Choosing the perfect design for your new home can take a lot of time and effort, however once you have decided, you can start getting ahead on the interior designs, pricing up the cost of materials, labour etc. and finally start getting to work on your new home!
Although many of us will simply go for the traditional western roof design, if you’re looking for something a little more original there are a few more unusual roof designs that can be put to good use. Here, Rob Waddle of www.premierseal.co.uk addresses three areas in this article, seeing how they work and what strengths / weaknesses each have.
Often found in the construction of commercial buildings and high rise buildings, flat roofs are designed to look minimalistic and uniform, with a number of key elements that makes each flat roof the same as thousands of its counterparts throughout the country. There are two main designs of flat roofing, warm and cold.
A warm roof is a non-ventilated design that is widely considered to be the best style of flat roof. The thermal insulation is constructed above the structural decking in a flat roof, meaning that both the structural deck and the support structure are at a temperature that nearly mirrors that of the interior of the building. A vapour control layer is incorporated between the insulation so that moisture vapour is prevented from entering into the insulation. Waterproofing membranes are placed over the insulation to completely watertight it.
In a cold roof construction, the thermal insulation layer is below the structural decking and is associated with roof constructions that have independent ceilings that support the insulation itself. The roof needs to have sufficient ventilation between the insulation and the underside of the roof desk to reduce the risk of condensation.
Because extra space is needed between the two layers, cold roofing is not generally recommended and efforts are often made to convert cold roofing to warm roofing as it is vastly superior in terms of ensuring roof longevity.
Another style of flat roof, an inverted roof is in fact a roof where the thermal insulation layer is situated above both the roof structure and above the waterproofing. This means that all three levels including the support structure will have a temperature close to that of the interior of the building.
This style of roofing is often recommended for concrete support structures as it is important to restrain the insulation against wind uplift and flotation and this can be done easily using the weight loading of the ballast. Inverted roofs are ideal for weather extremes, such as frost and from summer and wintertime temperature cycles.
However the risk of condensation from the roof is generally dependant on the temperature of the roofing membrane. Excessive chilly weather can cause the membrane to become chilled, which can cause condensation within the build-up of the roof and this can be problematic.
If you are a fan of hobbit homes in The Lord of The Rings, then you’ll be happy to find out that eco roofs or Green Roofs are in fact a reality. These gently sloping, moss and grass covered roofs look really idyllic, especially when they are designed to blend in with the rest of their surroundings. Having a green roof has been known to reduce heating and air conditioning costs, making them great for insulations. Water runoff is also less extensive as the roofs use it to grow and develop. There are also less roofing costs as the green growth protects the underlay from sun damages.
The downside to eco roofs are that they are costly to install and will require specialist maintenance costs. An ordinary roofing contractor won’t quite cut it when it comes to maintenance costs for eco roofs! Your roof will also be subject to seasonal depression so it may not look quite so chipper during the icy winter months as it does on the tipping point of spring to summer.
Whether you are looking to push the boat out a little with a non-traditional roof, or you are just looking for inspirational ideas before you embark on your next development project, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of each roofing type before you barrel ahead when building these roofs.
It is also important to make sure that you get proper planning permission before starting on a new development project, particularly if it is of a non-traditional nature. You don’t want to spend hours and hours perfecting your dream home design and have begun construction only to be told that it is an apparent ‘eyesore’ to neighbouring properties. Always ask permission first!