Flat roofs are basically built with beams traversing the opening between 2 walls which are then covered with sheet timber or another type of material. If you make use of timber, a further waterproof covering is necessary. Flat roof construction therefore involves a different approach than for example an A-frame structure.
The combined weight of the beams and coverings and the extent of the span form the basis of your calculations when it comes to the number and size of beams you will need. In areas with heavy snowfalls, special requirements have to be met, since the additional weight of the snow necessitate further reinforcing of the structure.
A flat roof normally has a slope of between zero and ten percent. This is not a difficult type of roof to construct – it’s basically a case of making sure the roof rafters are installed at the correct slope. Once the rafters have been placed, you can proceed to put the ceiling material in place and after that the roofing materials themselves.
Before you start building, you will of course need a building plan that has been drawn up by a qualified person and has been approved by your local council. If you want to building something simple, like a shed, a blueprint purchased off the Internet might work fine. For a house that is not the best way to go. If you are going to spend a million dollars on a house it doesn’t make much sense to try and save money on the buildings plans and thereby risk the whole project.
Your next step is to get together all the tools and materials you will need. Your local building warehouse will be able to assist you with this. Most of them have computer programs that will calculate the materials needed to build the structure if you give them all the necessary information.
The position of the building is very important. You don’t want to build anything where there is a problem with water runoff. A tree that is too close to a wall can cause problems in future and also result in a room that gets no sun in winter. A flat roof structure can get very hot in summer though, so it’s not necessarily a bad idea to built it in the shade of a large tree. Good quality insulation material between the ceiling and the roof itself is always a good idea for such a structure.
If you are building a structure that’s more than 20 square meters in size, it will need to have a permanent foundation. Remove the soil and replace with gravel. This is the best way to ensure proper drainage in future. Use solid concrete blocks or bricks for the foundation, not hollow concrete blocks. Hollow blocks will in all likelihood not be able to carry the weight of the walls and roof.
Although flat roof construction is not a very complicated form of building, you might still find it a huge challenge if you have no experience of building. In this case it’s better to employ a professional builder to oversee the construction process.