Brick and tile.
It's long been a favourite phrase of real estate agents, signifying solidity, quality and durability. This house is no tin shed. It's brick and tile. Made to last.
So why are so many people now deciding to replace roof tiles with metal roofs?
In this extended post we have decided to stretch out a bit. Here we will discuss some of the reasons for considering a tile-to-steel roof conversion and guide you through the our process, showing a reroof we completed in North Perth in 2016.
Over the past few years tile-to-steel roof conversions have become more and more popular in Perth both for their aesthetic appeal and their low maintenance.
While roof tiles are certainly solid, they require regular maintenance and repairs.
These can include:
replacing cracked tiles
repointing ridge caping
re-laying tiles that have slipped off the battens
lichen removal/pressure cleaning
Structural repairs as weighted roof timbers sag or move
The jarrah and karri battens traditionally installed on tiled roofs can often suffer from delignification, a process by which the lignin in the timber breaks down, causing the battens to become furry and weak.
Clay roof tiles can also start to "fret" or crumble away as they did at this North Perth property, causing years of persistent leaks.
Consider this: if an average roof tile weighs 3-4kg and provides coverage of around 0.1 square metres, then a 200 sqm three-bedroom house has to support seven tons of roof tiles.
That's the equivalent of four family cars siting above your head!
There will always be people who prefer the look of a tiled roof. And when well maintained, a tile roof can outlast a metal roof in the long run.
But how long is your long run? With Colorbond carrying up to a 25-year guarantee, most Colorbond roofs will stay with the house far longer than the occupants. In the meantime, it never needs maintenance and won't be damaged by foot traffic for the installation and servicing of PV panels, air conditioners, antennas and the like.
In this case the tiles had started to "fret" or crumble away.
There is a large tile roof restoration industry in Perth, but practically no metal roof restoration industry. This is because, once installed properly, a metal roof will outlast its full warranty period without the need for maintenance, at which time the sheets and flashings will simply be recycled and replaced.
In many countries, metal roofs are associated with factories, shopping centres and sheds. But, possibly because of the widespread use of corrugated sheeting in Colonial times, Australians have embraced metal roof sheeting in the domestic setting and adapted it to modern tastes, capitalising on the appeal of its sharp, clean lines and rhythmic feel.
Metal roof sheeting, once a symbol of rural life and ‘making do’ with limited resources, has now become an indispensable part of modern high-end Australian architecture.
Cost Vs Value
Re-roof projects can vary greatly in price depending upon a number of factors including the state of the existing roof structure, ease of access, pitch, building size and other factors.
Nevertheless, a rough guide is around $15,000-$30,000.
While this is a significant investment in your property, a brand new roof may add even more to the value of your home. If you decide to extend an existing mortgage, the increase in repayments may be minimal, while the value added to the property is immediate, tangible and significant.
In addition to the long-term value of an attractive, watertight roof, if you are considering selling the property it may also be worth factoring in the added street appeal of a brand-new watertight roof.
Stage one involves establishing trust and agreeing on the scope of works.
Please know that replacing a roof in compliance with building codes and local council regulations is a major renovation project. A tradesman with some roofing skills is simply not enough. Apart from the obvious risks of a defective roof, if you plan to sell your property a building inspection will uncover any areas of noncompliance and possibly prevent or delay a sale.
Our extensive experience in this exact type of project, as well as our excellent safety practises and comprehensive insurance will ensure that you get a fully compliant, guaranteed result and are protected from risk.
We are always ready to provide you with our insurance details, references and satisfied customer referees.
Our estimator will conduct a site visit and prepare an itemised quote detailing the scope of works you have requested. If any aspects of the quote appear unclear, please ask as many questions as you need until you are satisfied that it meets your needs.
We are always happy to reissue you a new quote with any changes you would like to make.
Our standard terms and conditions cover all aspects of the job including schedule, access, variations, and payment terms.
Once we have received a nominal 5% deposit, stage two begins.
Stage two prepares the roof for the new sheeting. In most cases council approval is required, and they will require an engineer to provide details of the rafter tie-downs and structural work necessary to counteract the increased uplift of roof sheets in the wind. Timber roof structures need to be brought into compliance with the Timber Framing Code (AS 1684) before roof sheets can be installed.
If you’re at all apprehensive about having to get approval through council, you’ll be glad to know that we take care of this whole process for you as part of our service, engaging, where necessary, an engineer, surveyor, builder and submitting the council application. This is all included in the itemised quote you will receive.
Once council approval is received (usually 2-4 weeks) then site works can begin:
Fall protection is installed.
Roof tiles are removed and tarpaulins installed where necessary.
If you have roof-mounted solar electricity or hot water systems, you will need to have them temporarily disconnected at this point by qualified electricians or plumbers. We can arrange this for you through our team of affordable and reliable subcontractors.
Tie-downs and other structural works are installed per the engineer’s specifications.
This is also a great time to get any electrical, air-conditioning or insulation work done, as while the tiles are off access to the roofspace is much easier and safer for other trades.
In this case the owners decided to convert the verandah to a bull-nose and move the mains power attachment from the front porch to the house itself.
New battens are installed. The roof is now ready to sheet.
Stage three involves the supply and installation of new roof sheeting and flashing. This may also include replacing any rusted gutters and down pipes.
At this stage an an anti-condensation insulation blanket (anticon) is installed under the roof sheets to aid in thermal and acoustic insulation. As the name suggests, it also mitigates the effects of condensation which can form under the roof sheets due to changes in temperature and humidity. To ensure the best result for you and your family, we use a locally produced formaldehyde-free anticon blanket.
Fittings and Penetrations
Finally, any other fittings such as whirlybird vents or exhaust flumes are fitted.
If PV panels or hot water systems have had to be temporarily disconnected during the re-roof, they are now re-installed on to the sheets.
Once everything has been installed a final site inspection confirms that all items in the contract have been fulfilled and the site is clean and safe.
Now it's time to stand back and admire your beautiful new roof, safe in the knowledge that you will never have to worry about it for the next quarter of a century.