#4 The apex roof – what is important…
30 April 2018| News| Chantal
Once a week we give important tips about building a summerhouse in our new series: “What makes a quality summerhouse”. Our architects and wood professionals explain which details are important when you want a summerhouse to last as long as possible. From material choice to final assembly, everything will be dealt with. In this way, you can become an expert on wooden summerhouses yourself!
Would you like to enjoy your summerhouse for as long as possible? When a long lifespan is important, many aspects should be taken into account during the planning phase. Besides the right wood choice, the right construction system and the selection of doors and windows, the roof plays a very important role. There are many types of roofs. Whether it is a flat roof, a pent roof, a pyramid roof, an apex roof or an asymmetric roof – you have plenty of options.
What type of roof is right for you? To make your decision easier, we will discuss the individual roof types in this blog and the following blog articles. What is important? Why would I choose a certain roof type? And what should be considered during the construction phase? You can discover that here. The series starts with the apex roof. This type of roof is very popular. It has two sloping roof surfaces which meet each other at the highest point. In general, the angle is equal on both sides, but different variations are possible. The apex roof can easily be combined with other roof types due to its timeless look. It is very robust and extremely resistant to the weather.
The load of an apex roof
In general, roofs have to endure many things. They are exposed to a wide range of weather conditions and must therefore be very durable. It is your job to protect the summerhouse from wind, snow and rain. If you want to build a summerhouse, it is therefore extremely important to know about the weather conditions in your area. Depending on the geographic location, the roof must meet certain standards. During winter the roof can be heavily loaded with snow. This should already be taken into account during the construction phase. One should not underestimate the pressure snow can exert on the roof of the summerhouse.
The roof of your summerhouse should be able to endure the snow load. In areas with a higher snow load, roofs can be strengthened. The need for strengthening the roof must be determined precisely beforehand. It is also important to use the roof shape as an extra parameter. For sloping roofs an angle of at least 26 degrees is recommended. In short, the steeper the roof, the faster the snow slides off the roof when it reaches a certain volume. If you choose for an apex roof, you have the advantage that you can design the roof angle as freely as possible. Because of the construction, many different roof angles are possible.
Advantages of an apex roof
Besides the different design possibilities for the roof angle, the apex roof has other advantages compared to other roof types. Due to the simple shape, it does not give much access to wind for example. In addition, it is best to use roofing made of environment friendly natural materials. It would even be possible to provide your summerhouse with a straw roofing. However, this is very expensive. For a summerhouse, roofing of tar roof tiles is recommended. These consist of a glass fibre support layer, applied to the tar. Many different shapes and colours are possible to give your summerhouse an individual and personal look.
A roof must be watertight. With the right shingles you are ensured of water tightness. In the United States, shingles are even used to provide roofs for entire residential buildings. However, this does not mean every type of roof shingle is suitable for your roof. It is very important that you only use high-quality shingles. There are large differences in quality. You can find high quality standards at for example Lugarde. Buy your shingles here, because then you can be sure that your roof is watertight. The advantage of Lugarde shingles is that the individual gravel rows are glued together by the sunlight. That makes them water and windproof. In most cases that means extra protection is not necessary.
If you choose roof shingles, you should also consider the slope of your apex roof. Only choose your shingles after you have determined the exact angle of your roof. The shingles must be designed specifically for your roof – and the right angle must be used for this. The flatter the roof, the greater the chance that rain cannot flow away from your roof and therefore it will remain there. In this case, using high-quality shingles is even more important. Shingles of lower quality can be damaged and then cause a leak.
Building an apex roof
When building an apex roof, there are many things you should take into account. There are several ways to attach a roof. However, this construction has actually proven itself to be a good construction. First, the individual roof beams are placed in previously arranged notches on the upper edge of the standing wall parts. In the next step, they must be screwed tightly so nothing can slip away. On the following illustration you can see how the screws have to be placed to guarantee sufficient grip. Note: the roof will go up and down with the belts. Therefore, it is very important to work very precisely now.
As soon as the carriers are bolted, the roof is provided with wooden beams. For this, it makes sense to work with wooden planks which use the spring and groove system, just like for the wall parts. With a spring and groove connection, the finished roof panels cannot slip and are very stable. Moreover, this technique offers extra protection from wind and water.
It is important to consider that wood works. Wood can grow or shrink due to different weather conditions. Therefore, you should make sure you leave 1 mm of space between the spring and the groove. In the following illustration you can see what is meant exactly. If the spring is located completely in the groove, the wood cannot move sufficiently, which can cause problems. In the worst case, cracks will appear in the wood and the roof is no longer watertight.
Furthermore, it is important to pay attention to the exact location of the wooden beams. From the highest point, so the top of the roof, it is very important to place the wooden planks as straight as possible. The roof must prevent water from entering the summerhouse. The straighter the wooden planks are, the greater the water resistance will be.
Would you like to know more about the different roof shapes? Stay updated with this blog series. In the next blog articles, we will discuss more roof shapes. Advantages and disadvantages, tips for construction and other information about the roof type you would like to know more about will be discussed. We do not know which roof type you will choose for your summerhouse. However, we can help you make a thought-out decision.