Roofing Nanaimo | Why a home needs a Great Rain Hat

by Jul 19, 2023

Now lets dig into Roof Design and all things Roofing Nananimo and Vancouver Island. We do live in a Rain Forest so lets plan for that.

Which type of “Rain Hat” is right for you? Roof Sturuture and Curb Appeal

Roofing Nanaimo what kind of roof do you need. Old man looking at roof as the gutters over flow

Which style of “Rain Hat” is right for you? Roofing Material Selection

Jordan, Owner

Jordan, Owner

Custom Home Builder | Journeyman Carpenter



Architectural CAD technician and Residential Building Designer

Gable Roof

Gable roofs are a classic roof style characterized by two sloping sides that meet at a ridge, creating a triangular shape. This style is widely popular due to its simplicity and effective water drainage. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, gable roofs offer several practical advantages, making them a popular choice for residential and commercial buildings alike.

Economical and Efficient:

One of the notable benefits of gable roofs is their economic value. When opting for a gable roof, you only need to order one type of truss for the entire roof, which reduces design fees and labor costs. The straightforward design and construction process make it easier for roofing companies to install shingle or metal roofs, saving both time and money.

Effective Water Drainage:

The sloping sides of a gable roof allow rainwater, snow, and debris to easily slide off, minimizing the risk of water pooling or damage caused by excessive weight on the roof. The pitched shape encourages efficient water drainage, reducing the chances of leaks and structural problems. With proper gutter installation, gable roofs can effectively direct water away from the building, protecting the foundation and walls.

Solar-Friendly Option:

Gable roofs are particularly suitable for homeowners or businesses considering solar panel installation. The unobstructed triangular surface area of a gable roof provides ample space for mounting solar panels. This feature allows for greater flexibility in optimizing solar panel placement and maximizing energy generation potential.

Considerations for Solar Installation:

When planning to install solar panels on a gable roof, it is essential to consider the locations of plumbing, HVAC systems, and any other penetrations on the roof. By strategically placing these elements, you can ensure a larger uninterrupted surface area for solar panel placement. This careful planning optimizes the effectiveness and efficiency of the solar energy system, enhancing its long-term benefits.

History of Gable Roof: 

The gable roof is an iconic architectural design that has a rich history dating back centuries. Its distinctive triangular shape and sloping sides make it one of the most recognizable roof styles in the world. The origins of the gable roof can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where early structures were primarily built with flat roofs or simple thatched roofs. As construction techniques evolved, particularly during the Gothic period in Europe, the gable roof emerged as a popular choice for cathedrals, churches, and other monumental buildings. Its steep slopes allowed for efficient rainwater drainage, and the triangular gable ends provided a sense of height and grandeur. Over time, the gable roof became a common feature in various architectural styles, from traditional homes to barns and colonial buildings. Today, the gable roof continues to be a beloved design element, combining practicality with aesthetic appeal, and serving as a testament to the enduring legacy of architectural history.


Hip Roof

A hip roof is a type of roof that features slopes on all four sides, meeting at a ridge. It offers several advantages, including excellent stability, and good water drainage. This is a great roof design  Let’s explore these benefits in more detail:

Stability in High-Wind Areas:

Hip roofs are known for their stability, making them a popular choice for areas prone to high winds. The slopes on all sides of the roof provide multiple points of support, reducing the chances of wind damage. The inward slope of the hip roof also helps to distribute the wind force evenly across the structure, further enhancing its stability.

Effective Water Drainage:

Another advantage of hip roofs is their superior water drainage capabilities. With slopes on all sides, rainwater is easily channeled away from the roof’s surface. This efficient drainage system helps prevent the accumulation of water, reducing the risk of leaks or structural damage caused by water infiltration. The ability to shed bulk water away from window and door openings is particularly beneficial, as it enhances the durability of these vulnerable areas.

Affordability and Design Considerations:


Affordable Roofing Option:

Opting for a hip roof with shingles can be a cost-effective choice. The materials required for hip roofs are typically less expensive compared to other roof types, such as gable or mansard roofs. Additionally, the labor involved in installing a hip roof is often more straightforward, resulting in reduced installation costs. Therefore, if budget-consciousness is a priority, a hip roof can be an attractive and affordable option.

Considering Design Constraints:

Living in a rainforest, where rainfall is abundant, places a particular emphasis on managing bulk water effectively. By choosing a hip roof, which excels at water drainage, homeowners can ensure that their houses have a greater chance of withstanding the challenges posed by heavy rainfall. Understanding the specific design constraints of the environment in which a house is situated is crucial. Designing a home that addresses these constraints, such as incorporating a roof that efficiently sheds water, contributes to the overall durability and longevity of the structure.

Thinking Solar:

This is not always the best roof type for solar as you loss area to be able to put solar panels. Solar panels are often rectangular and because of the all the angles on the roof effect is available area to be installed. Can you make a hip roof work for solar yes but some added thought needs to be put into the design to make it work.

History of Hip Roof:

The origins of the hip roof can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where it was utilized in various regions around the world. However, it gained significant prominence during the Renaissance period in Europe, particularly in Italian architecture. It works well with a wide array of architectural styles, such as Colonial, Ranch, Mediterranean, Craftsman, and even contemporary designs. Its versatility allows it to seamlessly blend with different home designs and adds a touch of elegance and sophistication. Throughout history, the hip roof has proven to be a timeless and enduring architectural choice, combining practicality and aesthetic appeal in homes across the globe.

Dutch Gable Roof

The Dutch gable roof is a unique architectural feature that combines the elements of a gable roof with a hip roof. This distinctive design incorporates a gable on the top and hips on the sides, resulting in a visually appealing and functional roof structure. In addition to its aesthetic charm, the Dutch gable roof provides protection from bulk water the “Rain Hat” and allows for customization through the incorporation finish materials.

Aesthetic Appeal and Character:


Gable-End Charm:

The most distinguishing feature of the Dutch gable roof is the gable on the top. This addition brings an element of elegance and character to the overall roof design. The gable end can be customized with various architectural details, such as decorative trims, finials, or ornate windows, enhancing the visual appeal of the building.

Customization Opportunities:

The smaller gable end of the Dutch gable roof presents an excellent opportunity for customization. This area, often referred to as the “Rain Hat,” can be adorned with finish materials that enhance the roof’s overall form and character. Options such as wood siding, shingles, or decorative cladding can be added to create a unique and personalized appearance.

Protection from Bulk Water:


Enhanced Water Shedding:

The design of the Dutch gable roof ensures efficient water shedding, preventing water accumulation on the roof surface. The steep slopes of the gable and hip sections facilitate quick water runoff, reducing the risk of leaks and water damage.

Additional Weather Resistance:

By incorporating both gable and hip elements, the Dutch gable roof provides increased stability and weather resistance. The combination of the sloping sides and the gable end helps to deflect wind and reduce the likelihood of damage during storms or high winds.

History of Hip Roof:

The Dutch hip roof, also known as a Dutch gable roof, has a rich history that can be traced back to the Netherlands. The Dutch hip roof gained popularity during the colonial era in America, particularly in Dutch settlements such as New York and Pennsylvania. It provided a practical solution for maximizing interior space, as the steeper upper slope of the roof allowed for additional living or storage space in the attic. The Dutch hip roof works harmoniously with a variety of architectural styles, including Colonial, Dutch Colonial, Georgian, and Victorian. Its distinctive appearance adds charm and character to homes, while also offering the benefits of efficient rainwater drainage and increased interior volume. Today, the Dutch hip roof continues to be admired for its unique blend of functionality and architectural appeal, making it a favored choice for homeowners seeking a touch of historical elegance.

Shed Roof

Shed roofs are commonly used in West Coast Modern design, which is known for its emphasis on integrating with the natural environment and embracing simplicity and functionality. The shed roof style complements the design principles of West Coast Modern architecture by providing a clean and minimalist aesthetic. Here’s why shed roofs are often utilized in this architectural style.


Shed roofs are straightforward in design, featuring a single sloping plane that is often angled towards the view or the natural surroundings. This simplicity aligns with the clean lines and uncluttered look sought after in West Coast Modern design.

Integration with the Environment:

Shed roofs in West Coast Modern architecture are often used to create large expanses of glass windows or sliding doors. This allows for a seamless connection between the interior and exterior spaces, bringing in abundant natural light and showcasing the surrounding landscape or ocean views.

Natural Water Drainage:

The sloping plane of a shed roof facilitates effective water drainage, particularly in regions with high rainfall like the West Coast. This helps prevent water buildup and potential leaks, enhancing the durability and longevity of the roof.

Energy Efficiency:

Shed roofs can be designed to accommodate solar panels, taking advantage of the region’s ample sunlight to harness renewable energy. This aligns with the sustainable and eco-friendly principles often embraced in West Coast Modern design.

Architectural Variety:

Shed roofs offer flexibility in design, allowing for varying slopes, orientations, and configurations. This versatility enables architects to create unique and visually engaging rooflines that contribute to the overall character and individuality of a West Coast Modern home.



Gambrel Roof

Roof styles play a significant role in defining the overall look and functionality of a building. One such distinctive roof style is the gambrel roof. With its two sides, each featuring two slopes of varying steepness, gambrel roofs offer a unique combination of practicality and aesthetic appeal. This article explores the characteristics of gambrel roofs, their common usage in rustic or country-style buildings, as well as their suitability for incorporating dormers and solar panels to enhance living space and promote energy efficiency. Let’s delve deeper into these aspects:

Gambrel Roofs in Rustic Architecture:

Historical Significance:

During the colonial era in North America, the influence of the time brought about the rise of gambrel roofs, which became particularly popular in agricultural surroundings like barns and farmhouses. These roofs, with their unique shape, not only enhance the rustic charm of buildings but also evoke a strong sense of tradition, contributing to the overall countryside aesthetic.

Versatile Applications:

Gambrel roofs have become a popular choice for barns and agricultural structures because of their practical design, allowing for increased headroom and usable space within the roof area. However, their influence extends beyond agricultural settings. Gambrel roofs can also be found in residential homes, particularly in architectural styles such as Dutch Colonial or Colonial Revival. In these contexts, gambrel roofs contribute to a nostalgic and charming aesthetic, adding to the overall appeal of the homes.

Incorporating Dormers for Additional Living Space:

Leveraging the versatility of the gambrel roof system, homeowners can take advantage of its unique design by incorporating dormers on one side of the house. This addition allows for the expansion of living space within the roof system, enabling the creation of additional rooms or the enhancement of existing ones. Moreover, dormers present an excellent opportunity to introduce more windows, flooding the living space beneath the gambrel roof with ample natural light. Additionally, well-designed dormers can improve ventilation by facilitating better airflow, resulting in a more comfortable and well-ventilated interior.

Gambrel Roofs and Solar Panels:

The gambrel roof not only promotes energy efficiency but also offers advantages for solar panel placement. Its multi-sloped design allows for optimal installation, with the steeper lower slope maximizing sun exposure and energy generation. Additionally, if the lower slope section faces south, it can also facilitate solar heat gain through south-facing windows. Integrating solar panels onto a gambrel roof harmonizes the design, maintaining its aesthetic appeal while promoting sustainability. The distinct sections of the gambrel roof provide flexibility for customizable panel installation, resulting in a visually pleasing layout. Furthermore, gambrel roofs add character and visual appeal to home designs, transforming a simple gable roof into an eye-catching architectural feature. The asymmetrical slopes of the gambrel roof enhance the overall curb appeal, creating a unique and interesting look.

Mansard Roof

The mansard roof, also known as a French roof, is characterized by its four sides, each featuring a double slope. This design culminates in a nearly flat roof surface at the top, offering a distinctive aesthetic appeal.

Uncommon on the West Coast:

The prevalence of mansard roofs is relatively low on the west coast of the United States, with specific circumstances warranting their use. Height restrictions imposed by city regulations or a desire for a rooftop deck to enjoy scenic views are common factors driving the adoption of this roof style in the region.

Concerns in Rainforest Environments:

However, when considering the use of mansard roofs in rainforest climates, caution should be exercised. The presence of flat spots on roofs over living spaces, such as those found in the mansard roof design, can pose challenges. In rainforest regions, where heavy rainfall is prevalent, it becomes essential to efficiently shed bulk water away from the home to safeguard its integrity.

Mitigating Water-related Issues:

The choice of a mansard roof, with its nearly flat top surface, can potentially lead to water accumulation, increasing the risk of water damage and compromising the structural integrity of the home. In such climates, alternative roof designs that facilitate efficient water drainage, such as sloped roofs, may be more suitable to ensure the long-term protection of the homeowner’s valuable asset.

History of Hip Roof:

The Mansard roof, named after the French architect François Mansart, has a fascinating history that originated in France during the 17th century. It gained prominence during the reign of Louis XIV and became synonymous with French architectural style. The Mansard roof is characterized by its double-sloping design, with steep lower slopes and shallow upper slopes. This unique structure allowed for additional living space in the attic, making it an attractive choice for expanding living areas. The Mansard roof became particularly popular during the Second Empire architectural period in the mid-19th century, as it was commonly used in grand townhouses, châteaux, and public buildings. Its elegance and versatility have led to its integration with various architectural styles, including Second Empire, Victorian, French Provincial, and even contemporary designs. The Mansard roof continues to be admired for its aesthetic appeal, functional use of space, and the touch of timeless elegance it adds to homes around the world.

Flat Roof

Flat roofs, though they may appear completely horizontal, typically feature a slight pitch to facilitate water drainage. They are commonly found in commercial buildings and modern residential architecture.

Concerns Regarding Water Management:

In residential construction, flat roofs can present water-related issues, particularly due to the ability to design visually appealing structures within local height restrictions. To safeguard our homes and keep them dry and protected from the elements, it is essential to address potential water problems promptly.

Swift Water Drainage:

A primary concern with flat roofs is the accumulation of bulk water. It is crucial to ensure efficient water management by directing water away from the home as quickly as possible. By implementing effective drainage systems, we can prevent water-related issues and preserve the integrity of our valuable asset, our home.

Maintenance for Optimal Performance:

Another challenge associated with flat roofs is the risk of them turning into unintended swimming pools. This occurrence can be mitigated through regular maintenance, such as cleaning out scupper drains. This becomes especially critical when living near a forest or having large trees around the house, as debris accumulation can obstruct the scupper drain and hinder proper water flow.

Balancing Aesthetics and Water Management:

While there may be instances where the use of flat roofs is necessary to achieve a specific aesthetic appeal, it is imperative to prioritize water management. By treating water management with utmost seriousness, we can maintain the functionality and longevity of our flat roofs.

Butterfly Roof

A butterfly roof stands out with its distinctive V-shaped structure, formed by two inward-sloping roof surfaces. This architectural style creates a visually captivating appearance that sets it apart from traditional roofs.

Benefits of a Butterfly Roof

Ample Natural Light:

One of the key advantages of a butterfly roof is its ability to maximize the entry of natural light into the living space. The upward slope of the roof surfaces allows for larger windows or even entire glass walls, resulting in abundant sunlight penetration throughout the day. This design feature contributes to a bright and airy interior environment.

Rainwater Collection:

Another noteworthy feature of the butterfly roof is its suitability for rainwater collection. The V-shape created by the sloping surfaces efficiently directs rainwater towards a central collection point. This design consideration is particularly valuable in areas where finding a suitable well for water supply may be challenging.

Considerations for the West Coast of British Columbia

Limited Use Case:

In regions like the west coast of British Columbia, where access to water wells is typically available, the primary purpose of a butterfly roof would likely be rainwater collection. If finding a suitable well is not a concern, alternative roof designs may be more common and practical.

Alternative Approaches:

Considering the aesthetics and functionality of a home, some individuals on the west coast of British Columbia may prefer alternative methods for rainwater collection instead of incorporating a prominent funnel-like structure on the top of their homes. These alternative approaches may include underground cisterns or other discreet rainwater harvesting systems that integrate seamlessly with the overall architectural design.

In conclusion, while a butterfly roof offers eye-catching aesthetics and rainwater collection capabilities, its usage on the west coast of British Columbia may be limited to situations where access to a suitable well is challenging. Individuals in this region may explore alternative approaches to rainwater collection that align better with their preferences and architectural considerations.

Green Roof

Green roofs are an environmentally friendly option that involves covering the roof with vegetation and plants. They provide insulation, absorb rainwater, and reduce urban heat island effect. Green roofs require additional structural support and specialized installation.

Environmental Benefits

Stormwater Management:

Green roofs absorb rainwater, reducing stormwater runoff and alleviating strain on the local drainage system.

Water Conservation:

Vegetation on green roofs captures and stores rainwater, which can be used for irrigation or released slowly back into the environment, reducing the demand for potable water.

Biodiversity Support:

Green roofs provide habitats for plants, insects, and birds, promoting biodiversity and contributing to urban ecosystem health.

Energy Efficiency

Temperature Regulation:

Vegetation on green roofs helps regulate indoor temperatures by insulating buildings, reducing the need for air conditioning in summer and heating in winter.

Reduced Heat Island Effect:

Green roofs mitigate the urban heat island effect, where cities experience higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas, by absorbing heat and releasing it slowly.

Aesthetics and Livability

Enhanced Visual Appeal:

Green roofs enhance the visual aesthetics of buildings, making them more visually appealing and blending them into the natural surroundings.

Improved Outdoor Spaces:

Green roofs can provide recreational spaces, gardens, or urban farms, creating opportunities for social interaction and community engagement.

Installation and Maintenance Costs

Initial Cost:

Installing green roofs can be expensive due to the additional materials, structural reinforcement, and specialized labor required.


Green roofs require regular maintenance, including irrigation, weed control, and plant replacement, which can add to the long-term costs.

Structural Considerations

Load-Bearing Capacity:

Green roofs add weight to buildings, requiring adequate structural support. Older or structurally weaker buildings may require reinforcement to accommodate the additional load.

Climate Constraints

Is it the right fit:

In regions like ours which can get heavy snowfall or prolonged periods of rain, the additional weight of moisture on green roofs can pose challenges if not properly managed.

Expertise and Knowledge

Design and Installation Complexity:

Proper design and installation of green roofs require specialized knowledge and expertise, necessitating the involvement of professionals to ensure functionality and longevity.


A dormer on a roof is a structural feature that extends from the slope of a roof, creating additional space and headroom within the attic or upper floor of a building. Dormers are commonly used in residential and commercial architecture to provide functional space while enhancing the overall design of the structure.

Definition and Types:

A dormer on a roof refers to a protruding element that breaks the plane of a sloping roof. Various types of dormers exist, including gable, shed, and eyebrow dormers. Each type serves a distinct purpose and contributes to the architectural aesthetic of the building.

Functions and Benefits:

Dormers provide numerous advantages to a building. By extending the roofline, they create additional headroom and usable space in attics or upper floors. Moreover, dormers allow for increased natural lighting and ventilation, enhancing the overall comfort and livability of the space. Additionally, dormers contribute to the architectural appeal and character of the building, potentially increasing its value.

Dormer Styles and Examples:

Gable, shed, and eyebrow dormers are the most common styles, each characterized by its distinctive design and appearance. Gable dormers feature a triangular roof and vertical walls, while shed dormers have a single sloping roof. Eyebrow dormers, on the other hand, are curved and blend seamlessly with the roofline. Numerous design examples exist for each style, showcasing their versatility and aesthetic possibilities.


Rhiannon's Profile pic | Architectural CAD technician and Residential Building Designer | Your House Plan Designer.

Rhiannon is our in-house designer and she will help you to understand what your options are for the house of your dreams. We will be looking for some inspirational photos from you to help get us started and then our Design Build Team will take it from there.

Roofing Material Selections

Metal Roof

Some metal roofs, particularly those made from softer metals like aluminum, can be susceptible to denting from heavy impacts, such as falling branches or hail. However, metal roofs are designed to withstand most common weather conditions without major damage.Metal roofs come in various styles, including panels, shingles, and tiles. This versatility allows homeowners to choose a design that suits their aesthetic preferences and architectural style.Metal roofs are known for their longevity and durability. They can be made from aluminum, copper, zinc, or steel. Metal roofs are lightweight, fire-resistant, and can reflect heat, making them energy-efficient. They are available in various styles, including panels, shingles, and tiles.

Pros for metal roofing

Longevity and Durability:

Metal roofs are known for their exceptional lifespan. They can last 50 years or more, outperforming many other roofing materials such as asphalt shingles.

Weather Resistance:

Metal roofs offer excellent protection against harsh weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rain, hail, and snow. They are highly resistant to cracking, warping, and corrosion, making them suitable for various climates.


Metal roofs are relatively lightweight compared to other roofing materials, such as concrete or clay tiles. This characteristic makes installation easier and reduces stress on the building’s structure.

Fire Resistance:

Metal is non-combustible, which makes metal roofs highly fire-resistant. This feature can provide an additional layer of safety and protection for your home or building.

Energy Efficiency:

Metal roofs can reflect a significant amount of solar heat, helping to reduce cooling costs during hot weather. This reflective property, along with proper insulation, can improve the energy efficiency of a building.

Variety of Styles:

Metal roofs come in various styles, including panels, shingles, and tiles. This versatility allows homeowners to choose a design that suits their aesthetic preferences and architectural style.

Environmental Footprint:

Yes, it does take a lot of energy to make metal but it is also recyclable it can also be repurposed or up-cycled.

Cons for metal roofing

Initial Cost:

Metal roofs tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles. However, their longevity and durability can offset this initial investment over the long term.


Rain, hail, or other objects hitting a metal roof can produce more noise compared to other roofing materials. However, modern metal roofs are often installed with noise-reducing technologies, such as insulation or solid sheathing, which can mitigate this issue. Some people love this sound of rain on there roof.


Some metal roofs, particularly those made from softer metals like aluminum, can be susceptible to denting from heavy impacts, such as falling branches or hail. However, metal roofs are designed to withstand most common weather conditions without major damage. If you sheet your roof this allows for a backing for the metal greatly increasing its durability.

Fire Resistance:

Metal is non-combustible, which makes metal roofs highly fire-resistant. This feature can provide an additional layer of safety and protection for your home or building.

Expansion and Contraction:

Metal roofs can expand and contract with temperature fluctuations. To accommodate this movement, proper installation techniques, such as using fasteners with a sliding or flexible mechanism, are required to prevent potential issues.

Specialized Installation:

Metal roofs typically require professional installation due to their specialized techniques and equipment. Improper installation can lead to leaks, reduced lifespan, or other performance issues.

Visual Compatibility:

While metal roofs come in various styles, some homeowners may find it challenging to match the aesthetic of their neighborhood or preferred architectural style with metal roofing options.

Asphalt Shingles

Limited Insulation: While asphalt shingles are durable, they have a limited lifespan compared to some other roofing materials. Higher-quality shingles can last longer, but even then, they typically need to be replaced after 20 to 30 years.This is the most popular roofing material in North America. It is relatively affordable, easy to install, and comes in a wide range of colors. Asphalt shingles are durable and can withstand various weather conditions

Pros for Asphalt shingle roofing


Asphalt shingles are one of the most cost-effective roofing materials available. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other options, making them a popular choice for homeowners on a budget.

Easy Installation:

Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install, which can help reduce labor costs. They come in standard sizes and can be quickly and efficiently installed by roofing professionals.

Wide Range of Colors and Styles:

Asphalt shingles offer a wide variety of colors, styles, and designs, allowing homeowners to find an option that suits their aesthetic preferences and complements the overall look of their home.


Asphalt shingles are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including high winds, rain, snow, and hail. They provide excellent protection for your home and can have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years or more, depending on the quality of the shingles.


Asphalt shingles are readily available in North America, making them easily accessible for roofing projects. They can be found at most home improvement stores and roofing suppliers.

Cons for Asphalt shingle roofing

Limited Lifespan:

While asphalt shingles are durable, they have a limited lifespan compared to some other roofing materials. Higher-quality shingles can last longer, but even then, they typically need to be replaced after 20 to 30 years.

Vulnerability to Extreme Temperatures:

Extreme temperature fluctuations can affect the performance of asphalt shingles. In very hot climates, the shingles may become brittle over time, and in extremely cold climates, they may be prone to cracking or damage from ice.


Although asphalt shingles are generally low maintenance, they can require occasional maintenance and repairs. Over time, shingles may become loose, damaged, or develop algae or moss growth, requiring attention and maintenance to keep them in good condition.

Environmental Impact:

Asphalt shingles are petroleum-based products, and their production contributes to carbon emissions. Additionally, when they reach the end of their lifespan, they typically end up in landfills, where they can take a significant amount of time to decompose.

Limited Insulation:

Compared to some other roofing materials, asphalt shingles offer limited insulation properties. They do not provide as much thermal insulation, which can impact energy efficiency and increase heating and cooling costs for the home. 

Clay and Concrete Tiles

Clay and concrete tiles are popular in Mediterranean and Spanish-style architecture. They are long-lasting and provide excellent insulation. Tiles are available in different shapes, sizes, and colors, adding aesthetic appeal to a home. However, they can be heavier and more expensive than other roofing materials. Clay and concrete tiles are both popular options around the world but we don’t see a lot of them here on Vancouver Island due to the extra weight that would be added to the roof structure because we have a snow load which also needs to be added to our roofs here. Often they won’t fit the form and character of most neighbourhood which is something to be thinking about when building your home. If you would like to learn more about these please let us know and we could share with you.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles and shakes are made from cedar or redwood. They offer a natural rustic look. However, they require regular maintenance and are susceptible to rot, mold, and fire. Some areas have building codes and restrictions on the use of wood roofing materials due to fire concerns.

Pros for wood shingles and shakes roofing


Wood shingles and shakes offer a timeless, rustic appeal that many homeowners find attractive. They add character and warmth to a home’s exterior and blend well with natural surroundings.


High-quality wood shingles and shakes, such as cedar, can have a long lifespan. With proper maintenance and care, they can last between 30 and 50 years, making them a durable roofing option. Something worth mentioning here is that the shingles and shakes of the previous generation are harder and harder to get due to us protecting what is left of our old growth forests which in our eyes is a great thing.


Wood is a renewable resource, making wood shingles and shakes an environmentally friendly choice. They are biodegradable and have a lower carbon footprint compared to synthetic materials.

Easy to Repair:

In case of damage or wear, individual wood shingles or shakes can be easily replaced, minimizing repair costs. This makes maintenance more manageable and cost-effective. 

Cons for wood shingles and shakes roofing


Wood shingles and shakes tend to be more expensive upfront compared to other roofing materials. The price can vary based on the type of wood used, quality, and location.

High Maintenance:

Wood roofs require regular maintenance to preserve their appearance and extend their lifespan. This includes periodic cleaning, treating for moss and algae, and applying protective coatings or stains to prevent decay and weathering.

Fire Hazard:

One significant disadvantage of wood shingles and shakes is their susceptibility to fire. Wood is a combustible material, and in areas prone to wildfires or with strict fire safety regulations, they may not be a suitable choice. We have areas where shingle and shake cann’t be installed, with our rise in wild fires it might be something to decided if this is the right fit for your home.

Vulnerability to Moisture and Decay:

Wood is susceptible to moisture damage, rot, and decay. Proper ventilation and regular inspections are necessary to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and wood rot.

Insect Infestation:

Wood shingles and shakes can be prone to insect infestations, including termites and wood-boring beetles. Regular inspections and preventive measures are crucial to detect and address any infestation promptly.


Slate roofing is known for its elegance and longevity. It is a natural stone material that offers a distinctive and upscale appearance. Slate is durable, fire-resistant, and can last for several decades. However, it is heavy and requires professional installation.

Pros for Slate roofing


Slate roofs are incredibly durable and have a long lifespan, often lasting 100 years or more with proper maintenance. They are known for their exceptional durability and can withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, and hail.


Slate roofs offer a timeless, elegant appearance that can enhance the curb appeal and value of a home. Slate is available in various colors and textures, allowing for customization and versatility in design.

Fire resistance:

Slate is a non-combustible material, making it highly resistant to fire. This feature adds an extra layer of protection to your home and can help prevent the spread of fire.

Low maintenance:

Slate roofs require minimal maintenance compared to other roofing materials. They are resistant to mold, mildew, and rot and do not attract pests. Regular inspections and minor repairs as needed are typically sufficient to keep a slate roof in good condition. 

Cons for Slate roofing


Slate roofing is one of the most expensive roofing options available. The cost of materials, installation, and specialized labor can be significantly higher compared to other roofing materials. This can make slate roofs unaffordable for some homeowners.


Slate is a heavy material, and proper structural reinforcement is required to support its weight. In some cases, the existing roof structure may need to be reinforced, adding to the overall cost of the project. With us in British Columbia needing to add a snow load to our roofs this could further more increase the cost of doing a slate roof.


While slate is durable, it can be fragile and prone to breakage if walked on or if heavy objects are dropped on it. This makes routine maintenance, such as cleaning gutters or repairing other roof elements, more challenging and potentially risky.

Complex installation:

Installing a slate roof requires skilled and experienced professionals due to its specialized techniques and the need for precision. Improper installation can lead to issues such as leaks or premature damage, which can be costly to rectify.

Limited availability:

Slate is a natural material that is sourced from specific quarries. This limited availability can sometimes result in longer lead times for obtaining the necessary materials or finding replacement tiles if needed.

Synthetic Roofing Materials

Synthetic roofing materials, such as synthetic slate, rubber, or plastic, replicate the appearance of traditional roofing materials but at a lower cost. They are lightweight, durable, and often easier to install. We also have all our synthetic roofing materials for flat roofing like Built-up Roofing (BUR), Modified Bitumen, EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin). With Synthetic roofing options there are many and working with a contractor who will find the answers to your questions is what you are looking for.

Pros for Synthetic roofing materials


Synthetic roofing materials are known for their durability and longevity. They are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, strong winds, and hail. Many synthetic materials are also resistant to fire, rot, and insect damage, making them highly durable and low-maintenance.


Synthetic roofing materials are typically lighter than traditional options like clay tiles or slate. This lightweight characteristic makes installation easier and reduces the load on the roof structure. It can also be an advantage when renovating or adding onto an existing structure.


Synthetic materials offer a wide range of design options, allowing homeowners to choose from various colors, textures, and styles. Some synthetic materials can even mimic the appearance of traditional roofing materials, providing the desired aesthetic without the associated drawbacks.

Energy efficiency:

Certain synthetic roofing materials, such as solar shingles or reflective coatings, can improve energy efficiency by reducing heat absorption and heat transfer. This can help lower cooling costs during hot summers and make the building more environmentally friendly.


Synthetic roofing materials are often more affordable than natural alternatives like clay tiles or slate. Their lower cost, combined with their durability and low maintenance requirements, can result in long-term cost savings for homeowners.

Cons for Synthetic roofing materials

Initial cost:

While synthetic roofing materials can be cost-effective in the long run, their upfront cost may be higher than traditional options like asphalt shingles. The initial investment can be a barrier for homeowners on a tight budget.

Limited lifespan:

Although synthetic materials are generally durable, some may have a shorter lifespan compared to traditional options. While asphalt shingles may last 20 to 30 years, synthetic materials might have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years. It’s essential to consider the longevity of the specific synthetic material you choose. This is why having a trusted professional on your side to help you navigate material selection can lead to success on your project.

Environmental concerns:

Some synthetic roofing materials may not be as environmentally friendly as natural options. They can be made from petroleum-based products or require significant energy consumption during manufacturing. However, many manufacturers are making efforts to develop more sustainable synthetic options.

Limited weathering options:

Synthetic materials may not weather and age in the same way as natural materials, which can be a disadvantage for those who appreciate the natural patina and character that comes with aging. Synthetic materials tend to maintain their original appearance over time.

Limited recycling options:

At the end of their lifespan, some synthetic roofing materials may not be easily recyclable, leading to increased waste. It’s important to consider the disposal implications when choosing synthetic options.

Custom Home Building Guide

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Custom Home Building Guide Vancouver Island

Streamlining the Building Process

Building a home involves countless decisions and intricate coordination of various professionals, contractors, and suppliers. With a home builder engaged from the start, you benefit from their vast network of industry connections. They can recommend reputable suppliers, oversee the construction process, and ensure timely completion within your budget. Their experience in managing projects from inception to completion enables a smoother and more efficient building process, alleviating much of the stress associated with new construction.

We offer a Pre-Construction “The Foundation for your Future” which allows us to gather all the necessary information to build you a home which fits your life style and budget.

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