With Autumn already upon us and rainy days looming ahead it is important to have a good, durable cover over your home. Today we’re talking about all things roof – looking for the best shapes, styles and materials that would work best for your home extension.
Roof Extension Types
One of the first challenges that you will encounter in your search for the perfect roof extension design is choosing the right shape. Roof shapes form the look and feel of your home from the inside and the outside. Various roof extension types can provide you with additional space or make your home more energy-efficient. There are a ton of options to choose from, however, let’s compare the most popular ones.
Hip and gable roof.
These are the most common roof extension types that are often used in combination with one another. Gabled roofs have two slopes and a distinct triangular shape and can give you a lot of space for an attic. A hipped roof has three or more pitched sides coming down from a ridge at the top. These are very sturdy and reliable, plus they give off shade to hide from the heat of the summer.
The name is somewhat misleading, because even a flat roof extension must have a slight incline to allow for water runoff. Flat roofs are easier to install and they can provide you with some additional functionality – you can install solar panels or air conditioning on the roof, away from view, or even create additional living space up there. The main drawback of this roof type is, of course, accumulation of water and subsequent high maintenance requirements.
This is a single sharply inclined roof that is often used in home extensions in Melbourne, added over porches and sheds. In recent times it has gained some steam in modern housing design. Skillioned or lean-on roofs have plenty of advantages: they’re cheaper and easier to construct, they allow for effective water run-off and give you roof space for some useful home improvements like adding skylights or additional storage space in the attic. There is, however, some foresight required during initial planning stage to make sure the low wall of your house isn’t too low with the ceiling obstructing passage.
These types of roofs are the most popular and the most common in Australia and for good reasons: they are durable, reliable and relatively inexpensive and easy to construct and maintain. However, if you want to get creative, there are many more options available to give your home a truly unique image.
Mansards roof or gambrel roofs
These provide a lot of additional living space, essentially building a second storey extension right into the roof. Bonnet roofs with great extended eaves protect your porch and walls from weather damage and give off great shade for the heat of the summer. Finally, while butterfly roofs are difficult to engineer and can get expensive because of that, they also let you install larger windows, inviting in the sunlight, and let you gather and recycle rainwater more efficiently.
Roofing Material Options
Of course, let’s not forget that a roof is only as good as the materials it’s made of. Making the wrong decision can result in leaking, overheating, bad ventilation and, eventually, a lot of expensive repairs and replacement works. To find the right roofing material option for your home extension, make sure to do your research on all of the available materials, their pros and cons and costs.
When it comes to roofs, metal, and steel in particular, is the first choice for many Australians. Metal roofs are durable, lasting and environmentally-friendly. There are many different kinds of metals and shapes, however, so simply settling on metal isn’t going to be enough.
To avoid rust and weather damage, it is common to use steel alloys that include zinc, aluminium, tin, copper and silicon. Different metals are better suited for different environments, but Melbourne home builders often rely on galvanised steel with zinc, galvalume with aluminium or zincalume with both. Those metals provide the most protection from salty ocean air. For a more energy efficient solution, look for polyester coated metal roofs that prevent overheating during the summer.
Terracotta roof tiles.
Baked clay roof tiles have been a popular roofing material for at least several centuries. They are reliable and incredibly energy-efficient. During the day terracotta absorbs and retains heat only to slowly release it at night. Additionally, terracotta provides acoustic insulation due to its density and it is non-combustible, making it safe in any potential fires. Nowadays, you can also own a piece of history and install a terracotta roof. While expensive, these tiles are a great long-term investment, since they last for many years and increase your home’s market value.
Concrete roof tiles.
Concrete is a good affordable alternative to terracotta. Concrete tiles can last for up to 50 years, have similar thermal qualities as terracotta and are extremely versatile in style. They can be cast to look like wood shingles, slate and a variety of other materials, as well as painted many different colours. There are some downsides compared to terracotta: concrete is heavier and more porous which increases structural pressure on your home and requires more maintenance to avoid leaks.
A well-made roof is more than just a ‘lid’ on your home. It protects from the elements, retains hot or cold air inside, improves airflow and acoustics. If you’re planning to replace, extend or repair your roof, don’t skip out on any details and research all of the available options. We hope you have a nice and comfy autumn!