Your roof is one of the most critical parts of a home. There are plenty of roof styles - whether it’s tile or tin, flat or pitched, a good roof will:

  • take the brunt of the weather, including wind, rain, hail and heat
  • keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • give your home a trendy look from the street, adding to the value of the home
  • protect your home from leaks

 
Having the right roof design will offer assurances that the wrong roof will not. Don’t try to take on the weather with the wrong material, or risk losing money by running heating a cooling all year long with poor insulation.
 
Here are the main things to consider when choosing your new roof.
 

 

TIN OR TILES

The three most commonly used materials when building a roof are concrete, terracotta and corrugated iron. Each boasts its own pros & cons and suits a specific location and style.

“Tiled roof types are great,” Metricon Design Manager, Ricky D’Alesio, says. “They come in a variety of shapes and patterns, which means you can achieve a range of looks depending on whether you want a more classic or contemporary façade. They do, in my opinion, add a level of classiness and elegance to a home. They are one of our most commonly used roofing materials. They're also very popular in high wind areas.”
 
When it comes to roof tiles types, the most popular option is concrete thanks to its more affordable price point.
 
However, despite their higher price point, terracotta tiles are becoming an increasingly sought-after option for buyers looking to achieve a more classic, provincial style.

One the other hand, Ricky says, one of the features that makes Colorbond roofing styles so attractive is that it offers a wide range of uses.

Hamptons-style homes or homes that have a different roof shape or form often use Colorbond because it is flexible in terms of bending,” he explains. “That means it can often be used on more angular or sloping pitches that do not allow for tiles.”
 

ROOF SHAPE AND DESIGN

Regardless of what you want or like, the pitch – or angle – of your roof might take the decision out of your hands. “If you have a flat roof it would have to be corrugated metal,” Ricky explains. “Anything lower than 18° rules out tiles, which is why you generally see Colorbond on roofs with a very low roof pitch. Steeper roofs general have more options."

If you’re unsure of which roof shape you want, here’s a quick guide of architectual styles:

Gable roof


Often known as a pitched roof, the gabled roof is one of the most common designs you’ll see. It’s made up of two sloping sections which meet at the top. These types of roofs often have dormers out the side letting light into your living space.

Hip roof


A hipped roof is similar to a gabled house roof, however it will have more than two surfaces sloping down towards the walls. A perfectly square hipped rooftop will make a pyramid shape.

Flat roof


As the name suggests, a flat roof is almost level. Usually, there is still a slight slope to allow for water runoff, however it will appear to be completely flat. This look is common in modern home design.

Skillion roof


This type of roof has a single, sloping flat surface instead of two or more which meet in the middle. Where a flat roof is a single surface that has no pitch, a skillion roof is a single surface that is pitched.
 

Other roof types which are more uncommon include butterfly roofs, mansard roofs, shed roofs, bonnet roofs, gambrel roofs, dutch gable, curved roofs, saltbox and sawtooth. There are lots of different shapes to keep roofers on their toes!

MORE: GET AHEAD OF THE GAME WITH THESE 2020 INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS
 

INSTALLATION

Given tiles are much heavier than metal roofing, installation is a lengthier process. It also means there are added engineering considerations that need to be taken into account at the planning stage. However, Ricky says this is not something you’ll need to worry about. “Once you go through the selection process, the drawings get altered to accommodate the additional weight.”
 

COLOURS

The colour you want for your roof can also help determine the material you use to build it.

“With concrete roof tiles you’re a bit more limited to a colour palette as they predominantly come in greys,” Ricky says. “There are a couple of options for colour – you can have them sprayed (which is applied to the top only) or have them coloured all the way through. The disadvantage of getting your roof sprayed is that the colour fades over time. You also need to be careful because if you ever need to cut the tiles, you can see the edge of the concrete. With Colorbond roofs – because it’s powder-coated, you can get it finished in a range of different colours.”

Terracotta tiles are also available in colours other than the eponymous burnt orange, such as black, browns, greys and even metallics.

You can browse our range for colour and design ideas.
 
An aerial drone photo of a new home with metal roofing.


COST

Colorbond has long been considered the more expensive option. However, Ricky says these days there is little difference in price.

“Concrete tiles and Colorbond are on par. Many years ago, there might have been a difference but, over the years, the price of Colorbond roofs has come down, making them a much more competitive option for consumers who are looking for something a little more modern or sleek."

Terracotta, on the other hand, is generally more expensive, but Ricky says this is because it is a more high-end option that would suit people looking for durability and easy maintenance.

“For buyers who want longevity, terracotta roof tiles are becoming more and more popular, but they are more expensive than conventional concrete roof tiles, which is why you don’t see them on many roofs.”

MORE: HOME IS WHERE THE SMART IS: TECHNOLOGY TRENDS IN 2020
 

EFFICIENCY

While concrete and terracotta tiles both have insulating properties, making them ideal for colder climates, many people building in regional areas like using Colorbond because of its reflective element, especially in the lighter colours.

“Lighter roofs tend to reflect the heat so in hotter areas, Colorbond tends to be a better fit.”

For those tossing up between tiles and tin, Ricky says when it comes to installing solar panels for eco-friendly design, new innovations in roof tiles mean they can now be integrated into the tile for a smooth, seamless look.
 
“Solar panels can now be built seamlessly into the tile rather than applied to the top of the roof,” he says. “That means you can still have solar panels without worrying about how they are going to impact the look of your home, which is pretty cool.”

You should also consider adding a skylight to help create a green roof as it lets natural light inside during the day.
 
A gable roof at a Metricon home.


MAINTENANCE

If you’re looking for low maintenance, Ricky says terracotta and Colorbond have the longest lifespans. “With some concrete tiles, chances are you’ll probably need to re-spray them every 10 years, which is something you won’t have to worry about with terracotta or Colorbond.”
 
Above all, you don’t want to be hit down the line with roof replacement costs, so make sure you get it right from the start and take good care of it.
 

STYLE

“It all comes down to style,” Ricky says, “that’s why you tend to see a lot of Colorbond roofs on ranch-style homes. They also work well in coastal areas. Tiles, on the other hand, have a more classic look and work particularly well with homes that favour a more European-inspired façade.”

A pitched roof at a Metricon home.

If you're looking to build a new home and are unsure what roof type is best for you, get in touch with our professional consultants who can help you pick the best option.