Flat roof or peaked roof? It’s an age-old battle that will probably never end. Supporters of each roof style have compelling arguments, but when it comes to your commercial building, the flat roof is truly the best way to go. It’s not just about fitting in with the rest of the flat-roofed commercial buildings in your area; it’s about choosing the architectural style that best suits the needs of the location and the owner. Pitched roofs may be the norm in Canadian residential areas, but there are plenty of good reasons that the flat roof owns the commercial sections.
- Relatively Inexpensive Installation: The cost of constructing a good-quality pitched roof is astronomically higher than the cost of installing a good-quality flat roof. Commercial building owners know that this makes a big difference in the planning and execution of a commercial space, as well as to a subsequent buyer or renter. Savvy business owners and managers need to keep overhead costs as low as possible, and less expensive building spaces are the first step toward that goal.
- Usable Roof Space: A flat roof can be utilized as real space, whereas a pitched roof can only perform one function. Well-maintained flat roofs are great for rooftop gardens, patio space and summer break rooms. Installing grass insulation and solar panels on top of your commercial building can provide both insulation, protection from water pooling, and an efficient way to cut down your power bills. Need space for a small office party? Send everyone to the roof!
- Well-Managed Building Space: Commercial districts are strictly managed by city planners and architects, so that every inch of space is made to count. To this end, flat roofs are much more appealing to builders in these areas. Imagine several stores or office spaces lining a street, and then mentally add pitched roofs to each. See what happens? The buildings are forced apart to accommodate the heavy, overhanging roofs and their drainage systems. The flat roof allows for closer spacing, which looks better to any city planner.
- Easier Building Expansion: As a commercial building owner, the flat roof offers a much easier palette for architects to use when expanding the the building. Instead of tearing down an immense pitched roof, builders can simply remove a few sections of the existing flat roof and work their way up to a second storey. Again, this means less expense for the entire project, and a better chance of selling or renting the property later on.
- PVC Flat Roofs Offer Longevity: There are many different ways to build a flat roof, and it’s true that outdated methods generally mean replacing the roof 10 or 15 years down the road. Modern architecture, however, has led to some fantastic advancements in the longevity of the flat roof, specifically by way of PVC. A PVC flat roof will last up to 30 years before needing replacement, and the warranty will usually span 25 years. This time frame is just as long as the normal life span of a pitched roof.
For all these reasons, most commercial builders choose to install a flat roof rather that a pitched roof. If you do the same, you’ll encounter far fewer bureaucratic road blocks, expenses, and difficulties down the road. With good materials and regular maintenance, your roof can be both functional and economical.
Photo from Wikimedia.