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Old 06-28-2012, 09:05 AM
 
108 posts, read 324,294 times
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Looking at possibly buying a Sante Fe Style home with a flat roof.

Can anyone give me some information the pro's and cons of buying a home with a flat roof ?
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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The biggest advantage is looks, whether it is Santa Fe stylle or retro / Atomic ranch or older deco style you can have a ton of curb appeal. Second advantage is cost, the flat roof is generally less expensivve to build and less expensive to maintain. WIth modern seamless roofing membranes dropping in cost and improving in quality a total re-roof can be surprisingly affordable and extremely long lasting -- well over 20 years at a cost that is far cheaper than shingles for a similar sized sloped roof.

Main disadvantage is you don't know if the previous owner(s) took decent care of the roof or abused it. Despite the flatness such roofs are generally NOT meant to be used for patio or storage. You might need to repair damage from those sorts of things...

Last edited by chet everett; 06-28-2012 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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If it snows where you are I wouldn't want a flat roof.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
13,743 posts, read 31,562,927 times
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In the PNW, flat roofs aren't desirable. I think it depends on how much moisture you get. Chet, I don't know where you live, but out here it is about twice the cost to put on the membranes than to do the total tear off with a 30 year arch comp roof.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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Costs have really come down. The last quote that I helped a former business partner get for his multifamily building in suburban Chicago this spring had a TOTAL cost of materials , labor, permits of less than $2/sq ft for a BIG 90X60 building. In contrast the bundle cost of premium composite shingles has stayed well above $30 (for 20 lineal feet) and the slope means you need A LOT more material...

I think the patents on the EPDM mebrane technology have run out and there is more competition. Of course if you don't get quotes and just stick with stuff from 3M you will get sold the super high tech stuff that will last for like a century, but that is not the most effective way to go...
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
13,743 posts, read 31,562,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Costs have really come down. The last quote that I helped a former business partner get for his multifamily building in suburban Chicago this spring had a TOTAL cost of materials , labor, permits of less than $2/sq ft for a BIG 90X60 building. In contrast the bundle cost of premium composite shingles has stayed well above $30 (for 20 lineal feet) and the slope means you need A LOT more material...

I think the patents on the EPDM mebrane technology have run out and there is more competition. Of course if you don't get quotes and just stick with stuff from 3M you will get sold the super high tech stuff that will last for like a century, but that is not the most effective way to go...
I've seen two listings recently that had the membranes and it was $10k to redo it with a 15 year product. They could have re-roofed a pitched roof for $5500 with a 30 year arch comp roof. It might be because we have so few of them out here, but they are not cost effective at all.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: One foot in CT one in KS
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We have owned two flat roof homes in wet and snowy country. The upside: Minimal to no wind damage, no ice damming, good looks (dependent upon the home's architecture) and in our case, anyway, they have been quite reliable.

The downside, perceived reliability issues based on the old layered hot mop technology that they are leaky, so people unfamiliar with flat roofing are leery on resale. Snow load: With heavy snow, they should be shoveled. Insurance: We have had a couple of insurance companies refuse to even quote a rate for our flat roof home without leak claim history simply because the roof was flat. YMMV.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 18,535,708 times
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There is also a foam roofing material that is used over previous layers.

I have no experience with it, but this company has been in business a long time in the SF Bay Area.

Bay Area Foam Roofing Benefits and Overview
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:22 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
2,970 posts, read 6,609,765 times
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I have a home in Santa fe with a flat roof. Have a good roof inspection done before you buy, my quote for re-graveling was $23,000 on a 2300 square foot home. I opted for repairs and preventative maintenance for a cost of $3,400 with a 5 year inspection/prevention contract at around $350 a year. There was only one small leak, but the areas around the canales had some cracks due to the hot and cold extremes in the area. My roof is only 6 years old, the original roofer has since gone out of business and the warranty is useless.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:35 PM
 
833 posts, read 1,416,803 times
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I'd avoid flat roofs !
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