Exploring Different Types of Roof Cladding

As a company that specialises in home extensions in London, we provide an excellent design package to homeowners looking to carry out their home improvements. We often work with our clients to create ground floor extensions, roof extensions and interior refurbishments. Many of our projects have involved a loft conversion in London, meaning the topic of roof cladding has come up often. We wanted to share a selection of the different types of cladding, with the wide array of materials, available for you to include with your proposed roof extension.


Metal cladding for roof extensions and renovations have become a favoured feature. These materials boast great durability and malleability, water resistance and there are plenty of treatment options available to ensure they last for decades to come. Furthermore, metal roofs are lightweight, meaning less stress on your property’s main structure.

However, metal cladding can be loud on a rainy London day and is more susceptible to dents. When stormy weather hits, the look of your roof may pay the price.


Currently, the most popular type of metal roof cladding is zinc, with Architects and builders increasingly using this in modern builds. There are many reasons for this rise in interest. Zinc is available in various colours, and you can clad the roof and walls of your property, creating a streamlined exterior. It can come in sheets and would be installed by fixing the seams together, making it very easy for the builder to put up. This simple installation process allows for easy insertion of solar panels too. All-in-all, it can be argued that zinc roofs are the best value for money.


As the next popular metal cladding material, copper offers a few different benefits than zinc. The main difference is its ability to change colours over time, as it starts off with a lovely bright pink hue and gradually turns to a shade of green after 20-30 years. The end result cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy, as this is due to the natural process of oxidisation. Some homeowners choose aged copper, specifically for the colour, as they may prefer the greener look. Fun fact, the Pantheon’s original copper roof was built in 27 BC and lasted over 1000 years! That shows how durable it truly is.


Every now and then, we come across projects that propose aluminium cladding. Aluminium is very similar to Zinc in its function; however, some slight differences include its high corrosion resistance to saltwater. This means Aluminium cladding is great for coastal builds, ensuring for a longer lasting new look to your roof.


Concrete and Clay

These materials are the standards for residential roof cladding, as they are easily made and therefore readily available.

Concrete tiles are popular as they are strong, meaning they are low maintenance and can last for over 50 years. They can be made in different shapes and colours, making them very versatile. However, they are very heavy and contribute a huge load to your property’s structure. Clay tiles were used by the Romans, and they have come a long way since then. They give character to a house, as not all tiles look the same, dependent on whether you buy handmade or machine-made tiles. It is said to be highly durable and strong, therefore they last longer than concrete tiles.

The overall disadvantage of these types of cladding is that some of these individual tiles can be potentially lost to strong winds. This is due to the process in which they are installed.


This is a naturally occurring material that is composed of compressed clay or volcanic ash. Slate tiles are highly durable and low maintenance, with slate roofs lasting at least 100 years. It is an environmentally friendly option, as it requires little processing and can be recycled for future projects. If one tile becomes broken or loose, that individual tile can be replaced without impacting the rest of the roof.

In contrast to all the amazing advantages, it carries many disadvantages. Firstly, it is extremely heavy compared to the previously mentioned materials, putting extra pressure on your property’s foundations. It is also very expensive, as slate is a finite material and requires a lot of work to obtain. However, it lasts for many years so this cost can be justified. Lastly, a specialised installer is required to ensure the roofing is correctly laid and that each individual tile is perfect in order for your roof to last the century.


This material is not as commonly found in residential buildings compared to the others, as it has its limitations. This ultimately means it is incredibly unique and would be eye catching on your street. The warm, relaxing feel that timber gives to a house is hard to replicate, so some homeowners work around the obstacles to install this type of cladding. It is also the cladding with the smallest carbon footprint when purchased from ethical, sustainable sources. Although timber cladding is durable, it cannot act as a water barrier; therefore, a second layer of waterproof material must be installed beforehand. This could be metal sheets or PVC, but you will essentially be building 2 roofs.

It is important to take the time to consider the appropriate roof cladding for your prospective roof extension. We hope that you have found our post illuminating, and that you are now well equipped to tackle this task. We would love to discuss any future home improvement projects with you further. Please contact us on 02070432378 or email us at hello@hometales.co.uk. Alternatively, you can book a free telephone consultation via the ‘book a visit’ section of our website.

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