Looking beyond the ceiling

Date Tuesday, 19 July 2016 12:00 AM

The roof is one of the biggest surface areas of any house and it’s also one of the most noticeable from the street, especially if you’re on a sloping hillside block. The material you use to clad your roof can entirely change the external look and feel of your home so it pays to give it some thought and consideration.

There are three main types of material used for roofing in Australia:  Colourbond (metal), concrete tiles and terracotta tiles. Which one is the right roof for you?

Colourbond (metal)

Metal roofing can be found in all corners of the country, from outback homesteads to inner city units, however it’s most common habitat is in coastal regions where it’s used extensively in skillion roofing – the kind favoured on modern beach-shack architecture.

Metal roofing is very easy to work with and beautifully accommodates different angles and curves in a housing design. Metal roofing requires little or no maintenance – no painting, just a wash down occasionally -  and it generally lasts for the lifetime of the home.

However, metal roofing should always be installed with insulation as it can get a little noisy in rainy weather. Most reputable builders will include insulation in their costings of a metal roof.

Concrete tiles

The traditional roofing material of choice, concrete tiles are ideally suited to a face brick façade and offer great acoustic and thermal values for your home. Concrete tiles come in a multitude of colours so have a play around with samples to find something that works not only with the colour of your brick but also the streetscape and the type of landscaping you have in mind.

Concrete tiles are very low maintenance, however the colour will eventually fade and will need re-painting every 15-20 years. Not as adaptable as metal, concrete tiles still offer a lot of design options including flat, high, curved and shingle roofing profiles.

Terracotta tiles

Terracotta tiles are known as the premium product in roofing materials. They have the look of old-world luxury, and like concrete tiles, they come in a range of colours. However unlike concrete, terracotta tiles require no maintenance whatsoever – the colour sticks and they never need re-painting. 

Naturally terracotta tiles suit a Mediterranean style home, however new types on the market work equally well with more contemporary urban architecture. Terracotta tiles also have natural acoustic and heat insulation qualities.

You pay a little more for these premium tiles, however if ‘up scale’ is the look you’re going for, you won’t find better than terracotta.

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