As the name suggests, a flat roof is a roof which makes a small or non-existent angle with the horizontal. However, most flat roofs have a very slight inclination to allow for drainage. Modern flat roofs are created with the achievement of many purposes in mind. For instance, a flat roof can be created to be as aesthetically pleasing as an angled roof. The most common forms of flat roofs, like the ones on top of most skyscrapers, are made of concrete. But other materials such as metal, fibre glass, timber and even plant life are also in popular use. Most modern architects have used flat roofs as an additional living area for a building or house. The main variations of flat roofs are mainly distinguishable mainly from the covering material rather than the construction material. For instance, a concrete flat roof can be easily transformed in to a solar roof or a rooftop garden.
In addition to the increased habitable space, flat roofs are also quite cost effective to construct in comparison to regular pitch roofs. The surface area of a flat roof is much smaller than that of a pitch roof which greatly contributes to the cost reduction. But apart from the cost of construction, flat roofs are also helpful when it comes to minimizing heating and cooling costs. Heating costs can be reduced by a great deal with the employment of a solar roof. A solar roof is a flat roof which is covered with solar panels and the electricity generated by them could be effectively used for household duties such as heating. The next energy efficient variation is the roof top garden, or green roof. This would be ideal for a warmer climate where air conditioning costs could add up to your electricity bill. A green roof could also help reduce your carbon footprint.
A flat roofing system is a complete package which includes the plan, the materials and the handling of the entire construction process. A good roofing system provider or company usually have more than one option to offer and the client will have complete liberty and all the necessary knowledge to select the best fitting one for their building or house. The main factors that should be considered when you are trying to decide between the many roofing options, such as shingles and tiles, are the feasibility, cost and structural stability. These three factors will be analyzed by your architect or your roofing installer to help you make the right choice.
The feasibility mainly takes in to account the climate and building regulations of your area of residence. For example, if you are thinking of putting on a solar flat roof, the angle of the sunlight will have to be considered to make the most of the available sunlight. As for building regulations, you may want to inquire with your local authorities to figure out if there are any rules or restrictions on putting up flat roofs.
The next step would be to figure out the structural elements. For instance, a concrete flat roof may be ideal for a ten storied steel building but will create massive structural problems for a house constructed from timber. A flat roof needs to be specially designed to make sure that it is able to withstand the effects of time. An architect, engineer or even a qualified roofing assistance provider will be able to sort out the structural considerations of a flat roof.
When it comes to the cost aspects, it is mainly the duty of a cost engineer. Once you have set up an initial budget, a complete cost analysis will be carried out to determine the labour cost, material cost and any other costs that may apply. The main thing that, you, as a client, needs to keep in mind is to settle not for the lowest cost option. But for the option that offers the most value for the amount spent.
The many benefits of a flat roof can be enjoyed from anyone at any part of the world of these factors are properly attended to before the actual construction begins.