Roofing is one of the most important elements in your home renovation or build. It is the first layer of protection against the elements. It also serves an important function in your home’s insulation system.


In this second article looking at roofing costs, the Style Plus team continues to explore roofing system options that are not part of the every day build – from slate tiles to membrane roofing systems for your renovation or build:

• Slate Tiles.
• Timber Shakes & Shingles.
• Asphalt Shingles.
• Copper Roofing.
• Membrane Roofing Systems.

Design & Build Builders


Slate tiles are available as a natural or a man-made product, and its cost is directly related to the slate’s quality.

Slate is laid progressively up the roof slope, with each row lapped over the previous one and the edge joint offset by half a slate, so there are three layers at any point on the roof.

It is very low maintenance, and good quality slate will remain serviceable for many years.

Cost from $50 – $130 per meter square.


Wooden shingles, also called shakes, are most often created from cedar and you can also acquire locally produced first grade ACQ-treated radiata pine products. They provide an attractive and authentic look for a home, but also require a great deal of regular maintenance. Cedar shingles come in a variety of different colours and four different grades. The most common colours that cedar shingles are available in are red and white.

Cedar shingles are extremely durable. They are resistant to weather and the elements. However, these shingles have a major downside in that they tend to turn black when exposed to the weather for an extended period of time.

Cedar shingles need to “breathe.” There must be air flow under the shingles to allow them to dry after absorbing moisture. Direct fixing cedar shingles can reduce lifespans to 15 years or less.

Some installers recommend treating cedar shingles with a sealant every 5 years to protect and preserve the wood. Sealants should be applied on roofs by professionals since they make cedar roofing slippery.

Cedar shakes are a bit different from cedar shingles, but it is only a matter of degree of milling. Cedar shakes have a rougher appearance than cedar shingles. Unlike shingles, which are sawed cleanly from a block of wood and sanded down into a uniform shape, cedar shakes are split from the wood and do not have a uniform appearance. They also have a rough, highly textured appearance.

The average lifespan of cedar shingles is 20 to 25 years. However, in some instances shingles have lasted as long as 60 years.

Shingles are slightly cheaper than shakes, starting from around $160 per square meter as compared to $195 for first grade cedar products.


Asphalt shingles are quickly becoming a more popular roofing material for renovations and new builds. They are available in two forms, organic and fibreglass.

Fibreglass shingles are made of a woven fibreglass base mat, covered with a waterproof asphalt coating and topped with ceramic granules. The granules protect the product from harmful UV rays. Due to the composition of the fibreglass mat, less asphalt is required to give the shingles their durability and strength. This provides a light weight, thinner roofing material.

With organic shingles, these are made up of paper with an asphalt coating that converts them into a ‘waterproof’ product. fibreglass Shingles provides better fire protection than organic shingles. Like organic shingles, fibreglass shingles are treated with a protective resin coating that converts them into ‘waterproof’ material. Both types have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12 to 20 years.

The cost is from $70 per meter square.


Copper offers a character and durability that other metal roofing systems find hard to match. The appearance of a copper roof can complement any style of building, from the traditional to the modern. Through its natural weathering process over time, the warm bronze tones lead to the elegant green patina finish.

When designed and installed by a professional roofing company, a copper roof provides an attractive long-term roofing solution. Its low life cycle costs are attributable to the low maintenance, long life and salvage value of copper.

Copper is an expensive option when considering a roofing system for your renovation or new build. The cost is from $270 per meter square.


Membrane roofing systems are predominantly light-weight and provide good durability. With regards to maintenance Membrane roofing systems can be patched if damaged, but this must be undertaken by a registered roofing specialist. They can also be used on curved roofs as well as low pitched roofs but should not be used in situations where the membrane will be permanently stretched or stressed.

Butyl rubber and EPDM are two types of membrane roofing systems that are appropriate for low pitched roofs. It is recommended that both types of membrane must be fully supported on construction ply or a concrete substrate. Both are sheet material with lapped side or lapped side and end joints. They are also both resilient to the New Zealand weather conditions.

EPDM is the name given to the class of synthetic rubbers made primarily from EPDM polymer, shorthand for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. And Butyl rubber is the name given to the class of synthetic rubbers made primarily from butyl polymer.

The cost is from $120 per meter square.

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