Types of Roofs for Homes in Brisbane

Types of Roofs for Homes in Brisbane

Tips and Advice

Having a roof over your head means more than getting shelter from the elements. Roofs also provide both thermal and sound insulation and, to a certain extent, protection from fire.

There are many different roof styles from which to choose, most of which can be configured to fit any basic building plan. In addition, the material used for the roof will affect the style you choose. For example, a corrugated metal roof will fit a traditional Victorian style, while a pitched tiled roof can give the effect of Mediterranean splendour. A flat roof, however it is finished, can look wonderfully Moorish.

Choosing the right material

So how do you choose the right material for your home? Well if you’re renovating and your roof needs replacing, there is obviously a tendency to simply use the same material that was used on your original roof. However you don’t have to, you can always choose a different roofing material. Similarly, if you are building a new home your options are quite open in terms of materials and styles of roofs.

The material used for roofing will affect the design of the roof, including the truss configuration. It is important to realise this if you decide to redo your roof because not all roof timbers are suitable for multiple finishes. Sometimes you need fatter members, and the centres at which the roofing is attached can differ. Pitch requirements are also a consideration. Some materials require a much greater pitch than other tiles or roofing types, and metal sheeting generally needs bigger battens to support it.

Types of roofs for homes

Metal sheeting roof

Metal sheeting generally requires a pitch of just 1º with the industrial profiles, whilst corrugated can be as low as 5º (the average pitch of a roof in Queensland is 23º). Because it is relatively light, metal sheeting is generally fixed to the roof timbers at approximately 1.4 m to 1.5 m centres.

Metal sheeting is normally corrugated, and it comes in different profiles. There are various finishes including baked enamel, galvanised steel and a mill finish on aluminium that has not been anodised.

There is no doubt that metal is noisier than tiles, especially when it rains, but this can create a pleasing effect. If insulation is used in the roof-space, this will lessen the sound.

Metal tile roof

Coated pressed metal tiles are relatively expensive, but because they don’t weigh much, you can save on transport and framing costs because battens need only be 38 mm x 38 mm in size. You will need a pitch of at least 15º.

Stone chip metal tiles have stone chips bound in an acrylic material. They are also relatively expensive, but light in weight.

Concrete tile roof

I personally don’t promote the use of concrete tiles as they are simply not as good as other materials. In the past, concrete tiles lost favour because they faded and tended to lose their tensile strength. Whilst technology has improved, they are still not a tile material that I would recommend under any circumstances.

Clay or terracotta tiles

Terracotta tiles are available in a range of profiles. While they have a reputation for lasting forever, they are slightly heavier than other roofing materials and can be quite expensive.

Craft Metals

Craft metals are available in titanium-zinc, aluminium and copper. They well known for producing metal claddings as well as high-end roofing. Craft Metals sheets are very expensive, but this is offset by the fact that they are virtually maintenance free and tend to last much longer than other materials. Evidence of this is the fact that Craft Metals state that their materials have the potential to last more than 100 years and are suitable for sea climates.

Whilst Craft Metals would seem to be the obvious choice of roofing material given the attractive products they produce, it is important to keep in mind that they are very expensive in comparison to other roofing materials, and therefore not suitable for everyone’s budget.

So as you can see there are many different roofing options. The potential to get lost in the myriad of choices is high, which is why if you live in Australia you should call us on 07 3899 9450 to discuss the most suitable options for your home and budget. Regardless of whether you are renovating or building a new home, we can help you achieve the best result for your home at the lowest possible price.

Dion Seminara Architect


Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.