Roof design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Different types of roofs and their pros and cons 

Throughout the ages, architectures have experimented a great deal on various roof designs. They have taken into consideration the climate of the region, people’s habits and culture to design a variety of roofing systems for the residential buildings. The experiments with roof designs continue to this date. The following are some of the roof types commonly seen in the houses of Singapore:

Gable roofing system – Gable roofing system is very popular in the residential buildings around the world and Singapore is no exception in this regard. The design of the gable roof helps to keep it free from stagnant water and snow. Being a coastal city, Singapore experiences moderate to high rainfall during the greater part of the year. So gable roofing system turns out to be a helpful design solution for the Singapore homes.

Interestingly, the vernacular architecture of the region has many examples of indigenous gable roofing system. Some of them are very intricate in design and are highly appreciated in the modern time. Many of the contemporary buildings in Singapore are built with interesting gable roof designs. The pitched roof of the contemporary Y House in Singapore has created quite a stir in the recent time.   

Hipped roofing system – Hipped roofs have a structure which resembles the design of the pyramids. They are sturdier than the gable roof and are more complex in design. Hipped roofing system is especially ideal for houses in the coastal areas of the city which experience strong wind throughout the year. Unlike gable roof which needs extra reinforcements, the hipped roof design does not easily get upset by strong wind.

Hipped roofs is also beneficial during heavy rain and snowfall. Though snowfall is beyond question, the hipped roof design is sure to help the houses in Singapore during the long monsoon season. It would be better to seek help of an experienced roof installer to build a strong and durable hipped roofing system for your home.

Dutch gable roof – Dutch gable roof combines the gable roof style with a hipped roof. The lower side of the roof has a gable formation and the upper side a hipped roof design. Dutch gable roof is not so common in the contemporary dwellings of Singapore. Opting for this type of roof design will instantly attract everyone’s eyes towards the façade of your home. Apart from the elegance of the roofing system, the extra space in the attic will serve you well in the long run. Due to their complexity of design, Dutch gable roofs are costlier than generic gable or hipped roofing systems.

Flat roofing system – Flat roofing system is undoubtedly one of the commonest roof types for the houses in Singapore. Flat roofs help people to utilise the top of the roof in various ways and expand the living space. Since residents of the city are faced with a scarcity of living space, this opportunity is considered to be quite irresistible.

Flat roofing system is also built with gentle slopes so that stagnant water does not cause the roof to collapse. This must be supported with proper drainage system to avoid any mishap. Discuss your options with an experienced architect and find out which type of roof would best suit your building and serve your purpose.

What materials do I need to build a roof?

There is a mind boggling variety of roofing materials available at your disposal. Galvanised steel, wood, brick and concrete are four materials frequently used to build the roofing system of the houses in Singapore. Often a combination of these items is used to build the roof. This helps to make a sturdy roofing system and lasts for a long time.

Flat roofs of the city are mostly built with steel rafters, brick and concrete. The resulting structure is often appreciated for its durability. Wood or wood alternative like plywood and engineered wood is frequently used to build the rafters of the pitched roof. Wooden rafters made of cedar, maple, ash or oak last for a long time. They have a great load bearing capability. Wooden beams, even the exposed ones, have the capabilities of beautifying the interior of a home with their charming presence. Sometimes a combination of wooden rafter, brick and mortar is used to build the roofing system. At other times, only wooden rafters, planks and shingles are used to decorate the pitched roof.

Tiles made of concrete, terracotta and ceramic are often used to decorate a gable or hipped roofing system. While concrete tiles are more of a contemporary favourite, terracotta and ceramic tiles are an age old choice. Concrete tiles are more durable than the other two options. But terracotta and ceramic roof tiles are available in a variety of designs.

Corrugated tin, fibreglass and uPVC are also used to design permanent and semi-permanent roofing systems especially for the garages and garden sheds. The price of building a roofing system depends on the materials used for the purpose, complexity of design and dimensions of the roof. Expect to pay a minimum of SGD 200 per square foot to design a roofing system for your home.

How to protect my roofing system?

Protecting the health of the roof is essential for maintaining the beauty and durability of the house. To protect the roof from persistent rain, install proper drainage system so that the water does not get stored on the rooftop and increase the load. Clean the debris on regular intervals. Use wood, slate or asbestos shingles to protect the roof and cool down the interiors. This makes your home more energy efficient. Design an elegant rooftop terrace and enjoy being outdoors with your friends and family members.