Without a roof, a house is simply not home. Before you start picking out the wallpaper and planning your first big housewarming party, the roof should always be your first concern.
There are countless things to consider when choosing a roof, but the most fundamental thing is whether to opt for a flat roof or a pitched roof. Depending on your situation, both have their own pros and cons to decipher, so to help you make an informed decision, we've put both under the spotlight.
Flat Roof Advantages
As they are more compact than pitched roofs, flat roofs are generally a more convenient solution for sheds, garages and extensions that don't require the same level of protection as other areas of the home.
Most flat roofs are still built with a slight slope in order to allow rainwater to drain away. Granted the slops isn't quite as pronounced - but it is there.
Flat roofs are infinitely more affordable than their pitched counterparts and also demands far less in the way of construction and labour costs. The simpler build also means that it will be finished faster.
Due to the compact size, flat roofs are a more convenient alternative for smaller buildings like building extensions and can be the perfect canvas for a green roof.
Flat Roof Drawbacks
Flat roofs typically have a shorter lifespan and require more maintenance. However, recent developments in stronger materials have led to the development of flat roofs that can last as long as 30 years. Add solar protection to that and you might be able to make it last at least 40.
With a flat roof, you completely lose the option of having a loft space - which can prove crucial, particularly if your home lacks a large garage for storage.
As flat roofs are, by design, not as sloped as pitched roofs, they are more likely to suffer from a build-up of rainwater, which can lead to leaks and collapses if not dealt with.
Flat roofs require more hands-on flat roof maintenance to ensure they perform better for longer.
The strong, modern aesthetic is certainly not for everyone!
Pitched Roof Advantages
Pitched roofs include more weather-resistant and durable properties and are built with more robust materials than float roofs. This means they generally last much longer and feel much safer and more secure.
The sloping of a pitched roof means it is that much more effective at draining rainwater, preventing it from pooling on the roof and leading to rot and leaks.
There is a classic elegance to the design of a pitched roof that has yet to be matched by any flat designs. In most domestic homes, you'll find pitched roofs are the most popular choice and if you opt for a flat alternative - your home might end up standing out.
People can do and have done some remarkable things with loft conversions and without a pitched roof, you can't have a loft at all. Depending on the slope of the roof, you should have enough room to give yourself a new office, study - or even a spare bedroom.
Pitched Roof Drawbacks
The cost of a pitched roof will be significantly greater than that of a flat roof, though you really are getting what you pay for.
The time it takes to install a pitched roof is significantly greater than the comparably short time it takes to install a flat roof due to the increased complexity of the design.
A pitched roof will place a greater burden on the foundations of your property, so buildings that were built to support flat roofs might not be able to support pitched roofs.
Ultimately, both are valid options depending on property size and whether you're constructing a commercial or domestic property, with flat roofs offering more bang for your buck and pitched roofs offering greater last-ability and faster construction.
Whatever option you choose, however, make sure you do your research and opt for a loft conversions with an excellent track record.