To inspect the roof, it needs to be looked at from both the inside and outside. If you can see sunlight coming through a gap in the loft, you might be missing a roof tile or slate. A water stain in the loft can be a sign of a roof covering problem, and other parts of the roof, like flashing and chimney stacks can cause leaks when damaged which you should be able to spot from the street with a decent pair of binoculars. Because of this, the roof should be inspected twice a year – once in summer when you can take advantage of the sunlight and once in autumn/winter, as it's easier to spot a leaking roof after it's been raining.
Flat roofs tend to have a slope or pitch of less than 10 degrees and have a reputation for leaks. Sometimes the gradient isn't steep enough meaning that it can sag and allow rainwater to pool on the roof, before making its way into the room below. If a roof's more than 20 years old, it's probably due to be replaced. Newer roofs can still get damaged which is why they should be inspected twice a year. Thatch roofs tend to last a lot longer – between 20 and 70 years – however they face additional fire risks. To reduce this risk, you should have chimney stacks inspected and sweep the chimney regularly.
We surveyed our tradespeople to give you an idea of the amount you can expect to pay for common roofing jobs. The costs below are an approximate national average and based on a 3-bedroom property.
|Some typical jobs||Low||High|
|New flat roof (where the roof's the main roof)||£2,500||£4,500|
|New slate/tiled roof (where the roof's the main roof)||£4,500||£7,000|
|Flat roof repairs (pooling water)||£400||£800|
|Laying woodchip or gravel||£250||£650|
|Slate/tiled roof repairs (missing or slipped slates/tiles)||£100||£300|
Whether your roof needs replacing depends on the location of the leak. It might look like there's a leak in one place but water can make its way to a different part of the roof. If there's a leak, a roofer will be able to determine what needs doing. Often, it's the flashing and not the roofing material itself that's damaged, so a roof may only need to be swapped for a new one if it's old and likely to need replacing sometime soon.
Roofs can be altered without planning permission as long as:
There are different rules that apply when you extend or alter a roof beyond these conditions. They come under "the enlargement of a dwelling house consisting of an addition or alteration to its roof" and tend to apply to loft conversions. You can find more information on these rules and rules for other projects at the Planning Portal.
If you want to repair or re-cover less than 25% of a pitch or flat roof, you won't normally need to submit a building regulations application but you will need approval if:
Info correct at time of publishing, head to the Planning Portal to check the most up to date information.
There's no legal obligation for roofers to be insured but many choose to purchase public liability insurance so they're covered in the case of an injury or accidental damage to a property.
See the latest questions that homeowners have been asking roofers
Professional quote, did exactly what they said they were going to and didn't charge any extra. Actually had to do more work than was originally quoted but did it without charging me any extra. Would certainly use them again.
Neil gave a good and fair price for the job to be completed, the chimney repair job was completed quickly and efficiently within 2 days to a high standard, I would definitely recommend R Pillings & Sons they trustworthy and I wasn't asked for any money until the job was finished which is always an extra vote in confidence. I had a few different quotes from various builders but went with Neil in the end because I felt he was the right man for the job! Great Service would use again
If only all tradesmen could be like Matt. He was prompt polite and efficient. He detailed everything in writing and his price was very reasonable. I would have no hesitation in recommending him and would definitely use him again.