Every time we begin looking at designing an extension this question arrises.

If this is so, why are so many architects now designing houses and extensions with flat roof sections?

Do flat roofs leak? Well, the answer is yes and no…

I can’t tell you how many flat roofs we have stripped and re-buil in the past. However these roofs would have all been built in the 80′s and 90′s. In those days flat roofs were largely undesigned. They were covered using torch-on felt and laid by handymen, not roofers. I remember my own father at home repairing ours several times.

So, why are modern day architects specifying flat roofs in most contemporary designed dwellings?

Well, nowadays things are very different!

Today’s roofs are generally well designed. Carpenters are trained in building the carcass frame to specific slopes/falls. In addition, there are many companies specialising in this type of roof construction. These companies both provide the specialist tradesmen and roofing materials so they can take complete responsibility for the waterproofing of the roof.

There is a wide variety of materials available on the market now far a variety of different budgets. On the lower end bituminous and rubberoid coverings, on the higher end architectural varieties such as copper, zinc and lead.

The companies fitting these products now give substantial warranties generally up to 15 years but stiff competition has now caused many to offer up to 20 years although to be fair, they should last a good deal longer than that.

But what happens if these companies are not around in 20 years time to fix them? Some of the better warranties are even insurance backed meaning that the policy will pay for another company to fix your roof if this arrises. They have thought of everything!

So when you hear someone complaining about their leaking flat roof, it’s probably an old one!