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Old 05-18-2009, 01:05 PM
4 posts, read 23,315 times
Reputation: 15


I am looking at a house for sale that has a flat top roof. I don't know anything about these types so that is my biggest hesitation for this purchase. I haven't been up there yet so I don't know what it looks like or where the water goes or anything like that. I can't even tell if this kind of house has an attic? It looks like if it did, it wouldn't be large enough to even move around.
Can you tell anything by these pictures? Is the roof even with the top of the shingle line or is it recessed a couple feet or what.
I will have the hosue inspected before buying, but should I have a roofer look at it too? Anything else I should look at for these types of roofs?


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Old 05-18-2009, 01:24 PM
3,020 posts, read 23,068,533 times
Reputation: 2686
Default what are you trying to do?????

You got the pixs so small can't see anything.

Might be a mansard type roof design. Materials used anybody's guess. Lots of times the upper sections can be rubber roof in more modern houses, might be tar and gravel, who knows.

In the mansard type design all four sides slope in a two level with different pitches on the first and upper sections. Can't tell much about that puppy, your pixs do not blow up. Talk about thumbnails.

You got to get it a lot bigger and up far more close and personal to tell what is there.

Mansards are a way of getting the most living space out of a shack without having the height appear very high or the house massive. Sort of a hip type roof, see a lot of them around the county. Lots of smaller commercial building like fast food places use that design.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:57 PM
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,635 posts, read 7,060,273 times
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A flat roof is actually and always designed and considered a low-slope roof. Some buildings and houses with flat roofs have failed because of design and materials (as I guess all roofs have) But a good architect and builder can easily make a flat roof perform as good or better than traditionally sloped roofs. There are required slope formulas and when I design I typically double the minimum required slope and am very aggressive about properly locating and flashing drains and scuppers to ensure a good performing roof. Just because it is flat doesn't necessarily mean it will be better or worse than a steeper sloped roof- design, materials, condition and maintenance will tell you more.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:33 AM
3,020 posts, read 23,068,533 times
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Default Snow load

Those low slope roof(s) you got to consider snow load if you are in a climate where you get snow. House can actually collaspe under the weight, especially these modern shacks.

Plus those massive big pixs show trees around. Those flat roof also tend to collect more leaves, dirt and junk, they also tend to be harder to vent the hot air in the attic.

You just got to get up there and put the eyeballs on the puppy. I would not be trusting any inspector boy to tell me it is ok. If you can't do it, would be getting somebody that actually has done a few roofs.

There is something about those upper windows. They are jammed up tight against the soffits. Also maybe it is brick siding but there might not be any gutters or downspouts. Appears could be an awning over each upper window.

Micro wee pixs are definitely not the way to ask what is wrong with my new shack.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:28 PM
Location: North Florida
414 posts, read 1,592,986 times
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My parents bought a home with a flat roof addition. After hurricanes blew through Florida in 2005, they got screwed by two different roofers who claimed to know how to do a flat roof. that would be my only concern.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:36 PM
Location: Currently seeking a home!
130 posts, read 646,721 times
Reputation: 57
My BIL does roofing and for a flat roof it needs to be rubber roof or even a roll roof. Your inspector should check the roof for you... that is their job so don't call in a roofer unless there is damage. I THINK you can still have gutters n stuff for the water & other stuff that will end up on roof... it doesn't hurt to clean it off every season though to help with lifespan.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:36 PM
48,519 posts, read 80,998,062 times
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Flat roofs are a pain in the rear if you get much rain or snow. it is a much hard roof to actually seal. Bri roofing is often usaed but if it has poor or negleated drainage then its stil a problem.Can't say I would ever want a home with a flat roof myself.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:11 PM
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
Reputation: 30256
These are not roofs for climates with lots of snow or rainfall. Steap pitch roofs exist to protect the roof from collapsing under the weight of snow. Also flat roofs collect lots of leaves and debris. I would only buy a flat pitch roof in a desert type climate.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:44 AM
1 posts, read 10,961 times
Reputation: 10
Hello jameshudson

It is a beautiful house. A reliable inspector such as InspectorD (member of the forum) will look at the roof as well as the rest of the house, and advise you on the roof.
There have been new products introduced that will hold on a flat roof but back when the mansard roof was popular you couldn't expect more than 5 years out of a flat roof.
Let us know how it turns out and thanks for the pictures!

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