How to Design a Durable Roof for A New House

August 13, 2017

Planning and designing a new home for you and your loved ones is an exciting task to undertake. You get to shape the space around your own unique needs and tastes which is invaluable, but it is important to remember that remember that the local environment must be taken into account. This is essential if the structure is going to be a long-lasting one. Weather should especially be taken into considerations when making decisions surrounding roof especially since it gets the brunt of the elements. If you ever have any questions regarding the roof, reach out to a roofing contractor for advice, but in the meantime here are 3 features in particular that can determine the overall lifespan and effectiveness of your roof.


The first thing you’ll have to decide when dealing with the roof is what use you have in mind for the uppermost floor. If you want to use it as a bedroom of shared space, immediately you have to ensure that it has enough room for people to stand and is conducive to furniture and decor. If the attic is going to be used mainly for storage, there are fewer design limitations; there can be sharp angles and slanted walls meeting the floor. After this has been figured out, climate has to be taken into account. If you are in a cold climate you are going to need to insulate the entire space, even if it is just for a portion of the year. Not doing so will cost you more in the long run through wasted energy and bills.

Finally, take into consideration precipitation. When in an environment that receives a lot of rain or snow, sloped roofs are not just suggested, they are necessary. Flat roofs are luxuries for dry and desert climates that do not have to worry about precipitation sitting and building on the roof. If this happens it will cause damage to the structure, requiring an expensive fix.

Popular Materials

Asphalt shingles are the standard in many regions. They are relatively inexpensive while offering good heat and wind resistance. They also are versatile in that they can be used on a wide range of slopes. Unfortunately they are not the most durable option and need to be replaced every 10 – 25 years depending on the climate. They are also do not rank high on the environmental sustainability front.

Concrete tiles are another popular choice. They are more often seen on commercial building than on residential homes, although this is not unheard of. Concrete tiles are more expensive than their asphalt counterparts but last longer when properly installed and require little maintenance. Needless to say, concrete roofs are heavy, meaning that reinforcement of the structure in order to be supported. This is part of the reason why they are more often used on commercial structures.

Metal roofing was once limited to futuristic homes but has since has been adopted by more buildings. The cost and durability depends greatly on the kind of metal being used, is often moderately priced with a greater lifespan than asphalt. It also offers good protection from the elements.


When choosing the colour of roofing more people mistakenly do so according to personal taste. There is a lot of reasoning that is included in the colouring of roofs, all of which have to do with temperature control and energy efficiency. Black roofs attract light from the sun, warming up the house inside. This is of course not ideal in a Canadian summer, but very beneficial for the winter. It helps in warming the home, but even more than that it attracts sunlight which melts the snow that has settled. This is a valuable trick because snow collecting on a roof can be damaging if it gets too heavy causing leaks or even holes in the structure.

Lighter colours like whites and burgundys are better in warmer climates because it reduces heat absorption from the sun, keeping the interior cooler overall. If you find yourself in one of the many regions of the world which experiences all 4 seasons, your best option might be a grey roof. It is a middle option that offers some benefits of the black roofs without going to extremes. The darker the grey, the stronger the heat absorption will be.

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