The shape of your roof will impact on the visual appeal of your home. However, there are also practical considerations when choosing a roof style. It is important to weight up the pros and cons of each type of roof before settling on your final plans. Think about the space you will need, heat transference, and the climate where you live in South Australia.
Gable Roof Pros & Cons
Pros: A gable roof is the classic style that is often seen in locations with temperate weather conditions. This style of roof is easy to design and materials are relatively cheap. The labour costs involved in installation are also lower than most other designs, due to the fact that gable roofs are easy to construct. If you want plenty of roof space, the gable style is definitely the better choice.
A gable roof is ideal in rainy weather conditions as water is able to run off the roof. There is also less chance of leaks occurring due the pitch of the roof. When it comes to ventilation and insulation, a gable roof allows much more freedom in design. You will have all the space you need for bulk insulation and windows if you want to create a top floor living space.
Cons: Gable roofs and high winds are not a great mix. It is important to consider the weather in your area when constructing a gable roof. If your roof is not designed to take weather extremes into account, it is altogether possible for tiles to come loose or the entire structure tearing free due to uplift below the overhang. While South Australia does not typically experience the type of severe weather that is common in other parts of the country, it’s a good investment to pay the extra for better roof design.
Flat Roof Pros & Cons
Pros: A flat roof allows for a more traditional shaped upstairs living area. With a gable roof you have to account for the pitch, which limits the amount of space to move around easily. A properly supported flat roof also allows for rooftop garden or patio, where you can have a bird’s eye view of the great South Australia landscape in the summer months.
A flat roof is not affected by wind as there isn’t usually much of an overhang, if any at all. A basic design is also used in the construction of flat roofs, with no rafters and fewer materials needed. Due to the simplicity of a flat roof, you will save on both materials and labour costs.
Cons: Flat roofs are not often as durable as gable roofs for a number of reasons. Drainage can become a problem as there is no natural runoff. Maintenance is a constant concern for the same reason, as you cannot easily see water or debris building up on a flat roof. You also have to worry about leaks which have the potential to cause serious damage to internal structures and furniture.
Another problem with flat roofs is that they are constantly bombarded with direct sunlight in the summer, which will result in higher energy costs due to running your AC to compensate. Similarly, in the winter when the sun is at its lowest, your home will not benefit from the same heat absorption provided by a pitched roof.
Always hire a qualified builder or roofer for your project. Speak to the contractor about the pros and cons of each style according to where you live. It is highly probably that your builder will have experience with both styles and can provide you with expert recommendations.