Have you ever looked at a house and it hasn’t seemed quite right? You know there is something wrong with the exterior design or finish but can’t identify the problem. It may well be that the building has been finished with an incorrect style of roof. There are a number of things to take in to consideration when choosing a roof; hopefully the following words of wisdom will help you when making your decision.
The roof is the key external feature to a property. Choosing a roof will ultimately depend on correct analysis of the building and neighbourhood. A roof should accentuate the character of a build rather than be the main focus.
The angle (pitch) will not only affect the aesthetics of the roof but also the practicality. Most conventional properties have a fairly shallow angle of approx. 35°, this is too low. A lot of designers will opt for a pitch of between 44 and 52, which depending on the house can result in a top-heavy image, although, does help with rain flow and increases internal loft space.
The aim is to find a happy medium where there is enough loft space for living / storage, rain flow is good and the look fits in with the rest of the house. There are some solutions if you are struggling to find the perfect fit. Especially, multi pitch roofing is becoming more popular.
1. Single Pitch Roof – A style with one slope and one angle. Good for drainage (drainage all runs in to one place on the plot) and maximising internal space
2. Classic Roof – This is the style you will be used to seeing on homes in the UK. 2 slopes, identical angles on each slope. Good for draining, ok for space depending on the angle.
3. Hip Roof – 4 sided and 4 sloped roof, 2 sets of angles. Can inhibit space, good for drainage, distributes rainfall on plot.
4. Mansard Roof – A double pitch roof. 2 sides to the roof, where each side is split in to 2 angles. Can maximise space while at the same time improving drainage and visual appearance. Popular in Europe and America.
When planning in windows, you have a couple of options. The cheaper and easier option is to fit windows that match the angle of the roof. Alternatively you can build a classic fit window on to the roof, this is more expensive but will look better on large houses or houses where the current windows are grand (especially wooden finish windows).
The finish to your roof design will be selecting the material. Again, your choice will be hugely determined by the existing features of the property.
1. Asphalt Shingles – Short life span, approx. 15 to 30 years. Comes in a range of colour and price. Easy to maintain and repair.
2. Wood – Looks great on cottages, older homes and homes with wooden frame windows. If looked after can last for 40 to 60 years. Requires consistent care to prevent rotting, splitting and mould growth.
3. Metal – Consistently last for over 50 years. The wide variety of colours and looks can be expensive.
4. Concrete and Clay – Commonly used on new builds, giving a Mediterranean or contemporary feel. Fireproof material.
5. Fire resistant material that has a long life. Fragile and may need more maintenance than asphalt and metal. Can look very attractive on buildings with a lot of glass.
Your roof should be:
· A space – Don’t take up all the attic space with building material. In smaller houses this space can be great for storage. In larger builds you can even use this as living space
· Practical – Choosing the correct angle and material for your roof will not only improve the visual aspect of your home, it will also aid in drainage and energy saving through insulation
· Visual – Whether it is from a resale point of view or you just have pride of your home, you deserve to have an aesthetically pleasing home
There is no ‘right’ way to design your roof. The above are some guidelines to help you create a space-friendly, attractive and practical solution.
Hillary Ealey is a unique blogger with an interest in anything Home Improvements or Home Decoration. This service was brought to you by LEAFIELD PROJECTS.