So you’ve made the decision! You’re going to install a new patio. It’s a great choice; a new patio brings families and friends together for year-round entertaining. It expands your home’s living space. And it adds to your property’s resale value.
Now that you’ve made the decision, you’ll probably be starting to look at design and materials. You may have even settled on a type of decking or overall design. But have you thought about above? The very thing that protects you and your guests from the pouring rains in winter and the blistering sun in summer?
I’m speaking of course about your patio’s roofing. A patio’s roof is vital to its construction and performance. Yet it’s often the last thing people think of when planning the building of their new patio.
For this article we’re going to give you a brief overview of the most popular types of roofs available for your patio, as well as some of their benefits and drawbacks of each option. So you can make an informed decision when deciding on which roof you will install atop your patio.
An example of a flat roof patio
- Flat roofs
As the name suggests, a flat roof is a roof made to give the appearance of being completely flat. However in actual fact, flat roofs are built on a slight angle. This is to allow for proper drainage. To look at though, your flat roof will appear quite flat.
Flat roofs as a general rule are the cheapest roofs to install. This is because their designs are in-most-cases simpler than that of equivalent gable or combination roofs. Therefore they require a smaller amount of materials and a less-lengthy installation time. This saves you money on both materials and the cost of labour.
The other significant benefit of a flat roof is that they are generally quite low maintenance. For example there are no slopes or ‘valleys’ to keep clean. And because of the very-slight angular construction, dirt and leaves can be brushed off with water.
Flat roofs are often not as visually-striking as alternative gable or combination roofs. They function very well and are easy to maintain, but some may dislike the simple functional aesthetic that typifies this style of roofing.
A classic gable roof patio
- Gable Roofs
Gable roofs are easily identifiable by their classic triangular design. They are made from two roofing panels, both pitched in a symmetrical and triangular fashion. Those roofing panels meet in the centre, where they create a ridge. This how the gable roof’s distinctive shape is formed.
Looks are easily the most-noticeable benefit of choosing gable roofs. Traditional gable roofs give your patio a timeless finish, which boosts both your home’s street appeal and its overall design. And because it’s a classic-look, it won’t go out-of-fashion as soon as next year’s season hits.
The other significant advantage of gable roofs is space. Because the roofing panels are pitched, there is considerably more space underneath them, when compared to a flat roof. This gives your patio an elegant and high ceiling. It also lets you be more flexible when installing tall plants or furniture pieces on your patio.
Gable roofs are complex in design, they also often consist of more expensive materials. Because of this the overall cost of installing a gable roof is usually higher than that of an equivalent flat roof.
A stylish & modern combination roof patio
- Combination Roofs
Put simply, combination roofs are just that, a combination of flat and gable roofs. They feature both flat and gable roofing panels, which combine to form one seamless finish.
Combination roofs are ideal for those with unique or designer requirements. Their versatile nature makes customising designs simpler and more flexible. Because of this, combination roofs are a good option for those with more ambitious or complex patio projects.
As they combine both the best parts of flat and gable roofs, combination roofs offer both spacious high ceilings, and easy maintenance. They also provide a striking finish that adds to your home’s looks and street appeal.
Combination roofs are usually designer-made with more complex parts and designs. Because of this they’re often more expensive to install. Still, if you’re after the most versatile roof available, a combination roof is probably the way to go.
Patio roofing insulation
- Roofing Insulation
Whichever roof you choose, it’s always worth looking into additional roofing insulation.
Insulation helps to keep your patio warm during the wet and windy days of winter and cool during the sweltering heat of summer. This lowers your energy costs by reducing your dependence on electric heaters and coolers. And because your energy usage is decreased, so is your environmental impact and carbon footprint.
Insulation also assists in reducing and transmitting noises caused by things such as rain and hail. Insulation is most commonly available in three thicknesses – 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm. The thickness you require will depend on your heating, cooling and noise reduction needs.
A patio roof in clean and crisp white
- Roofing Colour
Many patio and patio roofing installers will give you a wide range of colours to choose from. So you can choose a colour that matches your preference, as well as your home’s existing colour scheme.
Here’s a few colour pointers.
- White makes for a clean and crisp finish
- Blues are cool and relaxing
- Reds and oranges are warm and inviting
- Monochromes are stylish and modern
- Pastels are muted and unobtrusive
More complete colour guides can be found in other home improvement articles. Or you can speak with your local paint-professional.
Ultimately your choice in patio roof will come down to your individual needs, preference and style. But remember, it’s worth taking some time to consider which roof is right for you and your home now, rather than waiting until it’s too late.
Choose the right roof and you can enjoy years of barbecues, outdoor entertainment, and general relaxation on your new patio.
For more articles about patios, home design and outdoor living visit the Lifestyle Patios website.