcomed by the roofing industry which views it as a way to flush out the cowboy operators who have given roofing a bad name in the past.
When licensing becomes voluntary in 2008 (mandatory from 2011) the industry hopes to have avoided a scramble from its members to become qualified as there has been a steady stream of roofers registering with the ITO for the National Certificate in Roofing in the past two years.
In other areas the Association also lobbies hard for its members on industry training, health and safety, technical education, contractual issues and membership support.
Deluge of compliance
To assist members deal with the deluge of compliance and new legislation emanating from the Building Act 2004, recent RANZ conferences have been geared to assisting contractors deal with a raft of issues causing headaches for contractors, such as E2/AS1 – sometimes called the weathertightness solution — and a number of other issues related to the new legislation.
One of the reasons RANZ is so supportive of the licensing of roofers under the Building Act 2004 is that it will become extremely difficult for “cowboy” operators in roofing to survive with licensed inspection of work becoming law.
When home owners or building contractors are looking to have a new roof installed or a roof replaced, they shouldn’t be tempted by cheap deals or products that seem to be inexpensive, or the advice of door knockers commenting on the appearance of a roof and offering to fix it.
And they should always obtain some comparative quotes and ask RANZ for a referral of members operating in the area.
In New Zealand’s environment, location is always a factor that must be taken into account. Check if there are extreme conditions that could cause corrosion or breakdown of products before deciding what type of roof is best for a specific situation.
Aesthetics should be secondary to the performance and durability of the roofing material.
Look out for a warranty on the product and then find a reputable company to install the roof. RANZ provides referrals of members who operate in specific areas.
There are many types of roofing products on the market, from long run steel, metal tiles, concrete and clay tiles, membrane, torch-on membrane, shingles, slate and others.
When purchasing a new roof there are a few things that should be taken into consideration, because once the roof is on it cannot be removed and replaced cheaply.
For example, for better sound insulation qualities look for a concrete tile or slate roof. Darker coloured roofs are affected by heat more than light colours so they can crack and creak — known as thermal expansion — during sudden changes in the weather.
Some roofing materials are warranted for 50 years, although there are conditions relating to the maintenance frequency.
Some materials will last longer than others in given situations, such as zinc, copper and concrete which, when installed in the right location, can last for decades.
Incorrect installation can result in rapid breakdown of the materials.