As important as the windows, doors and wall finishes are if you just put anything on your roof you could spoil the whole look of the house. The roof really is the icing on the cake. During your design progress you will have to decide if you want a cut roof, which requires a carpenter/roofer to measure, cut and place every length of wood required for the frame of the roof. Or a fixed roof, made of trusses which will be built at a factory and delivered ready assembled and the carpenter/roofer joins them to the top of the wall plate.
Once the frame of the roof is complete a waterproof membrane needs to be placed and secured over it. Up until very recently this was usually felt but recently other easier and better product are being used.
The membrane is held into place with long thin pieces of wood called battens, these are nailed into the truss below.
Battens are the support system for the tiles or slates. Each tile/slate has to be nailed to the wood and clipped on to the one next to it. When all of them have been put in place check that each row is off set to each other and not placed in vertical straight lines as this can cause problems when the wind is strong or in heavy rain.
The top of the roof is finished off with ridge tiles, they can come in different designs but they work a bit like an umbrella covering both sides of the roof’s top row of tiles.
If you have different levels or joining roofs, you will need to place lead between the levels or between the wall and the last tile on each row to help with the joint. This forms an extra layer of water proofing.
Fascia is the next area of the roof to be completed. The fascia covers the end of the wood at the bottom of the roof and allows the air to flow safely through the membrane for venation. This is usually made of uPVC these days although wooded fascia can be purchased it is harder to maintain because of the nature of where it is. The fascia is usually put on what is called an overhang and as part of your options, consider:
Guttering is then attached to the fascia so that the water can be taken away from the building. It is very important to make sure that this is fixed properly with enough support brackets as you might get some damaged with the high winds that we get in Ireland. The guttering is mainly made of PVC but as an option it is also possible to get it in other material like Aluminum or Copper.
What types of tiles are available? Firstly this is another one of the questions you need to talk to your Local Planning Department about as you may be a required to match the same style as the neighborhood. There is quite a large variety of colours and options available which include terra cotta, farmhouse red, heather, amber mix, burgundy, black, slate grey, black blue, russet, stone green, turf brown and many more.
Natural Slate/tiles are available at slightly higher prices, these are mined in different places around the world . Slate tiles have been used for roof finishes for many years and are now being reclaimed from the old buildings.
To keep the cost of your roof down manufactures and suppliers of roofing materials have developed tiles that look natural but at a fraction of the cost. These tiles come in a variety of designs, allowing a Spanish villa to have a wavy roof, or a quite country cottage to have a sleek soft line finish.
Whatever you decide to go with, shop around for a price and make sure that you will be credited for any tiles delivered broken as you can be sure that there will always be a few. Keep a record of all your deliveries.
Safety Tip; Always make sure the weather condition is suitable for roof work, and ensure that all safety precaution’s are taken. ( e.g. secured scaffolding to support the roofers and the material and making sure that everyone is aware of the work above incase of a dropped tile )