Flat Roof vs. Pitched Roof: What’s the Difference?

Jan 15, 2021 | Roofing

Did you know that the global roofing market was worth more than $100 billion in 2020?

Choosing the shape, such as flat roof vs pitched roof, material, and color of your roof, will have implications for many other aspects of the roof, such as how much it costs, how long-lasting it is, and how efficient it is for your home.

At the end of the day, you want a roof that looks good, is long-lasting, is inexpensive, works with your home’s temperature fluctuations, doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, and is cheap to repair.

If you’re in the process of building a new building, whether commercial or residential, you might be wondering what kind of roof is right for you.

When deciding on a roof, it is essential to choose the type that will fit your needs the best. You basically have a choice of two between pitched roofs and flat roofs. Here is our flat roof vs. pitched roof guide so that you can make a well-informed decision.


Which One? Flat Roof vs Pitched Roof

In the end, it is really a personal decision whether to go with a pitched roof or whether to go with a flat roof.

As roofing professionals, we know that pitched roofs will last longer and require less money and maintenance over time. But, if a flat roof is more aesthetically pleasing to you and you are looking for lower installation costs, this is the way to go!

It all depends on your choice and the type of building you’re roofing.


Pitched Roof?

What is a pitched roof? It is a roof with an angle of usually over 20° consisting of a sloping surface or surfaces. More specifically, a pitched roof needs a pitch higher than 10 degrees or a roof with two slopes that meet up at a central point.

The pitched roof is the roof that is most popular for residential homes. They are also the homes that generally give us attics or lofts.


Pros of Pitched Roofs

There are numerous reasons why most property owners choose pitched roofs, especially given that pitched roofs are much more prevalent than flat roofs.

Here are some pros of pitched roofs:

  • The lifespan of a pitched roof is generally better than that of a flat roof, contributing to many property owners choosing this one for their properties.
  • Rainwater and snow can easily fall and slide from a pitched roof due to its sloping angle, preventing pooling.
  • If problems occur on a pitched roof, maintenance is cheaper for the repair than with flat roofs. The repairs are simpler because it generally consists of replacing a few roof tiles or shingles at a time.
  • A pitched roof can give you extra living or storage space in the form of an attic or loft.


Cons of a Pitched Roof

The only real issue with a pitched roof is the initial installation expense compared to a flat roof. The reason being that a pitched roof takes longer to install and requires more material than a flat roof.

The other potential drawback with a pitched roof is in terms of aesthetics. If you’re constructing a modern building, a pitched roof may not integrate with the style of architecture you’ve designed. In that case, it goes without saying that a flat roof is the best choice.


Flat Roof?

Well, yes, it’s obvious, a flat roof is flattish! This type of roof is most common for commercial buildings and in the design of modern homes.

Even though they are called flat roofs, they are not. Flat roofs are built with a very slight slope to ensure that rain can slide towards the guttering.


Pros of a Flat Roof

If you are making a roofing decision based on available money, a flat roof is a great choice.  Here are some pros of a flat roof:

  • Flat roofs are more economically viable as they have lower installation cost as they do not require tiles or shingles.
  • Flat roofs create more space at the top of your home. If you have a well-maintained flat roof, it could be used as an extra outdoor living area
  • A flat roof provides more space for the air conditioning unit and components thereof
  • If your home or business building design is modern, a flat roof is more aesthetically more pleasing. A flat roof will give your modern building that clean-cut look of new, more contemporary buildings.


Cons of Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are an interesting and useful alternative to conventional pitched roofs. Nonetheless, it is vital to consider the drawbacks of flat roofs. A flat roof can lead to a bigger issue without the correct planning and contractor.

Here’s why:

  • Flat roofs are not viewed as elegant and are unlikely to blend into the neighborhood as easily as their pitched counterparts.
  • Buildings with flat roofs are particularly vulnerable to heat in the summer and colder temperatures in the winter
  • Flat roof building provide less space inside for insulation
  • Flat roofs cannot withstand the weight of snow and ice built up in winter without extra internal support.
  • Flat roofs have more drainage problems than pitched roofs, so additional drainage systems have to be installed.


At the End of the Day, It’s Your Choice

Every person has a vision for his or her dream home!

Whether you are constructing a home from the ground up or adding an extension to an existing structure, choosing a roof is a crucial decision. The choice of flat roof vs pitched roof may impact appearance, cost, and function, so that decision is not taken lightly.

Now that you know the benefits and drawbacks of both a pitched and flat roof,  you can make an informed choice as to which one you think is for you.

Either way, contact us and see what we can do for you!