Building and Energy releases report on roof replacement compliance

The regulator’s general inspection report found common patterns of damaged properties in the state, including reroofing without the required building permits or licenses, and insufficient fasteners to secure the replacement roof to the home.

“The loss of a roof can cause serious injury or death to people sheltering inside or being hit by wind-blown debris,” said Saj Abdoolakhan, executive director of Building and Energy. “There have been many close calls in WA, including metal plates and large steel or wood beams propelled up to 100 meters over houses, power lines and trees before being embedded in the ground, fences or other buildings.”

Abdoolakhan said events such as Tropical Cyclone Seroja emphasize the importance of careful planning and expert knowledge when changing a roofing material from one material to another to ensure a lighter roof does not lift during a wind event.

“Even if a similar material is used, the roof supports may have sagged or deteriorated over time,” he added.

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In all regions, the study found that modified roofs were damaged even when winds did not exceed the speeds required by building standards.

In response to the report, Bouw en Energie has issued a guideline for homeowners on roof renovation. Some advice are:

  • Ensuring that there is a building permit (unless a waiver applies) and that plans and supporting structures are documented in detail;
  • Use competent, suitably qualified and experienced people (such as a structural engineer or registered builder) to check the existing roof structure and any proposed upgrades and drainage and water protection. The roof covering must also be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and applicable building standards;
  • Verify that the company has appropriate insurance and positive unbiased reviews; and
  • Get a written quote detailing all work and remember that a deposit of up to 6.5% applies to construction contracts of $7,500 or more.

“Replacing a roof of a different shape or weight usually requires a building permit and the work must be performed by a registered contractor,” Abdoolakhan said.

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