Engineering Support for Roofing Projects
WHY USE AN ENGINEER?
It is required by the Building Code in most jurisdictions to have a Professional Engineer verify the roof structure prior to the application of a tile roof. Before a concrete tile roofing system can be installed on a house, the structure has to be checked by a licensed professional engineer. This is done for several reasons, first, the house may not have the structural capacity to carry the roofing load. This is particularly for homes built over 50 years ago.
Second, there may be damage from one of our major blizzards such as the Blizzard of 2003 or the Blizzard of 2006-2007. When damage has occurred, there may be a structural claim that can be filed with the insurance company. An engineer can document the damages for submission. Third, the builder may have made framing mistakes. The time to correct these minor framing errors is when the new roof is being installed. These errors are generally small but they could create a problem during loading and installation of the roof.
What should I expect from an engineer? Engineers should carry Errors and Omissions Insurance in addition to General Liability. Ask what their coverage limits are; the minimum for most engineers is $1 million. The engineer should have all the required ladders, lights and measuring devices to collect the required data. The engineer should provide a report within a reasonable time, typically this is 5-10 business days. This report will indicate that either your house is structurally adequate for a tile roof, or will outline the repairs needed. Copies of the report are required for your contractor to obtain the building permit. The engineer should be able to send copies directly to your contractor. You will also need an original for your house file.
Who Pays? Ultimately, the homeowner. It can be a part of your roof replacement cost, or the homeowner can pay the engineer directly.
How do I get started? After you decide to use tile you can call and schedule a time for the engineer to examine your attic.
Information provided by: Richard Boon, Professional Engineer at Construction Support Services, Inc 303-221-1559