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Things to Consider When Planning a Commercial Roofing Project

October , 2023 | 11 min. read

By Mitch Owens

Metal roof replacement on a 4-story commercial building

Diving into a commercial roofing project soon?

Are you searching for information on how to start your commercial roofing project? Feeling the weight of the decision?

We understand. A roofing project, especially for commercial spaces, is significant. It’s a job that requires meticulous planning. The outcome will shelter and protect your business assets for years to come.

Our team at RoofCrafters has guided many businesses through their commercial roofing ventures. With 30 years of experience in the industry, we've seen the challenges and the triumphs. We teamed up with many business owners to provide advice on materials and warranties. And now, we're here to share that expertise with you.

In this article, we’ll break down the essentials of planning a successful commercial roofing project. By the end, hopefully, you'll have the knowledge to move forward with confidence.

Ready to dive into the nitty-gritty? Let’s start by understanding what truly makes a robust commercial roofing plan.

Kickstarting Your Roofing Project: Laying the Groundwork


Before you swing that hammer or lay that first shingle, pause. Every standout commercial roofing job starts with some solid prep work from the team.

commercial roofing company tearing off a flat roof with the text teamwork on the image

Think of preliminary planning as your roadmap. Just as you wouldn't set off on a road trip without knowing your route, you shouldn't dive into a roofing project blind. By mapping out the journey from the start, you'll dodge obstacles, save time, and spare yourself headaches.

So, what's in this planning toolkit? Let's unpack the essentials that will gear up your project for a winning outcome.

Setting the Stage: Your Roofing Project's First Moves


Where do we begin? Like building a house, the beginning of your roofing project needs to be clear and understood.

Kick things off by taking a good, hard look at your current roof. What's its health report card like? Spot the problems, both the glaring ones and the sneaky, less visible ones. This 'roof diagnosis' helps shape what comes next.

roofers on a steep commercial roof repair

Can it be repaired or does it need a full replacement? These are important things to know.

With these insights in hand, it's time to lay out the vision for your new roof. Jot down what you want this makeover to achieve. Remember, setting a clear target will help you make decisions that bring you closer to your goal.

Laying the Blueprint: Planning to Perfection


Diving into a commercial roofing project without a solid game plan? That's like navigating a maze blindfolded.

Money Matters: Start with your budget. Dive into the numbers. How much money can you budget?

Rules of the Game: Don't forget about the red tape! Each locale and roofing type can come with its own set of guidelines and rules. It's important to understand these to avoid costly missteps.

Know Your Turf: Before you dive in, get acquainted with the battlefield – your site. What quirks does it have? What special considerations does it demand? A thorough site once-over can prevent headaches down the road.

Anticipating the Unexpected


During the first inspection, we may find issues with the roof or building that need fixing. This might mean we have to change the project's plan and budget. Every commercial roofing project has its set of curveballs.

Structural Surprises: A first look can sometimes reveal more than just surface issues. If there's an issue with the roof or the structure, you may need to adjust your plans and budget.

Permit Pitfalls: Let's face it - paperwork can be a hassle. But skimping on or delaying permit applications can set you back even more. To avoid roadblocks, it's important to know and follow local rules. You can do this by taking initiative and being proactive.

Budgetary Balancing Act: Even the best-laid plans can face financial hiccups. When unforeseen expenses arise, it's important to be ready to avoid financial setbacks.

Choosing the Right Roof Material


Choosing the right material for the building is a big decision. The roof isn't just the cherry on top; it's the shield that protects the entire structure. The first line of defense protects us from rain, wind, and UV radiation. 

Longevity Matters: Picking the right material isn't only about aesthetics. The choice can determine how long your roof lasts, making it an investment for the future.

Energy Efficiency: Your roof can be an ally in your energy-saving goals. Using the correct material can help control building temperatures and reduce energy expenses.

Meeting Local Standards: Every region has its rules. Choose roofing materials that follow local rules to keep the structure healthy.

Diverse Choices for Durable Roofs


Several roofing materials cater to the unique needs of commercial buildings. Different buildings need different hats. Here's a snapshot of the options at your disposal:

Built-Up Roofing (BUR): A long-time favorite, BUR layers it thick. It's a sturdy barrier against Mother Nature's moods, perfect for flat or low-sloped roofs.

hot tar being mopped on a flat roof

Single-Ply Roofing: With choices like TPO, PVC, and EPDM, these roofing materials are not just light on your roof but also on your energy bill. Quick to install, easier to maintain.

roofer welding TPO on a hvac curb

Metal Roofing: A metal roof isn't just about that sleek look. It's a long-term commitment to low maintenance and energy-saving due to its reflective qualities.

commercial metal roof on a condo

Modified Bitumen Roofing (Mod-bit): Mod-bit is a newer version of Built-up roofing. It's installed in multiple layers. Made with strong, resilient polyester and fiberglass. It's a versatile option designed for the long haul.

mod-bit roofing being installed with a torch

Shingle Roofing: Not just for homes, shingle roofing can give commercial buildings a traditional touch. They're durable and versatile and come in an array of styles and colors.

Up close of premium asphalt shingles on a steep hip roof

Executing Your Roofing Vision


When working on a commercial roofing project, it is important to go through different stages. Each stage is crucial for the project to be successful. Let's walk through these steps:

1. Dive Deep with Assessment: Before a hammer hits a nail, the existing roof gets a top-to-bottom check. We pinpoint what needs mending and what needs replacing. This stage also sets the groundwork - deciding on project details, setting timelines, and locking in budgets.

2. Gather Your Gear: With the plan in place, it's time to gather the roofing materials. Quality and safety are the benchmarks here.

3. Prep the Stage: Safety first! The work site is prepped, ensuring all safety protocols are up and running. The old roof also gets a good scrubbing to ready it for its makeover.

4. Bring on the New Roof: This is where the transformation happens. The layers of insulation, waterproofing, and final roofing are built according to the design.

5. Eyes on Quality: Throughout the project, our eyes are peeled. Regular check-ins and inspections ensure everything aligns with the set standards and specifications.

6. Spotless Finish: With the roof in place, we ensure we leave no trace behind. After a rigorous cleanup, another round of inspection ensures the final product is up to mark.

7. The Final Touches: The last step isn't about the roof – it's about peace of mind. Warranty paperwork and all necessary documents are handed over, wrapping up the project with assurance.

Modern Tools: Revolutionizing Roofing Projects


The world of roofing has evolved, and so have the tools that shape it. Gone are the days when basic hammers and nails dominated the scene. Today, the industry thrives on advanced tools that not only ensure precision but also make the job safer and faster.

roofer running a TPO roof robot along a seam

Advanced Efficiency with Power Tools: Power-assisted cutters and precision measurement devices are game-changers. They not only reduce manual labor but also guarantee a level of precision that was previously unattainable. Every cut is more accurate, and every measurement is more exact.

Elevate Productivity with Material Handling: Roofing materials can be cumbersome. Material handling cranes move materials, saving time and effort for transportation.

Training: The Heart of Modern Roofing: With great power comes great responsibility. These advanced tools, while incredible, need a specific skill set. Roofers need proper training to use their tools and focus on safety.

Certifications: A Seal of Trust: It's not just about knowing how to use the tools; it's about proving that knowledge. Certifications provide that validation. A certified roofer has proven skill with modern tools, so you can trust their work.

Skilled professionals have the true power of modern tools, which offer unmatched advantages. Proper training and certification are the cornerstones of this new era in roofing.

Forklift Operation


Forklifts are pivotal for material handling in many roofing projects. Proper forklift operation is essential for the efficient movement of heavy roofing materials. 

Forklift operators need thorough training in safety, load capacity, and maintenance checks. 

The 3 Keys to a Long-Lasting Commercial Roof


A commercial roof's longevity depends on more than just materials and installation expertise. Much of its durability hinges on the regular care and attention it receives post-installation. Commercial roof maintenance is key to getting the most out of your new roof.

1. The High Cost of Neglect: A roof might appear sturdy and invincible, but beneath that tough exterior could be underlying issues. Skipping regular maintenance can result in minor problems snowballing into significant damages. Regular upkeep not only spares you costly repairs but also potential business disruptions.

2. The Power of Regular Inspections: Just as we go for regular health check-ups, roofs too need routine inspections. These check-ups can spot weaknesses, whether it's a minor leak, wear and tear, or other damages. Detecting these early is the difference between a simple fix and a major repair.

3. Preventive Measures Save the Day: It's always better to prevent a problem than to fix one. By addressing potential weak spots on time, you will ensure your roofing system remains strong and reliable. This proactive approach leads to considerable savings in the long run.

In summary, a roof's lifespan is significantly influenced by the care it receives. A well-maintained commercial roof protects the building beneath it and also offers peace of mind and large cost savings in the long run.

The Stance on Commercial Roofing


Commercial roofing projects need careful planning, quality materials, and modern tools. Remember, roofs need maintenance. Keep it strong, durable, and ready for anything. Dive into your next roofing adventure equipped with the knowledge to keep your building standing tall and proud!

RoofCrafters has been a leader in commercial roofing for 30 years. We've done so by adapting to new materials and technologies. With many successful projects and satisfied customers, we stand as a testament to the art and science of roofing.

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Mitch Owens

My name is Mitch, and I have over 10 years of roofing experience. I enjoy my career in the service industry because I love helping others take care of their homes and businesses. With over 10 years in the roofing industry, my success comes from my honesty and integrity during my roof inspections. I do my best to listen to the needs of my clients and strive to provide an awesome client experience.