Scottish Field

The roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof

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Your new home’s crowning glory is one of the biggest parts of a renovation. Do you know your large format from your low pitch, double Roman from interlocki­ng? The choice comes in natural products, manufactur­ed materials, composites, and different shapes and sizes which means there is the perfect choice out there. This is where cost and design combine to inform your decision

1. Slate

A group of small islands off the coast of Argyll are known as ‘the islands that roofed the world’. Today new slate is imported, mainly from Spain. There is talk of Scottish quarries reopening.

2. Pantiles

Pantiles can be traced back as far as the 1660s in Scotland with the claim they were imported as ballast in boats from the Netherland­s making the crossing to Fife for coal, salt and wool. Like slate, pantiles are much in demand for renovating properties in conservati­on areas or for listed buildings.

3. Metal

Lead flashings are commonplac­e for chimneys and roof junctions and for ornamental work on older buildings such as temperamen­ts. Zinc and copper are becoming popular and so is steel. They are especially suitable for windy sites.

4. Green

Turf roofs have been used in Scotland and Scandinavi­a for centuries. Modern versions are built up in layers keeping them waterproof. More often seen on commercial or community buildings, domestic green roofs are becoming more popular.

5. Thatch

Most people think of black houses in the Western Isles but thatch was once the most common roofing material across Scotland. A survey in 2016 for Historic Scotland reported more than 300 remain nationwide.

Synthetic and composite roofing is taking up a growing segment of the roofing market. Some of the most attractive yet durable and long lasting premium quality materials for roofing include composites available in the market today, with slate and shingle lookalikes.

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