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Roofing types for extensions in London

Roof designs and shapes differ a great deal. The style may be down to a personal preference of the homeowner, or it may be dictated by the local authority. For example, in some parts of London there are restrictions on having roofs designed in a particular way and even restrictions as to what type of material covers the roof, this all comes under the remit of planning conditions.

The shape of a roof will vary from almost flat to a steeply pitched roof. You will notice that I stated almost flat, this is because even though we often refer to flat roofs, they are never completely flat, if they were the water would not drain from their surface. Roofs can also be constructed in a arch or dome shape or an assortment of slopes, gables and hips.

Some different types of roof styles for your London home extension.

Flat Roof

Flat roofs are very common and also quite popular in London. This is because they are relatively cheap to fit and maintain compared to some other types of roof. Flat roofs are also popular choices for commercial buildings for much the same reason. Flat roofs are without a doubt the most basic roof to build, simply because they have little or no pitch. The most common types of roofing materials used with flat roofs are derived from rubber, making them durable and waterproof.

Gable Roof

Gable roof designs are one of the more simple styles of roofs. A gable roof style looks something like an upside down V. Gable roofs are not the best choice for properties that are subjected to a lot of high wind because they can act a bit like a ships sail, resulting in wind damage occuring to the roof. In a built up area such as London, this is not as much of a problem owing to the shelter the surrounding properties offer.

Gambrel Roofs

Few people seem to know what a Gambrel roof actually is, but as soon as you refer to them as a barn roof, the penny immediately drops. This is because the gambrel style roof is most commonly used on barns, which can be seen when one takes a drive through the countryside. Although the Gambrel roof is used for barn roof construction, it is also used in residential properties. The Gambrel type of roof has the added benefit of providing a fair amount of space in the loft area. So much so, it provides so much space that it is frequently converted from a loft into extra bedrooms or even other living areas.

Hipped Roof

Hipped roofs are a pretty common residential style roof. This type of roof is more difficult to construct when compared to flat roofs and gable roofs simply because they have a more complicated truss and rafter structure incorporated into the design. A hip roof, is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. Thus a hipped roof house has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof.

Shed Roofs

No we are not referring to the garden shed. A shed roof is essentially a flat roof but it has a little more pitch than a typically flat roof. It is most commonly used for additions to homes or other roof styles, in short, it is a great add on type of roof design.

Mansard Roof

The mansard roof is a french design and is more difficult to construct than the hip or gable roof. The Mansard roof is one which has four sloping sides, each of which becomes steeper halfway down the roof. It is often confused with a Gambrel roof, but these have the same slopes but with only two sides instead of four.

Roof Pitch

The pitch or slope of a roof is a somewhat critical element in various roofing structures. The degree of the pitch or slope of a roof determines what roofing material will or will not be used to complete the project.

The pitch or roof slope only helps determine what type of materials can or cannot be used, but it also plays a vital role in ceiling heights and space, as well as drainage considerations, durability, design, and difficulty of construction and ongoing maintenance.

The slope or pitch of a roof is designated within three categories.

  • Flat Roof: This is a roof with anything under a 2:12 pitch.
  • Low Slope: This roof has a 4:12 pitch to a 2:12 pitch.
  • Steep Slope: This roof has a 4:12 pitch to a 21:12 pitch.

Roof Materials

Another very important thing to consider with roofs is the selection of roofing material, particularly in the London area owing to some of the planning restrictions that are in place. Some roofing materials are more common in some areas and some materials are considered ideal mediums for different types of roof pitches, whereas other roofing materials are not good for any type of pitch. If you are unsure of the best type of roofing style or material for your London home extension, we are more than happy to advise you.

Some common types of roofing materials

Tile and slate

Tile and slate are two of the more expensive materials used for roofs. Although the traditional clay tile is probably the most well known tile material it is not the only one. Most tiles are made from clay, but they can be made from a host of other materials. The common tile materials used are slate, concrete, metal and there are even a growing number of long lasting composite materials finding their way into the roofing industry.

Membrane Roofing Material

There are an increasing number of products included in this category for roofing and this number continues to grow with the constant development of new technologies available. Membrane roofing products are used on flat roofs. We usually install EPDM rubber membrane to low pitch sloping roofs. These roofing materials are now predominantly UV stable and very durable and having increased longevity.

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Further Information

If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 01438 229 655, email us at or fill in our enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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