Five benefits of specifying manufacturer certified installers on your projects

August 31, 2021

Manufacturer certification programs can be a source of confusion. Most often, the confusion stems from using words like “certified,” “approved,” “authorized,” and “qualified” interchangeably. While they may mean the same thing to architects and building owners, those terms often mean completely different things to manufacturers.

For this article, let’s assume that “certification” means an installer has completed system-specific installation training by the panel manufacturer. With that definition established, let's focus on discussing the benefits of requiring a “certified” installer for your next project

1. Better Quality Installs
2. Weathertightness Warranty Requirement
3. Contractor Commitment
4. Manufacturer Contact
5. Quicker Install

Key considerations for Requiring Manufacturer Certification

While the benefits of manufacturer certification are numerous, there are some key considerations when including this requirement in your project specifications.

Programs Differ. While the term manufacturer certification is used interchangeably through the metal roof and wall panel industry, certification programs vary widely between manufacturers. Some manufacturers conduct their programs in a conference room at a local hotel where participants are taught only through PowerPoint or by reviewing install manuals for one or two hours.

Bidders Can Be Limited. While requiring contractor certification can help ensure the benefits previously discussed, it’s important to understand that it does so by limiting the installers that can bid on your project. When a contractor isn’t already certified by a manufacturer, they can experience two hurdles:1. They may be able to get certified but can’t do so within the time frame the project requires.2. They simply may not be able to meet the manufacturer’s specified criteria.

Know Who is Certified. While there are some variations, most manufacturers certify the individual who attended the training program instead of the company that employs them.

Certification Expires: Once achieved, manufacturer certification typically lasts for a limited time frame. Once the established time passes, contractors are required to complete a recertification process. This process also varies widely by the manufacturer and is often impacted by the contractor’s quantity and quality of work during their initial certification window.From the architect’s perspective, it’s most important to understand that certifications can (and do) expire. Someone who may have previously been certified with a manufacturer may no longer hold that designation. Consequently, if installer certification is important to you, it’s imperative that a copy of the contractor certification be a requirement in the submittal package.