Oy! Anyone got an extension with a flat roof? Come and talk to me!

(36 Posts)
Dolphinnoises Fri 03-Jan-14 20:13:37

Yes, I know I know it's duuulllllll....

But we need some more space and the architect says it's got to have a flat roof for all sorts of boring reasons. I really didn't want one - I'm imagining drumming rain and leaks and no-one wanting to buy it if we decide to sell, and insurance companies refusing to insure us.

Does anyone out there know better? Yes I know I should have posted in Mumsnetters With Extension questions or similar, but it's a bit niche and I think I'll need the traffic.

ijustwantnicehair Fri 03-Jan-14 20:17:54

Yes we have a leaking flat roof but it's old and I imagine new ones to be lots better (But why can't it just have a teeny tiny slope???!)

I had one below my bedroom window growing up. I used to love climbing out and sitting on it helpful

pepperrabbit Fri 03-Jan-14 20:20:21

Hello, I'll be traffic...
We have quite a large extension with a flat roof, we have 2 skylights in it which do let you hear the rain but it's quite a nice noise - not nearly as loud as I recall holidays in caravans sounding like as a small child.
I really like being able to see the weather and the sky and if you are upstairs in the spare room you can spy on the kids
You can't hear through the roof!
Insurance wise I had to calculate the percentage of roof that was flat - some companies cut off at maybe 20% ? You'll need to check.
Leaks - we had one, when it was first done - builder came out straightaway and fixed it, never had a problem since (and I suspect the last week or two would have found any weaknesses!)
Does that help? smile

eurochick Fri 03-Jan-14 20:20:36

It's not an extension, but we do have a flat roof on part of our house. We hear the drumming rain anyway as we have skylights in every room, so the flat roof doesn't make a difference. We've lived here for 5 and a half years (and I bet I come to regret saying this!) have had one small leak in that time, although I do inspect after each bout of heavy rain, as flat rooves do have a reputation for leaking.

Theonlyoneiknow Fri 03-Jan-14 20:21:13

Our extension (sunroom) has à flat roof and it didnt put us off buying the house. An hoping to eventually replace it with a sloping roof but there isnt much space between the flat roof and the upstairs Windows.

Did he say why you couldnt have a flat roof?

phantomnamechanger Fri 03-Jan-14 20:21:19

we used to have a downstairs bathroom that was an extension on a tiny victorian terrace - no problems with it in 5 years there.

we have a flat roof on the utility room in our current house - we have been here 14 years, had the flat roof redone due to a leak about 10 years ago (roof was original to house so about 30yrs old!) and it has been sound ever since. good drainage is the key - some of the neighbouring houses look like they have ponds on their roofs but we keep ours clear and it drains fine.

Yes, we had a flat roof put on our extension last summer. The newer types are much more sophisticated than the old asphalt ones, ours has a 25 year guarantee on it. It is a single ply, cold applied system. The skylights are quite noisy during rain, but the roof itself is fine :-)

SashaOfSiberia Fri 03-Jan-14 20:23:54

Our extension has a flat roof, I never considered it would be an issue and it isn't.

I suppose the rain can be loud but that's always seemed more because of our skylights and is only noticeable when it's very very heavy. We have had one leak but it was a result of a skylight not being closed properly. I don't understand the point about insurance, don't think they even queried it.

phantomnamechanger Fri 03-Jan-14 20:24:06

as an aside, our flat roof is our fire escape plan, the window above it is always kept unlocked and the kids know how to get out that way using a chair/upturned toy box

hopefully we will never have to put that into action but I find it comforting to know its do-able!

Oldraver Fri 03-Jan-14 20:24:39

Well I have frequently seen the question... do you have x amount of flat roofing...on insurance policy questionaires.

Years ago we had a garage that was in a block of 4. Ours was the end of the block, the felting on the second to the oppossite end was a bit frayed, during some very bad wind it tore right the way across to ours. Owner of next but one garage had all his costs met next door 50% and ours refused to pay a penny the snotty assesor told us even before looking they company wont pay out. So insurance is obviously could be an issue

Rufustherednosedreindeer Fri 03-Jan-14 20:24:39

Flat roof here as well. Can't hear the rain anymore than in any other room. We did have a small leak (very old roof) but we have now covered it with rubber. It's great and should last at least 10 years

Bitofkipper Fri 03-Jan-14 20:24:48

1 storey flat roof extension here.It's 40 years old and no problems.
We did use a bitumen type paint on it about 20 years ago just in case; probably should check it again.

GummiBear74 Fri 03-Jan-14 20:25:04

We have one with no skylights and you can still hear the rain through it. It's about 10 years old and no leaks (yet).

One day, we'd like to replace it with a slightly sloping one.

phantomnamechanger Fri 03-Jan-14 20:25:06

oh yes, ours had a 25yr guarantee too when it was done

Rufustherednosedreindeer Fri 03-Jan-14 20:26:55

Sorry just seen insurance question

No that's never caused us any trouble with our insurers

And our flat roof is also our fire escape plan, we had special windows fitted in the room above it ( no idea how to open the bloody thing but I'm sure I'll work it out when the flames are licking my arse)

DawnOfTheDee Fri 03-Jan-14 20:28:19

Our entire house is flat roofed.

Hearing rain - not a problem at all. Don't really notice it.

Problems - we had the roof replaced when we moved in (we knew we would need to do this from the survey). Off the top of my head i think the new roof has a 20/25 year shelf life (ours is also guaranteed for 15 yrs i think?) That's pretty much standard and as long as that's understood (by you or whoever you sell it on to) it's not a problem. Just check regularly that there is no pooling, etc.

Some insurers don't like it and won't quote. However we've never had a problem getting insurance. There are still plenty of insurers who will quote and it doesn't make a massive difference to us premium wise.

Dolphinnoises Fri 03-Jan-14 20:34:56

I need to check that with the architect in the morning - he sent me a letter laying it all out just as we were going away for Xmas but I only got around to reading it today. I was under the impression we were going to get a pitched roof but there are reasons why this would be v expensive...

Dolphinnoises Fri 03-Jan-14 20:37:58

Ooh sorry that was to nicehair, the supermarket van arrived and by the time I came back there were loads of you!

Dolphinnoises Fri 03-Jan-14 20:39:17

Reassuring about the rain - and we should fall within pepperrabbit's 20%, I'll call an insurance broker this week to see what it would mean.

Thanks for the reassurance all the rest of you...

BohemianGirl Fri 03-Jan-14 20:41:34

Yes and no we dont hear the rain

NearTheWindmill Fri 03-Jan-14 20:43:25

We had a bit of flat roof redone a couple of years ago and the stuff they use is now very advanced and comes with a 25 year guarantee. I'm sorry I can't remember the exact technical terms.

Dolphinnoises Fri 03-Jan-14 20:44:46

Not to worry, I'll just say "I'll have the thing with the 25 year guarantee please" and do this grin brew

Our extension has a flat roof. And we've not had a problem in the nearly 7 years we've been here (house bought with extension in place).

I can only hear the rain if it's really hard. I like the fact that the roof, while flat, slightly tilts to one side so all the water drains off into a gutter, which wasn't the case with the flat roof of PILs garage. Totally flat so water did pool and case issues.

Tiredandhot Fri 03-Jan-14 20:49:44

We put a lantern in ours - this sort of thing (if photo thing works), it's lovely as let's in so much light. Can be hot in summer when the sun comes through directly but we have a shade thing inside. Yes, you do hear the rain but it's not really a problem, the kids love it.

TwinkleSparkleBling Fri 03-Jan-14 20:50:52

DH works for a flat roofing company. They do a 25 year guarantee, I don't know the ins and outs but he sells lots and never has any complaints grin. I think they re do old ones with some sort of "magic" cover.

I'll ask him for info in a mo..........

LaundryFairy Fri 03-Jan-14 20:51:09

We're planning a flat roof, but a green one planted with sedum to make it more interesting, cut down on the sound of rain falling, and reduce water run off. Hope to do it later this year (money permitting).

This is my sloping flat roof because it's planted then there is no sound and it looks great. We sit on it in the summer grin. Never had any problems with noise or leaks.

TwinkleSparkleBling Fri 03-Jan-14 21:03:32

Hi,

Twinkle's DH here.

I work for a flat roofing company. So declaring an interest from the off - however I don't know where you are based so not touting for business.

Firstly there is nothing wrong inherently with a flat roof per-se - it's what we have traditionally covered them with that is the problem.

You do need some sort of pitch even on a "flat" roof - a minimum of 1 in 80 but I would recommend 1 in 60 as better. Also make sure the architect takes the water from the property away to the edge of the roof, and not as I've seen before, from the edge of the roof back to the main building and then out through internal drains and all sorts - just bad practice.

Felt, has typically a lifespan of 7-10 years, slightly longer if covered in chippings. People ignore their roofs until they leak - which is about 2 years too late! Also, walking on it causes it to crack quicker.

There are however a range of products on the market now that have significantly longer lifespans. The product we use is called "Rubberbond" - it is an EPDM elastomeric single ply membrane with a fleece reinforcement layer. In a nutshell, fit this roof and you will NEVER have to re-cover it. The first roofs were done in 1962 in the US and no roof has ever had to be recovered (ok, sounding like a sales pitch over).

We give 25 year guarantee on it - most other installers will give 20-25 on it as well.

Do not confuse it with Firestone - which is a simple EPDM - it's cheaper, but no-where near as strong and won't last as long.

Insurance companies know about it, and whilst you still have to declare if you have an area of flat roof, once you tell them it's Rubberbond you'll be fine.

Do NOT fit fibreglass whatever you do. It's brittle, and whilst very strong, it has a tendency to crack.

There are also liquid coatings available - some better than others so do your research carefully on these.

Needless to say, Rubberbond isn't cheap - typically on a new-build it will cost 10-20% more than felt or fibreglass, but given the lifespan benefit it's well worth the extra.

Hope that helps, but for more info please PM DW.

TwinkleSparkleBling Fri 03-Jan-14 21:04:49

Sorry if that was too epic blush as you can imagine DH is truly riveting at parties!

Hey, Twinkle, don't worry grin As a flat roof owner I did find it a bit interesting grin

Dolphinnoises Fri 03-Jan-14 21:12:56

No he's great I slightly love him now - thank you very much indeed, I'm going to print all that out so I don't lose it thanks

MissBeehiving - your house is amazing!

PharaohQueen Fri 03-Jan-14 21:14:57

What a shame this is in Chat, can you get it moved so this information can stay?

Dolphinnoises Fri 03-Jan-14 21:16:33

I'll ask, Pharoah - you're right. I sort of imagined loads of tumbleweeds floating past and look at it all! Bless you all thanks

NearTheWindmill Fri 03-Jan-14 21:21:51

Twinkle's DH has said what the roofers said I think. It's great.

AbeerNaseer Fri 18-Apr-14 16:39:59

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