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Roofing for a private home. Which cover will be suitable for me?

The choice of the roof structure and the materials used for home exterior walls depend on the choice of roofing. In addition, the choice of roofing should take into account not only the cost of the material but also the visual appearance of the home, the comfort of the occupants, as well as the desired heat and sound insulation of the house. There are various roof coverings available on the market – metal, tile, asphalt, shingle, stone or slate, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The most important thing to look for in roof materials is longevity and is largely determined by the cost of the chosen roofing. Expensive roofing will last as long as a house, while inexpensive roofing can be an additional worry every 10 years.

Metal roofing

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Metal roof coverings are available in a variety of colours and shapes, giving a wide range of choices for everyone. The main quality of this roofing is the thickness of the metal and the amount of coating that provides a longer service life. On average, metal roofing life span is from 15 to 40 years, but recent years have shown that high-quality metal roofing can last up to 75 years in good weather. However, it is important to know that condensation forms under the metal roof, so before installing the roofing, you need to apply an anti-condensate film under the roof that will prevent condensation from entering the attic. Soundproofing can be considered as a defect in metal roofing because, during the precipitation, the metal cover produces unpleasant noises, and over time, under the influence of corrosion and sunlight, the cover may whiten but can be restored by repainting.

If the roof is covered with metal, the cost of timber trusses are 12% more economical compared to tile roofing (data obtained from several private house projects). In this type of project, the optimal step of the timber trusses are 1200 mm.

Advantages of Metal Roofing:

● Wide choice of colours
● Low weight
● Durable
● Long service life
● Low maintenance costs
● Can be installed above the existing roof
● Suitable for windy and rainy climates
● Nature-friendly

Tile roofing

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For the climatic conditions, a tile roof is considered the most suitable type of roofing. Thanks to its incredible durability and longevity (100 – 200 years), tile roofing is just one of the most popular roofing types in the world. Nowadays, the quality of tile roofing has improved further, and there are currently available concrete tiles on the market that are significantly cheaper than traditional clay tiles. However, tile roofing is not easy, so it requires professionals with experience in this field. Except for the relatively high cost, the biggest disadvantage of tile roofing is the high weight, so when choosing such type of roofing, it is necessary to create a durable roof structure.

Tile roofing is significantly heavier than metal roofing, so in this kind of project, the optimal step of timber truss is 900 mm.

Advantages of tile roofing:

  • Available in different colours and styles
  • Possibility to choose between clay and cement tile
  • Service life: 100 – 200 years
  • Elegant
  • Fireproof
  • Easy to maintain
  • Very durable, when grooming
  • Nature-friendly

Asphalt roofing

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Asphalt roofing is an organic material procured from the distillation of oil or coal, which is used for road paving, waterproofing and making various pavements, including roofing. There are different types of asphalt roofing – asphalt pourable roofing, asphalt shingles and so on.

One of the cheapest and most convenient roof coverings is an meltable asphalt roofing, but it can only be used for straight or very flat roofs. Its approximate lifespan is 20 – 35 years. The biggest advantage of this roofing is a quick and easy installation and relatively low cost, but professionals recommend two layers in order to avoid the risk of water leakage.

Asphalt corrugated sheets made of organic fibre composite material (cardboard), impregnated with bitumen and paint, are more suitable for the building with a higher pitch roof. These sheets are light, so the installation process is not complicated and the cost of the cover is cheap. However, the low cost also provides shorter service life and, as the bitumen sheets in the sun deform and fade, their life span is about 10-15 years, so this type of roofing is more suitable as a temporary solution.

Longer-lasting roofing solution is bituminous shingles made of fibreglass or polyester, impregnated with bitumen and coated with coloured mineral chips. This roof covering is laid on a flat base, where it is attached with nails, and when heated in the sun, it collides with each other, thereby creating a continuous coating and reducing the risk of leakage. As bituminous shingles are thin and flexible, this is also a great solution for unconventional roofs. The biggest drawback of this roofing is the rapid decaying factor, and in the case of roof drainage, it is difficult to identify the damaged area, but the advantages for this materials is its relatively low cost and a lifetime of about 10 to 40 years.

Advantages of Bitumen Roofing:

  • Low cost
  • Wide choice of colours and designs
  • Fireproof
  • Easy to repair
  • Suitable for most residential buildings
  • Service life: 10 to 40 years (depending on the type of material)

Wood shingle roofing

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Wood shingle roofing is a natural and ecologically clean material that is mainly manufactured form spruce, pine or aspen chipboards in several layers. Roofing boards can also be impregnated before installation, thus extending the service life of the roof up to 50 years. The biggest advantage of this roofing is its natural appearance, but for long-lasting use of a shingle roof, you need professional help that greatly increases the cost of maintaining the roof.

Benefits of ceiling wood shingle roofing:

  • Natural look
  • Great for the environment
  • Easy to repair
  • Service life from 30 to 50 years
  • Nature-friendly

Natural slate or stone roofs


As with tile roofing, natural slate roofing is of high quality, durable and can last for 100 – 200 years, but its installation requires a durable roof structure and more resources. Natural stone roofing is expensive, but today there are cheaper alternatives with similar properties and almost identical appearance, such as sand slate.

Benefits of Natural Slate Roofing:

  • Natural look
  • Great for the environment
  • Very durable
  • Long service life (100 – 200 years)
  • Nature-friendly

Asbestos-free Slate Roofs

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Another type of roofing is asbestos-free slate, which is similar to the usual old-time slate but made of cement, lime and cellulose fibres, thus not harming health, and nowadays it is available in a variety of colours. This type of roofing will last from 25 to 50 years.

Advantages of asbestos-free slate roofing:

  • Wide choice of colours
  • Fireproof
  • Excellent protection from noise and wind
  • Resistant to corrosion and rotting
  • Service life: up to 50 years