Making Sure Your Roof Work Progresses Smoothly

October 4, 2013

If you have ever replaced your roof, you know that strict requirements go along with it. If not, here is how it works in Florida. Inspectors from your municipality check every permitted roofing job many times. This process ensures that your contractor meets all the building codes and federal requirements at various project stages.

Official inspections start after the tear-off of your old roof. The first check is called the ‘tin-tag’ inspection. An inspector checks that the contractor adequately secured the base roofing material to the concrete or wood roof deck. This check ensures maximum water and wind uplift resistance. This stage is critical because the foundation of the roofing system sets the stage for everything built above it.

The next inspection for tile roofs occurs after the contractor lays and secures another layer (tar paper) on the roof. This check is not necessary for shingle jobs. After that, another inspection occurs periodically throughout the installation of the roof materials (shingle, tile, metal, etc.). Then, of course, the final inspection happens when the job is complete. This inspection schedule often varies depending on your local building department and the municipality in which you live.

To ensure the work goes as smoothly as possible, you should verify the results of each of your various inspections. Most contractors require payment at intervals based on milestones (completed stages). These stages are often related directly to the checks mentioned above.


While the contractor may tell you he has reached a milestone, ensuring that the inspector also certifies the completion of that stage helps reinforce your peace of mind. Verifying the inspection results also helps to ensure that a contractor is not leading your astray.

If the inspection shows as failed, don’t worry, that happens quite frequently. However, you should insist that the inspection pass before paying for that particular draw. You may even want to have contractual verbiage to that effect. Bear in mind, not passing an inspection is no reflection of the contractor’s abilities. A failed progress inspection simply means that there is more work to do.

You should know that poorly performed work can result in the municipality forcing a reapplication of the roofing system. By verifying that your contractor passes each inspection, you’ll be less likely to worry about poorly performed work.

Only when the job passes the final inspection, and after your contractor cleans up and finishes your roof to your satisfaction, it is safe to pay the final balance due.

Lastly, please understand that while this is certainly not a complete guide, it provides sound advice. Follow it to avoid being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous or unlicensed contractor. We sincerely hope that this information helps you to ensure your roofing project progresses smoothly.

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