The Basics of Roof Deisgn

Have you checked out a home and it hasn’t looked quite right? You know that there may be something wrong with the external design or finish but can’t find the problem. It may perhaps be that the building has been done with an incorrect style of roof. There are plenty of things to take in to consideration when picking a roof; hopefully the following words of wisdom will benefit you when making your decision.

The roof is the most important external feature to a property. Choosing a roof will ultimately rely on correct evaluation of the building and neighborhood. A roof should accentuate the character of a build instead of being the main focus.

The angle (pitch) will not only have an effect on the appearance of the roof but also the practicality. Most conventional properties have a fairly shallow angle of approx. 35°, this is too low. Lots of designers will choose a pitch of between 44 and 52, which depending on the house can lead to a top-heavy image, although, it does help with the rain flow and increases internal loft space. The aim is to find a happy medium in which there is sufficient 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 has become more popular.

  1. Single Pitch Roof – A style with 1 slope and 1 angle. Best for drainage (drainage all runs in to one place on the plot) and maximizing interior space
  2. Classic Roof – This is the style you will be used to seeing on homes in the united kingdom. 2 slopes, identical angles on each slope. Good for draining, fine for space determined by the angle.
  3. Hip Roof – four sided and 4 sloped roof, two 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 maximize room while as well improving drainage and visual appearance. Widely used in European countries and America.

When planning in windows, you have a few choices. The cheaper and easier option is to fit windows that complement the angle of the roof. Alternatively you can build a classic fit window on to the roof, this is more expensive but will look much better on large houses or houses where the current windows are grand (especially wooden finish windows).

The finish to your roof design is going to be selecting the material. Again, your decision will be hugely determined by the existing features of the property.

  1. Asphalt Shingles – Small life duration, approx. 15 to 30 years. Comes in a range of color and price. Easy to sustain and repair.
  2. Wood – Looks great on cottages, older homes and homes with wooden frame windows. If taken care of 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 large variety of colors and looks can be expensive.
  4. Concrete and Clay – Widely 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 occupy all the attic with building material. In smaller homes this space can be great for storage. In larger builds you can even use this as living space
  • Practical – Selecting the correct angle and materials for your roof will not only improve the visual aspect of your home, it will also aid in water 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

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.


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