What is the best material for your roof?

If you’re looking to have a new roof installed you will need to decide on the material, but which is right for you? There are a huge range of factors that go into picking the right material including your property’s location, the weather conditions, the surroundings, and even local authority rules.

Slate roofs

Slate is typically better suited for urban areas such as the centres of towns and cities. It is a more expensive material than tiles, but its flatter profile and sleek appearance makes it very attractive. It is particularly popular with homeowners in desirable neighbourhoods.

  • Spanish slate

    Originating in Spain, this slate has spread to grace roofs across the world. Its quality, longevity, and cost-effectiveness have made it highly popular over other types of slate. It is the go-to material for a premium and distinguished look at your home.

  • Welsh slate

    Hailed as the ‘Rolls Royce of slate’ Welsh Penrhyn slate is regarded as among the finest in the world. It is tougher than Spanish slate and less absorbent, which improves its durability. You can expect it to last for decades, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking for a resilient and low-maintenance roof.

  • Canadian slate

    Comparable to Welsh slate in durability and appearance, Canadian slate boasts an additional advantage in that it lacks iron pyrites and other metallic deposits. This trait prevents rust in your roof and reduces the impact of UV radiation and acid rain, ensuring it will last for decades.

  • Composite slate

    While a slate roof can be a significant investment, you can reduce the initial cost with composite slate. This allows you all the benefits of traditional slate – attractive, durable, weather-resistant – while costing less per tile and being lighter weight, which reduces installation time and cost.

Tile roofs

Tile roofs are typically preferred in rural areas. They are more rustic and traditional looking which allows your property to complement the natural surroundings. The type of tile you choose can have a huge effect on your home, creating a unique profile and look.

  • Concrete tiles

    These mass-produced tiles are a highly cost-effective option. They are cheaper than other options, but that does trade off being not as durable, and not holding their colour as well.

  • Clay tiles

    One of the most common types of tiles seen on the UK’s roofs, clay tiles are highly popular and for good reason. They are more expensive than concrete tiles, but make up for it in longevity, durability, and attractiveness. You can expect a properly installed clay tile roof to last four to five decades.

  • Handmade tiles

    This is a premium, bespoke option for the discerning homeowner. Handmade tiles give you an unparalleled level of control over the final look of your roof. You’ll be able to create a unique finished product tailored to your personal taste.

Lead roofs

Lead is a complex material to work with. It is heavy, temperature sensitive, and expensive. While lead is essential for certain parts of your roof, such as the flashing, lead sections are typically reserved for smaller sections where tiles, slate, or bitumen felt are not suitable. The key advantage of lead is its incredible durability. Lead can last for decades and decades when installed correctly, withstanding years of wear and a huge range of weather conditions. While not the cheapest, lead bays could be the choice for you if you have a smaller section of roof where a less durable material won’t be suitable.

Can I put any material on my roof?

In theory, yes, but there may be some caveats. A reputable roofing contractor will conduct a thorough survey of your roof to make sure that it can handle your chosen material. Typically, you won’t need planning permission for a roofing renewal, so you’ll have free rein to choose the material, colour, and style that’s right for you. You should check if you are in a conservation area before undertaking your renewal as that may affect what you can do to your roof. In some cases you may have to install a ‘like-for-like’ replacement that resembles your old or existing roof exactly, so the decision of material is out of your hands.

If you’re unsure about which material would be best for your property’s roof, talk it over with a professional. Groom & Co is an established contractor that’s been serving London and the south-east since 1968. We’re always happy to talk over your options to create a truly bespoke system expertly tailored to your needs. Call 0800 6444 777 or email info@groomnco.co.uk today to get started.