Modern Flat Roof Home Designs
MODERN FLAT ROOF HOME DESIGNS – Flat roof home designs are timeless. Exuding class, sophistication and a sense of style unmatched by just about every other type of roof line. Staple features of most contemporary, modern styled homes being built today. It’s hard to argue a modern home with a flat roof isn’t going make a statement or leave a lasting impression. Love em or hate em, they’re guaranteed to make an impact. It’s no wonder flat roof designs are experiencing a big comeback with clients looking to build high end, luxury new homes.
With their bright open floor plans and emphasis on indoor outdoor living, modern homes are steadily building a new fan base among young, high net worth clients looking to build a luxury new home. Home buyers are quickly buying up and renovating what’s on the market, while architects and builders look to include elements of modern home designs into their new house plans.
“With a limited selection in NJ, homes for sale with a modern design tend to sell rather quickly.” says Martha Cannon, Jersey Shore realtor. “We get asked for contemporary homes with a flat roof all the time, their just isn’t much to show, so when something does come on market it sells fast.”
The Modern Flat Roof
Uses & Benefits: Modern aka Contemporary styled homes have traditionally been characterized by flat roofs. Flat roofs create long horizontal planes, reminiscent of the broad horizon line often found in nature. Emphasizing simple in forms that focus on function. A good example of the modernist principle of “clean lines”.
Flat roofs often cantilever into vast overhangs not seen in traditional home construction. Flat roofs can be planted to create usable gardens and green roofs. They can even be accessible, unlike other roof styles, providing additional living space offering beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Just add some cable or glass railings for safety.
Framing & Insulation: Flat roof framing is relatively straightforward. It can be framed like a traditional floor system with horizontal framing members like any ceiling. Depending on the span, many different materials can frame a flat roof. Wood joists, timber framing, laminated beams, steel, concrete, engineered lumber or SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels).
Insulation can be located between ceiling joists or above the roof sheathing. Generally in the form of batt, blown in or spray foam insulation. Often times an additional layer of rigid insulation is used beneath an epdm or fiberglass roofing layer.
Rainwater discharge: Contrary to its name, a flat roof isn’t actually flat. Flat roofs are built with a slight pitch of at least 1/8″ per foot so water can drain. Either to centralized drains, scuppers, or a gutter system.
Flat Roof Design Considerations
The main purpose of any roof is to provide protection from the weather. But it also plays a very large part in shaping the overall look and style of the home. Energy efficiency, and durability are also very important factors to consider. Choosing the right roof line is an important decision.
Ultimately, your roof design comes down to the following variables.
- Aesthetics and personal preference – Probably one of the most important factors early on in determining the roof design of your home is your personal style. If you have strong preferences toward a specific roof design, this should be the deciding factor above all other variables. We always start with the clients wish list and design from there.
- Cost – The simpler the roof design the cheaper it costs. Large cantilevers, complex angles, lots of individual roofs, steep slopes, and multiple roof edges all add to the cost of your roof system. If the budget is tight, keep it simple.
- Roof function – Would you like to have rooftop access? Would you like to eek out a little extra floor space for a loft? Do you want a higher roof and clerestory windows?
- Building design – The shape of your building plays a large part in determining the best roof system.
- Adjacent buildings – Do you want your house to fit in with the neighboring houses? Do you want to orient your views in a particular direction away from onlooking neighbor’s or towards a specific view or along the sun’s path. Each of these considerations play into the overall roof design.
- Zoning and planning regulations – Planning committees, zoning regulations, and design review boards may have specific limitations and restrictions on what you can do with your roof. Make sure you do your due diligence and find out how governmental agencies might influence your design.
Pros Of Modern Flat Roof Home Designs
- Space. Flat roofs can provide additional ceiling height. Since a flat roof eliminates the attic you can raise the ceilings to make up for lost height. Even better, a flat roof can create additional living space. Here in NJ homes with flat roof decks are very common. Especially close to the water. This home design makes for some ocean amazing views. If you have very little yard space on the ground floor, this can be a great alternative when it comes to entertaining guests or simply spending some time outdoors. Equipment such as your air conditioning units or solar panels are perfect for a flat roof.
- Cost effectiveness. Flat roofs are actually cheaper to put up than sloped ones for a number of reasons. For one, they require fewer materials and are less complicated to build, so they cost less in both equipment and labor. They’re also much easier to work on since walking around isn’t a problem like it is on a steep incline.
- Ease of maintenance. Just as installing a flat roof on your house is generally easier, climbing up to make repairs is easier too.
- Aesthetics. If your home’s architecture is modern, then a flat roof home design is basically expected. Some people still use sloped roofs on such houses, but the clean geometry of a flat roof can really help your house stand out.
Cons Of Modern Flat Roof Home Designs
- Drainage problems. Sloped roofs simply drain water and snow better than flat roofs due to the increased pitch. This is easily fixed however by a good design and a skilled builder. Roofing products like EPDM or Fiberglass will keep your home dry in and weather.
- Limited lifespan. Flat roofs do tend to last a bit less than shingled sloped roofs. This depends greatly on the design of the roof and roofing material used.
- Cost. Even though the actual flat roof can cost a bit less than a sloped one, the homes they’re one generally cost more to build. Modern homes tend to be higher end luxury homes with contemporary finishes. Those finishes are generally more money than standard stuff you’d find in the majority of homes. If you decide to build a modern home be prepared to spend more per square foot than a traditional home.
Modern Home Layout
“The layout of modern homes appeals to home buyers of any age. Because the kitchen, dining, and living spaces are all contiguous,” says architect Marco Brennon, NY Architect “And indoor/outdoor living is something that fans of a modern home design really tend to love.”
Modern home design tends to have a better flow than most other home styles. They’re all about being simple yet beautiful, elegant while efficient and using natural earthy materials along side clean, ultra modern ones. As a strictly user based experience contemporary homes are hard to beat. In the 1940s and ’50s, mid-century modern design, with its clean lines, natural materials, and bold colors, changed the way homes looked and felt forever. Less was now more. Decorating a home was more about finding a design in which form served function. A philosophy that continues to inspire modern designers to this day.
Modern Flat Roof Ideas
Modern design isn’t all about extravagance. It celebrates the beauty of simple things like stone, wood and metal. The designs are not only refined, but also have a practical purpose. Modern homes put the simple concept of form serving function at the forefront of design.
Don’t go thinking that modern flat roof home designs only look good. These innovative homes actually have practical properties. For starters, a flat roof can be a usable space. Here in NJ we build custom homes with flat roofs all the time, especially on the Ocean. Making the roof flat gives you a huge deck the size of an entire floor. And because the roof is obviously the highest point of the home, it provides the best view.
Second is the added height a flat roof gives you. NJ has a strict height restriction which dictates a maximum allowable building height to the mean, or mid point, of the roof. Since a modern home doesn’t have a mean you can push the roof higher than a traditionally built home. This translates into additional ceiling height for each floor. At the expense of losing the attic of course.
Modern home designs sell quickly and for top dollar. That’s a well documented fact you can look up elsewhere online or discuss with your realtor. What we’re talking about here is the use of the flat roof as a deck. Think about it. If you use the entire roof as a deck your adding an additional full floor of usable space.
Consider a 2400 sq. ft. home with 1200 sq. ft. per floor. A flat roof deck adds an additional 1200 sq. ft. worth of usable space. The cost to build the flat roof isn’t much more than building and shingling a traditional roof so these costs cancel out. To build a nice 1200 sq. ft. deck would cost tens of thousands of dollars. And take up a lot of space. Because of a decks low height the view isn’t nearly as nice. Even if you built a huge 2nd story deck you still wouldn’t get as high and you’d shade the entire yard below.
There’s just no comparison here. For the money, nothing beats the value of a flat roof.
Mid-century or just modern
What makes a house mid-century modern rather than just modern? Here’s what design experts say:
- They have a playful side not often seen in purely modernist structures. They’re a little more fun. A little looser design wise. Thought of as not so strict or serious.
- Ornamental details often show up on mid-century homes, whereas purely modern designs tends to have a lack of ornamentation.
- There’s a strong connection between the indoors and outdoors. In some schools of modernism such as Bauhaus/International, the home is closed off from the outdoors.
- Natural materials such as wood and stone are used to soften the starkness often associated with modern.
Mid-century modernism started with a goal to mass produce housing that was affordable, efficient, and driven by an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The California Case Study Houses Program, initiated by John Entenza of Arts & Architecture magazine in the 1940s, was an effort to develop models for this type of housing. From the 1950s to the mid-1970s, mid-century moderns by designers such as A. Quincy Jones, Albert Frey, Craig Ellwood, and Cliff May popped up all around California.
While Southern California is generally recognized as the starting point of mid-century modern housing, examples can be found elsewhere such as along the East Coast and parts of the Midwest.
Minimalist Flat Roof Ideas
Minimalistic, flooded with natural light and functionality are the three keys to any modern home. These homes have consistent design aspects you’ll notice such as modern flat roof home designs, straight lines on the exterior and large windows. They’re inspired by functionality. They’re also notorious for making great use of the surrounding environment and how they use natural sunlight to their advantage. Each room is designed with a distinct purpose and no space is considered waste in a modern home.
Because of these tenets of modern home design one of the first things home buyers always say when touring a contemporary home is, “It feels a lot bigger than the square footage says.” Because every inch is so well thought and planned to be functional modern home’s always feel much bigger than they really are.
Modern homes also tend to choose materials that hold up well in the elements, yet also blend in with their surroundings. Structural materials are generally showcased on the interior and provide a sense of “honesty” to the home. Meaning some structural elements are left out in the open for everyone to see like exposed beams, duct work, electrical conduit or piping.
Modern Flat Roof Home Ideas
Are you interested in Modern Flat Roof Home Ideas? Look at the following 20 examples, meant to provide you with inspiration for your future contemporary home.
Stone & Ipe
Modern home designs with stone and Ipe siding. Natural materials and neutral, earthy colors. Concrete driveway and walkway. Metal roofs combined with a flat upper roof design. Great use of glass and dark frames.
Modern Home Pool House
Modern home designs with white ipe siding, stone and stucco. Large stone pool tiles. Stone and wood. Lots of glass. Natural landscaping. Glass railings.
1 Story Modern Home
1 Story modern home design. Stone and stucco. Browns and earthy colors. Built in swimming pool. Stone patio tiles. Black window frames. Lots of glass. Great use of accent lighting. Wood patio furniture with cream colored cushions. Indoor outdoor living with tons of outdoor spaces.
Stucco & Stone
Stucco finish with stone accents. Wood trim with a metal wire railing. Tons of glass. Rectangular lines. Paver patio and walkways. Built in pool with water feature. Neutral colors.
Modern Multi level
Modern multi level design. Stucco with tons of stone. Neutral colors. Tons of glass. Concrete. Beautiful landscaping.
Modern Brown & Stone
Dark brown and stucco. Crisp angular lines. Natural materials, steel and tons of glass. Rectangular built in pool. Perfect landscaping. Lots of indoor outdoor living spaces including a flat roof top deck.
Modern Medieval Castle
The angular home boosts various split levels on the interior giving each space its own unique height, proportion and purpose. Stone walkways and tiered walls surround the property giving off a European Medieval feel. Stone mixed with wood and iron. Great use of landscaping and exterior lighting.
Modern Stone Home
Modern home design with tons of stone. Stone walls and columns with stucco. Stone patios mixed with polished concrete. Exposed metal. Ipe soffit. Indoor outdoor living. Wall wash sconces.
Wood Modern Home Design
Wood modern home design. Ipe siding with natural stone. Stone retaining walls carried into the home and up the chimney. Natural colors and materials. Indoor outdoor living. Tons of glass. Square, clean lines. Symmetrical design.
Stucco and Stone
Stucco and stone modern home design. Square design. Metal wire railings. Lots of glass. In ground swimming pool with paver patios. Indoor outdoor living.
Modern home design with Ipe siding. Weathered grey. Black metal window frames. Glass railings. Tons of glass. Real stone boulder retaining walls.
Modern Cathedral Ceilings
Modern home with cathedral ceilings. Walls of glass. Stucco and stone. Neutral colors. Natrual materials. Bi level home on a slope. Glass railings.
Modern home design ideas. White stucco with black framed windows and doors. Wood accents. White stone patios and walkways. Thin rectangular in ground pool. Tons of glass. Glass railings. Great use of landscaping. This home is stunning. A perfect example of modern home designs done right.
Medium sized modern home designs with stucco and Ipe siding. Neutral colors. Glass railings. Elevated patios create lots of great outdoor living spaces. Floor to ceiling windows. Covered patio are. Ipe soffit.
Steel & Wood
Exposed steel mixed with wood and stone. The great use of materials are what really make this custom modern home a masterpiece. Round pool with spill over. Tile and stone finishes. Ipe. Marble floor tiles. Tons of glass. Great use of lighting. Modern flat roof home designs at their best.
Concrete Contemporary Home Designs
Concrete Modern home design with glass and stainless metal. Square lines. Ipe decking. Rectangular pool with walk out bi level basement. Great use of outdoor living spaces. Modern flat roof home designs with a roof top deck.
Modern Home Design: Cantilever
If your looking for modern home design ideas then consider including a cantilever. Cantilevers are common in modern home designs because of their square design, straight lines and use of steel as a construction material. Because this ones absolutely gigantic it creates an unbelievable outdoor living space.
Modern County Home
Contemporary home designs with a country twist. White brick mixed with wood. County stone retaining wall. Glass and metal railings. All this creates a beautiful small modern home design. Because of it’s small size the use of outdoor living space adds much needed usable space.
Natural Wood & Stucco
The use of natural wood and stucco is a classic example of modern home design. Clean straight lines mixed with natural materials. Tons of glass. A great use of lighting.
Modern Flat Roof Deck
This home showcases the versatility of a modern flat roof design. Because the roof was design the way it is the homeowner got an additional 1000 sq. ft. of deck on the same footprint. That’s a huge bonus on a small lot where space is tight. Tons of glass accentuate the view and let in ample amounts of natural light. The perfect design for a waterfront home.
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