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Many homeowners are increasingly drawn to flat roofs because they are considered one of the most energy-efficient options, according to Energy Star.

Additionally, consumers may save some cost on the initial roof installation because the surface area of a flat roof is less than that of a sloped roof.

Creating a flat roof for a contemporary house may seem like a straightforward task, but there are several factors to keep in mind as you consider adding this feature to your home.

One of the most important first steps is working with a roofing contractor experienced with this type of roof installation. It’s important to ask for references and a sample of the contractor’s other flat roofing projects.

Though most flat roofs traditionally are layered with tar and gravel, sometimes copper or tin are used. The material and style of flat roof should be discussed with your contractor, as he or she can give you the best advice.

A unique solution some individuals are utilizing is to turn their flat roof into a living roof covered in a layer of soil, grass and plants. In theory, it is the ultimate green solution. While the roof is great for water absorption, the roots of the plants can burrow into the roof, causing invasive damage that leads to leaking.

Flat roofs can sometimes offer the appeal of more outdoor living space. At the same time, they are sensitive to the movement of people. You and your contractor may decide to construct a deck over a rooftop room to prevent damage.

A sloped roof can have a minimum lifespan upwards of 15 years. Depending on the climate conditions, a flat roof will need replacement as early as 10 years. You should be aware that property owners sometimes convert from a flat to a sloped roof for this reason, according to the National Roofing Contractors Association.

However to combat this issue the NRCA recommends frequent inspections of flat roofs, because early detection of problems can extend the lifespan of the roof.

Flat roofs are not considered ideal for cold-climate dwelling. There is a tendency with flat roofs to permit water pooling and ice dams. These, in turn, can eventually spring leaks if not removed within 48 hours.

Modern flat roofs often have a membrane covered in a sealant for extra protection.

If you think that a flat roof is the final touch on your dream home, then by all means, build your vision with the help of a licensed contractor. By considering all the pros and cons, you’ll arrive at a flat roof design that works for you.

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