The flat-roofed house, which was once a preserve of coastal Kenyans due to Arabic influence, is now gaining popularity in Kenya.
This roof design seems to be a favorite of several homeowners, particularly in urban areas because it provides a sense of minimalism and modernity.
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Quite literally, flat roofs make the home stand out, especially in neighborhoods where few or no other homes have a similar design and compared to conventional roofs, they are much more economical and require less maintenance.
As fashion changes with time, so do architectural trends, and both developers and homeowners are opting for flat roofs over pitched roofs nowadays. This shift in trends is attributed to a growing perception by developers and homeowners that conventional sloped or pitched roof architecture is outdated.
Among flat roofs’ biggest advantages are the additional spaces a homeowner or builder can utilize, which can be turned into a mini-garden, entertainment area, rooftop lounge area, etc. All of which are simpler to install and easier to maintain due to the lack of slopes on the flat roof.
The primary attraction of flat roofs for this generation of homeowners is that it is relatively cheaper to install than pitched roofs especially considering the increasing cost of timber. Labor costs are also lower since flat roofs can be installed relatively quickly.
A flat roof is usually designed by a structural engineer to incorporate waterproofing materials such as waterproof cement and other waterproofing treatments in the slab. It is sloped towards rainwater downpipes
One general disadvantage of many flat roofs is that they are susceptible to leakage due to pooling water.
As a general rule, flat roofs are best suited for dry areas because areas that continually receive heavy rainfall are more likely to experience roof leaks because with time, depending on the quality of the roofing material, the roof can become saturated causing the waterproofing agent(s) to fail.
The downside of flat roofs is that they can be more expensive to repair than pitched roofs. If they are not properly maintained, the structure of the house may be compromised causing the roof to leak more than that of a pitched roof. Fortunately, this can be countered by investing in high quality building materials for waterproofing.