Roofs are one of the most important parts of a building’s architecture, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The types of roof construction that is chosen for a building can have a significant impact on its overall appearance, structural integrity, and energy efficiency.
There are many different types of roof construction, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of roofs include gable, hip, flat, mansard, and gambrel roofs.
The type of roof construction that is chosen for a building will depend on a variety of factors, including the building’s design, location, and intended use. Some types of roofs may be better suited for certain climates or building styles, while others may be more energy-efficient or cost-effective.
Ultimately, the choice of roof construction will have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of a building, as well as its long-term durability and functionality.
In this article, we look at the 6 common types of roof construction and evaluate its benefits and use cases.
Pitched Roof Construction
Pitched roofs are a common type of roof construction found in many buildings. They are often used in residential homes, commercial buildings, and industrial structures. Pitched roofs are also known as sloping roofs or peaked roofs. They have a triangular shape and consist of two or more slopes that meet at a ridge or apex.
Design and Construction
The design and construction of a pitched roof depend on various factors such as the span of the roof, the pitch of the roof, and the type of materials used. The roof pitch is the angle of the roof slope, and it determines the amount of water that the roof can shed. The pitch of the roof can vary from low pitches of 10 degrees to steep pitches of 45 degrees or more.
Are pitched roofs any good?
Pitched roofs have several advantages. They provide more usable space in the attic or loft area, which can be converted into living space. They are also more aesthetically pleasing and can increase the value of a property. Pitched roofs are also more durable and can last for up to 50 years or more.
However, they are more expensive to construct than flat roofs. They also require more maintenance, such as cleaning gutters and inspecting the roof for damage. Pitched roofs can also be more difficult to repair in case of damage, especially if the roof is steep.
Overall, pitched roofs are a popular choice for many buildings due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and versatility. The design and construction of a pitched roof depend on various factors, and there are several types of pitched roofs to choose from depending on the specific needs and requirements of the building.
Flat Roof Construction
Flat roofs are a popular choice for modern buildings. They offer a sleek, minimalist look and can be more cost-effective than traditional pitched roofs. However, flat roofs require careful construction to prevent water damage and leaks.
A typical flat roof construction consists of the following components:
- Waterproof membrane: This is the most important part of a flat roof. It prevents water from penetrating the structure and interior of the building. There are several types of waterproof membranes available, including EPDM, PVC, and TPO.
- Roof deck: The roof deck provides the base for the waterproof membrane. It is usually made of timber or concrete.
- Thermal insulation: Insulation is essential to prevent heat loss and reduce energy bills. It is usually installed on top of the roof deck, beneath the waterproof membrane.
- Vapor barrier: A vapor barrier prevents moisture from entering the building. It is installed between the insulation and the waterproof membrane.
- Drainage: Flat roofs must be designed with a slight slope to allow water to drain off. They also require a system of gutters and downspouts to direct water away from the building.
Flat roofs can be constructed using several different methods, including:
- Built-up roof (BUR): This is a traditional method that involves layering tar and gravel to create a waterproof membrane.
- Modified bitumen: This method uses a single-ply membrane made of asphalt and rubber.
- Single-ply membrane: This is a newer method that uses a single layer of EPDM, PVC, or TPO membrane.
Overall, flat roofs offer several advantages, including cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency, and modern aesthetics. However, they require careful construction and maintenance to prevent water damage and leaks.
Gable Roof Construction
A gable roof is one of the most common types of roof construction in the UK. It is a simple and popular design that consists of two sloping sides that meet at the ridge or peak of the roof. The sides are usually symmetrical, forming a triangular shape at each end of the roof.
Components of a Gable Roof
The main components of a gable roof include:
- Ridge beam: The horizontal beam at the highest point of the roof where the two sloping sides meet.
- Rafters: The sloping beams that extend from the ridge beam to the top of the walls.
- Ceiling joists: The horizontal beams that run parallel to the ridge beam and support the ceiling.
- Gable studs: The vertical beams that support the gable ends of the roof.
- Bracing: The diagonal beams that provide additional support to the roof structure.
Advantages of Gable Roof Construction
Gable roofs offer several advantages, including:
- Simple design: Gable roofs are relatively easy to design and construct, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.
- Good ventilation: The triangular shape of the gable roof allows for good ventilation, which can help regulate the temperature and humidity inside the building.
- More space: Gable roofs provide more space for an attic or loft, which can be used for storage or additional living space.
- Good drainage: The sloping sides of the gable roof allow rainwater to easily run off, preventing water from pooling on the roof and causing damage.
Disadvantages of Gable Roof Construction
Despite their popularity, gable roofs also have some disadvantages, including:
- Susceptibility to wind damage: Gable roofs can be more susceptible to wind damage than other roof types, particularly if they are not properly braced.
- Limited resistance to strong winds: Gable roofs are not as resistant to strong winds as other roof types, such as hip roofs.
- Limited resistance to heavy snow: Gable roofs can also be more prone to collapse under heavy snow loads, as the weight of the snow can accumulate on one side of the roof.
Overall, gable roofs are a popular and practical choice for many homeowners, but they do have some limitations that should be considered before choosing this type of roof construction.
Hipped Roof Construction
A hipped roof, also known as a hip roof, is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, forming a gentle slope. It is a popular roof design for many homes and buildings, especially those in areas with high winds or heavy snow.
Benefits of Hipped Roof Construction
One of the main benefits of hipped roof construction is its stability. The sloping sides of the roof provide more support and stability against strong winds and heavy snow loads. Additionally, hipped roofs offer more space for attic rooms or storage compared to other roof designs.
Hipped roofs are also aesthetically pleasing and can add value to a home. They provide a classic and timeless look that can complement any architectural style.
The choice of material will depend on factors such as cost, durability, and aesthetic preferences.
Truss Roof Construction
Truss roof construction is also one of the more popular types of roof construction in the UK. It involves the use of prefabricated triangular units that are assembled on-site to form the roof structure. Truss roofs are designed to be lightweight, strong, and cost-effective. They are commonly used in new house construction and for roofing extensions and renovations.
Types of Truss Roofs
There are several types of truss roofs, each with its own unique design and application. The most common types of truss roofs include:
- King Post Truss: This is a simple truss design that consists of a central vertical post (the king post) with two angled rafters extending from it to the apex of the roof. King post trusses are ideal for smaller roofs with spans of up to 8 meters.
- Queen Post Truss: This truss design is similar to the king post truss, but it features two vertical posts (the queen posts) on either side of the central post. Queen post trusses are suitable for larger roofs with spans of up to 14 meters.
- Fink Truss: The fink truss is the most common type of truss used in modern construction. It features a W-shaped design with angled rafters that meet at a central vertical member. Fink trusses are ideal for roofs with spans of up to 12 meters.
- Fan Truss: This truss design features a central vertical member with angled rafters that fan out from it to the perimeter of the roof. Fan trusses are suitable for larger roofs with spans of up to 24 meters.
Advantages of Truss Roofs
Truss roofs offer several advantages over traditional cut roofs, including:
- Cost-effective: Truss roofs are prefabricated off-site, which reduces the amount of labor required for on-site assembly. They also use up to 40% less timber than traditional cut roofs, which makes them a more cost-effective option.
- Quick Installation: Truss roofs can be assembled on-site in a matter of days, which reduces construction time and labor costs.
- Flexible Design: Truss roofs can be designed to suit a wide range of roof shapes and sizes, making them a versatile option for new construction and renovations.
- Strength and Durability: Truss roofs are designed to be strong and durable, with the ability to withstand heavy loads and extreme weather conditions.
Attic Truss Construction
Attic trusses are a type of roof truss that serve as both a structural roof and floor in a single section. This means that there is increased living space without having to change the footprint of the house. Thanks to the utilization of this space, there is a reduced build cost per square meter. Attic trusses are by far the most economical solution to adding rooms to a home, as they increase the habitable area by as much as 40% at little extra cost to the overall roof.
An attic truss is a truss that has a room built into the truss itself, which allows for the creation of an additional living space in the attic. The truss is designed with a raised heel, which provides more space for insulation and ventilation and helps to reduce the risk of condensation. The room created by the truss can be used for a variety of purposes, such as an extra bedroom, home office, or storage space.
Attic trusses are more expensive than other types of trusses because the larger the span / wider the room, the bigger the depth of timber is required. Also, multiple trusses fixed together may be needed to provide enough strength to the roof. However, the added living space and reduced build cost per square meter make them a popular choice for homeowners looking to maximize their living space.
Attic trusses are a cost-effective way to add living space to a home without changing its footprint. They are designed to serve as both a structural roof and floor in a single section, which creates additional living space in the attic. While they may be more expensive than other types of trusses, the added living space and reduced build cost per square meter make them a popular choice for homeowners.
Interested in any of these types of roof construction?
If you need help with getting more information on any particular types of roof construction mentioned above and want to install them on your property, get in touch with one of our team members and we’ll be more than happy to help.