Tony Burke: Isn’t It Great to be Busy?!

Published on 12th October 2017
Avonside Group Services CEO, Tony Burke

Caution is required as we, as an industry, focus upon meeting the demands of our housebuilding clients as they attempt to deliver the increased numbers that society and government targets require from them.

Roofing Contracting has become an industry that is under an incredible amount of scrutiny regarding standards of quality and safety and one that has demanded a mind-set of a truly professional approach, and rightly so, personally I think that this had been long overdue.

Unfortunately, despite a new British Standard being introduced and also stricter NHBC regulations and controls it is not unusual for the most important question by site managers to be;

“How fast can you get the roof done?”

This I am sure is not helped usually by delays that the site has suffered long before we arrived to carry out our works and also in recent months the extended lead times of many products.

Of course, productivity on any busy site will always be of paramount importance, but I feel that we all need to remain true to our own professional values of our trade in as much that we ensure we are not forced to work so fast that a compromise of quality or safety could creep in.

How many times in the last few months has your scaffold been lower that 450mm from top of fascia, also how many times have you inherited work that was not up to the required standard that we require in order that we can install a roof to be proud of?

I feel that it is important that we remember that it is only us as a trade and as individuals that can have the confidence and self-discipline to ensure that we are not drawn into agreeing requests that in all honesty we know in our heart of hearts is not going to allow us to leave our clients homeowner with the best roof that we can produce.

I am sure that every trade is experiencing very similar pressures across their own operations, however with our works being carried out at height from a scaffold that everybody else apart from roofers would like to be ‘out of their way’ we need to protect our part of the build program in order that we truly can have time to have pride in our work, the very same work that we are responsible for the performance of going forward.

We should be proud to communicate to our clients that new regulations and professional control measures have raised the standards of roofing throughout the UK and importantly have brought a new level our respect to the trade as a whole, with good levels of communication and a commitment of service based around safety and quality everybody involved in the process should benefit from a great finished product that will perform for many, many years to come.