Whether you’re renovating your current home, adding an extension or building a property from scratch, the type of roof you choose is incredibly important. Roofs don’t just keep our British rain out; they have a significant impact on the final aesthetic of your home and the property value.
Different roof types have various advantages, disadvantages and levels of maintenance. It’s essential, therefore, that you do your research to ensure the roof you choose is ideal for your home. Otherwise, you may make an expensive mistake.
The problem is, at least for those not in the industry, common roofing terms sound like a foreign language. However, we’re here to help. Our handy guide to the various types of roofs and common roofing terms will allow you to get to grips with the subject.
Common types of roof
Generally, the most common roofs in the UK are flat or pitched. However, there are other options for those who would like something a little more unusual.
Although more popular in countries that host a warmer climate – particularly in the Mediterranean – this roof type became more popular in the UK after WWII when a lot of housing needed to be rebuilt quickly.
Despite the name, flat roofs are rarely entirely flat. Instead, they have a slight angle to allow for water drainage. Most commonly used in industrial and office buildings, flat roofs are becoming more popular with architects as they work well with minimalistic and modern designs. This is also a popular roof for home extensions.
Flat roofs can often double up as an outdoor space, providing an ideal place for entertaining and enjoying the sun.
When you think of a roof, it’s likely a pitched roof is what you have in mind. Most commonly, these consist of two angled sides, which will meet in the middle. Super versatile, a pitched roof can give a building extra living space thanks to people converting lofts into extra bedrooms and storage rooms.
A pitched roof can be far more durable than a flat roof and requires less maintenance. They’re also more reliable for drainage, which is useful in the UK climate.
Within pitched roofs, you can get different variations, these include:
- Mono Pitch Roof. As the name suggests, this roof type slopes just one way, from one side of a section of building to another.
- Couple Roof. The simplest of pitched roofs, the two slopes are equal and will meet in the middle of your building. You may also encounter a closed couple roof, which has ceiling joists. This makes for a sturdier structure.
- Collar Roof. In this case, the ceiling joists are higher, allowing more space in the upper floor of your building, as the rooms are partly contained within the roof. Because of this, your exterior walls will be slightly shorter.
- Purlins. By adding purlins to your pitched roof, you can increase your roof span while keeping the roof deck stable. A purlin runs the length of the roof and offers more support to your rafters, meaning you may not need such bulky materials.
Other common roofing terms associated with pitched roofs include ridge, the horizontal top; ridge tiles, which protect the ridge; truss, the triangular frame supporting the roof; fascia or barge boards, the decorative boards running just underneath the roof line; battens, which support the tiles; soffits sit under the overlapping roof protecting the interior; dormer, a vertical window projecting from a pitched roof; valley, the angle between two sloping roofs.
For those who like a modern and unusual style, the butterfly roof could be the answer. Often called a V roof (as they look like shallow letter Vs), they provide excellent water drainage and let you add larger windows to a property because walls can be higher. So, if you’d like a glass feature wall or increased windows for natural light, the butterfly roof might just work for you.
This is best described as a roof with all four sides sloping towards their adjoining wall. For instance, if your property was square, a hipped roof would look like a pyramid sitting above the building.
Not only are these roofs sturdy, but they also provide extra living space within your building.
If these common roofing terms are still confusing, or you had something else in mind, worry not.
Simply contact one of our roofing experts at Keay Roofing Services, who will gladly help you find your perfect roofing solution.
Or call us on 01753 358267.