Flat roofs - pros and cons

Šime Unić
Flat roofs - pros and cons

If you’re looking to buy or build a new house, the roof will be one of its most distinctive features. You will usually find a flat roof on modern buildings, but there may be situations in which a sloped roof is a better fit.

Traditionally, flat roofs were predominant in warmer parts of the world where there is very little snow in winter. Sloped roofs, on the other hand, were erected in colder climates because they prevented snow from piling up and damaging the structure with its weight.

But as more reliable isolation materials were developed, the flat roof started expanding in the colder regions, too. In order to properly assess whether this type of roof is good for your house, here’s a short overview of its pros and cons.

Bigger usable surface

You can view a flat roof as an additional surface in the house that can be used in a multitude of ways. For example, this can be a great substitute for a year because here you can install things like swings, cover it with grass or something like that. In fact, big cities around the world are stimulating planting greenery on this kind of roof.

It’s worth mentioning that this type of roof can fit aesthetically just about everywhere and that this architectural style is considered global precisely because it can be found all over the globe.

However, the things we’ve mentioned so far are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways you can use a flat roof. A good idea is to install windows into them so that the inside of the house receives a lot of natural light. That way, the whole place will look much more modern and original, plus there’s also the option of installing solar panels to save energy.

Bigger usable surface

More efficient

In fact, energy savings is another big advantage of flat roofs. Since this type of house doesn’t require a separate construction to support the sloped roof sides, the whole building has a better ratio of volume and usable surfaces. This means that energy is spent more efficiently.

Adding solar panels only brings that to the next level.

In modern buildings, this type of roof is made of several layers of isolation materials that guarantee perfect protection. You don’t have to be afraid of leaks because this roof also has a drainage system that makes sure rainwater doesn’t pool anywhere.

Easier to build and fix

A flat roof is easier to fix if you find that you need to replace the top layer or make any other repairs. The layers of this roof can be assembled like a jigsaw puzzle, which is much easier than climbing a sloped roof.

This also affects how quickly your roof will be built, which is something to consider if you’re looking for a building plot where you can build a house and want the house to be finished as soon as possible. You won’t have to build the whole construction that carries the roof, but instead the roof layers will be assembled much more easily.

It should also be noted that working on a flat roof is much safer for the workers, and gusts of wind will deal much less damage to it, too.

Nevertheless, after everything that’s been mentioned here, it needs to be said that a flat roof is not perfect and that it has potential flaws you should look out for. Let’s take a closer look.

Easier to build and fix

The main flaw - heavy precipitation

The man flaw of a flat roof has to do with precipitation. Although this type of roof is not completely flat, the slope of just a few degrees is often not enough to make sure rainwater is fully drained in case of heavy rain. Therefore, you need a good drainage system, which can cost you. Even then, it’s possible that some water is left behind on the roof.

Then there’s the issue of snow which can accumulate in colder parts of the world and has to be manually removed.

And although a flat roof is undoubtedly faster and simpler to build, you need to consider the fact that it has many layers. And each layer has to be carefully laid down, otherwise you could see a lot of damage from the rain. More layers could also mean more maintenance, so this kind of roof can cost you more in the long run, especially if you have to replace it at some point.

As a consequence, you will have to check your roof regularly and look for potential problems that could demand quick intervention. This is sometimes not easy because it can be difficult to identify the place where the leak is. In that case, you could be looking at some major repairs.


In order to make sure you avoid all these problems, you need to make sure you have top-quality materials for your roof as well as capable workers who will make sure no mistakes are made when installing the layers of the roof.

The way you’re going to use your roof will have a role to play, too. If you’re looking at it purely from an aesthetic point and do not intend to spend time on it, you can cover it with tin or monolithic coating.

On the other hand, you can even put grass on a flat roof, and this layer will need to lie on a special membrane and heat insulation. After that comes a layer that takes care of geotextile, and only then the layer on which grass can grow.

These are just some of the options, but even this is enough to show that, apart from the aesthetic and the function of the roof, you also have to think about the materials you use to build it.


Choose the right property

No matter what kind of roof you want, Terra Dalmatica is your best partner for finding property in Dalmatia. Our offer has all kinds of houses, villas and vacation homes with both types of roofs, and you can also easily acquire building plots close to the sea if you want to build something of your own.

We hope this text helps you assess the roof of the property you’re interested in more easily, and our great agents are at your disposal for any and all information you may require. Additionally, they can help you prepare the necessary documentation and speed up the purchase.

Contact us and find your dream home!

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