The style of the roof is hugely significant in determining the character of a house, but it’s something that few of us really take time to consider.
There are many different options to consider when renovating your roof and the choice of tiles will make a big difference in the appearance of your home.
If you’re stuck for ideas it’s not a bad start to look around the neighborhood to see what style of tile is commonly used. It might sound odd, but individual styles tend to be regional: you don’t tend to find pantiles in the north-west, for example, while traditional clay-look plain tiles are common in the south-east.
What’s your angle of tilt?
Firstly you’ll need to consider the angle of your roof – pitched roofs have traditionally been used in our country, simply because it rains and it allows rainwater to flow from the roof quickly. The steepness of the pitch will dictate how much headroom there is in the loft and, of course, the aesthetics of the house design will play their part too – the average roof is pitched between 30° and 45°.
Your architect, designer or structural engineer will be able to advise on how pitch, design and structure will affect your choice of roof covering.
Tiling options – natural slate, reconstituted slate, clay or concrete?
There is a wide range of roof tiles on the market at very different prices. Hand-made clay and natural slate will be the most expensive, with near-perfect imitations in concrete offering much better value for money.
Modern concrete roof tiles are manufactured to very high standards and offer not only great durability but also the exact look of their natural ancestors. Tiles with colored glazes are other options if you want a more modern look. Tiles can be laid directly on the old roof, but an underlayment may be more appropriate. An underlayment protects the tiles from being damaged by the old roof.
Colored sands are used to imitate clays from different regions and top-of-the-range concrete tiles will even imitate the surface irregularities of hand-made clay.
Natural slate is obviously expensive, but there are alternatives that use recycled slate material bound with resin that give the same look at a much lower price.
Installing the roof
Installing a roof properly is a skilled craft and if you’re not confident about doing it, then you should enlist the services of a professional. The roofer you choose will be able to advise you on the best way to go about it and will also do a more thorough job than you could manage by yourself.