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.
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This page was last updated October 2nd, 2009