Review: ITC-SA Basic Designer/Estimator course

LCP Roofing Sales Representative, Roux Malherbe, shares his experience of attending and completing the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa’s (ITC-SA) Basic Designer/Estimator course.

“Unfortunately, we do see structures on a daily basis that reflect a contractor’s lack of experience and incompetence – and these professionals are responsible for building very expensive homes. Sadly, this also means that the home owner is forced to change from one contractor to another and consequently the building costs become more expensive,” he says.

In order to counter this type of practice and prevent this level of service from occurring, education and training are key. “I can recommend this course to anyone that works in the roofing industry. It gives you a better understanding about the science of designing and building a roof,” says Malherbe, who also notes that as a governing body, the ITC-SA certainly plays its role in growing and improving the working standards in the timber construction industry.

The ITC-SA’s Basic Designer/Estimator course is broken up into three segments; completing and passing assignments one and two and then obtaining acceptance to write an exam.

The course covers the following topics:

  • Truss and roof terminology
  • Understanding 3-dimensional roof shapes
  • Units of measurement
  • Loadings on a roof
  • Application of loads
  • Timber as a structural material
  • Design codes
  • Introduction to forces
  • Basic trigonometry for roof designers
  • Bracing
  • Measuring sundry material
  • Code of conduct

The first assignment covers the first few chapters in the workbook and the second deals with the rest of the workbook chapters; both assignments are to be completed and submitted within a stipulated time period. Only once these two assignments have been passed, is admission granted to write the exam. Once the exam has been successfully passed, a certificate is awarded for the ITC-SA’s Basic Designer/Estimator course.

Malherbe encourages anyone working in the roof construction industry, to attend and complete the course, as he concludes, “We all want to work in a professional environment and make sure that everyone follows clearly set out industry standards.”

For more information about the ITC-SA’s Basic Estimator/Designer Course, visit