6 Top Flat Roof Materials On a Budget

Flat roofs have become a favored option due to their modern aesthetic, space-efficient design, and easy installation. For budget-conscious projects, choosing the right roofing material balances affordability and durability. Here are the top 8 materials that ensure a lower flat roof price while guaranteeing durability.

Photo by Maria Orlova

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing (BUR) is a durable flat roof construction method used for commercial and residential structures. It consists of bitumen (asphalt) and reinforcing fabrics, such as fiberglass or polyester, to enhance strength and durability. The construction process involves a base sheet, bitumen application, reinforcing fabric, and a top layer or cap sheet. 

BUR is versatile, affordable, and can be structured in different architectural styles and designs. However, putting up this type of roof can be more difficult than other types and should be done by professionals. Its many layers can be heavy, so it’s important to consider the structural strength of your building. It’s important to regularly maintain a BUR system to help it last longer.

Photo by Maria Orlova:

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing, popular for flat roofs, offers advantages over traditional built-up roofs. It’s more flexible, weather-resistant, and lightweight due to added polymers. Key benefits include affordability, ease of installation (though professional installation is recommended), durability (lasting 20 to 30 years), and versatility. However, consider its limited aesthetics (mainly black or gray) and the need for regular inspection and maintenance. Overall, modified bitumen is a cost-effective and long-lasting option for flat roofs.

Single-ply Membrane (TPO or EPDM)

Single-ply membranes like TPO and EPDM are popular for flat and low-slope roofs due to their lightweight, cost-effective, and weather-resistant properties. They can be installed using heat welding, adhesives, or mechanical fasteners, but professional installation is recommended. They can last 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance and require minimal upkeep. However, proper installation and maintenance are crucial for long-term performance and waterproof properties.

Polyvinyl Chloride Roofing (PVC)

PVC roofing is a lightweight, single-ply membrane made from a single sheet of polyvinyl chloride reinforced with scrim. It’s easy to set up, usage, and has a shiny appearance. PVC is tough, doesn’t rip or poke easily and can stand tough weather conditions. It is good for use in factories and places that are safe from fire. Its white plastic covers bounce off heat, saving energy use and lowering cooling expenses.

Photo by Erik Mclean:

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing, made from aluminum, steel and copper, is a special and low-cost choice for homes and businesses. Its standing seam panels hook together firmly.. They are strong, easy to keep clean, and look good. Roofs made of metal can handle bad weather easily, need very little care, and are not heavy. 

They also give good use of energy, resistance to fire, friendliness to the environment, and protection from bugs. This makes them a choice that’s kind to the earth. Metal roofs can be recycled and they don’t attract bugs or mice.

Roof Coatings

Using roof coatings can save money and help make an old roof last longer. There are different kinds, such as stretchy coverings like acrylic, polyurethane-based, and silicone coverings. 

Photo by John Lee:

These coverings are flexible, can stand up to rain, and you can put them on by using a roller or brush easily at home. They can make the roof last 10 to 15 more years, make energy use better by stopping too much heat from coming in, and can be put on different roof stuff like bitumen, metal and concrete.


When choosing a cheap flat roof material, think about things like weather, building designs, installation costs, and maintenance costs. Talk to experts about roofing to find out what material is best for you and your money.


More Reading

Post navigation