Nicola Herring, UK insights and research lead, and James Garner, global head of data and insights and analytics, at Gleeds, look at roofing costs
There are many factors to consider when selecting a roofing material, such as appearance (including local planning considerations), durability, maintenance, climate/energy considerations, weight and cost. The structure and pitch of the roof will also influence the choice made.
Tiling is a popular choice for pitched roofs, and while those with shallow or steep pitches will require particular consideration, there are many products available. Materials include clay, concrete, natural slate, fibre-reinforced concrete, cedar and metal, and will be appropriate depending on the drivers for a project. For example, natural slate is suitable for period properties and buildings with a long design life, as well-maintained slates can last 120-150 years. Clay roof tiles have been used for a long time and offer good weather protection as they absorb less water than concrete tiles while remaining lightweight. For projects where cost is a key driver, concrete tiles have become popular. Cheaper and with a longer lifespan than clay tiles, they are fire resistant, but also heavier.
Sustainability is becoming an important consideration in materials selection. Metal roofs – zinc, copper, aluminium and galvanised steel – are increasingly used due to their durability, typically lasting between 40 and 70 years, and their energy efficiency properties. Light is reflected from the surface and the finish can be fully recycled. Metal roofs can be significantly more expensive than other options, and shingle roofs, produced either from sustainable wood or recycled content from plastic, wood fibre and rubber, are a more cost-effective sustainable option. Green and brown roofs continue to be used for their environmental benefits such as reducing the volume of water run-off, improving thermal performance, recreating habitat and improving biodiversity.
The rates below are a guide to roofing costs at third quarter 2021 for an average UK location. No allowance is made for sundry or related preliminaries. VAT is excluded. At the time of preparation, there are significant implications to materials availability and pricing owing to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, so the costs below are subject to quick changes depending on availability and lead-in times. When specifying products it is important to consider the origin of materials, whether they are to be imported and what the lead-in times are.
Rates are a guide only and are Q3 2021 excluding VAT.