Choosing a roof for your extension: 3 key considerations


Building an extension could give you much needed extra space in your home, but getting these projects right can prove to be a challenge. Ensuring that your property add-on looks the part, functions properly and is completed within your budget isn’t easy. One of the issues you’ll need to think about is your roof. From slate to wood and metal, there are lots of options to choose from. When you’re selecting a material to top your extension, it’s worth bearing the following three considerations in mind.

1. Practicality

First and foremost, the material you go for has to be practical. For example, think about durability, resistance to wind and suitability to sloped or flat roofs. Metals can be a practical choice. They tend to be long-lasting, highly weather-proof and lightweight, meaning they can suit both low or steep sloped roofs. Copper is a classic option. Available in strips or sheets, and usually requiring a substrate like boarding, this material has been shown to stand the test of time. In fact, as metal roofing specialists Peters Roofing note, copper can last for over 700 years. It is also lightweight and easy to work with.

Another resilient material is slate. However, because it is heavy, this natural stone requires a reinforced roofing structure and it’s usually only suitable for steeply sloping roofs. Also, because it’s brittle, it can be difficult to work with. Wood, on the other hand, is lighter and easier to fit, but it has a much shorter lifespan and it needs periodic maintenance.

2. Appearance

Whether you’re keen for your extension to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your home or you want it to stand out and make a style statement, you’ll need to think carefully about the appearance of the materials you choose – and bear in mind you may be subject to planning restrictions that prevent you from using particular products. For a natural look, slate and timber are hard to beat, while if you want something more ornate, metal could be your answer. Copper is particularly striking. You can create a range of intricate shapes with this metal and as it reacts with air, an attractive layer of green copper carbonate forms on its surface. This is called the patina or verdigris.

3. Cost

Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to factor in the cost of your chosen material. Some roofing products are much cheaper than others, and so you may find your options are limited by your budget. For example, while wood, certain metals and asphalt shingles can be moderate in price, slate or clay tiles tend to be expensive. Before you set your heart on a particular material, make sure you research the cost carefully.

Your roof will be one of the most important features of your extension, so don’t rush this decision making process. If you’re not sure what will work best, make sure you do plenty of research and, if necessary, take advice from experts.

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