When it comes to building a home, the roof is kind of like the icing on the cake – it brings everything together.
And, in the same way that frosting should complement the sweet counterpart on top of which it will be the crowning glory (hence the classic carrot cake and cream cheese combo), so too should the roof you choose be informed by the characteristics of the home you want to build.
“It all comes down to style,” Metricon Design Manager, Ricky D’Alesio, says. “That’s why you tend to see a lot of Colorbond rooves 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.”
Other than the overall aesthetic, there are myriad other considerations when it comes to picking the roof material that is right for your home.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR ROOF

TIN OR TILES

There are three key players in the roof materials game: concrete, terracotta and corrugated iron, with each boasting its own benefits. When it comes to tiles, concrete – thanks to its more affordable price point – is the more popular option.
“Tiled rooves are great,” Ricky says. “They come in a variety of shapes and patterns, which means you can achieve a range of looks depending on whether you’re wanting 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.”
One the other hand, Ricky says, one of the features that makes a Colorbond roof 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.”
Lastly, despite their higher price point, terracotta tiles are becoming an increasingly sought after option for buyers looking to achieve a more classic, provincial style.

FLAT OR PITCHED 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 18C rules out tiles, which is why you generally see Colorbond on rooves with a very low pitch.”

INSTALLATION

Given tiles are much heavier than metal, installation is a lengthier process. It also means there are added engineering considerations that need to be taken into account at the planning stage. But, Ricky says, this is not something the customer has to worry about. “Once they 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 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 rooves – because it’s powder coated, you are able to 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.
 

COST

Colorbond has long been considered the more expensive option but, Ricky says, these days there is little difference in price.
“Concrete tiles and Colorbond are on par,” he says. “Many years ago there might have been a difference but, over the years, the price of Colorbond rooves 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,” he says, “But they are more expensive than conventional concrete roof tiles, which is why you don’t see them on many rooves.”

EFFICIENCY

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

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.”
Pictured from top:

For more interior design or style inspiration, visit one of our award-winning display homes, or check out our style gallery, where you can save and organise all your favourite Metricon home designs