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Make the Most of your Ugly Flat Roof

Why would a flat roof be used instead of a traditional pitched roof?

The answer is simple, it generally comes down to cost. There are other reasons such as roof height restrictions, planning restrictions etc but cost is generally the controlling factor.

Traditionally covered in felt, a flat roof would generally put someone off your property and reduce the kerb appeal, be prone to leaks, problems and considered to be the ugly part of the building.

The Good News

The British flat roof has now surpassed itself and is being used on new builds, commercial units, balconies, porches, garages, extensions and more. Flat roofs are more economical than a pitched roof and there are multiple surfacing options on the market that can guarantee a leak free flat roof for up to 50 years.

There is also a trend occurring across the UK as more and more architects and designers are seeing the surface of a flat roof as an opportunity to utilise the outdoor space to create seating areas, rooftop gardens and sun decks.

With a bit of imagination, a flat roof can be something to show off and enjoy. So, if you are thinking of installing a flat roof extension or are looking at renovating an old one it is worth having a look at the different opportunities available to you.

Here are a few possibilities

The first thing to take into consideration is the strength of the roof.

You should speak to your designer, architect, structural engineer or a professional roofing company such as Chris Mcleod Bespoke Roofing to check that your flat roof is strong enough for what you want to do. If you are creating a new flat roof, this should be discussed at the start of the project. It is fairly straightforward to ensure that the materials used have the strength required to be weight bearing for people to walk across the roof and to take any other additional weight.

It’s important to remember that a flat roof has a roof pitch of between 1° and 15° (a completely flat roof would cause pooling of water on the roof which can be damaging.)

Overhang Feature roof

An extended overhang can entirely transform your roof and a deep overhang can bring character and definition to your home. It can also be used to correspond with the design of the rest of the house and will afford extra floor space.

Add a parapet for aesthetics and safety

A parapet is a low wall around the flat roof area, hiding it from view. This is an ideal design choice if you want to use your flat roof as a social area as it will add the additional safety factor with the wall boundary. Railings could also be added for extra safety

Flat Roof Garden

An ideal solution where green space is limited such as in the city. Create a usable green space to grow potted plants and flowers. In built up areas it can often be the only option for a garden and getting a good architect on board can make this a real possibility.

Social or Dining Area

A flat roof can make an exceptional social area and even in towns and cities the view from a roof can be quite breath taking. If space is tight than the flat roof can give you another outdoor ‘room’ and it can be a unique selling point for a property.

Let There be Light

By adding a roof lantern to your flat roof, you can transform the room beneath it. A roof lantern will fill the room with light and is often added to a kitchen or above a dining area as a true feature that will dramatically change the interior.

Design Carefully

There are many ways to optimise your flat roof. Bear in mind if you are planning to change it into a usable space, we recommend that you always check whether you will need any planning permission or not.

Non-Slip Textures

We can add non slip textures to your roofing surface for footfall.

Contact us for professional advice

If you have an idea but need some professional advice, contact us to discuss your options. With over 20 years’ experience, the team at Chris Mcleod bespoke Roofing have a wealth of experience and ideas to discuss with you and we are very knowledgeable when it comes to planning consent.


07710 940 300




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