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Common Roof Styles in New Zealand 

When planning the design and build your dream home, usually kitchens and bathrooms top the list of decision making around how you want them to look and feel. But although not as exciting as interior design, the look and design of your roof should also be a high priority. Considering your roof can make up to a third of the exterior of your home, your roof provides a significant visual impact. As well as providing protection from the elements, it plays a major role in how weathertight, resilient and energy efficient your home is. 
 
There are many considerations when planning your roof design; for example pitch, style, colour, choice of material (roof coverings), exposure to weather conditions, site positioning and of course, budget. This month we want to discuss the practical and visual elements of roof pitch and style.
 
Roof pitch describes the steepness of a roof and it is essential in determining how water and debris will disperse. The main reason for pitching a roof is to redirect water and snow, in colder areas, away from the house, which is why a steep pitched roof is common in areas that receive heavy snowfall. 
 
When it comes to roof styles for houses, there are four main roof styles that are common to New Zealand domestic architecture. 
 


1. Gable Roof

 
A gabled  roof is the kind young children typically draw. They have two sloping sides that are pitched so that they meet in the middle creating a ridge.
The gable is very popular in New Zealand, recognisable by its triangular shape and traditional aesthetic. From a functional perspective, gable roofs easily shed water and snow, however extra bracing is essential in high wind zones. Inside, a gable roof provides space between the ceiling and roof coverings for a loft conversion, storage or attic purposes, or can be used to create a striking raked ceiling. There are also several variations of the standard gable roof.

2. Hip Roof

 
The clean, symmetrical design of a hip roof makes it another popular choice in New Zealand. Sturdy and stable in areas with snowfall or high winds. The hipped roof style has all sides equal in length, forming together at the ridge of the roof to resemble a pyramid, often seen in the older New Zealand weatherboard villas. 
Consistent with gable roofs, the increased height of a hip roof allows ceiling space for storage, attics or raked ceilings.  
Hip style of roofing may involve extra timber costs for the bracing inherent to the design.
 
A lot of New Zealand house plans incorporate roof-lines with a combination of hip and gable features.
 

3. Mono pitch Roof

 
Modern and striking, a mono pitch roof is also known as a skillion roof. It is a single-sloped roof surface, that rises from one side of the house to the other. That single plane is often not attached to any other roof surface. 
Mono pitch roofs can be very easy to construct, and evoke a minimalist, industrial style that has gained popularity in recent years. Eye-catching to look at from the outside, they add size to the interior rooms and give a nice aesthetic to ceilings if designed to follow the pitch of the roof. 
A mono-pitched roof mainly depends on gravity in order to maintain the integrity of its structure. One of the major advantages of this kind of roofing is that it can easily be constructed in a short time frame. Overall reducing material and labour costs. 
 

4. Flat Roof

 
Typical of Art Deco house design in New Zealand,  as the name suggests flat roofs appear to be completely flat with no pitch. However, they do have a slight pitch to allow for water run-off and drainage. Flat roofs are popular in areas with dry climates. Although flat roofs are more common in commercial applications in New Zealand, for both commercial and residential the roof can be used as extra living or deck space, or to provide space for storage, solar panels, air conditioning units and other building services. Ventilation and correct choice of roof covering is essential when using a flat roof design.
 
Before choosing your roof, it is important to determine what will work on your building site, the weather conditions your home will be exposed to and any other local or regulatory conditions. Once you have narrowed the choices from a practical perspective, think about what your needs are in terms of storage, building services, energy efficiency and of course, how you want your roof and ceilings to look. 
 
The team at Kit Markin are specialists who will work with you and your ideas to make your dream home a reality. Whether you choose one of our pre-designed plans or work with your architect, take time to consider what style of roof will best suit your lifestyle and needs, and give your dream home the crowning glory it deserves.