If you’re adding another storey – or creating a ground-level extension – your renovation project could include choosing a new roof design.
Your roof shape plays a major role in defining the overall look and style of your home; whether you want to keep it sweet and simple, or make a big architectural statement.
What are the most common roof types in the UK?
Although there are numerous types of roof design (with some weird and wonderful names), three of the most common shapes are the hip roofline, the gable roofline, and the flat roof.
A hip roof (or hipped roof) is a simple design, where all slides slope downwards to the walls, usually at a fairly gentle slope. So whichever way you view the house, there will be roof coverage sloping down to the gutters.
This is the least complex of the three roof styles, so it’s usually economical to build. For larger homes with more than one wing, you might have a ‘cross-hipped’ roof. The line where the two roofs meet is called a valley.
The gable style is also very common, and easy to spot with its triangular frontage. It’s also known as a pitched or peak roof. A simple gable is also very cost-effective and sits about mid-range. A crossed-gable is where two triangular roofs sit perpendicular to each other, so it can also be used for homes with separate wings.
The flat roof is growing more popular, particularly for those seeking a modern/minimalist aesthetic. They are generally easy to construct; and when built from modern materials such as glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), they are hard-wearing and durable.
A roof for all occasions
When you’re building a whole new storey, the roof profile you choose will be critical terms of maximising space. If you want to use the roof space as a full attic or living quarters, a mansard roof design is ideal. Also known as the French roof, it is a large four-sided roof usually with windows installed. The gambrel (or barn roof) is similar, but only has two sides.
If you’re adding a new wing or ground-level extension, this is a great opportunity to add interest to your roofline. Combining different roof types, or their varying heights will add architectural interest. For example, you might have a hip roof with gable over dormer windows, and a skillion over the deck area.
If you’re thinking of doing a simple loft conversion, having a steeply-pitched roof (of almost any type) will make things much easier. If you don’t need to alter the existing roofline – and can simply install some dormer windows or skylights for natural light – this will reduce the building costs significantly.
The roof profile can also have a big impact on the home’s interior. A raked ceiling is whether the ceiling follows the same angle as the roof. These soaring spaces create a wonderful sense of light and airiness, and having an exposed beam structure creates an interesting aesthetic. On the flip side, all that space will be more expensive to heat, and makes hanging a light-bulb or dusting the ceilings quite the mission.
Which materials suit best
Choosing your preferred roof style is just part of the equation, and you’ll also need to decide on the materials you’ll build it from. Certain styles will restrict your choice of materials. A curved roof, for example, is only feasibly constructed from metal; while a flat roof has specific waterproof membrane requirements.
Generally speaking, a hipped or gable roof can be built from most types of materials – steel, shingles, tiles etc – but the costs of materials vary quite significantly.
As with any building project, the larger or more complex your roof design, the higher the cost. There will be additional labour/time, materials, structural engineering requirements, and compliance costs.
The beauty of engaging the experts, like Refresh Renovations, is it gives you the freedom to test out your ideas and preferred designs. Your Refresh consultant will help you compare the costs at the early design stage; so you can achieve the ideal roof that’s within your budget.