Everything you need to know about roofing

Step up to roofing – What you need to know about roofing

Building a home entails making several major decisions. One of the most critical choices you’ll have to make is the type of material for your roof.

This is a decision that entails much more than just choosing an attractive colour. You also have to consider durability and other factors.

If you’re planning to build a home or need a new roof, here’s what you need to know about Australian roofing materials.

Metal roofing

The advantage of metal roofing is that it’s environmentally friendly and sustainable because it uses recycled materials.

In addition to its durability, I find that metal roofing is often preferred for its affordability, light weight and Herculean strength.

Colourbond roof
Colourbond roof

Metal materials fall into four primary categories.

  1. Corrugated galvanised steel
  2. Blends of zinc, silicon and aluminium, also known as galalume or Zincalume.
  3. Copper which shields radio frequency, is sustainable, protects from lightening, is resistant to corrosion and has a low maintenance cost.
  4. Stone coated steel made from acrylic coated steel of aluminium and zinc

You can expect to pay from $18 to $24 per square meter for a Colorbond roof.

It is difficult to predict how long steel roofing will last because different manufacturers quote different lifespans ranging from 25 to 80 years.

Installing a steel roof on a 210 square-meter single storey home, typically takes about a week, weather permitting.

It takes around three to four times longer to install a copper or zinc roof, but if done correctly it will look great and last for more than 80 years on average.

Tile roofing

Terracotta roof
Terracotta roof

If you want tile roofing, you can choose between terracotta and concrete.

Terracotta tiles are especially good in bushfire prone areas because they are non-combustible and frost resistant. You can find them in hundreds of glaze colours, including lighter shades that reflect more than half of the solar energy from the sun. They are formed from kiln-fired natural clay topped with glaze, which locks their colour in and means they don’t show their age. They typically have a life span of about 50 years.

Concrete tiles, made from sand and cement with a pigmented colour, are unglazed which means their colour is susceptible to UV rays and pollution over time, although a coat of enamel will revive them, unlike terracotta. They’re considerably heavier than terracotta tiles, and generally only last about 20 years. They also come in a wide range of colours.

Regardless of which type of tiles you use, sarking —foil insulation that sits between the rafters and tile—enhances energy efficiency and weather proofing. But this is generally only something which can be done during the construction phase, not afterwards. It usually takes between one to three days to install a 260-square meter, single-storey roof with caps and pointing.

Bluestone or synthetic slate

Slate roof
A slate roof can be very beautiful

The advantages of BlueStone or slate is its beauty and variations of texture. Its disadvantages are cost, weight and fiddly installation.

In comparison, synthetic slate is just as beautiful yet it’s cheaper and easier to handle. It has a typical life span of about 50 years. Often, people choose slate roofs for their ability to withstand insects and mould.

Considerations and warnings

When choosing a roofing material, you’ll need to consider several factors, such as climate, material availability and roof shape. The lighter the colour of the roofing material, the less you’ll pay for cooling expenses on your energy bill.

Common pitfalls people make when installing a roof include:

  • Using the wrong product on the wrong pitch
  • Choosing a material that does not suit the environment, such as a metal roof in a salty coastal area
  • Not allocating the right time for the roofing project.

There is nothing to be gained by having tradesmen rush to meet weather or other deadlines. The first step is to have an idea of the size of your roof ,which you can use to ask tradesmen for accurate quotes. Most will quote a per square meter cost ranging from $80 to $110, which typically includes removing your old roof and all roofing materials such as, blankets, battens and sarking. You may pay more if your roof is steep or your property is difficult to access.

In some states roofing contractors need to be licensed.

More information about that here.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to call me at AMG Constructions. We do both residential and commercial constructions, as well as extensions and renovations, as well as, wait for it, roofing of course. Please contact us and learn more about our wide range of services in this area. Our advice is free, but happy to accept extra tips for our good looks!