extension with pitched roof

Pitched or Flat Roof – Which Is Best For You?

Pitched or Flat Roof – Which Is Best For You?

When extending your home, or replacing an existing roof, one of the main considerations is what type of roof to use. Not only does your choice have an impact on the finished aesthetic, but your budget, your roof’s lifespan and likely need for repair.

The two most popular choices are flat roofs and pitched roofs. Each of which comes with their own pros and cons, which may sway your decision when choosing which roof is best for a new extension or replacing an existing roof.

Flat Roofing

Flat roofing is exactly that. Instead of having a raised middle covered in shingles or tiles that transport water towards gutters, it is a flat area with a slight camber that allows water to drain off into a gutter system.  It’s covered in a protective water proof membrane that can be made of either roofing felt or a more modern synthetic rubber bonding.

modern house with a flat roofPros of Flat Roofing

Simple Design

Flat roofs are perfect for smaller structures such as garages, conservatories or small extensions. It consists of a horizontal layer that is fixed to supporting foundations and has a waterproof layer on top (usually roofing felt). Despite being called a “flat roof”, it does have a small angle to stop water puddling after rain and allow it to drain off.

Cost Effective

Flat roofing is likely to be the most cost effective form of roofing on the market. During construction, it uses less raw materials and time to build. Most flat roofing projects can be completed in a single day, making it cost effective as well as time efficient.

Creates Additional Space

If you decide you want to have a flat roof installed, it can help build a lot of usable free space. For example, you can use the terrace for a rooftop garden. The possibilities are endless provided you implement the proper structural and safety procedures.

Safer For Repairs

Flat roofs also only have a small slope to prevent puddling, which means being on the roof is much safer than a pitched roof when carrying out inspections, repairs and maintenance.

Cons of Flat Roofing

High Degree Of Ongoing Maintenance

Unfortunately flat roofs need to be monitored for problems quite regularly. This is because it is not as efficient at transporting water away from the roof where it can puddle and cause problems. Tears, rips and blistering can easily occur and need early identification and repair to ensure the roof remains watertight. Even with a regular servicing and maintenance regime, your flat roof will likely only last you ten to fifteen years. This can be off-putting for homeowners who do not want to pay for a flat roof re-fit, or are looking to sell their homes.

Pitched Roofing

Pitched roofing is the standard style of roof you see on houses. It consists of a sloped area on the roof of the house that efficiently transports water towards guttering systems.

old pub with a pitched roof

Advantages of Pitched Roofs

A Longer Lifespan

Compared to flat roofs, pitched roofs will last considerably longer. The lifespan will vary depending on the material used, but some may last well over fifty years.  These typically hard wearing roofing materials include: slate, tile, and asphalt. Pitched roofs are also better insulated, protecting your home from extremes in temperature as well as possible water damage.

Can Be Used For Loft Conversions

A loft conversion changes your roof space from storage into a usable room. Not all houses are able to have installed roofs, but at least with a pitched roof you have the option. In addition to bringing additional living space, a loft conversion adds value to your home when you come to time when you wish to sell it.  For more information on loft conversions, please visit our dedicated loft conversion page.

Adds Natural Character

A pitched roof can actually help your home blend in with the character of an area and its surrounding homes. This is because most houses these days have pitched roofs, and by not having one you could be diminishing the character of your own. By fitting seamlessly with the surrounding houses, you are ensuring that your home does not look less-than-perfect when compared to your neighbours.

Cons of Pitched Roofs

More Expensive

Pitched Roofs are not a cheap option when it comes to roofing your home. The increased materials, labour and design, mean you will pay more than you would for a flat roof. However, this is part and parcel of ensuring your home works efficiently at keeping the weather out, the warmth in, keeping repairs and maintenance to a minimum, whilst also looking good.

Increased Pressure On Your Homes Foundations

The weight of a pitched roof is greater than that of a flat roof which places an increased burden on your foundations. If replacing a flat roof with a pitched roof this could mean that the depth of your footings become lower than before you had the roof installed. This could lead to a number of costly problems such as jammed doors, windows sticking, and cracks in your walls. Because of these problems, it is not always an option to replace a flat roof with a pitched roof without first seeking the advice of an expert.

For more information, a free no-obligation quote or details of the logistics of installing or replacing a flat or pitched roof, please contact Keay Roofing on 01753 358267 or send us an enquiry.

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