Queensland classic: the corrugated roof

For many Queenslanders, the sound of rain pattering on a tin roof is very evocative. In fact, it is almost part of the collective Queensland memory for locals of a certain age. But although this Queensland classic has less welcome connotations of rust and radiant heat, modern twists on the classic tin roof are renewing it as an attractive choice for home-owners.

Modernised corrugated roofs

The modern take on this timeless roof is powder-coated lightweight steel or aluminium in a previously unimaginable range of colours. Corrugated roof materials now also come in either the standard wavy sheets of metal or translucent plastic form.

Previously, the biggest drawback to corrugated roofs was corrosion, but these new materials have largely solved that problem. This leaves home-owners tossing up between a corrugated or a tile roof with a slew of advantages on the corrugated side, including ease of installation, durability, price, safety and – depending on the style of your home and your personal taste – aesthetics.

Tiled versus corrugated roofs

The most popular tile options are glazed terracotta or flat slate shingles. These look lovely, depending especially on the style and period of your home, but come with a number of disadvantages and drawbacks, especially for the harsh weather conditions found north (and far north) of the Tweed.

Chief among these are that they are more difficult than corrugated roofs for installing solar panels and for sealing to be watertight. The tiles actually lay adjacent to each other with some slight gaps between. This means that, especially at flatter pitches, high winds can force rain between the tiles, resulting in leaks that can be difficult to track down and seal. If you live in a region prone to bushfires, the lack of complete sealing between tiles means that they are also a greater risk for ember attacks. Further, tiles can also be terribly smashed in severe hail storms.

Further cons are that tiles are far heavier than corrugated sheeting, and weight heavily on roof timbers and walls. They also absorb and radiate heat better than corrugated roofs, which can make them preferable in cooler climates but elevate corrugation to the preferred choice for much of Queensland.

Cost-effective, durable corrugated roofs

If you are weighing up the relative costs of corrugated versus tiled roofs, you should obtain several quotes, as the installation costs can vary, depending on the particular features of your home, and can be comparable in the short term.

However, keep in mind that modern corrugated roofs will long outlast tiled ones, and be less expensive for repairs or for additional work such as wiring, air conditioning or plumbing.

Patter on the hot tin roof

Tiled roofs, on the upside, are quieter, and therefore preferable if you have a sound studio or other room that is sound-sensitive.

But there’s the rub: who doesn’t love the comforting sound so beloved to Queenslanders of welcome, cooling rain on the corrugated roof?