Most domestic homes have pitched roofs. This is simply because a sloping roof allows rainfall to run off more quickly. So long as you have guttering in place the system is tried and tested and shows no sign of disappearing. Nevertheless, since the early twentieth century flat roofs have been used more and more in large buildings and some domestic settings. The reason to use a flat roof, rather than a pitched one, is largely aesthetic. If your home’s design is modular, more a collection of boxes or right angled shapes, giving it a flat roof keeps a consistent eye line. However, flat roofs have other advantages.
Making your roof flat, for instance, maximises the available upstairs space. All of what would have been the loft space, in the eaves of the roof line, becomes available as living quarters. If the roof is sufficiently strong, it can also be used a as an area of the home in its own right. With the correct materials and careful attention paid to water run off, flat roofs have little in the way of potential pitfalls.
The Modern Look.
Designers like the modern look that a flat roof affords them. Indeed by simply opting for a flat roof, the whole of the building can be given a more designed look. Perhaps it is simply because so many homes don’t have them that it makes the design stand out. Nowadays, flat roofed houses dating back to the 1930s will need the same sort of restorative care as other older buildings, even if the look is deceptively modern. Always inspect the flat roof before buying a property of this type. Or, if you are building your own, specify the latest, long lasting materials for your flat roof to prevent problems.
Flat roofs are sometimes criticised because, unlike a pitched roof, there is no cavity between the room below and the roof. Most loft spaces are insulated in some way. However, a flat roof can be insulated quite easily from below with heat capturing membranes or panels. Indeed, why not make your flat roof sufficiently strong to hold a layer of earth and grow a garden on top of it? Select plants such as meadow flowers which do not have invasive roots. It looks great and can keep your home warm, too.
Modern roof tiles are designed to be replaced approximately once every 25 years or so, though they can often go on for longer. There’s no need for your flat roof material to be any less long lasting. Felting, the sort of material that you find on shed roofs, is not ideal for a time resistant roof. Many older style flat roofing systems are stuck in to place with bitumen and have gravel on top to protect the waterproof material from harsh UV sunlight. Go for a more modern material like EPDM membrane which can withstand sun, rain and low temperatures. It is glued into place with a specialist adhesive, but make sure your supporting structure is scrupulously clean before you start fitting it to ensure a long lifespan.
Multiple Flat Roofs.
Some people don’t like flat roofs because the look can be a little utilitarian. However, that is not the case if you have a number of different roofs, each of them flat, which cover different parts of the building. Set your flat roofs at different heights and with differing shapes. The finished look can be utterly impressive.
Extend your home’s garden with a flat roof deck. If your home is making the most of the available space on the plot you are building it, then a flat roof, even one with a garden, can really add to your enjoyment of the outdoors. Why waste the space with a pitched roof that you cannot use or enjoy? If you have a single storey extension to your home then making the roof a decking area, accessible from the first floor is another fine idea. Not only will you extend the usable space, but you’ll be able to enjoy the views.