Roofing Installation Guide

By Kim
Last updated 16th December 2021 - Reading time: 16 mins

Are you looking for information on how to install a new roof? Replacing your roof can be quite a big job that requires a lot of work. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know before installing a new roof.

Read on to find out about the different types of roofing materials, the pros and cons of installing a new roof, the best methods for cleaning and maintaining your roof, and the questions you should ask when hiring contractors to carry out the work.

new roof

What is Roofing?

A roof is an area covering the top of a building. It is important as it protects the building from rain, snow, sunlight, wind, and extreme temperatures.

There are many different types of roof, such as flat roofs, pitches roofs, or sometimes roofs can come in a combination of different types. Pitches or sloping roofs are most commonly used on houses as the slope allows water to drain off it easily.

Flat roofs are more common on homes in warmer climates where there is not really any need to worry about rain draining off them.

It’s important to ensure that the roof on your home stays in good condition as damage can cause leaks and may make your house very cold and draughty.

Roof solar panels

Types of Roof Materials

There are several different types of roofing material. With this in mind, it can be difficult to determine which roofing material would be best for you and your home. Therefore, before making a decision, you should consider how long you want your roof to last, how well you want it to compliment the design of your house and the size of your budget.

Below is a list of the most common roofing materials in the UK and a pros and cons list of each type to help make your decision a little easier.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are made from natural clay fired in a kiln. They are made from natural materials, but they require a lot of energy during the manufacturing process. They are usually long-lasting and require very little maintenance. However, they can be prone to breaking as they can be brittle. They also tend to be quite expensive.


✔ Made from natural materials

✔ Long-lasting

✔ Require little maintenance

✔ Aesthetically pleasing


✖ The manufacturing process is not good for the environment

✖ It can be brittle and prone to breaking

✖ Expensive

Concrete Tiles

Concrete roofing tiles are less expensive than clay tiles. This is because they tend to last for a very long time and are made from natural materials. However, these tiles also require a lot of energy during the manufacturing stage.


✔ Long-lasting

✔ Made from natural materials

✔ Low-maintenance

✔ Cheaper than clay tiles


✖ The manufacturing process is not good for the environment

✖ Less aesthetically pleasing than other roof materials

Asphalt Composition Shingles

These tiles are usually made up of either organic paper fibre mat or fibreglass mixed with asphalt and coated with mineral granules. This type of roof covering tends to be inexpensive, but it is not very long-lasting and isn’t eco-friendly.


✔ Cheap

✔ Aesthetically pleasing


✖ Not very long-lasting

✖ Not very eco-friendly

Natural Slate

Slate is used much less on modern homes; however, it is one of the oldest roofing materials. The material is impermeable, durable, and versatile. As a result, a good-quality slate roof will usually outlast all other roofing materials.

Slate roof

Slate roof tiles are also fireproof, immune to insects, immune to fungus, and immune to any other kind of organism. Slate is also very aesthetically pleasing.


✔ Impermeable

✔ Durable

✔ Versatile

✔ Fireproof

✔ Immune to all organisms

✔ Aesthetically pleasing


✖ Can be expensive

✖ Not often used on modern homes

✖ It can be dangerous if they become loose

What Are the Pros and Cons of a New Roof?

There are several pros and cons to installing a roof. Below is a list of the main advantages and disadvantages of going ahead with this type of work:


Fix Roofing Issues

If there are any problems with your roof, these will be fixed when your new roof is installed. Not all roofing issues are visible, and so if you have any underlying problems within your roof structure, these will be noticed and repaired during your new roof installation.

Change The Look

Installing a new roof gives you the opportunity to change the look of your roof. This means that you can update the look of your roof to match with your home and improve the aesthetics. As times move on, the look of your home may change, and an updated roof can accommodate and complement this new look.

Increase Home Value

Although a whole new roof can be quite a large investment, it will pay off through the increase in your home’s value. A new roof will not only make your home look more appealing on the outside, but it will also be more durable and more reliable than an older roof. This is something that potential buyers will look fondly on when you come to sell your home.


New roofs are made from durable materials and are usually built to last a very long time. So if you are planning on keeping your home for many years, you can rest assured knowing that you have a brand new roof that will last for the duration of your stay in that property.


High Cost

A new roof is a very large investment. It will cost you a lot of money upfront as you will need to pay for all of the materials plus the labour and waste removal. These costs can really add up very quickly.

man on red roof

However, a new roof will mean you won’t have to pay as much or as often for repairs, and the value of your home will increase. A new roof can also make your home more energy-efficient. With this in mind, the initial payment will pay off quite quickly.


A new roof installation is not a quick or easy job. You may have to vacate your home for a while during the installation. Depending on the size of your home, a new roof installation could take several days and can be quite disruptive, so this is something to bear in mind.

How Much Does Roofing Cost?

If you are considering getting a new roof at your home, then you may be wondering – How much does a new roof cost?

The cost of replacing a roof will vary depending on several factors. These factors can include the type of roofing material being installed, the size of the roof, the difficulty of the job, and your location in the UK. The average cost for a roof installation in the UK is around £5,000-£8,500.

If you are looking for a smaller roof replacement on your garage or outbuilding, this will be cheaper. The average cost to replace a flat roof is around £2000.

If you are thinking about saving some money and opting to replace your roof ridge tiles instead of your entire roof, then you can save a lot of money. The cost to replace roof ridge tiles is around £300.

Close up corner of roof

Those based in London can expect to pay more for labour costs than those based in the North or other parts of the UK.

How to Replace a Roof

Having a roof replaced is a very extensive job. It’s not really a job that can be completed as a single DIY job since it is such a big job. It’s best to hire professionals for this type of work to ensure everything is done safely and correctly. Below is an overview of what you can expect to happen during a new roof installation:

Removing the Old Roof

Before you can start installing a new roof, the original roof will need to be removed. This step will require a lot of work and some specialist tools and equipment to complete. Some old roofing material could fall during this stage, and this could be dangerous.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to cover and protect any foliage or garden materials before the roof removal begins. The roof will have to be removed when you’ve already got all of the materials and supplies for the new roof so that your property is without a roof for as little time as possible.

Inspecting The Materials Underneath

The new roofing materials will need a solid base, so it’s important to inspect all parts underneath to ensure it’s suitable for the new roof. If there is any damage to the underneath part of the roof, this will need to be replaced or fixed before any further work can commence.

Preparing The Roof Surface

Before the new roofing materials can be installed, there are some additional preparation steps involved. Firstly, a drip edge will need to be installed. This is a non-corrosive material that acts as a barrier on the edge of the roof to prevent any water from getting underneath and damaging the base.

Next, an underlay will be installed across the entire length of the roof. This prevents water from getting through to the base and causing damage to the underneath part of the roof.

New Roof Installation

Next, the new roofing materials can be added. The method of installation and the time it takes to install will depend on the type of roofing materials you have chosen.

Some roofing options can be quite difficult to install or could be brittle and may easily break during the installation. With this in mind, the contractors will need to be extra cautious during the installation process.

Cleaning Up and Final Inspection

Once the new roofing materials have been added, the contractors will then clean up all of the mess and remove any debris that has been left behind from the job.

man on roof with ladders

They will then thoroughly inspect the new roof to make sure it is completely safe and secure and to ensure there are no flaws in the finished roof. Once the inspection has taken place, the roof is now complete.

If you are looking for information on replacing roof tiles rather than installing a whole new roof, you can check out our guide here on how to replace roof tiles.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Roof?

If you are considering having a new roof installed at your home, then you may be curious as to how long this type of work might take to complete. A new roof installation should generally take around 1-3 days to complete. However, the actual length of time will depend on a number of factors.

The factors that can affect the overall time it takes to complete this type of work can include; the size of the property, the roof design, the structural integrity of the roof, the type of roofing materials being used, the number of contractors working on the job, and the weather.

fixing shingles

If you are replacing a few roof tiles rather than replacing the entire roof, this can usually be completed within a few hours.

Building Regulations or Planning Permission Approval for Roofing

When you are re-roofing your home, this work will usually need building regulations approval. There are different rules depending on the type of roof that you’re working on. Below is an overview of the rules for different types of roofs:

Flat Roofs

Some small repairs to flat roofs will not require building regulations approval. However, if the roof includes integral insulation, you may need to update the thermal element of the roof. This means that you will reduce the amount of heat lost through the roof by upgrading the insulation as required by building regulations.

Pitch Roof

If you are replacing your roof with different materials to the original roof, then you will most likely need approval via building regulations. This is to ensure the roof is adequate in terms of structural stability.

Pitched roof

It will also need to meet the regulations for fire safety and energy efficiency. If the new roof is significantly lighter or heavier than the old roof, you may need to modify it or strengthen it to ensure it complies with building regulations.

With any roof, you are advised to speak to a structural engineer or surveyor before the work begins. If you are concerned about whether you may need building regulations approval, you should speak to your local council for advice before the work goes ahead.

How to Clean and Maintain a Roof

Many homeowners tend to forget about the roof and just leave it be. However, your roof does require some maintenance to keep it in top shape. Below is a list of tips on how to keep your roof cleaned and maintained:

Remove Dirt and Debris

You should inspect your roof periodically for things such as leaves and sticks. These can hold moisture and can cause damage to your roof. If you notice are debris on your roof, you should aim to remove the culprits with a broom as soon as possible.

Keep an Eye on Nearby Trees

Nearby trees can become an issue for your roof when the branches grow and hang over your roof. Branches could cause damage to your roof, especially in bad weather where leaves and branches are likely to drop onto your roof.

Some trees could also act as a bridge between the tree and your roof, allowing animals to walk onto your roof and potentially cause damage. With this in mind, you should try to keep on top of trimming back all overhanging trees around your roof.

Inspect The Roofing Materials Periodically

You should inspect your roof often to ensure that it remains in perfect shape. Look out for the following:

  • Loose, curled, cracked, or missing shingles
  • Insect infestations or rot
  • Holes, bends, or dry or loose caulk
  • Damage to the chimney and any vents
  • Rust on any metal pieces

If you notice any of the above, these will need to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Keep Your Gutters Clean

It’s also important to check your gutters and downpipes periodically to ensure they are working effectively. Check for cracks, damage, dirt and debris. You should clean out your gutters and downpipes around twice a year to ensure they continue to work properly.

Asphalt roof

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Roofer

There are several things you may need to consider when finding the right contractor to install your new roof for you. Below is a list of common questions that you should ask when looking for the right contractor for the job:

  • Does the contractor have any qualifications that relate directly to installing roofs?
  • What equipment will the contractor be using to complete the job? Will they be using the correct type of equipment? Do you need to provide any equipment?
  • Does the contractor possess any form of insurance for the work? You should look for contractors who have insurance that covers property damage, personal injuries, and a work guarantee.
  • How much experience does the contractor have in installing roofs? Can they provide any testimonials or evidence of previous work? Can they provide photos of previous work?
  • Does the contractor offer any guarantees with their work? How long does the guarantee last? What issues are covered under the guarantee? Will the contractor fix any issues that arise?
  • Will the contractor adhere to all building regulations rules when completing the work?


Which roof materials are the best?

If you are looking for the most durable roofing material, you should opt for a slate roof. Slate can last for 100 years or more when installed correctly. Although it can be quite a bit more expensive to choose slate roofing materials, the initial investment will pay off due to the durability of the materials.

Which type of roof is best for a garage?

Garage roofing sheets are a very popular type of roof material for a garage. Roofing sheets are waterproof, attractive, and easy to install. You can get roofing sheets that work on flat garage roofs and some that work on pitched roofs, so it’s easy to find this type of roofing material no matter what your existing garage roof is like.

How often should I inspect my roof?

You should aim to inspect your roof at least once a year to ensure it is still structurally secure and that it remains weatherproof. You should also inspect your roof after, particularly bad weather to ensure there is no damage to the structure or tiles.

Regularly inspecting your roof can help you detect any issues and get them repaired before they become an even bigger issue.

How long will a new roof last?

It can be difficult to determine how long a new roof will last as many factors could affect its longevity. Things such as the materials, weather conditions, and the condition of the home can affect how long your roof lasts.

It is generally thought that the standard amount of time that your roof should last for is around 20 years at least.

What is a flat roof?

A flat roof is never usually completely flat. Although it may appear flat, it is most often slightly tilted to allow rainwater to drain off it. Without this tilt, the rainwater would gather in the middle of the roof and would most likely cause damage to it.

Flat roofs can be made from many different materials such as roofing sheets, roofing felt or even rubber roofing. They can serve as a great type of roof for many different structures. They are most commonly found on garages, sheds, and outbuildings.


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