Pitched vs Flat Roofs – Comparing the Pros and Cons

If you’re considering a new roof installation or replacement, there are two broad types of roof to choose from – pitched and flat roofs.

There are several advantages and a couple of disadvantages to consider with each roofing structure. However, with the right choice, your roof will last many years and save you lots of stress by protecting your home from the elements.

Learn more about the pros and cons of each below to help you decide:

What is a pitched roof?

A pitched roof is a roof that slopes down from a central ridge. The pitch refers to its steepness, and this is measured from its vertical rise divided by the horizontal span.

This roof type is common in homes across the UK, so let’s check out the pros and cons.

Pros of a pitched roof

Higher gradient

The steepness or gradient of a pitched roof means water runs straight off into your gutters. This design reduces issues such as dampness and moisture ingress as water is not standing or pooling on the roof surface.

Installed with durable materials

Pitched roofs are designed to withstand the elements. So they need durable materials to withstand wind, rain and snow. Common materials for this installation include slate and clay tiling, which are hardwearing and long-lasting.

Longer lifespan

This roof design is known to last longer than other roofing solutions. This is down to the gradient, materials used and installation. Hiring a professional roofer will ensure it’s completed properly to improve its durability. You can expect several decades from most pitched roofs.

Increased roof space

Homeowners are always looking for more space at home. A pitched roof is a great way to increase this. The roof area allows for a number of options, from an extra bedroom to storage space or an office area.

Perfect design for different house types

A pitched roof is a familiar aesthetic on homes throughout the UK. This design looks great on most properties, including houses, bungalows and cottages, and sits well within the appearance of neighbouring properties.

Cons of a pitched roof

Higher investment

Due to the design and materials used for a pitched roof, the expense is more compared to other options. However, this is a great investment due to its longevity and durability, so this is often a decider when weighing up the options.

Longer to install

Pitched roofs have a more complex design and structure, so they take longer to install than other solutions.

Planning permission may be required

If your current roof is not pitched, then planning permission may be required to change the elevation of the roofline. You may also need to get approval if the roof is changing height, even by a small amount.

What is a flat roof?

A flat roof is like it sounds, flat or with a slight gradient (less than 10 degrees). While they are designed to look level, this installation actually ensures water can run off to a lower side. Flat roofs are common in the UK and are often used on home extensions, outbuildings and apartment blocks.

Pros of a flat roof

Cheaper to install

One of the most common reasons to choose a flat roof is they cost less than a pitched roof. This is because the design uses fewer materials and has a more straightforward concept for installation. Plus, repairs and maintenance typically cost less too.

Quicker to install

Due to their simpler design, flat roofs are quicker to install and often cause less disruption during installation.

Ideal for extensions or garages

Installing a new roof is a significant investment, so when you’re building an extension, outbuilding or garage, a flat roof helps to keep costs down.

Versatile use

Flat roofs have a versatile design, so you can use this space for other things, such as solar panels, more easily. On commercial properties, reinforced flat roofs also present an opportunity for outdoor space, such as roof terraces. Eco-conscious home or business owners may also prefer a living roof installation in this area.

Ideal for commercial buildings

Large commercial buildings have a vast roof space, and opting for a pitched roof on this type of property will be a hefty outlay. Instead, a flat roof is a more cost-effective solution and reduces the costs of maintenance and repairs.

No planning permission required

If you already have a flat roof in situ, no planning permission is needed to update or replace your current roof. However, any changes to elevation may require approval.

Looks good on modern properties

The aesthetics of a flat roof can look great on a modern property as the lines complement the style of the building. The materials used for flat roofing also present a clean finish when looking out at it.

Cons of a flat roof

Shorter lifespan than pitched

Flat roofs don’t tend to last as long as pitched roofs although DPR GRP flat roofs have a leak-free warranty of 20 years with a life expectancy around 50 years. Although an incredible lifespan, this does not match up to what you could expect from a pitched roof.

No roof space

If you want additional roof space, a flat roof doesn’t give you this option. This design has no elevation or pitch, so you can’t utilise it for storage or extra rooms. However, its surface can present some usable space, for example, for solar panels or air-conditioning units.

Pitched and flat roofing in Wakefield

Selecting the best roofing option for your home can be challenging. There are benefits of pitched roofing and flat roofs. Weighing up the pros and cons will help you decide which is more suitable for the project.

If you require any assistance, the experienced team at DPR Roofing Wakefield is on hand to guide you through each option. For more information or to book an inspection, call us on 01924 255677 or email [email protected].