Flat Roofing Project?

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Reviews

 

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Initial contact with a senior employee, then technical assessment (2 people) followed by quotation, questions, discussions and acceptance. The terms and conditions are clear as is their mail.

My house is thatched and some thatch interacts with flat roof. My thatcher will not be available for a year. Proactive interfaced with the issue very well.

All the people have been very pleasant and courteous including my telephone contact at proactive and the team(two or three people) on the flat roof. Thank you. A job well done.

On what do I judge? My interface with the company and its individuals plus, in my past, managing an aviation manufacturing company with thousands of employees and in later life a prominent role in one of the worlds top business schools.

G.Q.

In simple terms, Stephen knows his stuff!

Recently I built five four-bedroom homes in Surrey. While I’m experienced with refurbishing and extending properties, this was my first new build project, and the first time I had to meet standards set by the company that issues the building warranty. When I reached out for help with the flat roofs, I was looking for someone who understood what I was up against, and who could inspire confidence. Stephen was the first person to get back to me showing the right kind interest.

I’d spoken to others; I just wasn’t getting what I needed in terms of advice. So I was happy when I found someone on the phone that seemed friendly, straight talking and well informed. I liked him right away. I had a thousand and one questions for Stephen, and I particularly want to thank him for his patience. The building was nearly at roof level when I called him in. I needed lots of answers, and I needed them fast. When I described my issues to him on the phone, he instantly knew what I was talking about. And if there was ever a time that he didn’t know straight away he’d find out and get back to me. So his responsiveness impressed me.

Just to give you an example, I had my carpenters laying the wooden roof deck ready to hand over, when questions came up about the ventilation system. I was under pressure to get the roof on, and while it’s easy reading the book about the standard required for the warranty, it’s not one hundred percent clear. In this kind of situation you know he’s got the answers. “Don’t do it like that, this is how it needs to be done. Put this in, don’t do that. Simple.”

Stephen is extremely professional, very helpful. He’s well informed of his facts and he knows what he’s talking about. To put it in its simplest terms, he knows his stuff.

P.V.

Working with Paull and Stephen makes it easy and gives us the confidence and ability to do a good job.

My team and I construct high-end residential properties in the Devon and Dorset area. After 30 years in business we are well known for high quality workmanship, and fortunate enough that we don’t need to advertise.

Before meeting Paull Newsome, my experience with modern waterproofing membranes was limited to just one previous job which turned out to be a bit of a nightmare! I made a bad choice of roofing contractor and roofing system.

Once bitten, twice shy, I was cautious not to make the same mistake on a very large flat roof, on a prestigious private house in Exeter. This roof had some challenging details including concealed gutters, and as I say, I’d only had the one bad experience to go by. So when I met Paull for the first time, his ability to communicate how the job would be done, and his knowledge of the product immediately put me at ease.

Having awarded Paull the job, I was very concerned about not wanting to pester him continually. Because of my limited experience with these materials I needed many questions answering, about how to prepare the building for Paull’s team to come in. However, Paull was very pleased to take my calls and very helpful in response.

Consequently the job went well, so much so, that I recommended him to the client, on the following job we got involved in. This time I got to meet Stephen Day who was pleasant, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Similar to Paull, really, you know?

I think they're good men. So I have a high opinion of Paull and Stephen, and clearly, working with them makes it easy and gives us the confidence and ability to do a good job.

N.M.

Stephen is all the things you really want when dealing with somebody on this kind of work.

We recently submitted a tender to renovate and extend a residential property, using Stephen Day’s price for the flat roof. All I can say is, having won the job we were very happy. I found Stephen to be very efficient. Very helpful. All the things you really want when you’re dealing with somebody. Fair, honest, and reliable.

Both my business partner and myself would say he’s a likeable chap and somebody that we would like to work with again.

K.P.

Stephen’s advice both saved me money on the cost of developing my property and put me in a position to add extra value to the sale.

I lived in a nice sized detached house with a double garage for 12 years. The garage benefited from it’s own front door, and at some point half of it had been converted into an independent dwelling.

My plan was to properly split the property in to two, with the whole of the double garage and outbuilding becoming the second unit. I wanted to maximise the value of the two units to sell them before retirement. On my wishes the architect designed the garage conversion with a pitched roof.

I had some idea of different flat roof technologies, and realised that things have moved on since the old tar and felt days—I’d even gone so far as to renew some dormer window roofs with fiberglass (GRP). However, flat roofs have got a notoriously bad reputation, which is why I wanted a traditional pitched roof.

My first impression was that I was pleased Stephen turned up for our appointment on time. I’ve been let down last minute, or the company rep has been late, on numerous occasions in the past. I wanted someone to do the work that knew what they were talking about and who could be relied on as well, and Stephen inspired me with this confidence. He didn’t just go with the brief; he used his own initiative to make me re-think whether or not a pitched roof was the right way to go.

I think some contractors may have just said, “Right, that’s what you want, this is the price.” Whereas Stephen did sort of question, in a nice way, in a professional way, “Are you sure you want to do it this way? Because this will be the cost if you do it that way, but if you keep your existing structure and simply put on a warm roof system, you’ll have quite a saving.”

While what he was saying made sense, I was still a bit leery about flat roofs. Fiberglass may be harder wearing than felt and bitumen, but I didn’t like the idea of using it on such a large roof—especially one that might get walked on. Stephen confirmed my suspicions and came up with another waterproofing membrane that would be ideal for tiling on top of, and creating a terrace.

Stephen came over as professional and knowledgeable. Certainly it would be worth talking to Stephen because he’s knowledgeable in his area of what he does. He has the expertise to come up with solutions based on your problem.

J.F.

When it comes to roofing Stephen Day is my “go to” guy, he’s just brilliant!

I’m responsible for the maintenance of a large estate, including commercial and residential units. I couldn’t do what I do without surrounding myself with trusted team of outside contractors, skilled in their various disciplines.

When it comes to roofing Stephen Day is my “go to” guy, he’s just brilliant!

A typical estate like ours can have many roofs at different points in their life-cycle using various roofing materials and systems. Part of my job is to commission a report to the owners of the estate, Standard Life, when an investment in maintenance is required. You’d be amazed just how difficult it is to find great contractors capable of thorough investigation, and of producing professionally written reports.

On one recent roof, and with the help of electronic leak detection, Stephen found 33 defects! With this level of examination and the proper refurbishment I know this won’t be back to haunt me. You’re not going to get six months down the road only to find you’ve got more problems with the same roof, because he’s found them all.

Professional. That’s the word to describe Stephen. He let’s you know what all your options are, and the pros and cons of each. He guides you to the best solution rather than just pushing a product.

So half the battle is getting a proper appraisal of the condition of a roof the other half is getting the work done. Again Stephen delivers the goods! You get exactly what he promised, you can rely on him 100 percent. He’s prompt, polite and professional.

J.N.

Having Paull Newsome on your project is priceless.

Our company is a construction services provider with offices all over the world. That said, we don’t specialise in roofing. Most of our work is interiors. So if roofing comes up as one of my jobs I need someone to help me deliver.

Having seen Paull Newsome in action, after the roof went up in smoke and blazes at at one of our clients offices, I had no hesitation in recommending him for a job we had renovating an old glass blowing factory in Hackney, London. Our job was to take an old workshop and turn it into a state-of-the-art fashion clothing photographic studio for Amazon.com.

Many of my projects are what are known as “contractor design portion”, and the Amazon job was no different. This means the architect hands it to us at a very conceptual stage. We then go on to work up the designs ourselves. When it came to the roofs Paull and I worked hand in hand together collaboratively to come up with what the guys physically built.

Because of a lack of information from the design team, all my resources were taken up trying to deliver steel structures, staircases, and everything on the inside. And the truth is that as a company, or as a project team, we’d overlooked just how difficult it was going to be to put a roof on the water tower so that we could get on with our work below.

The reason the job turned out to be so extremely technically demanding was, Paull had to find a way to roof an old water tower, when there was no way to access it, while satisfying health and safety considerations at all times!

In all honesty, Paull got us out of a hole on this one. We gave Paull an almost impossible programme to work to. But Paull managed to come up with ways of actually building this for us. He got the buildability spot on. He managed to do what he had to do safely and got it done on time, which was a bonus for us.

Paull is a great person to work with. He’s very approachable. There’s a can-do attitude that he’s got. No matter what sort of challenge, he takes the bull by the horns. So no matter what we threw at him, he always had an answer for it.

He’s always got a solution, which is what we need on those complex projects where we didn’t have the experience and we didn’t have the knowledge.

Paull has done a huge amount for us, and the relationship is just priceless, I have no hesitation in recommending him.

J.G.

Stephen is brilliant! He was the only Flat Roof Consultant to give me complete confidence and he followed through.

When I met Stephen Day I was dealing with a grant application to renew more than 2500 square meters of flat roof. The felt roofs were over 25 years old, full of holes, leaks, and patches, and someone had profited from stealing the lead flashing!

Stephen’s technical analysis and extensive report, was instrumental in supporting my bid. Not only did it ensure my bid was favourably received, it justified the investment necessary to do the job to a high standard, when the pressure is on to award the minimum amount possible.

As part of my grant application I had to get four quotes. Several companies I contacted were just not geared up to complete a project of this size, others were quoting for non-specialist waterproofing, of a type I already knew would not be satisfactory. Many chose to just quote from their desks without coming to the site. I would get a single A4 sheet of paper, with the total number of square meters and a number representing the total cost! Obviously I am responsible to board and ultimately the chairman. On a project of this scale and importance, I have to be completely satisfied as my reputation is on the line. I was immediately impressed with the waterproofing membrane that Stephen recommended not only because there are roofs in this material that are over 50 years old, but because it could only be fitted by a contractor who is approved by the waterproofing membrane manufacturer.

Part of the brief was to retrofit a (1960’s) building with 120mm of insulation to bring the roofs up to the latest building regs, and make the lives of the people working below much more comfortable, while saving money on heating bills. This threw up all kinds of challenges because this depth of insulation would interfere with parapet walls, window thresholds, and cavity trays. Stephen was right on the money with his knowledge of how to deal with these issues, when others said things like, “We’ll do as best as we can”. So having secured the investment naturally Stephen was awarded the contract.

How do I feel about Stephen, and would I recommend him? Stephen is brilliant! He came back after the project to ensure I was happy, which quite obviously I am. I fully recommend Stephen and his colleague Paull Newsome. The result of my relationship with them is a fantastic new roof and I’m amazed by how thorough they were.

Call Stephen and get him around and have a chat - he’ll talk you through the best options. And if I were you I would take his professional advice. That’s what I did, because I was no expert on flat roofing. I was working here way back when they used to use three layers of felt and hot tar. It’s all moved on since then, big time. Definitely give him a call.

G.F.

If you want peace of mind Paull Newsome’s your man. I trust him implicitly.

I’ve been in the building game for many years. My company excavates beneath residential properties and constructs basements, for high net worth clients. As you can imagine this involves major structural engineering and the highest degree of attention to detail.

Waterproofing is obviously a critical aspect of this type of construction, and flat roof technology is not something you’ll only see on top of a building. It’s not unusual for us to excavate beneath the garden, as well as the house, to create the space for a basement. So we’ll require a flat roof in the garden at ground level, before we put the lawn back on top!

After having worked with Paull for seven years, I would like to say he is my friend as much as a business associate. I can trust him implicitly and that is not something I can say about many people. In the past, I’ve had to deal with serious problems caused by other contractors. Nowadays, Paull is the only person I trust to undertake work on my projects.

I’m working on a huge basement right now. It’s got swimming pool, gym, dance floor, wine cellar you name it, and it’s extremely technically demanding. The architect has to have confidence in me and any other tradespeople I call in. And quite rightly on a project of this scale, he’s not an easy man to please. So I introduced Paull and well, he’s just a pro! He’s in a class of his own and had the architect eating out of his hand in no time. When the architect is happy, the client is happy, and when the client is happy, so am I. I sleep comfortably in my bed knowing my basements won’t leak, when Paull’s on the job. And while your flat roof may not be quite as demanding as excavating under a listed building in central London, if you want peace of mind, Paull Newsome’s your man.

R.L.

When faced with challenges, Paull takes responsibility and provides solutions.

Renovating a 1960’s house, adding a subterranean music studio, and a terrace the size of a five-aside football pitch was not an easy job. And while the finished house is superb, it was so technically demanding sometimes I think we should have knocked it down and started again!

My job is to project manage people’s dreams… I mean house construction and renovations in the region of £750,000 to £1.5m. So trust me when I say there was a lot of due diligence before Paull Newsome made it to my client’s table, as the preferred contractor.

S.C.

When there’s something burnt… And it’s your HQ roof. Who you gonna call? Paull Newsome! When it’s 13 floors up… And people working down below. Who can you call? Paull Newsome!

Excuse the Ghostbusters reference, but the worst of a British winter pouring into the headquarters of one of the largest insurance companies in the world, is at least as urgent as ectoplasm in the library, probably more so!

It’s a little ironic when an insurance company has to pay out to itself. However, this was the case as the result of work undertaken by an International main contractor, and the incompetent roofers they hired. It’s a Saturday morning at the AIG offices in central London, and thirteen floors up men rush to lay down old-fashioned torch on felt to a flat roof, using a naked flame. Little did they realise, in their haste to get home to watch the football, below them was a plywood sub deck smouldering away.

Of course, as the proper health and safety protocols were not followed, the consequences were inevitable. That evening as they may have been celebrating a win over a curry and a pint, someone at the International contracting company who hired them, was commiserating as the roof caught fire. This is the point at which the company I worked for at the time got the call to sort out the mess.

Hundreds of people work in this building and are expected behind their desks come Monday morning. To say the least, I had a massive issue on my hands.

The truth of it is, two roofing companies visited the site and just didn’t seem to have the stomach for it. Now I was under increasing pressure with water pouring in. It was, as the Christmas carol goes, a very bleak mid winter. So I reached out to industry colleagues, and one said, “Look. I don’t know how good he is. I’ve heard a lot of good things said. Give this guy a call.” I thought, Right. Brilliant. Let’s do it. Let’s get Paull Newsome on board, and true to his reputation he was really proactive.

So we were under pressure from the outset. Paull was very good at advising us on what we needed to do, firstly to get the roof in a state where we could actually lift off what was left of the burnt felt. Bearing in mind this was a Saturday when I called him, he actually got labour there the following day to make sure that things were getting soaked up and were as dry as they possibly could be. Next he ordered a “tin hat”. This is where the burnt roof is scaffolded over and a temporary roof of corrugated steel sheets constructed on top. This bought us a little bit more time, while we worked out how to proceed.

Again Paull showed his true colours, as the company that engineered the building never really came to the party. It didn’t provide the details of the upper floor and original roof construction. So I couldn’t say, "Right, okay. This is what was installed and this is how we need to replicate it." So Paull just got on, surveyed the roof himself. He actually produced his own drawings, which helped us no end. He took it upon himself to design what would replace the failed structure that was previously there.

The consequences of Paull’s actions were priceless. At one stage there was talk about emptying the building of its staff, and the tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of pounds that would cost. Then there’s the value of the relationship my company formed with AIG, as a result of sorting out the previous company’s botched job.

I can’t recommend Paull highly enough. He was a professional from day one until the end. We were always piling a bit of pressure on him to get things done quickly and making sure that designs and drawings were turned around really quickly. Nothing seemed to faze him really. He always delivered and he’s the first person you should call if you need any roofing done.

You could say he won’t make a drama out of a crisis.

D.H.

If it wasn’t for myself and Paull Newsome working together as a team, our apartment block would be a dog’s dinner!

Water was leaking into 18 of the 30 apartments at our apartment block before I met Paull Newsome. Each apartment has a terrace above the neighbour’s living space. The terraces were “waterproofed” with traditional felt and bitumen, then a wooden deck laid directly on top. So it’s no great wonder there were so many problems. Movement due to normal expansion and contraction, coupled with foot traffic simply wore holes in the felt. In a nutshell, the roofs and other aspects were not built to standard from new.

Imagine the reputation the building was getting with local estate agents, and its effect on value of the apartments!

Common sense and my experience as a professional project manager convinced me that something quite radical needed to be done to stop this development turning into a complete shambles. And it seemed I was the man to do it. The first thing I did was to take the builder to court, so the residents could get control of the management company. Then I began preparing a case to present to the insurance company as the building was only ten years old.

When I first met Paull, I was impressed by how personable he is, and the level of attention he gave me. Knowing that the job was only likely to get done if an insurance claim was won, and that he was competing with others, didn’t seem to influence his commitment to the process one bit. I knew very little about flat roofs, so Paull’s expertise was essential. He discussed the various potential solutions in a way the layman can understand, with a single-ply membrane seeming to be the most appropriate.

As part of getting a number of quotes to satisfy the insurance company, I knew I was going to have to run the gauntlet with representatives of other roofing companies. The knowledge Paull gave me was invaluable as one by one their solutions proved to have as many holes in them as my roofs!

We both knew it was going to be hard work to convince the insurers to do anything more than the minimum required to fix the leaks. So Paull and I worked together as team to put the insurance company in a position they couldn’t refuse. Because of the major issues with the apartment block, the insurance company sent their head honcho for the UK. As expected he tried every trick in the book to avoid doing anything more on the roofs, than a like for like repair of the leaks with felt and bitumen. He even tried to suggest single-ply, (a more costly solution than felt) was not appropriate for a building near the sea because seagulls would peck at it! This point was easily countered when Paull pointed out that his contractors have installed single-ply roofs for The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) without any issues.

Eventually the insurance assessor admitted that Paull’s plan was the best solution, and that because of the hot naked flame torch required to install felt and bitumen, there is a very high risk of fire. He said because of this risk to the insurance company, single-ply works out cheaper in the long run.

So having won the battle with the insurance company the work began. As you may be aware, once you strip a roof you are obliged to insulate it to the latest building regs—an additional cost that no doubt the insurance company wanted to avoid. This caused all kinds of problems with door threshold heights! Paull’s contractors dealt with this and other technically demanding challenges as though they were second nature. The terraces were duly insulated and waterproofed including the penthouse main roof, then (type) slabs were laid for a safe and beautiful finish.

The installers Paull had on site were a dream. They managed to do the job in bite sized chunks which involved quite a lot of juggling around to make sure everyone was in place at the right time. The result was none of the residents needed to move out of their apartments even though major works were going on. I received nothing but praise from the residents for Paull’s installers, when there was considerable scope for complaints due to the upheaval.

I work in the project management world, so I’m used to being let down. Not so with Paull! He doesn’t even know how many homeowners I’ve recommended him, and I could not give him a more glowing testimonial if I tried. He’s quite simply the customers’ friend, tenacious, dedicated, and a joy to work with. He is The Flat Roof Authority!

B.T.

Paull Newsome is a man of integrity. Most importantly, he’ll stand by his word.

Paull Newsome is a very, very switched on guy. He’s generous, and keen to help others. This was clear to me from the outset of our relationship.

Like Paull, I also run a roofing company. I’m based in the midlands, where I employ 11 people, and have been trading for 18 years. I was introduced to Paull about two years ago, as someone whose knowledge might be able to help me grow Stace Roofing. Since then he’s given a turbo boost to Stace Roofing and for that, we’re really grateful.

His ability to talk to people and to be able to understand people and deal with anybody without judgment, I think, is one of the most endearing factors that we like about him.

Paull is 100% honest. He’s a man of integrity and he knows his stuff. Most importantly he’ll stand by his word. If you are looking to buy a new flat roof, or anything for that matter, a man with his characteristics is someone you’d be happy doing business with.

There’s no reason for you to use anybody else for a flat roof as far as I’m concerned. He’ll tell you exactly how it is, and exactly how much it’ll cost, and see the job through from start to finish for you without problem.

A.S.

Paull has done numerous flat roofs for me. Everybody walks away happy.

I own a building company in the Cotswolds, established in 1881. We do the typical work of general builders, including house extensions and refurbishments. In the nine years or so that I’ve known Paull he’s done numerous flat roofs for us. We have a really good working relationship and have always been really satisfied with his service. He’s always coming up with things. What I mean is if you’ve got a problem, even if you think you know how to sort it out, he’ll normally find a better way to do it. Needless to say I don’t go to anybody else apart from Paull for flat roofing. Because I know that when he does it, it’ll be done right and everybody walks away happy.

P.H.