Are you looking forward to constructing or remodelling the outdoor roof of your home or commercial space? Do you want to try something new as opposed to the normal flat roofs? If yes, then read on to learn more about contemporary outdoor roof designs and the roofing materials used for designing them.

Types Of Contemporary Outdoor Roof Designs

1. Porch Roofs

Porch roofs are a common sight in residential areas and are usually constructed using roofing tiles or panels made of different materials. They come in three popular designs:

  • Shed-style roofs: These include a sloping surface that is connected with the main house at one end and pitched over supporting pillars or posts at the other end. This design is usually meant for the front door or main gate of the house.
  • Hip-style roofs: It's a complex outdoor roof design that resembles the shape of a pyramid. It's difficult to design as it involves roof trusses arranged in a complicated style.
  • Gable-style roofs: Gabled roofs are typical triangular roofs made of two sloping panels joined at the top and are often interrupted by windows. This roof is often constructed to protect the top of the buildings and is usually used in combination with rainwater harvesting structures as its sloped nature allows water or snow to run off

2. Pergola Roofs

Pergola roofs were initially commissioned to offer protection against downpours and heatwaves, making the backyards a workable extension of homes. The outdoor roof design was made to offer partial shade while allowing some sunlight to pass through, making it an ideal solution for areas where the weather changes frequently. They're different from flat roofs as they may include sloping panels. Their strength & durability differ based on the materials used for construction. There are different types of pergola outdoor roof designs, such as:

  • Pitched pergolas: They have angular roof panels to allow water runoff.
  • Gabled pergolas: They are peaked, ridged, or triangular in shape. 
  • Open-topped pergolas: They lack cladding to channelise the airflow

3. Perforated Paneled Roofs

A perforated panelled roof has a mesh-like appearance due to the presence of multiple minute openings that make up to 30% of the open area and allow free entry of natural sunlight and air. It's a thin, lightweight roof with an attractive aesthetic appearance, generally used as a covering for gazebos, patios, windscreens, partitions, acoustic wall panels, etc. Perforated outdoor roofing is exceptionally sturdy, energy-efficient, soundproof, and beautiful in design. The structure of the roofing sheets is designed to make them stronger than other building materials. It also helps regulate temperatures by allowing ventilation and deflecting heat buildup, thus contributing to its energy efficiency.

4. Transparent Roofs

Transparent roofs are made of see-through materials like polycarbonate, glass, etc., that allow natural sunlight to pass through. The outdoor roofing material is designed for both residential and commercial buildings to reduce dependency on artificial light and regulate the interior temperatures. However, it is not recommended for hot regions where the outside temperatures exceed 45 degrees during the day. This roof requires frequent cleaning and maintenance.

5. Skylight Roofs

As the name suggests, this type of outdoor roofing provides a view of the sky. It is pitched at a particular height to allow sunlight inside as well as make an architectural statement. They are of the following types.

  • Vented skylight roofs: They can be opened manually or electronically and provide humidity control.
  • Fixed skylight roofs: They are installed at greater heights and don't open to allow humidity control.
  • Tubular or solar skylight roofs: They include long tubes to allow partial sunlight inside and are suitable for smaller spaces like hallways and bathrooms. They may also include filters to prevent UV light.

The Best Outdoor Roofing Materials 

  • Roofing Tiles: They're similar to conventional roof tiles in look and feel. However, modern roof manufacturers use bitumen for designing these roofing tiles, which makes them eco-friendly, waterproof, soundproof, and highly resistant to high-speed winds, etc.
  • Roofing Sheets: Roofing sheets are ultra-thin, lightweight panels with high tensile strength and durability to provide an extra layer of protection. They are made of metal, bitumen, polycarbonate, etc., and are used for constructing outdoor roofs like transparent, perforated, pergola-style roofs, etc.

Why Is Polycarbonate Preferred Over Glass For Designing Transparent & Skylight Roofs?

When it comes to designing outdoor roofs, polycarbonate is often preferred over glass as it is a highly resilient, durable, and lightweight thermoplastic material that can withstand extremely high temperatures. Thus, it makes an effective construction material for hot regions and is commonly used for making the roofs of outdoor structures like conservatories, sheds, patio decks, garages, etc. Polycarbonate has an impact strength that is 30 times greater than acrylic and 250 times greater than float glass. Due to its transparent nature, polycarbonate can be used in places where architects need to allow natural sunlight to pass through.

Where Can You Find The Best Outdoor Roofing Materials?

If you're looking for transparent polycarbonate roof panels, then Onduclair PC by Onduline is the best choice. This roofing material offers UV protection, outstanding light transmission, and high fire resistance. They can withstand hailstones and extreme temperatures (from -30° to 130° C), have high light transmission (up to 90%), and are virtually unbreakable. It makes them ideal for areas with low sunlight and hot summers. Therefore, the sheets are recommended for cladding and the construction of sports hall roofs and greenhouses (as they promote crop productivity). It is easy to install & maintain, extremely lightweight and thin.

Onduline, an 80-year-old manufacturer of roofing and waterproofing materials, is a renowned name in the construction industry. Besides Onduclair PC, they also manufacture and distribute a diverse range of indoor and outdoor roofing products, including Onduline Tile, Onduline Classic, Onduline Tiles, Onduline Duro 235, etc., and accessories that are suitable for new construction, remodeling, replacements, and repair of roofs. Click here to see the complete range of their products.