Pros And Cons Of Flat Roofing

Do you want to install a flat roof on your new home or replace an old flat roof? You probably want to compare flat roofs with slanted roofs before making a final decision. Learn about the pros and cons of flat roofing. 

Pro: Cost-Effective 

The national average to install a flat roof comes to $9,250. To upgrade a flat roof to a pitched roof, American homeowners pay an average of $35,835. A flat roof covers much less square footage than a pitched roof since they only need to cover the length and width of the space instead of the length, width, and height (plus support beams). Furthermore, the architectural design is far more complicated, so slanted roof installation costs more and takes more time. 

A flat roof's simplistic design continues to keep prices down when you need flat roof repair. Since a repairman can assess the roof easier and the material is usually lightweight, technicians don't need as much help, and they can complete the job more quickly. 

Con: Drainage Problems

Water easily slides down slanted roofs. The greater the pitch, the less standing water remains on the roof after a rainstorm. Flat roofs have drainage systems, but they aren't nearly as effective due to the lack of slope. Water may remain on top of the roof, diminishing the roof material the longer it remains on the roof. Homeowners should hire service technicians to remove excess water at the end of the rainy season and snowy season each year. 

Pro: Roof Living Space 

A flat roof allows homeowners to use the roof as an outside living space. For example, homeowners can grow a rooftop garden and set up lawn chairs or a bar. The roof is an especially peaceful place to relax, and it provides great views of sunrises and starry nights. 

The flat design allows homeowners to install an HVAC unit or solar panels on the roof, too. 

Con: Bare Design 

Flat roofs embrace a simple design that prioritizes function over style. Unfortunately, the trade-off means that buildings with flat roofs sometimes appear basic compared to homes with large, intricate brick roofs. Slanted roofs contribute to a pleasant house silhouette. Pitched roofs can also use beautiful natural materials that don't work for a flat roof, such as brick. Flat roofs use metal and plastic more often than other materials, sometimes leading to a cold, uninspired aesthetic. 

Residential flat roofing is becoming more and more common. Talk to your contractor about how you can make your flat roof look better than the slanted roofs in the neighborhood.