5 Alternatives to Traditional Roofs21 March 2017

Whet your appetite for a roof with a difference


When you think about a traditional roof, what is the first thing that springs to mind? Probably slates or tiles, or at the extreme, a thatched roof may pop into your consciousness.

Yet nowadays there are so many alternatives on the market, that you really are spoilt for choice. So, if you are considering a new roof, why not think out of the box? Take a look at some of our alternative suggestions to whet your appetite for a roof with a difference!


Standing Seam Roofing

Standing seam comes as metal panels, made up of verticals of two seams per panel. They are usually about 18 to 24 inches wide.

They allow the option to be able to design or specify different radius roof panels. Not only that, they look sleek and modern, with a distinctive finish, that complements the building beneath.

It can be used on several different types of building, from barns to city offices. Although it can be more expensive to install than traditional roofing, it is highly durable and reliable, saving on maintenance costs.

Asphalt Shingles

This inexpensive option is easy to install, yet looks just like a tiled roof. Loved by construction professionals, it is adaptable to a variety of different styles of roof – including sloped roofs, residential properties and single homes.

Asphalt Shingles are manufactured in different colours, textures and thickness, making it a great choice if you are looking for something eye-catching.

Living Roofs

Living roofs are starting to be more popular, particularly in built-up areas where people are looking to introduce more greenery.

A protective barrier sits between the foliage and the roof, to ensure it is waterproof and not at risk from the roots. Although technically a feature laid on top of a roof, this has several advantages – the biggest being the aesthetic quality. Other advantages include the impact on the ecosystem, such as the urban heat island effect. Living roofs help counteract the localised heating of areas over buildings. However, on the minus side, living roofs need a lot of maintenance.

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Roofs (SPF)

Although not a new roofing material, this has grown dramatically in popularity recently due to its high performance. Previously unheard of, it is now a recognised material.

There are many advantages, one of the most important being its high R-value, translating into high insulation properties. It is also exceptional at resisting the elements and wind uplift.

As it is sprayed on, it is seamless, and there are no weak points across the roof. However, it is expensive to install, but energy saving costs should mean this extra cost is saved in the long run.

This type of roof will also need to be finished with a final protective layer, such as silicone, to protect the foam from the sun’s UV rays.

Wooden Roofs

This sustainable form of roofing is up there with thatch when it comes to a low impact on the environment, if sourced in the UK. Choose form shingles which are smooth, or shakes which are more textured. An added preservative helps to prevent rotting and increase their length of life, which some feel defects the object of this eco-friendly product.

Advantages are based on their ability to be recycled, and low energy costs, as well as being light weight and attractive. However, concerns over the fire risk and maintenance levels can put some people off.

Of course, sticking to tried and tested roofing is always an option, but if you are feeling like breaking from tradition, there is plenty to choose from. The only factor limiting you is your adventurous spirit!


For more information on any of the above roofing materials/constructions or to arrange a free, no obligation quote, please get in touch with our expert team today.


Posted in Roofing, News and tagged london roofing, roofers.
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