RAISE THE ROOF
Performance and looks should both come into play when you’re considering which material will best top off your home.
Choosing the look and style of your roof is one of the most significant design decisions you’ll be faced with as you build or renovate. After all, the roof is the largest surface of your home and it’s often very visible to the street.
Finding the roof that’s right for you involves weighing up many factors – beyond appearances, there are council and heritage regulations, durability, maintenance, thermal qualities and, of course, the budget to consider. Your architect or building designer will guide your choice, and they’re likely to suggest steel, or tiles in terracotta tiles or concrete.
“Recently, there’s been an evolution in both steel and tile roofing materials,” says Simon Croft, executive director of building policy for the Housing Industry Association. “Roof tiles look much sleeker and smarter than they used to, and there are better-looking options for the flashings that go with them.”
Think of a roof tile and a terracotta-coloured rectangle with a ridged profile likely springs to mind, but today’s options are far broader, says Brett Ward, general manager of marketing for Bristile Roofing. “Roof tiles are now available in a beautiful, flat profile that’s the perfect complement to the contemporary Australian home. And they come in all sorts of colours, from deep charcoal to pale, solar-reflective tones.” Solar-power capture is another burgeoning area of change for tiles, he says. “Our roof tiles with integrated photovoltaic panels sit flush within the roofline so they are a seamless part of your home’s design.”
Across Australia, many homeowners feel they need look no further than a steel roof. There are good reasons for this: a steel roof is easy to install,
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ROOF INVOLVES WEIGHING UP MANY FACTORS: APPEARANCE, COUNCIL AND HERITAGE REGULATIONS, DURABILITY, MAINTENANCE, THERMAL QUALITIES AND BUDGET.
strong and durable (some Colorbond roofing materials come with a 36-year warranty) and an excellent thermal performer. A steel roof will cool down quickly in summer and, paired with good insulation, retains heat during winter, too.
But perhaps the most compelling reason to opt for a steel roof is because of its place in our architectural story. “A Colorbond roof is iconically Australian,” says Sonia Simpfendorfer, creative director of Melbourne multidisciplinary design studio Nexus Designs.
One of the great strengths of Colorbond is the way it can flow from your roof to your garage doors, gutters, fences and tanks for a coordinated exterior appearance. And the colours on offer are distinctly Australian, referencing elements such as the grey-green of our eucalypts and the rich red of outback soil. Recently, Colorbond unveiled a new range of matt finishes, which harness new paint technology to deliver a natural-looking finish that diffuses light.
The result is a soft, textured and thoroughly modern appearance.