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BUILDING FABRIC 45 RAISING THE PROFILE


Tony Hobbs of Southern Sheeting looks at how and why profiled metal sheeting is increasingly being used across a range of areas in residential projects.


P


rofiled metal roofing has been adopted in the commercial sector for many years but, thanks to new


products and technology, housebuilders and developers are using it on ‘Grand Designs’-style homes, extensions and garden offices. Durability, quick installation, light- weight and weather tight qualities, as well as an impressive colour range, easy maintenance and energy efficiency make a profiled metal roof a viable option for a variety of projects, and not only for warehouses, factories or farm buildings. In countries such as Canada and the USA, profiled metal roofs are a popular choice for homes because of their high strength-to-weight ratio and ability to withstand harsh weather. Yet in the UK, metal roofing is only occasionally used on domestic properties. Profiled metal roof sheeting has come a long way in recent years, and there has been a growing trend of housebuilders and developers in the UK taking a more open look at where it can be used. It can be a good investment, because profiled metal is significantly lighter than


tiles or slate, yet just as durable. Profiled metal roofing is strong and lightweight, so it won’t require such a substantial or complex substructure to support it, which will save money on building materials. It is also very quick to install, which


brings substantial financial savings on labour costs. Profiled metal roofing has far fewer joints and laps than tiles or slates, which results in a well sealed roof, reducing air and heat leakage, making the building warmer. There are a wide variety of finishes and colours to choose from. Architects love using metal roofing because of this – it can help create buildings which portray individuality and truly stand out from the crowd.


The retro look of corrugated metal sheeting is also proving popular, while the modern finish of a standing seam system will produce an ultra-sleek property with wow factor. There are 25 different colour shades of steel sheeting, which is the trump card for domestic builds. Metal roof sheeting is an especially


popular choice because of its weather- fastness, making it able to withstand very


high winds, driving rain and snow load; and being steel, it’s classed as non- combustible. It is also unaffected by fungus, moss or mildew and resistant to damage from birds and pests. In developments where there are height


constraints, for example when an exten- sion, garden room, garage or workshop, is under construction, metal sheeting comes into its own. The pitch required for steel roofing is very low, at just four degrees and can be even lower with a standing seam system. This means the develop- ment will have increased headroom. For example, under permitted


development rights, there is a maximum height of 2.5 metres for a building within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwelling house. With a much lower pitch, this provides more usable space. When an extension to a property is under construction, this lower pitch is also a clear winner, creating even more space for the owner.


The sheets require very little


maintenance, last a lifetime, and provide good energy efficiency, which ticks a lot of boxes for all types of build.


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