Flat roof house

by | Jun 27, 2023 | Advice & inspiration, Building tips, Roof design

There’s a reason people refer to having a home as having a roof over your head. Your roof is one of the most essential parts of the house, yet until you need to build a home, you may not have put much thought into the best roof style for you and your family. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at flat roof house designs, weighing up their pros and cons and seeing whether they’re the right choice for your dream home.

What is a flat roof design?

The flat roof design is a roof style that features one single surface plane that is, you guessed it, flat. Despite the name, flat roof designs are rarely completely flat with a slight pitch to assist with drainage issues. Having said that, most flat roofs can be easily walked on and, depending on the design can be used for gardens, entertaining, solar panels or heating and air-conditioning.

Flat roofs are a very popular choice for modern-style home design but can be incorporated into a variety of home styles. Even a traditional house can incorporate a flat roof in some part of its design, usually for a patio, carport or veranda space.

How much does a flat roof cost?

The great news about flat roof house designs is they are some of the cheaper roof options on the market. This can be attributed to the fact that they are a simpler design that doesn’t require as much material or labour and often don’t run into the same potential issues as other designs can.

Without the specifics of your home and layout, it is difficult to provide an accurate quote for how much your roof will cost. Some key elements will influence how much your project will cost including:

  • Size of the roof
  • Materials you use to build the roof
  • The type of hip roof design you build and the complexity of the design
  • Where you’re building
  • Any additional expenses for the contractor are likely to come out of your pocket.

What are the advantages of having a flat-roof house?

A flat roof house design has many potential benefits to your home, so let’s take a look at some of the key advantages.

Cheaper than pitched roofs

One of the big advantages of a flat roof house design is one of the simplest and quickest to design and construct. It also requires less materials. This is great news for your bank balance as this will cut down on construction costs.

More Accessible

As you can imagine, a flat roof is easy to keep your footing on than a roof with steep slopes. This makes both repairs and regular maintenance much easier and safer.

Professional Foreman wearing safety helmet hold blueprint while walking on the building deck

Quicker to install

Installing a new roof is a big project and the more complicated the design, the longer it is likely to take to install. The simpler design of a flat-roof house means fewer variables for your builder to figure out and fewer materials needed for the job. All of this leads to not only a reduced cost but also a quicker installation.

Very stylish on the right home

Flat roofs have been a signature trait of modern homes for decades and it’s easy to see why. They have a sleek, distinct exterior look that, when done well, can give an aesthetically pleasing edge to your home. This look works best in hip, stylish neighbourhoods.

Useful space

Flat roofs can be versatile, usable spaces that can provide a range of purposes. It can be a great place for solar panels, a rooftop garden or even a rooftop deck for entertaining.

Can have a height advantage

Most homes will have guidelines they need to meet regarding height. A flat-roof house could potentially make the most of how high your house can be as very little will need to be sacrificed to accommodate the roof angle. With a design like a gable roof, the tip of where the two roof sides meet is where the height is measured from. Depending on the house, this could lead to a lower ceiling which may make your house look smaller.

What are the drawbacks of having a flat-roof house?

No roof design is perfect for every home and there are some potential flaws to a flat roof house.

Can have drainage issues

Flat-roof houses aren’t great in areas that experience heavy rainfall as the design isn’t the most efficient when it comes to drainage options. This isn’t to suggest it can’t handle rain, but rather that you need to take your environment into account. Areas prone to tropical storms require sophisticated, reliable drainage options and a roof style that can handle

More prone to leaking

As mentioned above, though flat roofs are built at a slight angle to help prevent water pooling, this may not be enough to handle large amounts of downpour. The more standing water on your roof structure, the higher chance you have of experiencing leaks in your home.

Absorbs heat

Having a single surface means your entire roof will always be exposed to direct sunlight and therefore your home will absorb heat. Whether this is a pro or con will depend on where you live. In hot climates, you’ll want to find ways to remove heat rather than contain it and a different roof design could help with this.

What are the most popular flat roof home design ideas?

Skillion Roof

One of the most popular flat roof types, a skillion roof style is the most literal example of a flat roof. Containing one flat surface, it can be either entirely flat or at a noticeable angle. As well as being popular on houses, you’ll also notice.

Clerestory Roof

A distinctive style is the halfway point between a pitched roof and a skillion roof. What makes this design distinctive is it features two slabs at different that, unlike a pitched roof, don’t meet in the middle. This design can improve airflow and heating in a house.

Butterfly Roof

A butterfly roof resembles an inverted gabled roof. Most butterfly roofs are built on a dramatic angle for a more striking effect, but it is possible to build it with each surface almost flat.

flat roof vs the competition

flat roof vs gable roof

Gable roof and flat roof styles are two of the simpler and therefore more affordable roofing options on the market. A gable roof structure has two sloping surfaces which meet at the top at a point. The gable roof offers better drainage but is more vulnerable to wind damage.

flat roof vs Dutch gable roof

A Dutch gable roof is a hipped-style roof with a small gable on top. This design offers your home a distinct look that allows natural light into your house. It’s however a more complicated design to construct and therefore, quite pricey.

flat roof vs hip roof

A hip roof style is where four gently sloping sides meet in the middle. This design is great for creating eaves, providing a stylish look to your home and creating a strong structure against wind resistance. The downside of this design is it costs more than other roof types.

Want free advice on your new roof? Talk with an experienced building broker


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Building a Home

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Home designs

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