Architectural services needed to reroof an existing home

Reasons to reroof a home are manifold, including, but not limited to, fire damage, deterioration through ageing and weathering, or to achieve a whole new aesthetic. Recently, LCP Roofing was approached to reroof an existing house whose roof had been incorrectly installed. With some investigation, it was found that a reroofing project is not quite as simple as a new roofing project.

As illustrated below, there is warping on the webs of some of the trusses. The trusses had also been altered in an effort to extend them to fit onto the walls, which means the load the trusses will carry will not be supported on the wall. This will result in the roof failing. 

LCP_03 LCP_02 LCP_04 LCP_05Lyndsay Cotton, LCP Roofing General Manager, thus approached Gerd Bolt, who is a well-renowned Gauteng architect and current President of the Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA), and asked him to weigh in. This is what he had to say:

Contrary to an owner’s wish to possibly not appoint an architect, statutory requirements and regulations will not make this possible (the owner does not have such an option):

  • The owner is the person responsible (and liable) for his property – NBR Act 1970
  • The owner is required to confirm the appointment of responsible and competent persons – SANS 10400 Part A.

Such appointees must inter alia:

  • Be deemed competent in terms of SANS 10400 Part A19
  • Be a registered architectural professional (SACAP) – SACAP’s Code of Professional Conduct (under the Architect’s Act) requires certain behaviour: the conditions under which ANY registered person is allowed to perform architectural work is covered under this Code. SACAP is very apt at prosecuting transgressors.
  • Have current PI Insurance cover
  •  A professional engineer must be appointed to accept responsibility for the total structure, this could include the roof structure, but you probably have other options for this. No plans will be approved without an engineer signing to take on responsibility and liability.
  •  The competent person (SANS 10400-XA) must certify the completed building for compliance with the regulations – NO OCCUPATION CERTIFICATE WILL BE ISSUED BY THE MUNICIPALITY without it.

Appointing a professional, except being a requirement, makes good sense for the owner in protecting his investment. Also, banks these days are difficult to please if financing is required.

Removing the roof will require the inclusion of a demolition permit, to be obtained simultaneously with the application to approve building plans for the intended work.

As we will know, not much of the ‘house’ is left after removing a roof.

  • The electrical work, possibly also the plumbing (at least parts of it) will be affected and will need to be replaced or reinstalled.
  • Most of the finishes in the existing house will need to be replaced or repaired.
  • Usually kitchens and/or built in cupboards are replaced during the process.

The following will be required:

  •  Thorough inspection of the existing structure to determine: Is that which is built (existing) in accordance with approved building plans?

 If the plans are not approved things can get very complicated.

  • The condition of the structure, including suitability for fixing the new roof in accordance with SANS 10400 Part K4.2.11, and overall structural integrity.
  •  Building plans need to be provided that include:

O          All parts to be demolished

O          All proposed new work (including electrical and plumbing reticulation)

O          Calculations to determine and prove compliance with SANS 10400-XA (energy and thermal performance)

When all of the above is realised and taken care of, work can commence on preparing drawings to accompany the application for approval.

Reroofing a house is thus more complex than erecting a new roof and there are good reasons to comply with the laws at hand and to hire a roofing company that is au fait with the process.

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