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Should You Call A Roof Plumber, Roof Contractor or a Roofer?

When your roof or gutters are leaking you’ll be looking for someone to fix them, but people don’t often know that a roof plumber, a roof contractor and a roofer have their differences.

We’ll give you definitions of the three roofing terms below (in no particular order):

What is a roof plumber?

The word ‘plumber’ is key to distinguish a roof plumber from the rest. A roof plumber is not only trained and skilled in installing gutters, downpipes and the likes, but they are also experts in rain and storm water.

They understand the ins and outs of a roof structure and are fully trained to diagnose and treat water ingress, before and after it has occurred.

A roof plumber also has an eye for interpreting and reading blueprints and diagrams relating to the drainage systems making them the go-to people when it comes to roofing jobs involving leaks or drainage systems.

Here in Victoria, roof plumbers need the following requirements:

  • AS3500 National Plumbing and Drainage Code
  • HB 39 Installation code for metal roof and wall cladding
  • HB 114 Guidelines for the design of eaves and box gutters

As well as being able to:

  • work safely at heights, including on scaffolding or elevated work platforms
  • know the different types of roof flashing and how they differ
  • know which roof materials are not compatible
  • perform calculations and measurements necessary to use roofing materials and install a roofing systems

What is a roof contractor?

On the other end of the scale are roofing contractors, or a roofing contractor. A roofing contractor is someone who is licensed by the (State) Government to carry out pretty much all roofing work.

When you think of the word ‘contractor’ you can think of it also as a roofing company – unlike a roof plumber or a roofer, a roof contractor isn’t usually just one person (although it can be one person from the roofing company that they are employed from.

Even though a roof contractor does/should possess the skills and qualifications of roof plumbers, it’s common to associate roof contractor work as being more on the ‘larger’ scale – your roof restorations and roof replacements.

Think of it as an agency, where if you have an agreement with the agency (contractor) it will up to the contractor to deploy who they deem necessary to carry out job. This could be down to a number of reasons including the scope of the work and location.

Whereas as a roof plumber, your agreement is pretty much a 1 on 1 contract.

What is a roofer?

A roofer is probably the loosest term out of the three as it can be anyone from someone who is a licensed roofing contractor to a general contractor to an unlicensed roofing contractor or even someone who already works for a roof company.

The term can be pretty broad so it’s essential to find out whether they are licensed or not and check their credentials out before proceeding with any work.

As a rule of thumb, if the quote is too good to be true, then it probably is.

Which one do you need?

Generally, if you’re looking for small, one-off type of jobs then either a roof plumber or roofer can suffice. However, that’s not to say that a roof contractor cannot carry out the same job.

For the more larger-scale roofing jobs such as roof restorations, roof replacements or roof installations – you’ll definitely find better quality results in your Google searches using ‘roof contractors’.

At the end of the day, it can boil down to what your budget is, when exactly you need the work done or what licenses/qualifications one holds.

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