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Building a Pitched Roof Over a Flat Roof: 5 Advantages

Building a Pitched Roof Over a Flat Roof: 5 Advantages

If you’re building a new house or re-roofing your existing home, it’s important to choose the right roofing materials and slope. And while design is always going to be a major consideration, there are other reasons to choose the right structure – including practicality, function, and longevity.

Many homeowners find themselves choosing between a flat roof and a pitched roof. Others may already have a flat roof, and are considering building a pitched one over it (on top). Within this article, we’re going to five reasons for why some may choose a pitched roof instead of a flat roof, and then why then may also decide to convert their roof and build a pitched roof over their flat roof.

Pitched roof vs flat roof

A pitched roof is a roofing structure that has a slope or pitch that allows water to flow off your the roofing materials. A flat roof is exactly what it sounds like – a flat roofing structure with minimal to no slope.

What are the advantages of building a pitched roof over a flat roof?

Whether you’re building a new house or you’re converting a flat roof into a pitched roof, a pitched roof is preferable for a number of reasons:

1: More space

A pitched roof allows for more living space – that’s just a fact. The sloping nature of a pitched roof means that there’s more room for an attic/roof space.

2: Better drainage

Flat roofs are prone to water pooling, as the slope of a flat roof is too minimal to allow all water to adequately run into drainage. Over an extended period, this water can pool, developing vulnerable spots in the roof, promoting leaks, and damaging the structural integrity of the roof. Building a pitched roof over a flat roof eliminates any drainage problems, as pitched roofing allows the water to flow seamlessly into the guttering.

Building a Pitched Roof Over a Flat Roof Better Drainage Infographic 13: Pitched roofs are more durable

As previously mentioned, over time, a lack of drainage can damage your roof as a direct result of water pooling. As such, it goes without saying that improving drainage through a pitched roof will improve durability and longevity.

Additionally, pitched roofs are more resistant to severe weather conditions, like hail, heavy rain, or strong winds.

5: Save on Energy Bills

Building a pitched roof over a flat roof provides a number of energy efficient benefits to the property. For starters, a pitched roof offers the house more space for insulation. Improved insulating elements in the roof will keep your property cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter months.

Furthermore, hot air rises: a pitched roof offers more indoor space for warm air to rise above, where the air can be adequately ventilated. This natural airflow will also help to cut down on the electricity required for air conditioning, reducing energy bills.

5: Aesthetics

Flat roofs were once trendy – but pitched roofs never go out of style. Building a pitched roof over a flat roof can significantly improve curb appeal. A sloping roof will provide dimension, and allow you more flexibility in your design options.

Building a Pitched Roof Over a Flat Roof 5 Advantages Infographic 2Can I convert my flat roof to a pitched roof?

Yes – you can build and overlay a pitched roof over the flat roof. You can install a shallow pitched roof over your existing flat roof, add a trussed roof to convert, or even build a new level of the house and install the pitched roof above that.

The process of converting a flat roof into a pitched roof will come down to individual structure and the pitch planned. It’s important to speak to your local roofing experts for professional advice on whether you can build a pitched roof over a flat roof, and how you can best achieve your dream roof.


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