Whether you’re building a home from scratch or adding an extension to an existing building, choosing the roofing will be a crucial decision that can affect your buildings’ functioning, appearance and cost, so it’s certainly a consideration that should be carefully thought through.
Weighing up the pros and cons…
The compact design of a flat roof means they are a suitable roofing solution for garages and extensions, which often don’t demand the same features from a roof as other areas of the home. However, flat roofs can also be a viable option for domestic homes and commercial premises – it all depends on what you’re personally looking for.
Though they don’t boast the same degree of slope as a pitched roof, flat roofs are still designed with a slight slope that enables rainwater to drain away. If you’re looking for a way to save money, then a flat roof is typically a more affordable option. Flat roofs generally demand fewer construction and labour costs than their pitched alternative, and as an added bonus they can usually be completed within a much shorter timeframe.
If you are looking to maximise light and achieve internal height with a flat roof, a lantern skylight can create a beautiful interior space.
One of the main downsides of flat roofs is they are generally thought to have a shorter lifespan than a pitched roof and may require more maintenance. However, in recent years the development of new, sturdier materials, such as a Single Ply Membrane, Liquid Roofing and 3 Layer High-Performance Elastomeric Felt Systems, when fully bonded in the traditional, professional manner by using hot bitumen, means that the lifespan of flat roofs can be extended to over 40 years.
This of course depends on the quality of the materials and workmanship involved. The original roof membrane covering asphalt is a much heavier material and should only be laid onto a concrete base or extremely strong purpose-made timber framed roof with an additional steel support to prevent movement. A properly laid asphalt roof with solar protection should have a life expectancy of well over 40 years. If you’re planning a dream loft, then this will simply not be possible with a flat roof.
A pitched roof is formed from at least two slopes that rise up in the centre to create a peak. Due to their waterproofing qualities, durability and the additional insulation that they can provide to the rooms below, a pitched roof design often has a greater lifespan when compared to its flat roof counterpart.
The traditional, elegant look of a pitched roof is instantly recognisable across the world, so if you’re aiming for a classic look that will fit in with most neighbourhoods, then a pitched roof is the route to take.
Maximising the space in your home via a loft conversion is only possible if you have a loft, to begin with. The design of pitched roofs rewards the homeowner with plenty of usable space to transform with flexibility into a bedroom, hobby room, study or whatever else you wish.
Rainwater can drain away easily from a pitched roof, thanks to its highly sloped angle which prevents pooling.
The longevity of a pitched roof is usually superior to that of a flat roof, leading many homeowners to choose it for their properties. The materials used are generally more weather resistant and durable, though with more robust materials being introduced into the flat roofing market, this gap is starting to close.
Pitched roofs cost more than flat roofs, and also take longer to install. This is because it is a more complex design than a flat roof that requires increased labour and additional materials. However, in exchange for the added expanse, you will receive a roof that boasts a longer lifespan, thoroughly effective water drainage and a more traditional appearance.