If you are considering getting a roof replacement, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a roofing contractor would take care of all the necessary approvals and insurances.

As a Licenced Builder and all-round roofing guru, Greg Catton from My Home Improvements knows that there are some roofing contractors out there who often fail to secure all the right paperwork or comply with relevant standards.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has recently started cracking down on contractors who aren’t playing by the books.

As a property owner, there’s some basic things you should be aware of before hiring a contractor.

If a roof replacement is on your horizon, here’s what you need to be checking for to ensure you aren’t caught out. 


What the QBCC says is required for a roof replacement

For QBCC licenced roofing contractors, there are 2 main things the contractor needs to obtain before undertaking a roof replacement.

#1 – Insurance

This is payment of Home Warranty Scheme premiums to the QBCC when the value of a roof replacement exceeds $3,300 on a residential building.

The premium works as protection for homeowners. It provides cover in situations where the contractor “…fails to complete the work, the work is defective, or subsidence occurs.”

So basically, if the contractor stuffs up the job, the QBCC will pay to have the work remedied for you.

It is the responsibility of the contractor to pay this premium. The cost of the premium ought to be incorporated into every roof replacement quote

#2 – Building Approval

This approval is required when replacement of more than 20% of the existing roof area will occur.

An independent certifier will review the building approval and is responsible for ensuring the roof replacement work will comply with relevant industry standards.

It is the responsibility of either the roofing contractor or the property owner to secure the building approval, depending on the situation. Again, the cost of securing this approval should be included in a contractors’ quote.

In recent months, the QBCC has identified that some roofing contractors are not paying their Home Warranty Scheme premiums and/or not securing building approval.

Failure to secure building approval can see a contractor fined between $50,000 – $100,000 and even cop a 12-month prison sentence.


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But what does this all mean for me as a property owner?

If you hire a roofing contractor who hasn’t paid their insurance or hasn’t secured building approval, then there are unfortunately some implications for you.

Firstly, you won’t be protected by QBCC insurance if the contractor stuffs up the job.

Additionally, any roof replacement job which has been completed without building approval may void your home insurance.

Also, securing building approval is critical to ensuring that all work being carried out meets current legislation and standards. This is really important as standards for re-roofing work are continuously changing and being upgraded.

In recent times for example, the roofing industry became aware of home owners in North Queensland loosing their roof frames in cyclones or severe storms. This was a result of modern roofing materials being used that were too lightweight to withstand strong winds. Roofing screws were literally being ripped out during storm weather.

The Government had not updated relevant codes of practice over the years to keep up with the increasing use of lightweight metal. This type of metal is perfectly fine to use in most areas of Australia, but not in North Queensland.

Tie-down laws have now been updated to prevent this from happening again. Tie-downs are fixings added to battens that prevent uplift of a room in strong winds.

But if a roofing contractor fails to apply for building approval, then a certifier cannot check that they are adhering to these new tie-down standards.


The tie downs in this roof replacement have been installed properly

Sounds like all of this is a bit of a headache, right? But here’s some advice for how to prevent said headache.


How can I check that the contractor is legit?

Always ask a roof contractor to break down and explain everything in the quote they’ve given you.

If they haven’t incorporated the cost of insurance or securing building approval in their price…tell them “thanks but no thanks!”

Also, if the contractor is trying to convince you that you don’t need to worry about building approval, then they are misinformed or seriously dodgy.

You can also ask the contractor to show you a copy of the “Form 21” which is a Final Inspection Certificate. This documentation confirms an independent certifier has signed off on all work being completed to current standards.


Want to make sure your roof replacement is done right. Talk to us!

My Home Improvements have 20 years’ experiences as roofing contractors. We experts at roof replacements, especially in Queensland.

We know all the ins and outs of securing building approval and relevant insurance. Plus, we know each industry code like the back of our hand. 

If you would like more information about roof replacements or roofing work in general, My Home Improvements will be happy to help. Simply click here to contact us.


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