Roofing options for home extensions

There are a range of roofing options for home extensions, but which one is best for your project? It comes down to your budget, design and future plans.

Small house extension with a duopitch roof

Make use of the space

Not only does the roof of your home keep it warm and dry but it also plays a big part in the overall aesthetic good looks. A well-designed roof can either make or break a property. Choose the wrong roofing options and not only is it costly to put right but it can be a home-owner’s nightmare.

But with so many designs of roof to choose from, how do you choose the right one for your home renovation or new build project? We have put together an easy to follow guide that will enable you to make the right choice, no matter whether you are renovating, extending or building a brand new home.

We are going to look at design, structure and costs.

Type of roof

Roofs are not all the same hence you have a mix of structures to choose from. They come in all shapes and sizes including traditional, flat, ‘green’ and even curved. Before you sit down with your designer and decide on which roofing options to go for, think about the following:

  • Budget: How much do you have available to spend?
  • Design: Do you want something contemporary or traditional?
  • Conversion: Will you need to use the roof space at a later date by converting?

When looking at designs, think ‘pitch’. This has to suit the home and if the pitch is wrong, you can end up with a really odd-looking roof. If you plan to convert the roof space in the future, a shallow pitch will not work as you will not have enough headspace.

There are a variety of design options when it comes to roof styles. The main ones are:

  • Monopitch: This has just the one sloping plane. Can be used to maximise space on one side and to make the most of views.
  • Duopitch: This is a pitched roof with two sloping planes. They meet at an upper ridge with a gable on each side.
  • Hip: Pitched with slopes on four sides. These meet at the corners to form ‘hips’. May have a ridge.
  • Mansard: More often seen in the US or France, this is a hipped or gable roof with each plane double-pitched.

Which roof design to choose?

Flat roofs have become popular over the last few years, maybe because of their economical cost. They are no longer thought of as being ugly, cheap and nasty. Modern flat roofs don’t have the same leakage problems and can look incredibly stylish and modern. Your builder will usually apply an EPDM membrane to the surface, thus eradicating the risk of leaks or water ingress.

If you are veering towards choosing a pitched gable roof, then you will be able to consider the addition of a vaulted ceiling. Much adored by many homeowners, this means that the ceiling follows the pitch of the roof, resulting in higher ceiling. Great if you want to add roof lights.

A pitched or ‘lean to’ roof is often used for extensions. Again, good for roof lights but may not work with first floor windows.

How about a flat roof with a pitched perimeter? This keeps the roof height low but you still have the appealing pitched roof styling.

Optionally, you may like the idea of a flat roof with parapet. With this design, the parapet completely conceals the edge of the flat roof. It may be a good choice for older houses where modern flat roofs can look odd and out of place.

Your roof and planning permission

If your new build is going to involve a pitched roof that will be taller than buildings around it, the local planning department are likely to object. We may need to speak with them and obtain pre-application advice. This can be done upon submission of your plans.

If you are changing an existing property, you can make some improvements/changes under permitted development rights. This covers things such as adding roof lights, changing the type of roof covering and adding dormer windows.

This means you may not need planning permission as long as you operate within the limits of the permitted development. Building regulations will still apply. Again, this is something that your designer can take care of for you.

How much will your roof cost?

The cost of your roof depends upon the amount of materials used and complexity of design. Flat roofing options need less materials than pitched designs, so are often used by those on a tight budget.

The more simple the shape, the lower the price. The cheapest roofing system is the type that can be assembled quickly on site; this saves on construction costs.

Sometimes a client may opt for a more expensive structure, knowing they will be able to easily convert at a later date at a minimal cost.

Which type of roofing tile to choose?

Your choice of roof covering will also influence the cost. With so many types of roofing tile available, let’s take a look at just a few of the different types:

  • Slate Roof Tiles – if you opt for roof slates, then the price can vary immensely. Look at whether you can source the slate locally and whether you want a natural or man-made tile. Depending upon your preferences, the purchase cost and maintenance implications will vary a lot. This is when you need help from a professional designer; they can look at your budget and point you in the right direction.
  • Clay Roof Tiles – these look good aesthetically and come in an array of patterns and shapes. Great if you want to add a Mediterranean look to your home. Maintenance is low but because they are brittle, they do break easily. Super to use on medium to high-sloped roofs, they are fairly expensive but because they are made of natural materials, they have wonderfully green eco-friendly attractiveness.
  • Concrete Roof Tiles – a cheaper tile, they can easily be made to look like slate or clay. Concrete is also extremely durable so is a good choice when you look at cost and performance levels. Definitely falling into the low-level maintenance category, many home builders opt for concrete. We will make sure that the structure of the roof can support the added weight. If necessary, the frame can be reinforced to cope with the heavier load. Providing good fire resistance, concrete roof tiles can be used on moderate to steep sloping roofs.
  • Interlocking Roof Tiles – usually flat with a smooth finish, these are very easy to install. Add to this the lower price and it is clear to see why they are one of the main types of tile used in the UK. Most often made of concrete, they also come in slate and clay options.
  • Large Format Roof Tiles – popular because of their fast installation process and the use of less support materials, these tick every box when it comes to saving money due to cost and the speed at which your roof can be completed. Due to the larger size, a large area can be covered in less time. Weight is also reduced. Choose from clay or concrete options in a wide variety of finishes, colours and textures. If your budget is tight, these make a good choice.

We can help you plan and design your next project. We prepare planning application drawings, building control packages, and structural design calculations for all types of house extension, renovation and self-build projects. Contact us today for further information and to request a quotation.

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