As a roofing business owner, it can be difficult to keep up with the industry trends and code for a building inspector.
For Andy Schreder, being aware of roofing industry trends is his job, and one he does exceptionally well.
As the Chief Building Official for Rum River Construction Consultants, Schreder has devoted much of his career to the roofing industry, to the point that he is now in a position to educate contractors on the proper way to follow the guidelines laid out by inspectors.
Delivering educational materials happens during classes that Schreder hosts, but even Schreder is constantly learning from other industry savants.
“We take an education-based approach,”
he says of his company.
“We have inspectors meetings twice per week. Some of our inspectors work remotely and some in-house. We make it a point to get together at least twice with all of our inspectors.”
“We develop an agenda, and through a cloud storage, every inspector is able to add questions and photographs. That’s one big way we stay connected is through those shared experiences.”
During these meetings, after every member of the company shares what they have learned, Rum River Construction Consultants forges an educational plan that they implement in the immediate future.
This has tremendous benefits for contractors who attend their classes, but Schreder emphasizes that education is not a one-off occasion. Instead, he urges roofing contractors to consistently stay engaged and aware of the changes in the roofing industry.
“The other thing that we do is continuing education,”
Schreder says, and as a man who twelve years ago was approved by the state as a certified educator, he should be considered as a trusted source for pertinent information.
“There’s no better way to get good at a subject than to have to teach somebody,”
Schreder adds as another reason why his company has received positive responses from contractors.
As far as applying the aforementioned educational material to jobs, Schreder often deals with ensuring contractors are meeting building codes and are not cutting corners in order to save money on their bottom line.
In the roofing industry, contractors often do this on siding installations, at which point Schreder interjects and attempts to correct the mistakes.
He insists that his role is not to alienate contractors, and that his agenda simply includes ensuring homeowners are taken care of, which in turn will help contractors land more jobs because they’re establishing themselves as a legitimate company.
“Our approach is threefold. We educate, inspect, and document,”
Schreder says of his company’s business philosophy.
When it comes to education, Schreder prefers to keep things simple for contractors.
“We make ourselves available to the contractors and we summarize and identify the code provisions that apply to a particular project,”
In regard to the inspection process, that is also straightforward.
“We go out to the jobsite and see that the conditions on site do or do not meet the manufacturers’ installation criteria.”
In terms of documenting job sites, this is a bit trickier, especially as Schreder notes how every contractor has different standards that they abide by.
“Everybody has a different line in the sand,”
“We don’t get into quality and workmanship. The code is not designed to do that. It’s for life safety, durability, and energy conservation.”
“However, when it comes to building durability and energy conservation, that’s looked at a little differently. Certainly, there’s pressure to get the job done. We have a role in making sure that things move along, but the buck stops with the contractor. They are the ones that have the license through the state and are financially liable through their insurance.”
This is why whenever there is a dispute regarding installation or code, Schreder is once again quick to point out that his job is not to impede the progress of a job, but simply to ensure that everyone from the homeowner, to the contractor, to his company, comes away from the roofing job better off.
“Our job is to administer the code, to be another set of eyes, and to help assist through that process,”
What do you think of building inspectors? Do they assist in helping your roofing company complete jobs?
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