Sunday, September 7, 2014

What’s more important the look of your roof or how it functions?

What’s more important the look of your roof or how it functions?

This might sound like a simple question to answer but if you take a look at the high end luxury homes being constructed these days’ architects and designers are focused more on the aesthetic appeal of the roof and less with how it should be built or how it should function.

To answer this question you should ask yourself a couple of questions, questions such as what is the function of a roof in the first place. Why do we have roofs, why do roofs look like they do in certain areas of the country but look different in others?

Let’s tackle the first question, what i s the function of a roof?

The function of a roof is too keep the elements (Mother Nature) out of your home and off your head. That’s basically the simplest answer there is for a roof. So if that’s the basic job for a roof then that helps answer the second question we have about roofs.

Why do we have roofs?

We have roofs on our houses to stop the sun, rain, snow and wind from entering the home. It is also there to make sure that bugs and animals aren’t able to enter the home. If any of this was allowed to enter the home through the roof then our possessions would be damaged and we could end up sick or worse depending on the weather or the type of animal that entered the home. Now that we have answered those two questions the answer to the last questions becomes clearer;

Why do roofs look like they do in certain areas of the country but look different in others?

The reason that roofs look like they do is to help them deal with the outside elements in as an efficient way as possible. This answers the last question “why do roofs look like they do in certain areas of the country and different in others”. Roofs where invented to function, for example if you live in a very rainy part of the country then you will want a roof that can deal with a great deal of water. One way to deal with water is to slope your roof so that the water runs off your roof on its own, if you add in the fact that you get snow in the same area as you get rain then you want the slope of the roof to be more extreme. This will help shed snow; you want to shed snow because snow is heavy and puts undue stress on the framing and structure of your roof. This is why you see large steep roofs in area’s that get a lot of rain and snow.

Back to the original question, “what’s more important the look of the roof or how it functions?” Well my answer to this question comes from a builder’s point of view and it is simply; the roof should function and that function is more important then the look of it. As a builder I think that your roof should never be compromised on function just to make the appearance more appealing.

Now that I have said that I also believe that there is room in there to make your roof look aesthetically appealing. What I think should be the focus when designing a roof is that it should be designed in the following way;

1. The roof should be designed in a simple and basic ways so that it functions first and does what you need the roof to do.

2. After this has been established then the roof can be shaped and shifted to be aesthetically pleasing for the homeowner.

3. A review of what has been removed, added or shifted so that there can be any problem areas identified with the new look of the roof.

4. Remediation of the new roof so that it functions properly with its new look.

Following this you should end up with a roof that functions properly but also doesn’t look out of place. Your home should look as good from the outside as it does from the inside but you shouldn’t sacrifice how it functions for how it looks.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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