How to choose the perfect roof
Katie Adema, January 2016
Light shades, dark hues, bright colours, short and round, tall and triangle, square and even curved … roofing comes in all shapes, colours and sizes. No wonder this part of home design baffles so many homeowners. However, choosing a roof for your home is about so much more than the aesthetics – this decision can impact the overall value of the property, dictate the design of the rest of the home, and even how the hot and cold air flows in and out.
ShapesDomed, curved, sawtooth, arched, flat, gabled, hip … there are many different shapes that your roof could take, but the decision really comes down to what will suit the architecture of your home. Modern homes may suit a square, flat style of roof, while more traditional homes could look better with tall, triangle-shaped tops. [caption id="attachment_1910" align="alignleft" width="690"] Image courtesy of Rheem[/caption] Streamlined, modern roofing is the most popular style at the moment, which compliments the minimalistic design we are seeing through interiors fashion also. This decision can come down to a matter of practicality as well – have you ever seen a flat roof on a home in an area prone to snowfall? Fortunately, most of us living Down Under don’t have to worry about that, and are free to choose almost any style of roof we please.
MaterialsDurability and environmental responsibility are the key factors that come into play when considering roof materials. Steel, slate, terracotta tiles, concrete and metal tile are the most common materials used for Australian roofing – recycled materials are also making waves in the marketplace as modern Aussies search for cleaner, greener and inexpensive ways to reduce their impact on the environment. Heat reflective coating is also a key consideration if you are looking to improve the performance of your roofing material. [caption id="attachment_2651" align="alignleft" width="690"] Image courtesy of Fytogreen[/caption]
ColoursAs with the rest of the home, neutral colours are usually the most practical choices for roofing. But of course, you need to take the aesthetics of the rest of your home into account – perhaps a brighter pop of colour is just what your property needs to regain its sparkle. Charcoals, soft greys and blues, silvers and earthy greens are having a moment in both interior and exterior home design, and are neutral and natural enough to work with any style of home.
Energy efficiencyEnergy efficiency is now at the top of many Aussie family’s priorities when it comes to their homes – luckily, a smart choice in roofing can make a huge difference to how well your home retains heat during winter and keeps the cool air inside during summer. Concrete and terracotta tiling are the best material choices if you are looking at improving your home’s absorption and release of heat and cold, which will in turn reduce your reliance on expensive and energy-consuming air conditioners and heaters. Your roof can help improve your home’s energy efficiency in more ways than one: through the installation of solar panels to create your own off-the-grid energy, or even in the form of a living roof, which is a garden of greenery that offsets your home’s greenhouse gas emissions. [alert style="alert-info" dismissible="false"]
Top tips for inspiration
- Take a walk around your neighbourhood, or a nearby neighbourhood that you like, and find inspiration in the design of other homes. Especially take note of what roofing styles work for homes that are a similar design to yours
- Don’t forget to consider what will work in the broader streetscape and natural environment around your home – the exterior design elements of your home have to work with everything around it
- Fashion trends are obviously a factor in your decision making, but don’t let it rule you – sometimes it is best to forget about what the crowd is doing and make the best decision for your home independently