Managing the complexities of a business can be challenging on a normal day, but add a roof construction project into the mix, and the challenge can seem insurmountable. Due to the complexities, some businesses choose to close during this type of project, as they are essentially a temporary construction site. Others choose to remain open because they cannot afford to shut the doors. If you’re considering reroofing your business, here’s what you need to know to prepare:
Deciding Whether To Keep Your Doors Open
Most reroofing projects don’t cause too much disruption to your business, your employees and your customers. Although closing your doors will guarantee the greatest level of safety, it’s generally not a feasible option due to the loss of revenue. When staying open, it’s best to anticipate the issues that may arise during a roof construction project, and work toward mitigating these issues before they occur.
The most important thing is to communicate with your customers and employees in advance. Let them know there may be minimal interruptions to business, but assure them their satisfaction is most important. Let them know about changes to building access, office hours, and customer service. This may mean sending a series of emails, direct mail notices, holding meetings, making personal calls, or posting notices at your business.
Choosing the Right Contractor for a Roof Construction Project
If you decide to stay open, you need to find a commercial roofing contractor who understands your business, and safety needs. Look for one who can handle a project while the business remains open. Part of your due diligence when finding a reputable roofing contractor is asking questions. Here are some of the topics you should discuss with potential roofers:
- What is the time frame for the project?
- What type of access into the building will you need?
- What disruptions do you foresee to employees and customers?
- What do you need from the business to make this project run smoothly?
- What will you do to make the project run smoothly?
These questions will provide insight into the roofer’s ability to meet your needs, and work with you should any issues arise. Aside from this, you should also request references from past customers. Ask previous clients how the roofing company managed their concerns and if they would work with them again.
Prepare Your Business Inside and Out
Once you’ve selected a contractor and the roof construction project is on track to start, there are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare. First, anticipate the disruption the outside noise will have inside your office. If your business requires minimal noise levels, discuss this with the roofers. They may have techniques to dampen the noise or they may suggest a schedule that would reduce the noise at certain times of the day. Communicate with your customers about the upcoming disruption and prepare your employees to deal with customer complaints.
You’ll likely need to prepare the outside of your business as well. You may need to close off certain areas of your parking lot in order to dedicate space for construction tools, materials and vehicles. Cordon off the area with tape and make sure to put up signs explaining the closure with a time frame for the temporary inconvenience.
Ensuring Safety and Good Neighbor Relations
Of utmost importance is keeping your employees and customers safe during the roof construction project. Make sure that any tools and materials are in an area clearly marked for construction with caution signs requiring extra care. Demand that the contractor store dangerous items in this area away from the public. Ask them to close off areas where debris may fall while they work.
Alert nearby office buildings or other companies that share a parking space with you to the upcoming project. Share your construction plans, closures and timelines. These businesses may be affected by the noise levels as well as disruptions to traffic patterns or parking. Be a good neighbor and let them know well in advance.
Although reroofing a building while business continues is a complex undertaking, it is achievable with planned communication and dedicated professionals. Anticipating issues and coming up with thoughtful solutions is the best method to ensure a smooth construction timeline. All this is possible with a reputable roofing contractor and a dedicated business owner working together to craft a clear process with minimal disruptions.