home coolshots info articles feedback
coolthaihouse.com -> coolshots -> roof

August, 2004 - editor.  Roofing the cool thai house in Pattaya, Thailand.  A pictorial chronology of installing a tile roof.  Problems with this roof and how it was corrected.

The roof is of course a major part of the house.  And now even more so with the popularity of the tile roofs.  Heavy tile is a good durable roofing material and not only that: it is very attractive.  Its popularity (tile) is due to demand from foreigners building (or buying) houses here.  Now, practically every house built for foreign buyers uses the heavy tile.  However, it is not the most practical roofing material.  First off, it is real heavy.  Each tile weighs about 4 kilograms, the roof on this house uses about 3000 tiles, which comes to about 12 metric tons.  The weight requires the support structure to use a lot of heavy duty metal.  Any problems in the support structure will cause the steel supports to bend.  Secondly, the material is brittle.  If you walk on it a lot it will chip and crack.  Also it is not the most secure material, someone wanting access to your house can get on the roof and remove some tiles to gain entry.  That all being said if you ever want to sell your house, it will need to have a tile roof.  For more information on roofing materials, please check out the roof info page here!

One thing about this project is that I got to see plenty of development going on and was able to observe many house builders.  One thing I can say is that the cool thai house builders did a very exceptional job and really put in a lot of effort to get the job done right.  That being said, the roof was really a struggle.  This time I went the 'one contract price for all labor to build the house' route (although extra contracts were made to cover electric, some plumbing and other add ons -- which are not a part of the house proper).  In further jobs, I will use specialists for specific jobs, especially the roof.  I was able to observe a company who specializes in roofs come in and do an neighbors roof and I was very impressed.   Back to this house, there were two problem areas with the roof.  The first was evaluating how much supporting metal was needed.  Observing some metal bending due to stress from the weight of the roof sent me scurrying off to find and engineer (see engineer rip-off).  As it turned out the problem was corrected by straightening the metal and adding some supplemental metal supports.  The second area was two roof valleys.  Under the roof valley there is aluminum gutter drainage.  In our case we used inadequate (in size) aluminum drainage which caused countless days of repair work to eventually get it fixed. 

One other note about the roof, is be careful when choosing a architect.   As my friend Nick noted in the article on the Planning Czar, you can run into problems when getting plans drawn up.  As for my experience here, basically the pitch on the roof is steeper than anticipated, but it looks real nice and gives the house and air of superiority.  That being said, if I was designing this house again I would lower the roof height (in the middle of the house) from 2.75 meters to maybe 2.25 meters.  The additional height caused a lot of extra materials to be used and the added height doesn't add that much.

The roof structure is built using heavy gauge steel. The bigger pieces are 4 * 2 inches 3.2 mm thick. The smaller pieces are 1 by 1inch 1.6 mm thick. There are two designations, full and light, this is the full heavier gauge variety. (13-Mar-04)

The roof tile will lie on the 1 by 1, so they must be placed at proper intervals. Notice the cross beam supports which sits on top of the foundation posts.
This shows most of the foundation columns as well as the partially finished roof truss. The roof height is 2.75 meters about the foundation pillars, the foundation pillars are 3.50 meters to the overall height is 6.25 meters.  Being up on the roof truss is like mountain climbing.
Partially finished roof truss, rear side of house.
This shot also shows the facia board (brand facolia, a synthetic material) along with an aluminum preformed strip for rain water.  This drainage strip is inadequate in size and leads to problems later.  It has a width of about 20 centimeters. (22-Mar-04)
More roof sections. This shot shows the covered parking area, and entryway areas.  (22-Mar-04)
For comparisons sake, a pair of photos of another house, which shows a wide strip of aluminum flashing (about 1 meter wide) being used which is a better way to do the roof flashing.  (15-May-04/09-May-04)
This area shows the entryway (on the left) as well as the front bedroom.  (22-Mar-04) The nearly complete roof truss. Still to be added are 12 heavy guage 2 * 4 lengths of metal to reinforce the support capacity of the truss. The roof needs to support 8 metric tons of roof tiles. Also seen, two of the three areas of glass blocks used in the house.
The roof tile is wired on to hold it in place. Notice the tile sits in place on the 1 * 1 metal cross beam.
A piece of wood is extended from the roof metal to allow the facia board to be attached.
Partially finished roofing on the front entry side of the house. (28-Mar-04)
Roof truss with attached facia board and drainage aluminum at the valley.
Side of house.
Nearly finished roof section in rear of house.
A wall section of the rear bedroom along. There has been additional metal placed in the roof truss which is now complete. Notice the two heavy gauge 4 * 2 metal beams shown in this shot. (28-Mar-04)
In the process of placing roof tiles on the house.
Roof tiles being set on the roof.
The roof has had an extra beam added which runs through the house and cross supports added. (08-Apr-04)
Center section roof truss section. Notice the secondary metal supports. The roof has about 12 metric tons of roof tiles.
Roof truss - inside view.
Cement work on the roof tiles. (26-Apr-04)
Main roof section nearing completion. (27-Apr-04)
Close-up of underside of roof section.
Working on the front roof valley of the house. (28-Apr-04)
The tile is laid over aluminium drainage sheets in the valley section.
This shows the patch done on the inside of the roof valley but it is a little hard to see.  Basically instead of one piece of aluminum an additional piece was added on top which sets on top of the 1 * 1 cross supports.  The whole idea here is to add more angle and prevent any water entry during a rainy storm with high winds. (29-Apr-04)
Front valley being completed. (30-Apr-04)
Front valley looks pretty poor after the first try. This will need to be reworked since the tiles do not come together in a nice clean straight cut line.
Close up of valley problem area.
Repair work on valley in progress.
Repaired roof valley.
A supplemental support beam was added to the roof section over the driveway. (08-May-04)
Plastic inserts like these come in easy to install strips, each piece covering 3 sections (like the one shown).  The are used to prevent birds and rodents from entering the attic area.  (09-May-04)
Patio roof section along in foreground. (10-May-04)
This is the final fix to the valley on the right side of the house.  Added flashing material is being added.  (30-Jun-04)
Finished roof, view from left front.  (13-Aug-04)
Finished roof, view from right front.
Finished roof, view from rear.
Feedback plea This site is free, but needs your comments and corrections to make it a valuable resource. If you've got comments, corrections or other information please leave feedback here.

home | coolshots home | bathrooms | ceiling | concretepour | electrical | eves | finishedhouse | foundationcolumn | gate | 
 | hindsight | kitchen | perimeterwall | planterbox | readme | road | roof | shotoftheweek | tile | views | wall | water | windowdoor

This page was last updated October 2nd, 2009