Here at eRoofs, we sell all kinds of roofing – for small projects, like your garden shed, to big projects, such as industrial flat roofing. If you’re looking for roofing that isn’t traditional tiling, eRoofs can help.
We’ve been writing about all sorts of roofing materials for years, and in this guide, we’re going to break down the pros and cons of all the DIY roofing materials so you can choose which is the perfect fit for your project.
Please Note – All prices were correct at time of writing.
PVC roofing is a type of plastic roofing (also known as polyvinyl chloride roofing) that is most commonly transparent (but is available in various finishes) and is often used for applications such as carports. It’s incredibly durable, lightweight and weatherproof while remaining incredibly affordable. People often choose a transparent PVC (or polycarbonate) to weatherproof an area while avoiding blocking light.
PVC is often corrugated in order to allow water to run off at an angle easily, but you can also purchase a completely flat option, which is popularly used as a glazing sheet to let in light or add a plastic window to your project.
PVC roofing at eRoofs starts from just £6.10 for 6ft of roofing, making it incredibly affordable, and you can choose from a variety of thicknesses for longer lasting roofing. If you’re looking for roofing that can withstand the great outdoors but is incredibly cheap and easy to install, PVC is likely your most affordable option.
You can find great deals on PVC roofing here.
Polycarbonate roofing, similar to PVC roofing, is commonly transparent and is durable, lightweight and weatherproof. It comes in a variety of thicknesses to suit most applications – from simple sheds, right up to conservatory roofing. They are incredibly simple to install and maintain – and as with most plastic roofing – are an affordable option.
While very affordable, polycarbonate is typically more expensive than Acrylic or PVC – a flat polycarbonate sheet starts at around £28 per square metre, whereas you can get an acrylic board, 1200mm x 600mm from around £10. The main difference is that polycarbonate is known to be stronger – much stronger than glass – and much easier to work with (you should be able to drill polycarbonate with a very low risk of cracking).
If you have a project that needs an incredible amount of durability and strength, such as a conservatory or tall unprotected building, it can be well worth the extra investment to go for polycarbonate over other options.
Find out more about polycarbonate roofing here.
So when should you choose Acrylic roofing? Acrylic roofing is much like polycarbonate, in that it is often transparent and much stronger than glass, but it is also cheaper and has much better ‘light transmittance’. Some say it has better clarity than glass. It makes sense then that you’ll hear it often referred to as ‘plexiglass’ – plastics answer to glass.
Acrylic is most likely your best option if you’re looking to create a window for your project, or if you favour light, cost and clarity over strength. Acrylic is still incredibly strong – it has 17 times the impact resistance over glass – it just isn’t as strong as polycarbonate (which is 30 times stronger than acrylic!).
Bitumen (Coroline and Onduline) Roofing
Bitumen roofing is a type of asphalt product that is most commonly used on shed and garage roofs. They are incredibly strong and durable, although in the past they have been prone to cracking over time with changes in temperature. Although it’s not guaranteed that any bitumen product will never crack under extreme temperatures, there has been incredibly huge improvements in bitumen roofing technology in the past few decades that make it a much better product now than ever.
Bitumen is particularly simple to install and should last over two decades when installed properly. It even has the added benefit of heat absorption – making them a particularly good product for cold buildings like garages.
Coroline and Onduline roofing sheets are both types of bitumen roofing products – Onduline is slightly thicker and more costly than Coroline, so it depends on your project as to which might be more suitable. There are a large variety of colours and even helpful advisors to guide you on which might suit your project and how to install bitumen roofing to make sure it lasts as long as possible, right here at eRoofs.
Read more about bitumen roofing here.
A good quality metal roof should outlast any other option mentioned here – and unlike bitumen or traditional roof tiles, both plastic and metal roofing will last longer outdoors if you’re in an area where there are a lot of trees or vegetation nearby. This is because plastic and metal are easier to clean and are much less vulnerable to being damaged by moss or lichen.
You can even buy steel roofing precoated in a number of colours with additional benefits to help your roof last even longer, or you can choose the paint and coating yourself which means you can be very particular about any colour you wish to have. It’s also not always the most expensive option, so definitely worth looking into.
Read more on galvanised roofing here.
There are some drawbacks, of course. Metal roofing for one, can be very noisy – if there’s a slight shower, you’ll know about it. They are also not as easy to install as other options mentioned here – for example, cutting a plastic sheet is easier than cutting a metal one – but overall, they are still relatively simple to install for a competent DIYer. You can also reduce noise by investing in good insulation or even buying an insulated sheet, that comes with an insulating layer on the underside of the metal which will reduce noise and help keep heating bills down.
Wood Roofing Shingles
Wood roofing shingles are easily one of the most attractive looking options you can buy for any roof; but it does come at a cost. Both a little more expensive than other options and deteriorating faster, wood shingles are a great option for a project you want to be proud of but don’t mind spending a little more on.
They also have a very low carbon footprint and a high degree of thermal insulation so they aren’t just for show. When installed well and maintained properly, they can last up to thirty years so you shouldn’t be completely put off if you can’t face replacing your roof quickly.
They can be relatively easy to install and aren’t just used for roofs either – people have been known to use them for walls of buildings, even their homes, for a beautiful natural looking project.
Find everything you need to create your wood roof (or siding) right here.
Felt roofing is usually a bitumen roofing product that is ‘torched on’ to your roof. It’s most commonly used for flat roofs as it’s extremely weather-proof – it can be sealed at the seams during the torching on process. It’s incredibly easy to repair and low maintenance as well as being super low cost. It comes in a wide variety of colours which is appealing to some. High traffic areas, however, may benefit more from rubber roofing.
Find out more about flat roofing options here.
Rubber roofing is also a common choice for flat roofs. It’s slightly more expensive than bitumen felt, and some don’t much like the look of it, but it’s much more hardwearing and is highly recommended for flat roofs where you’re expecting a lot of footfall. It’s incredibly durable and repairs are incredibly easy should you need to fix any splits – you can even buy liquid rubber to simply fill in any tears.
Get everything you need for your rubber roofing project here.
Coatings For Roofing
Once you’ve chosen the right roofing material for your project, you can also decide on which coating, if any, that you’d like to use. For many roofs, simply adding a good coat of paint can provide some much needed protection, but here at eRoofs, we have professional roof coatings to provide that next level of protection you might need.
All weather roofing coats are used for exactly what they say – weatherproofing. Unlike bitumen paint, they’ve been specially designed for weatherproofing and can be applied to all types of roofs, from wood shingles to rubber.
Bitumen paint is often used as an extra protective layer for porous materials like concrete and brickwork, but also metal roofing. It can be used on wood too and provides a layer of waterproofing protection to help your roof last longer.
Aluminium paint is often used for protection against sun damage on roofs, notably on bituminous felts and exposed steel to provide a reflective quality to your roof which helps avoid problems with extreme temperatures, especially with felt products.
Need More Help Choosing Your Roofing Materials?
Check out any of the following roofing articles for more information on which might be the best option for you. If you’re still unsure, feel free to speak directly with one of the eRoof advisors who are often available on the eRoofs website directly on online chat, or you can call or email via our contact page here.
Installing Onduline Roofing
Last, but not least, If you’re looking for any of the above options for your roof, eRoofs doesn’t just offer incredible prices on all roofing materials, but they also offer:
48 hour express delivery on many products
Super-fast FREE delivery on most orders over £100
FREE help & advice – just call 0844 474 4444