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Flat Roofing Services in New Orleans: Pros and Cons of Flat Roofing for Your Home and Business

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When it comes to the roof over your and your family’s head, it’s important to gather as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision. 

In New Orleans, flat roofs have become a popular choice for many homeowners due to their cost-effectiveness and easy installation. 

However, like all roofs, flat roofs have their pros and cons.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of flat roofing to help you make an educated decision when considering this style of roofing for your home.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, this guide will provide you with the information you need to make the right decision.

What is a Flat Roof?

Before we dive into this comprehensive guide, let’s cover the basics: What exactly is a flat roof?

A flat roof is a type of roofing system that is characterized by its flat or nearly flat surface, as opposed to the pitched or sloped surface of traditional roofs. Flat roof membranes are used in both residential and commercial roofing projects. In residential, it is used predominantly for large apartment buildings, garage roofs, and small extensions. It is also increasingly used for larger main roofs in single-family housing with modern designs that integrate flat roofs.

Flat roofs are typically found on modern or contemporary-style homes and are often used for residential and commercial properties and made from materials such as asphalt or single-ply membranes, like TPO or EPDM.

Flat Roofing Costs

On average, a flat roof should cost $250 to $900 per roofing square (100 square feet), or $2.50 to $9 per square foot, which includes the cost of both roof materials plus installation and labor. For a 1,600 square foot flat roof, the cost would range from $4,000 to $14,400 on average.

5 Pros of a Flat Roof

Pro 1: Quick Installation

flat roof installationFlat roofs are, well, flat – making them much easier to install than pitched roofs. 

Contractors will not have to install several layers of scaffolding as they are only working on one level, and, as the process is much less complex and does not require as much precise cutting, fitting, and sealing, the installation process is much quicker.

Typically, a flat roof installation will take 2-3 days to complete, whereas a pitched roof can take several weeks to complete. 

Pro 2: Cost-Effective

A flat roof is less expensive to install than a pitched roof flat roofs for various reasons: 

  1. Materials – Flat roofing materials often come in large roles versus pitched roofing materials in small sheets.
  2. Labor – Labor costs are lower as the installation is less complicated.
  3. Repairs – Any repairs carried out on a flat roof will also incur less cost than a traditional pitched roof for the reasons above. 

Flat roofs are a great option for homeowners on a budget because fewer materials, less labor, and less time mean a lower cost for you!

Pro 3: Space-Saving

Since flat roofs are flat or nearly flat, they don’t create the angled or sloped walls that are common with pitched roofs. This means that the space that would be taken up by angled walls can be used for other purposes, such as a rooftop deck or garden. 

Additionally, flat roofs allow for additional rooms on top of the roof, which can be useful for homeowners who want to add more living space to their homes.

They can also be built on top of existing structures, such as garages or sheds, without the need to increase the height of the building, which can save space.

Pro 4: Energy-Efficient

According to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Building Guide, flat or low-sloped roofs often demonstrate better energy efficiency because of differences in insulation. 

Generally, these roofs have a membrane system, which is applied on top of sheets of rigid insulation. Pitched roofs, on the other hand, commonly employ a cavity insulation system, where fiberglass batts – or loose insulation stuffed into insulation blankets – are pressed between the ceiling joists.

The rigid insulation in a flat roof installation doesn’t have gaps in it like the cavity system, making it a lot more energy efficient for homeowners. 

Pro 5: Modern Look

If like many homeowners, you follow #ModernHome accounts, you’ll notice that most modern and contemporary homes have flat roofs. 

Not only are flat roofs described as tasteful among many highly respected modern architects, but the clean lines also give your home a modern and sleek look and will make your home stand out over others on the block.

5 Cons of Flat Roof

Con 1: Shorter Lifespan

While some materials used for flat roofs, such as Single Ply TPO, Bitumen, Metal, and EDPM are known for their resistance to water, UV rays, and extreme temperatures, flat roofs typically only have a lifespan of up to 10 years. Pitched roofs, when properly maintained, can last up to 25 years.

Con 2: Drainage Issues

flat roof issuesThe biggest drawback of flat roofs is the drainage, or should we say, lack thereof. 

While flat roofs do have a slight slope that drains the water, they’re not nearly as efficient as pitched roofs and rainwater puddles can often form, leading to possible leaks or material damage. 

Our advice? 

Choose the highest-quality felts – even if you have to pay more for them! This ensures your flat roof stays in good condition for longer.

Con 3: Regular Maintenance

While all roofs should undergo professional maintenance at one point or another, flat roofs require more frequent maintenance due to their flat nature. 

A flat roof should be inspected at least twice yearly; in autumn to ensure it is clear of leaves, dirt, and debris and the roof is draining freely, and in spring to discover and rectify any damage due to harsh weather conditions.

Con 4: Drastic Temperature Changes

Flat roofs have a tendency to absorb heat easier than pitched roofs. This is due to the fact that flat roofs are exposed to sunlight all day. In the hotter months, your home can get very hot, and in winter, you’ll feel uncomfortably cold. However, this isn’t such a big issue if the flat roof is installed in the garage or shed as you won’t be spending a lot of time in the outbuilding or extension.

Con 5: No Attic

Although a flat roof can give you more space externally for things such as a rooftop deck or garden, there is no room for an attic, making storing your belongings and valuable items tricky. 

If you had to pick, would you pick a rooftop garden or more storage space?


While there are many pros and cons for flat roofs in New Orleans, ultimately, your decision will come down to budget, storage needs, and personal preferences. 

If you’re still not sure whether a flat roof is right or even possible for you, why not ask the flat roof experts?

Get in touch with Lone Wolf Renovation at 504-226-5300 or get a FREE flat roof estimate.

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