Whether you’re planning a new build, extending upwards or repairing an ageing building, choosing the right roof type is essential. The roof of your building needs to keep the weather out and the heat in, but there’s far more to it than that. The wrong roof can cause serious problems over the short to medium term and need expensive repair work while the right roof should be snug for decades with only minor maintenance. As experienced builders, here are a few of the questions we discuss with our clients when choosing a roof type.
What’s the climate like?
This is the biggest and most obvious question, but it has a big impact on roof type. If you’re expecting snow then a steep pitch, like the pointy roofs of traditional chalets, is recommended. If you’re only dealing with rain, then waterproofing and drainage is key. In hot, sunny areas, a basic flat roof may be sufficient. Unsurprisingly, well-insulated peaked roof is more expensive than a basic flat roof, which is why there’s a temptation to go flat.
Where will the water go?
Roofs are designed not to absorb water, so the run off has to go somewhere. Gutters and drain pipes drop water straight into the drains which service your home or commercial property. However, if you’re in a low-water area, have high water rates or face regular hose pipe bans, you may prefer to make use of the water. Rain water isn’t safe to drink but can be used to flush toilets, for example, or water lawns and gardens.
Do you need space under the eaves?
Most commercial building owners wouldn’t value or use a loft or attic, which is one reason they tend to have flat roofs. Families often appreciate the extra storage space, or even the chance to add an extra room in the attic. Choosing a roof with a steeper pitch will give you more useable loft space.
What style is your building?
Appearance is a key factor in choosing a roof, once the practical details have been resolved. At Pure Construction, we work hard to source roofing materials that suit the style and period of the building and the neighbourhood its found in. This is particularly important when working on older buildings, such as Victorian houses or pre-war cottages, as the style of the roof has a huge impact on kerb appeal and character. However, new builds also need an appropriate roof for their building style, particularly if they are part of a development which values a uniform character.
What material should you choose?
Certain materials, such as slate, tiles and shingles, can only be used on roofs with a certain pitch so if you’ve got your heart set on traditional slate tiles, then that will limit the style of roof you can choose. Conversely, if you know you need a particular pitch, then your options will be limited too. The weight of the roofing material will also limit your choices – lightweight asphalt shingles are suitable for almost any building, while thick tiles need a solid supporting structure. Durability should also be a consideration here – while some, often cheaper, materials may only be designed to last a few years, others have warranties that last for a decade or two and an expected lifespan of 30-40 years.
If you’d like to discuss your roofing or project options with a member of our experienced team, give us a call today.