Your guide to roofing

Materials, types and shapes, and other considerations. Here’s everything you need to know about roofing
Story by: David Renwick
Did you know the roof increases curb appeal? afterglow, atmosphere, cloud, dawn, dusk, evening, field, grass, horizon, landscape, morning, red sky at morning, rural area, sky, sunlight, sunrise, sunset, tree, white, brown
Did you know the roof increases curb appeal?

Beyond just adding to the curb appeal, the roof over your head keeps water out, ventilates during summer and insulates in winter.

If you’re about to embark on a new home build or perhaps a significant renovation, place the roof at the top of your priority list. Here’s a guide with everything roof-related you need to consider.

How to pick the right material

We cover the most popular roofing materials below. Note: The following material guides was written for the New Zealand climate, but most are suitable in other locales.

Metal

Lightweight, easy to install and available in a number of different colours, there’s a reason many people choose metal when building new homes. If you haven’t kept up to date, most new metal roofs are made of coated steel instead of iron. Zinc and copper are more expensive alternatives.

Keep in mind is that if you can see the sea from your house, make sure the metal roofing you select is designed for the conditions.

If you maintain and install it correctly, a metal roof is likely to last anywhere from 30 to 70 years.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt is a durable and affordable choice whether you’re building new or re-roofing. The shingles are made from fibreglass-reinforced asphalt using non-combustible fibres, with a ceramic-coated metal or stone chip surface on top.

One of the best things about asphalt shingles is that you can bend them to create more complex roof profiles. Expect an asphalt roof to last around 25 years.


Did you know the roof increases curb appeal? afterglow, atmosphere, cloud, dawn, dusk, evening, field, grass, horizon, landscape, morning, red sky at morning, rural area, sky, sunlight, sunrise, sunset, tree, white, brown
Did you know the roof increases curb appeal?

Concrete and clay/terracotta

Want a roof that’s durable and not prone to corrosion or warping? You’ll want to consider concrete or clay/terracotta. They can be quite heavy – especially compared to an asphalt roof – meaning you'll likely need to up the structural support. But, they're less susceptible to high winds and capable of lasting for at least 50 years.

Membrane

If your home requires a curved or flat roof, a membrane roof could be the way to go. They’re extremely light, easy to install and repair, and resistant to a range of climates. Oh, membrane roofs are also environmentally friendly.

Slate

You’ll find slate roofs in most parts of the world – and for good reason. Whether in a seaside village or desert hamlet, genuine slate roofs are so durable they can last up to 400 years. They’re also fire resistant, incapable of rotting and heavy (meaning they can withstand high winds).

So why doesn’t everyone have a slate roof? It comes down to price. For one thing, there’s the price of the slate tiles themselves, which can easily eclipse other tile-based roofing options. There’s also the fact that you need a strong structure to support the weight.

Green

Want to give your home a sustainable twist? Consider a green roof – even if it’s just for a small part of the overall roof. Basically a roof covered in vegetation and installed over a waterproof membrane, these can provide useful insulation and regulate the temperature inside the home during summer. They also look great.

Roof types and shapes

Moving on, it’s time to assess the various roof forms you’re likely to come across. Again, we’re talking about roof styles in New Zealand.

Did you know the roof increases curb appeal? afterglow, atmosphere, cloud, dawn, dusk, evening, field, grass, horizon, landscape, morning, red sky at morning, rural area, sky, sunlight, sunrise, sunset, tree, white, brown
Did you know the roof increases curb appeal?

Hip and gable roof

The most common roof type here in NZ, hip and gable roofs are found on both old villas and on homes in new subdivisions. The ‘hip’ refers to the sloping part of the roof, whereas the ‘gable’ refers to the angular section, usually facing the street.

Building a roof without gables is likely to be more affordable, but you’ll deprive your home of a timeless architectural feature.

Monopitch roof

A trademark of nearly every contemporary home in New Zealand, the monopitch roof is popular for a reason. Unlike a hip and gable roof, a monopitch roof allows you to easily include things like clerestory windows and skylights in your home design. This design also helps to give your home a low profile.

What about solar?

Solar used to be something you’d just tack onto an existing roof, whether to provide electricity for the home or heat a pool. Now, however, a solar roof means something else entirely.

With products like the Tesla Solar Roof (covered here), you can get a roof that’s basically all solar panel. The best part? It looks like a regular roof. Oh, and they’re also extremely durable.

Feeling more confident about your roof-related project? Feel the same way about the rest of your home by checking out the Home, Kitchen and Bathroom pages of our site. You can also find inspiring new homes, tips, and advice every day in your personal profile.Trends HomeTrends KitchenTrends Bathroom

Dec 14, 2017
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