Timber solutions will continue to lead the way as the roofing product of choice for new build homes but a growing number of architects, homebuilders and self build enthusiasts are discovering the merits of using steel to create their roofing structures.
There’s a host of advantages to utilising steel, not least the time and cost saving implic ations associated with installation. Feedback from customers shows that our own U-Roof system goes up in around 25% of the time taken using timbers despite costing approximately the same and that clearly has implications for the efficiency and timescales of house building developments.
For example a 100 square metre roof area can typically be installed insulated and made watertight within one day.
Generally speaking steel systems are considerably more lightweight than timber and can be easily flat packed and delivered in one easy load. U-Roof is around 50% of the weight of your like for like traditional timber beam so there are clear health and safety issues at play here too.
Steel systems also deliver around 20% more attic space and are perfectly suited for room in the roof projects. It can also be advantageous where planning regulations restrict the overall height of the development.
There is also the versatility of being able to take account of complicated roof designs where dormers, multiple pitches, valleys and hips can present a considerable challenge for timber systems.
All site fixings are also readily visible which enables easy inspection.
Like most timber roof suppliers, U-Roof offers a complete start to finish design service that means our structures can be put together, Meccano style, using no specialist tools and requiring no specific skill sets. Time and again we come across customers who have never installed a roof before but suddenly become converts to our system after adhering to our easy-to-follow instructions and drawings as well as 3D modelling in certain circumstances.
The strength of steel is another facet to bear in mind and our system, for instance, comes with a 50 year structural warranty backed by accreditation from bodies such as the Steel Construction Institute and the NHBC. Unlike many roof timbers steel does not shrink, warp, twist or rot and therefore subsequent plasterwork maintains its integrity for a lot longer and, of course, steel is non combustible.
Environmental performance is playing an ever increasing role in th construction of new homes and steel really can tick all the boxes in this respect. It’s 100% recyclable and our manufacturing process, which utilises state-of-the-art machinery, results in almost negligible waste.
Whilst timber will continue to lead the way for a long time to come it’s clear that there’s a lot to be said for steel and systems such as U-Roof especially when it comes to complex residential developments and that argument is bearing up in ter ms of interest from all parts of the housebuilding sector.
Article by David Thurston, founder and director of U-Roof Ltd
For more details visit www.u-roof.com