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Determinants Of Roofing Materials And Roof Designs

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Roof repair, worker with yellow gloves replacing red tiles or shingles on house with blue sky as background and copy space.

The roof is described as the top most covering of any building including the materials or structures necessary to support it. Its main purpose is to protect the building or structure, the inhabitants and their material possessions against harm or damage that can be caused by the sun, wind, rain water, snow or any other weather elements. Over the years, ceramic roofing tiles have remained the top roofing material across the globe. However, precast concrete; laminated glass; copper; aluminium; EPDM rubber; PVC; Wood shakes; seagrass; banana leaves; asphalt and even polyurethane foam can all be used to make roofs. But according to Hiner Roofing what determines the type and design of the roof used in a certain building or area?

The building codes

Some states or controlled development areas may include acceptable roofing styles and materials in their building codes. This is especially common in areas that are prone to certain risks such as the risk of a cyclone or hurricane and is geared towards enhancing the safety of the citizens. Compliance with these codes is non-negotiable and therefore it is important to understand the restrictions contained therein before you commence your roof installation or replacement project.


Community and municipal building requirements

Over and above the state imposed building codes, certain municipals or communities may come up with their own guidelines with respect to the buildings contained in the said community or municipal. This may include the roofing materials that are acceptable, recommended roofing designs as well as the generally acceptable architectural designs for the buildings. Everyone within the community is expected to adhere to the rules but in some cases, it might be possible to acquire an exemption although it might cost you dearly.


Availability of roofing materials

The availability of different roofing materials in an area contribute to the type and design of roof used in that area. Locally available roofing materials significantly reduce the cost of roofing a building as well as that of maintaining it. It also means that there are locally available experts at your disposal as opposed to having to bring in an expert from a far flung area. Besides, having to import roofing materials whenever something requires replacement is time consuming and may render your building useless for a few days or weeks. The opportunity cost is simply too high.


The weather endurance levels

An area that experiences extreme weather elements and especially the wind, rain and snow needs roofing materials and designs that can withstand the extreme weather without incidents. Such areas also require highly durable roofing materials as the rate of wear and tear is significantly higher compared to areas that experience moderate winds, rain and snow. The weather endurance levels of the roof are also highly dependent on the quality of the installation and proper maintenance. Therefore, you must work with an experienced and certified roofing expert.



There are roofing styles that are synonymous with certain architectural designs due to the fact that they complement each other. For example, buildings with traditional architectural designs are more likely to use tradition roofing styles. The architectural and structural design of the building will determine the suitability of different roofing styles. This means that you must be intentional about the roofing styles you are considering from the architectural and structural design stage. An inappropriate choice of roofing design could result in a problematic roof which in turn results in excessive maintenance expenses.


Cost implications

All construction activities, whether domestic or commercial, are guided by a budget and therefore the cost implications of the roofing activities must be within the budget. Here, you must evaluate the cost of the roofing materials, the cost of the experts and where possible the cost of maintaining the roof in the long run with the aim of achieving affordability. Cost comparison across materials, suppliers and experts is advisable in order to settle on those that are within your budget. However, in consultation with an expert, you can identify the upper and lower limits of your project beforehand. This way, you can prepare accordingly to prevent stalling the project once it commences.

The energy efficiency of the roof, availability of experts to install and maintain it, the weight of the roof relative to the weight that the building or structure can support, authenticity, aesthetic value, functionality of the roof design and materials as well as cultural inclinations are other factors that determine the kind of roof installed in any building. However, as the project owner and financier, your preferences and vision should prevail. Therefore, you must collaborate closely with your team of experts from project conceptualisation stage to the implementation phase.