Building a House? Here Are Tips To Choose The Right Roofing
The roof is that part of the house which remains exposed to external environment and forces like rain and sunlight. This highlights the need for homeowners to conduct a roof inspection at least once a year to check for any damage. But deciding what kind of roofing system works best for a house can be quite challenging for an owner at times - be it for a newly constructed home or as a replacement to an existing one.
There are various factors to consider before zeroing-in on a particular type of roof for a building.
MakaanIQ brings you exclusive tips, with the help of insights given by industry experts, to choose a roof for your home.
Know the requirements
A roof acts as a protection against the external elements and completes the structure of a house. Therefore, it is important to choose a roofing - both in terms of material and colour - which can sustain the climate of a particular location. For instance, roofs in areas prone to high temperatures should be capable of reflecting heat which is why light colours work well.
Alankrutha, an architect who works with leading Chennai-based developer Navin's N-Hance says “Local climatic conditions, regional settings, material available locally plays a major role when it comes to planning the roof design or type. Our buildings or spaces need to correspond to local climatic conditions and ventilation, lighting and air circulation patterns. The tropical to warm humid weather is prevalent in South India which combined with other local and cultural settings influences the roof style in vernacular or social infrastructure developments. Predominantly these days, flat roofs are opted with RCC construction, as apartments and commercial ventures are built and do not demand a special roof type, owing to multi-storey building typology.
Abhineet Seth, a seasoned interior designer who has worked for over 15 years in the industry shares, “The roof of a house in Kashmir will be different from the roof of a house in areas as we go down the latitudes. In order to withstand the impact of snowfall, the roofs must be inclined and cannot be built simply as a concrete rooftop. Instead, they should include a wood truss-like structure with metal corrugated surfaces. Roof should be designed in way to endure the low temperatures at least for a month and should not develop cracks.” Such roofs are known as pitched roofs with wood shake or shingles and are best suited for areas prone to snowfalls or torrential downpours. Moreover, underlayments add an additional protection layer to the roof structure.
He further adds “The roofing system of the topmost floor of a building, say in Delhi which has an extreme climate, needs to have a treatment whereby the extreme temperatures can be contained. It works best if construction-grade thermocol sheeting is done in between the roof structure. The traditional mud phuska roofs, that are waterproof, are not sufficient to keep the temperatures of the topmost floor under control. In fact, for a climate like Delhi’s, I would definitely recommend a terrace garden which acts as a good insulation.”
Nowadays, many urban home dwellers are fast adopting rooftop gardens for their numerous benefits. They are not only environment-friendly and improve the aesthetics of a house, but also contribute in lowering indoor temperature by 6- 8 degrees.
Furthermore, while designing a roof, an owner should also keep in mind the local building codes as well as its overall weight that could have an effect on the house’s structure.
“An optimal cost for an optimal product” is the rule Abhineet recommends for homebuyers who are looking to design or rebuild their house roof. Opting for the right roofing, even if it results in high expenses, is an investment which will give you good returns. This is particularly true if you are going to stay in the house or own it at least for 20 years or more.
There is a wide range of roofing options available viz. plastic polymer that resembles slate or wood shakes are very durable and are moderately priced. One must go for clay tiles if durability and low maintenance is the key focus. But they can be quite expensive.
Energy efficient roofing systems are becoming popular. Their installation might incur a high one-time expenditure but will ensure your long-term cost savings in future. Some examples are tile roofing, asphalt shingles and metal roofing which promote recycling and involve minimum use of hazardous toxins.
Abhineet suggests homeowners to install solar panels that do not occupy much of a roof space. This is beneficial for developers as they can have building norms eased for them by adopting such green initiatives. For instance, according to Haryana Building Code 2017, a building can have 3 per cent additional floor area ratio for all building uses if it generates 15 to 25 per cent of its total connected load from solar.
Roofing should meet the functional needs of a house as well as the overall aesthetics. Roof shingles are available in the market in a variety of types, styles, textures and colours. This gives homeowners a choice that could match their personal preferences while also complementing with the neighbourhood style. The growing numbers of such roof options are a result of the evolving housing styles in India. Transparent roofing, especially skylights, is a trend which is picking up. The design, made of glass, polycarbonate or other clear materials, allows sunlight into the interiors.