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  • Chris Marano

Boulder City Guidelines for Commercial Roofing

General Information for Property Owners

If you're a first-time property owner, or just looking for the latest on industry standards for the City of Boulder. Look no further! New Line Roofing stays committed to educating commercial property owners and contractors in Colorado so they get it right the first time. In this quick blog, you'll get some general information for new and existing commercial structures specific to roofing in Boulder, Colorado. Now, stay with me & let's dive in.


It's insane to think that a commercial property owner in Colorado cannot update his/her building with new features without requesting a permit from the City? You own the building outright, but are unable to start immediate work on it. Why is that?


Building permits are written authroizations issued by the city to ensure the safety of the work and its compliance with building, construction, and zoning codes. A permit is required for any scope of work repairing, removing, overlayying or recovering more than one square (100 sf) of roofing material. Roofs for new structures, as well as re-roofing a home in Boulder are necessary prior to tear-off.


Things to note; reroofs of structures with exisiting solar panels require an approved electrical permit, while mechanical equipment on roofs must request a mechanical permit.


Save yourself a headache and potential fine - get, the, permit. Trust us. Here is the link City of Boulder Permit Self-Service


Not all homes are built the same, nor do they match one-another's quality of material. Let's just leave that there for a second. For some unlucky homeowners, there are some very basic features to the build of your home that could cost you thousands if you left your home unchecked. That's why the City of Boulder, Colorado requires roofing contractor, and builders in general to meet some adopted code requirements to prevent any further issues. Effective July 1st of the year 2020, new builds and reroofs must meet the 2020 City of Boulder Energy Conservation Code. Standards apply as follows:

  • Maximum Number of Roofing Layers - Where the existing roof has two or more layers of any type of roof covering, removal of all existing layers is required. Can you believe that a commercial roof in Boulder, Colorado once had 5 layers of roof coverings? That's insane!

  • Material Change - Where a change of material is proposed (I.e., asphalt shingle to concrete tile) a Colorado Structural Engineer must provide a letter stating the roof structure is capable of supporting the porposed material. Tile roofs are heavy.

  • Wind Speed - Roofing material must be able to withstand wind speeds of 120 mph to 165 mph - locations in Boulder may vary.

  • Fire Classification - Class A ratings must be pre-approved at mid-roof and final inspection.

  • Three Tab Shingles - Three Tab Shingles are generally not accepted because they are no longer heavy enough to withstand high winds. Not mention, almost no company manufacters them anymore.

  • Edge Metal - Edge metal is required for commercial structures.


After all of the factors have been considered and addressed, its now to time crank this job out. To ensure contractors in Boulder uphold their integrity the city has put in place a three step inspection process: the pre-roof, mid-roof, and final roof inspection.


Pre-roof inspections for Commercial Structures in Boulder are required for overlays, re-covering, or re-roofing that does not remove all roofing layers on an existing low-slope commercial roof. Remember, overlays are in fact permitted on only one existing roofing layer.


Best way to find out if your existing layer is solid to commence work; conduct a core sample to determine layers and insulation. Weight added to the structure might require a Colorado licensed engineer.


Mid-roof inspections may be required for commercial toofs in Boulder, C olorado depending on the roofing material used, regardless of pitch. New Line Roofing has previously installed commercial tile roofs which required an engineer and some verification of insulation for nailing strips.


Lastly, a final roof inspection is required for all roofs regardless of pitch, scope of work, or roofing material type.


Where neither the sheathing nor the insulation is exposed, reroofing for commercial structures are exempt from City of Boulder Energy Conservation Codes. However, if there is no sheathing or insulation in the cavity to begin with, either or must be added above or below the sheathing. A roof plan outlining the pitch, draining through roof drains, and scuppers is required.


The current minimum roof insulation requirement for commercial structures is insulation entirely above the deck.


Roofing contractors must have the appropriate ICC certification and an active City of Boulder Contractor License in order to apply for permits through the City of Boulder self-service portal. New Line Roofing always recommends hiring a licensed professional with appropriate warranty. If something goes wrong, you always want to have your contractor in business to fix the problem areas, free-of-charge.


As a property owner, or contractor in the Boulder area, if you feel that you still have many unanswered questions before a major project, give New Line Roofing a call. We are available at all times to help you out and get the job done right the first time.


We do what's right, not what's easy.


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