Advantages and disadvantages of pitched and flat roofs (2023)

Advantages and disadvantages of pitched and flat roofs (1)

Are you deciding between a pitched or flat roof for your new home? There are advantages and disadvantages to both, from structure strength to costs. Let’s explore these two roof types and I am certain it will assist you in making your final decision.

Let’s start with the flat roof. It is a roof that is almost level compared to the many types of sloped roofs available, known as pitched roofs.Flat roofs are mostly used in arid climates, and allows the space on the roof to be used as a living space. Itis also a suitable roofing solution for garages, domestic homes and commercial premises.

Portugalhas a warm, mediterraneanclimatewith a wet season in winter. It gradually becomes morearidtowards the south, down to the Algarve region, whichhasa fairlydry climate. For this reason, you will find more flat roofs in the Algarve than anywhere else in the country.

Though the flat roof does not possess the same degree of slope as the pitched roof, flat roofs are still designed with a slight slope that enables rainwater to drain away.

The flat roof is usually more affordable as it demands fewer construction and labour costs than the alternative pitched roof and can also be completed in a shorter time period. Less materials are usedand labour ischeaper because there is less risk involved when it comes to installing them.

Advantages and disadvantages of pitched and flat roofs (2)

Flat roof |Paço de Arcos

It is easy to climb upon flat roofs, making inspections a lot simpler. It is important to inspect your roof for any small problems that can escalate to bigger issues. Create your own routine check so that you can inspect your roof and see if there are any repairs that need to be done, in order to keep your roof in excellent condition. Clean your gutters and check for any water pooling that needs to be cleared. Internal checks are also imperative.

Routine inspections should be carried out at least once a year, before the start of Autumn.

(Video) Pros And Cons Of Flat Roofs What You Should Know 2021

A heavy bristle broom and hose pipe, pressure washer orchlorine solution are different ways that you can clean your roof. The pressure washer would work better than the broom when it comes to removing stubborn debris and algae. You will need to be careful when usingthe chlorine though, as it could be toxic toplants and people with sensitive skin. You will need to make sure that youread the instructions before making use of this method.

Concerning the aesthetics of a flat roof, some may think that it is not as appealing as the pitched roof,but having a flat roof offers you many possibilities when it comes to transforming your flat rooftop into your very own creative space. You can do this as long as your roof is structurally prepared and properly insulated. Here are a few ideas for your flat rooftop: roof deck, rooftop garden, meditation / relaxing space,barbeque area.

Let’s move on to the disadvantages now. Flat roofs are known to have shorter life spans than the pitched roofs, therefore they require more maintenance. However, the lifespan of flat roofs can now be extended becausethere havebeendevelopments of new, sturdier materials in recent years.

There aren’t a lot of material options to choose from for this type of roof. Rolled roofing is used on most flat roofs and the materials are naturally occurring asphalt, TPO(Thermoplastic olefin), EPDM rubber, PVC, liquid silicone and polycarbonate.

The lack of draining is the biggest disadvantage. Though flat roofs have a slight slope, they do not drain as effectively as pitched roofs. Water tends to puddle and remain on the roof, which can damage the roofing material and could lead to future leaks as well.

Proper sealing of the underlayment as well as the top coat is critical to protect your roof and extend its life expectancy because the sun and extreme weather conditions will eventually take a toll on the roof.

Advantages and disadvantages of pitched and flat roofs (3)

Pitched roof |Paço de Arcos

Now it is time to talk about pitched roofs.Apitched roof isaroofthat slopes downwards.Thepitchis the angle at which the roof rises from its lowest to highest point. We will discuss this point later on when we get to the different types of pitched roofs.

(Video) Flat Roof vs Low Pitch Roof vs Steep Pitch Roof

The longevity of a pitched roof is certainly superior to that of a flat roof, leading many people to making it their roof of choice for their own properties.

The materials used on pitched roofs are generally more weather resistant and durable, however, with the stronger materials being used in flat roofing, the gap between these two types of roofs are starting to close.

Water / moisture penetration is not wanted in any home. It can cause considerable damage that can be costly to repair.It is possible for any home to have a water problem, but a pitched roof is most effective when it comes to expelling water.

The traditional appearance of a pitched roof is popular worldwide and will fit in with most communities.The design of a pitched roof allows the home owner to use that extra available space for a loft conversion, which can be used as a bedroom, hobby room or even a study. Just imagine a cozy room, with sloped walls...a private space at your full disposal to use for anything youwish.

Pitched roofs also have room for proper insulation and when you keep your pitched roof routinely maintained, it canlast a lotlonger than a flat roof.

Focusing on the disadvantages now, pitched roofs costmore and they alsotakelonger to install. The design of a pitched roof is more complex than a flat roof. A pitched roof will require additional materials and increased labour, and will also be riskier when it comes to installation. So you can now see why a pitched roof would cost much more than a flat roof.

The weight of these roofs could differ according to the materials used when constructing the roofs, however,because flat roofs are usually made of concrete slabs and pitched roofs are usually made of wooden/metal frames, the pitched roof would be lighter. The flat roof would have to withstand the weight of water and snow, whereas the pitched roof will not, as it will naturally fall from the pitched roof.

Advantages and disadvantages of pitched and flat roofs (4)

Pitched roof terminology

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The different types of pitched roofs are: mono pitch roof, couple roof, closed couple roof, collar roof, purlin roof and the trussed roof. The main parts of a pitched roof: eaves, gable, flashing, hip, ridge, purlins, fascia, rafter, battens and the joist.

The eaves are the edges of the roof which hangs over the face of a wall and usually projects beyond the side of a building. The primary functionis to keep rainwateroff the walls and can also be decorated.

A gable is the triangular section of a wall between the edges of the intersecting roof pitches. The inverted form of a gable roof is a butterfly roof, also known as the V-roof.

Flashing is a strip of impervious material provided to prevent water from entering the roof through joints. Flashing can also be used on chimneys, walls and windows.

The hip istheangleformed by theridge between theadjacent roof slopes.

The ridge of a roof is the peak of the two roof surfaces that incline in opposite directions.

A purlinis ahorizontal structuremade ofwood or steel, to support the common rafter of a roof.

Fascia is a wooden board that runs along the lower edge of the roof.

Raftersare structural components, typically made of timber or steel,that are perpendicularto the ridge line of the roof truss. Multiple rafters are used side by side providing support.

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Battens are wooden, metal or plastic strips which are fixed on rafters or ceiling boards. Its purpose is to support roofing materials.

A joist is a horizontal member is used in framing to span an open space.They can be exposed or hidden and are usually made of wood.Without the joist, the weight of the roof would causestress on the building and could cause a shift in your walls.

Advantages and disadvantages of pitched and flat roofs (5)

Flat roof in the Algarve region

Different materials can be used for pitched roofs, such as ceramic / concrete tiles, slates, thatched roof and zinc.

The first evidence of tiled roofs was in China around 3000 BC. Tiles were also used in Greece and Babylon between 3000-2000 BC.

Local resources determined the development of architecture and roofing in each area. An example of this would be the Mastabas in Egypt whichwas built for the burial of pharaohs andnobles,and this occurred around 3000 BC. A mastaba is a type of ancient Egyptian tomb in the form of a flat roofed, rectangular structure and was made of mud bricks. Stone was used soon after and this was a resource that was abundant in Egypt.

The first flat roofs arose in areas with arid climates and is an ancient form.

The design of lower pitched roofs were enabled when the roof performance was improved.

(Video) Flat-roofs Vs Pitch roofs; Which one is better?

The last 2 centuries have seen the development of the roofing industry on a wide scale. Great advancements have been made tomaterials and manufacturing processes. Most roofing in Europe was constructed either with clay tiles or natural slate by the 19th century.

A lot of roofing types can be used on today's buildingsbecause of modern transportation, cheaper materials as well as automated production processes.Still struggling to decide on which roof type to choose from? Feel free to give us a call, we will be gladto help.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of pitched roof? ›

The following pros and cons could shed light on whether pitched roofing is really for you.
  • Pro: traditional in appearance. ...
  • Pro: relatively easy to maintain. ...
  • Con: much more expensive than a flat roof. ...
  • Con: potentially problematic with complex buildings. ...
  • Pro: more efficient in evacuating water.

Which of the following is a disadvantage of pitched roof? ›

The main disadvantage of a pitched roof is its weight and it needs a good foundation and strong beams put in place to hold the roof up. That being said, some homes simply don't have the foundation needed to support a roof of this nature.

What is the difference between a flat roof and a pitched roof? ›

It's important to understand that flat roofs aren't entirely flat. They are constructed to have a slight slope, which helps prevent water from standing on your roof. However, pitched roofs have a much sharper slope to effectively divert water out and away from your home or industrial building.

What are the advantages of pitched roofs? ›

Pitched roofs are built to withstand snow, ice, water and wind. Shaped as a triangle, they are stable, stronger and ensure perfect water drainage. Some roofing tiles, like natural slate, are extremely tough, waterproof and fire-resistant.

What are the disadvantages of flat roof? ›

The biggest drawback of flat roofs is the drainage or lack thereof. Sure, flat roofs do have a slight slope that drains the water, but not nearly as efficiently as a pitched roof. The rainwater tends to remain on the roof and form a puddle, which can lead to possible leaks or material damage.

What is the advantage of a flat? ›

A flat does not demands added payments for fixing any glitches, unlike houses. Maintenance of a flat is much easier than that of a house. Nothing like houses, flats offer several amenities like pools, 24 hours security, gym, laundry service and much more.

What are the disadvantages of roof? ›

Followings are the disadvantages of the pitched roof system.
  • Pitched roofs place a greater burden on the foundations of the building and demand a greater depth of the footings. ...
  • Not feasible for buildings with multiple levels or complex plans. ...
  • More expensive to install and maintain.

Why is a pitched roof better than a flat roof? ›

Pitched roofs are strong and resilient.

Pitched roofs are more stable than flat roofs during periods of heavy rain and offer far more effective drainage. The water drains off a pitched roof easily and uniformly, whereas on a flat roof water can build up, creating structural pressure.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a metal roof? ›

Pros Of Metal Roofing
  • Metal Roofs Are Long-lasting and Durable.
  • Metal Roofs Are Environmentally Friendly.
  • Metal Roofing Is More Energy-Efficient.
  • Metal Roofs Are Stylish.
  • Metal Roofs Can Be Noisy.
  • Metal Roofs Can Be Easily Dented.
  • Metal Roofing Is More Expensive.
4 Nov 2020

What are advantages and disadvantages of tile roofs? ›

Tile roofing can be expensive – Clay or concrete roof tiles can cost twice as much as asphalt shingles. However, you're paying for durability, longevity, and curb appeal. Over the long-term, you'll end up saving money since maintenance costs will be less and it will be some time before you have to replace it.

Which is cheaper flat roof or pitched? ›

A flat roof extension is cheaper

' Involving less labour and materials to install, a flat roof extension is more economical than a pitched roof. Its compact design also makes a flat roof extension less likely to get damaged, reducing costs even further.

What is a pitched roof called? ›


Also known as pitched or peaked roof, gable roofs are some of the most popular roofs in the US. They are easily recognized by their triangular shape. The Pros: Gable roofs will easily shed water and snow, provide more space for the attic or vaulted ceilings and allow more ventilation.

What is a flat roof called? ›

What are the different types of flat roofs? Built-up roof (BUR), modified bitumen roof (MBR), and rubber membrane roof (EPDM).

What are the advantages of roofing? ›

Roof Replacement Provides Lasting Benefits
  • Eye-Catching Curb Appeal.
  • Boosts Home Value.
  • Improves Energy Efficiency.
  • Provides Lasting Protection.
  • Eliminates the Problems Caused by Inadequate Repairs.
  • Learn More about Replacement vs. Repair.
  • Trusted, Attractive Asphalt Shingles.
  • Striking, Value-Creating Metal Roofing.
18 Aug 2021

What are the advantages of having a roof? ›

The Top 10 Benefits of a New Roof
  • Getting a new roof comes with a world of benefits. Here are the top ten benefits of getting a new roof. ...
  • Property Value. ...
  • Energy Efficiency. ...
  • Cost Effectiveness. ...
  • Health Benefits. ...
  • Preserving your décor. ...
  • Safety from falling objects. ...
  • Fire Safety.
13 Mar 2019

What is the advantage of concrete flat roof? ›

Flat concrete roofs are generally low maintenance, meaning they are easy to clean and aren't too difficult to access. Like any other roofing, debris and dirt can pile up over time. However, roofers can easily remove these from the surface without damaging the roof itself.

Where is pitched roof used? ›

Pitched roof are generally used in factories and workshops, godowns and warehouse, theater and auditoriums and in hilly regions. The climatic condition of the site, nature of the covering material, span and other factors are all responsible for the slope of the roof.

Is a flat roof or pitched roof better for solar? ›

Flat roof solar panels are more flexible systems than those mounted on the ground or pitched roofs, and they may make it easier to get as much use as possible from your panels. While there are several specific design considerations associated with installing solar panels on flat roofs, it's far from impossible.

What are the 2 main advantages of roof trusses? ›

Trusses are uniformly made ensuring accurate fabrication. Timber is durable and strong. With excellent thermal properties, timber trusses are energy efficient. They are also easily insulated.

Which of the following is not the advantage of flat roof? ›

Which of the following is not a disadvantage of flat roofs? Explanation: Some of the disadvantages of flat roofs are they are not appropriate at places of heavy rainfall, their self-weight is very high, and location and rectification of a leak in a flat roof is difficult.

What is the advantage and disadvantages? ›

As nouns, the difference between disadvantage and advantage is that disadvantage is a weakness or undesirable characteristic; a con while the advantage is any condition, circumstance, opportunity, or means, particularly favorable to success, or any desired end.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of flat structure? ›

Horizontal (flat) structure
Less layers leads to better communication More autonomy and responsibility for employees Employees may feel more motivated, therefore being more productiveLack of progression opportunities Higher workloads for managers Managers have more subordinates

What is the disadvantage of flat structure? ›

Drawbacks of a flat structure

May lead to higher turnover: It's normal for employees to aspire to higher levels where they get more responsibility and more benefits. In a flat organization, that kind of expectation is put away. Eventually, some employees leave because they see no way to advance their careers.

Is a flat roof safe? ›

A flat roof is less precarious than a pitched one, but you still run the risk of damaging the felt and potentially going through the membrane. You're less likely to cause damage on a warm day, and it's generally advisable to lay boards across it to walk on.

Is a flat roof stronger than a pitched roof? ›

Pitched roofs are known to last longer and require less maintenance over time, showing great lifetime value.

Are flat roofs better for heat? ›

Flat roofing is one of the most popular and efficient roofing options available, but they have one major drawback. Flat roofing is more prone to trapping heat than other roofing systems and this causes your building to be warmer and your energy costs higher.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of metal? ›

Extra strong. Metal is harder and stronger than plastic. Resistant to heat. Metals have higher melting points.
  • Expensive starter fees. Metal fabrication tools are more expensive than plastic fabrication.
  • Post fabrication process. ...
  • Limited designs.
8 May 2017

What are the advantages and disadvantages of steel? ›

Advantages & Disadvantages of Steel Construction
  • Reliability. Steel structures are very reliable. ...
  • Industrial Behavior. ...
  • Lesser Construction Time / Greater Erection Speed. ...
  • High Maintenance Costs And More Corrosion. ...
  • Fireproofing Costs. ...
  • Susceptibility To Buckling. ...
  • Higher Initial Cost / Less Availability. ...
  • Aesthetics.

What are the disadvantages of floor? ›

It should be regularly cleaned either swept/ Vacuumed any peck of dust can create scratches on the floor. Excess water can damage the flooring. Exposure to Sun may also cause damage, should the floor has to be well protected by elements.

What are the 3 main types of roofs? ›

Three Common Roof Designs and Their Advantages
  • Hip. A hip roof has slopes on all of its sides. The roof doesn't have even a single vertical side. ...
  • Gable. A gable roof features two sloping sides that meet at the top to form a ridge. ...
  • Flat. A flat roof has an extremely low pitch and is almost horizontally level.

What are 3 disadvantages of a hip roof? ›

Disadvantages of a Hip Roof
  • More complex and costly to design and build.
  • Less attic space due to sloping on all sides.

What type of roof is best? ›

Top 6 Best Roofing Materials
  • Asphalt Shingle Roofing: Best Overall.
  • Slate Roofing: Most Durable.
  • Metal Roofing: Most Versatile.
  • Wood Shingles: Most Environmentally Friendly Option.
  • Clay Tile Roofs: Best Curb Appeal.
  • TPO Roofing: Best for Flat Roof.

Why are flat roofs more expensive? ›

In terms of cost, flat roofs do tend to be more expensive than their sloped counterparts. Flat roofing involves more steps, and they typically require insulation to be installed. If you're looking for a sturdy, cost-effective roof for your building, a sloped roof is more than likely the way to go.

Are flat roofs stronger? ›

Flat Roof Advantage: Concrete, tile and wooden shingles typically last significantly longer than the materials used in building flat roofs. Single-ply roofing is known to be one of the most durable materials designed for flat roofs.

What is pitched roof made of? ›

The most common types of covering for pitched roofs are made from slate and tile.

What shape is a pitched roof? ›

This is one of the most traditional styles of roof, also known as a pitched roof, which is identified by the triangular 'A' shape. The sloping sides converge at a ridge, while at the far end creating walls with a triangular extension, which is known as the gable.

What material is used for pitched roofs? ›

In case of a pitched roof, you can choose between many types of roof covering. The most frequently used materials are ceramic roof tiles, slates and reed.

What is used on flat roof? ›

Asphalt has been used for flat roofing for decades and has improved over time. A primary benefit of Asphalt is that it is relatively easy to install in odd or complex shapes, coping well with curves and elevations.

How thick is a flat roof? ›

A minimum thickness of 18mm must always be used. Depending on the building use insulation could be required to construct a ‘warm roof' build-up. The sheets of plywood are fixed to the flat roof joists to make a flat base, hence the name flat roof.

How do flat roofs work? ›

They use an interior system of pipes, which can be found below the roof, to carry water away from the home's foundation. The drains are typically placed in the center of the roof. The pipe system is protected by the roof and walls of the building.

What are the advantages of flat roof over pitched roof? ›

Advantages of Flat Roofs

Lower construction and repair costs. Flat roofs take up less space and consequently use less material than sloped roofs. This makes initial construction cheaper but also means savings if any extensive repairs become necessary.


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