Advantages of flat roofs
If you are looking at having a new roof, then there are two main options to consider - a flat roof or a pitched roof.
There are various advantages to having a flat roof which are explained below. The pros and cons of having a flat roof instead of a pitched roof are also covered.
Greater ceiling space
How practical are ceiling heights in flat roofs?
Having a flat roof means you are able to have a higher ceiling level and more space and while this might be a great thing, it does have an impact on how a room is lit up as it can create dark areas in a room. Luckily, modern LED lights mean that dark areas can be lit up much better and can look nice when installed into the ceiling.
Some properties have much less headroom upstairs with a pitched roof as the roof is part of the ceiling. This can make a property look great and can give it character, but it can be frustrating from a practicality point of view as it limits what furniture you can have or where you can put it. Low hanging or sloping ceilings can also be a headache for tall people - literally!
Lifetime and Installation costs
Are flat roofs cheaper than pitched roofs?
Flat roofs are cheaper than pitched roofs as they use fewer materials and require less work building them and although they are more likely to need fixing or replacing sooner, the cost over their lifetime is still less. If you are working on a tight budget then a flat roof might be the best solution.
Pitched roofs that are tiled also require repairs to the tiles and possibly the felt lining underneath from time to time and this is something else to take into consideration.
At RoofSmart we can build a flat roof using good quality GRP [cold liquid applied fibreglass] or a single-ply membrane. This will ensure your flat roof has a minimum 25-year lifespan.
Do flat roofs leak more than pitched roofs?
One concern that many people have with flat roofs is that water might rest and not drain away. But did you know that a flat roof is not actually totally flat? Flat roofs have a slight pitch of a couple of degrees so that rainwater can drain away. A flat roof should have a gradient of at least 1 in 80 to allow rainwater to run-off and should have a decking of Marine or WBP plywood. If your flat roof is shallower than this or decked with something like chipboard it will be prone to leaking. To ensure that your flat roof is built to the right standard and has the correct gradient, always employ professional roofers, like Roof Smart, to install your flat roof.
Although pitched roofs might be slightly better at protecting a home from water ingress, they can still get damaged and can leak water. In reality, there is very little difference between a pitched roof and a flat roof that has been professionally installed by a company like RoofSmart.
How much space is needed for a new roof – What are the limitations?
If you are considering an extension to your property and wondered if a flat roof is better than a pitched roof you may need to first, consider the amount of space you have for the extension. With a pitched roof (falling away from the rear of the property), it might not be possible for an extension measuring, say, 4.5m in depth. The minimum recommended pitched roof is 15 degrees, so you would need to take into account the geometry of a pitched roof and also allow for the thickness of the roof timbers, tiles or slates, etc.
With a flat roof, these limitations don’t exist and it’s possible to build an extension and have more living space within your home.
Property style and design
The type of roof you decided on will also impact the appearance of your property and something to consider is the existing design of your property and the surroundings. If the property, for example, is in a town or city environment then it might have a more modern look than a property in the countryside or the woods.
Another factor to also consider is if your property is a listed building in which case you may prefer a tiled pitched roof with a gable end. Flat roofs, however, with a roof lantern can look stunning and are worth considering!
Which roof is best - Flat roof or Pitched roof and what’s best for you?
The decision on which type of roof you opt for depends on a number of factors including your budget, your personal preferences and the style and design of the property. At RoofSmart, we install both pitched roofs and flat roofs and can advise you on what might be best for your property.
Flat roofs are often underrated and can be much lower cost and easier to maintain than you expect, while still looking great on a property.
To find out more about flat roofs, get in touch today for a free chat and a quote.