Bay Window Roof
Bay window roof covering choices – The most common four main roof coverings are…
- Lead – A timeless classic but prone to theft on occasion
- Felt – Not as pretty as lead, requires laying with a hot flame
- Fibreglass – The closest look to lead when aged
- EPDM – Practical but not very aesthetic
Here’s a little bit about each one, their merits or downfalls and possible conversions you may wish to consider if you fancy a change of bay roof style at the end of the article.
Lead bay roof
A very hard roof to better, lead roof’s have been around for hundreds of years with very little need for change. If laid correctly and the correct Code (thickness) it is not uncommon for a lead roof to see 50 – 100 years without replacement. A new lead roof finished with Patination oil is a timeless classic, unfortunately these days they are prone to being stolen for scrap if easily accessible.
For more information see…Lead bay roofs and repair
Felt bay roofs
Fine when laid properly but can be troublesome at times, especially if finished with aluminium edging trims which have an unfortunate manner of delaminating from the bitumen felt. This cuts short the normal lifespan of felt further from its 10 – 20 year expected lifespan because as the water drips off the aluminium trim, it can trickle back into the roof underneath the top layer of felt. After nailing on the edging trims its a good idea to sand the top mating surface with P80 aluminium oxide sandpaper and prime with a liquid bitumen primer if possible. If you are a home owner employing a tradesman to felt your roof make sure he is insured for naked flames.
Not a bad roof but requires the use of naked flames to lay.
Blowlamps – Just as a side issue to felting bay windows, often the ageing tongue & groove decking becomes extremely gappy, this combined with overhanging soffits, fascias and guttering make hot flame applied torch-on hazardous to apply. Think carefully before taking on this work even if insured, being insured isn’t a magic bullet, if you are deemed to be negligent by your insurers you will not get paid out.
Fibreglass bay roof
More and more people these days are opting to replace their old roof with Fibreglass due to the incredibly long lifespan, which whilst similar to lead is normally cheaper and has no scrap value for a thief. This is particularly useful on a low level roof where thieves may be tempted to steal the lead, and a lead free alternative is required.
Unlike Lead a Fibreglass roof if laid properly will not suffer fatigue cracks caused by expansion and contraction, in theory this could take them past lead in terms of lifespan. Certainly that could be true where the code (thickness) of the lead is too thin for the size of the roof as this tends to prematurely split lead.
GRP – A modern fibreglass bay roof finished in Dark grey and finished with Code 3 lead flashings into brickwork chase. Click pic to enlarge, for more information see the Fibreglass bay windows page
EPDM bay roof
EPDM can be a popular choice on flat roofs these days, however it is not so common on bay roof windows, whilst technically it is a very capable roof, aesthetically its not very pleasing on the eye. Personally I think EPDM is better suited to much larger projects where it’s real strength, that of elasticity, comes into its own. Having said that as long as its not cut it should provide an extremely long life.
Flat to pitch bay roof conversion a pitched roof for bay windows
Another option to consider is converting a traditional flat bay roof into a pitched tile or slate bay roof. Although approximately twice the cost of the lead replacement choice, slates or tiles will last up to 100 years as long as the window cleaner doesn’t break them. Aesthetically this can also change the look of your property for the better.
Pitched bay roof – On this pitch bay conversion, I installed 7″ by 11″ reclaimed hand made clay tiles to stay in character with the property. Lead mopstick hips were fitted rather than ridge or hip tiles, as in my opinion they can look clumpy and out of character on a small roof such as this.
Decorative pitched lead bay roof
Here is another option for a carpenter, builder or keen D.I.Y.er, the sloping lead bay roof. Here situated in a classy mid terraced house it can add real character to an otherwise boring frontage.
Lead details – A decorative pitched lead bay roof, often overlooked as an option. Later this year I will be showing you the basic lead dressing or lead bossing skills required to make this lead roof yourself.
- How to fit a new Lead roof – See the lead to use and method
- Lead roof repair – How to repair a lead roof or bay roof
- How to fit lead flashings – Complete instructions
- Fibreglass bay windows – A superb lead alternative
- Flat roof costs – Bay roof costs now added
- How to fibreglass a bay roof – Lay your own fibreglass bay roof