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Need To Know Oak Structure Roofing Options: A Simplified Guide - Oak Timber Structures

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News: Need To Know Oak Structure Roofing Options: A Simplified Guide


Don't know your boarding from your battens? Confused between tiles and shingles? It can all be perplexing, right? When starting a renovation project, it can feel like a ton of information is swirling around your head.

Chances are you're not a roofer. You just want to get on to the fun part and enjoy your new oak structure. So let's cut through the noise and explain your roofing options in simple terms. Read on so you can make roofing decisions with confidence.

What are rafters?

Rafters are part of the framework of most structures. You'll find them on everything from gazebos, porches, garages, offices, and garden rooms, to lychgates.

But what are rafters? They're the angled beams that connect to the top plates up to the peak of the roof, sometimes known as the ridge. Top plates are the horizontal beams ontop of the upright posts. Rafters are integral to any structure, making the roof frame stable. Consider them as the backbone of any roof.

We'll supply enough rafters to install at regular intervals. The larger the oak structure, the more rafters you'll need. But you needn't worry about that. Tell us the size, and we'll work out how many rafters you'll need for structural integrity.

The purpose of rafters is to distribute the weight and protect from collapse. The angle at which they're installed also helps rainfall, or any other precipitation the UK throws at us for that matter, slide off the roof.

Summing up, roof rafters give the roof of an oak structure its shape. They distribute the weight, provide support, and set the slope of the roof.

What are roof battens?

Battens are required for tiles or shingles. Batten are thin strips of timber that fix onto the rafters used to create a fixing point for your tiles or shingles. You'll install them so they meet the rafters at a right angle.

We supply battens made of either softwood or oak. Softwood is a more affordable choice, while oak has a stunning grain pattern to match the structure itself. Often, whether to go softwood or oak depends on whether you're installing boarding. More on that next…

What is roof boarding?

Boarding is an optional extra. You'll fix them above the rafters but below battens and shingles. Although they're not a necessity, boarding could be just what you desire.

Once installed, the bottom side of the battens and shingles aren’t visible. If you go inside, you'll see the boarding and the underneath of the rafters if you look up. This creates a uniform aesthetic for your structure. But here's something else to consider. If you're adding lighting to a construction such as a porch or a gazebo, the boarding will hide the wires.

We have three choices: oak, cedar and larch. What should you pick? Well, they all have their positives. Needless to say, oak is the top outdoor timber for many reasons. Going for cost-effectiveness? Cedar and larch are great picks. Cedar boarding will also work in cohesion with our shingles.

What roofing does Oak Timber Structures offer?

We can supply your oak structure with cedar shingles. We’ll calculate the amount needed depending on the size of the structure and include hip and ridge tiles to cover the roof corners.

What are the positives of cedar shingles? Above all, our Western Red Cedar shingles look amazing. When paired with the beauty of oak, they complete the natural timber look.

But their advantages go beyond looks. Cedar shingles are incredibly easy to work with due to their lightweight nature they’re easy to manoeuvre during installation. Not to mention, they're simpler to transport.

Cedar roofing also has the added benefit of being a great insulator. In fact, surpassing man-made construction materials like concrete in its thermal insulation capabilities. Ideal for closed in structures like our offices and garden rooms to better regulate temperatures.

Furthermore, cedar is naturally resistant to decay and moisture. The untreated cedar shingles we supply have a lifespan of around 20 years with no maintenance. You can opt to add another 5 years onto the lifespan by choosing our treated option. But we understand sometimes cedar shingles might not be for you. Read on to see if tiles are more suited for your project.

Tiles vs Shingles: What’s the difference?

Here's the thing. Our oak structures are sturdy and they can easily support any tile or shingle. Let's explore the difference between tiles and shingles to help you decide which option is best for your oak structure.

Tiles and shingles are different in appearance. Although a generalisation, shingles are mostly simple rectangular shapes. When fixed, they create a clean uniform look. On the flip side, tiles are more complicated and often have curved barrel-like or squared shapes, like in the picture. We tend to associate such tiles with traditional properties. If you’re attaching your oak structure to your house, it's common to use the same tiles as the existing building for a consistent appearance.

Tiles tend to be made of clay, concrete, or slate, while shingles can be made of timber, fibreglass or even asphalt. The materials used make tiles much heavier than their shingle counterparts. This is something to consider if you're planning to assemble the structure yourself. Shingles are more DIY friendly. Furthermore, because of the shape of the tiles, their installation is more time-consuming and complex.

Budget-wise, there's no one size fits all answer. You can find a variety of tiles and shingles from different merchants. As a general rule, the natural slate tiles tend to be the most expensive tile choice. Shingles tend to be more affordable, with asphalt being the most budget-friendly choice. However, costs can vary based on the brand and materials used.

Now for the big question: Which is the best tile or shingle? It’s a loaded question with various factors to consider. Roof tiles have excellent longevity, with slate tiles lasting for decades. Likewise, fibreglass shingles can last anywhere between 30-50 years. That said, if you desire a warm traditional look, cedar shingles are the way to go.

To summarise, budget, architectural style, and personal preferences should guide your decision. But remember, whatever you pick, tile or shingle, our oak structures will support either.

Other roofing options

At Oak Timber Structures, we take pride in creating every oak structure from scratch. The beauty of our “made to order” approach is that we can customise it to your exact needs.

Let’s use an example for inspiration. Offices and garden rooms are prime for skylights and roof lanterns. These features are popular at the moment, flooding the space with natural light. We can help, and craft the garden room or office to accommodate such features. So remember, any roof feature you want, we can prepare for!

In conclusion

Hopefully, now you know the difference between battens and boarding plus more. Take the time to browse our website and dream about what you'd do with the roof of your oak structure. If you want advice, simply call us on 01889 597283… We're always happy to help.

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