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January 17, 2019

Construct a neat and functional roof

PRACTICAL: A roof window is good for natural lighting either in the attic or for an entire house.
PRACTICAL: A roof window is good for natural lighting either in the attic or for an entire house.

Most Kenyan homes lack an attic, yet this could be the answer to addressing space constraints that may arise as families grow. With a larger variety of interior design and construction consultants in Kenya today, home owners have a wide skill pool to choose from to make their attics more functional. Here are some roofing and attic products that can make your house look better and neat:

Roof windows

By installing windows on the roof, you can turn the attic into a habitable space that can be used as a bedroom or home office. The roof window can also be vital for natural light especially for houses that are build very close to each other in a way that blocks the sun's rays from getting into the house through the normal windows. Most locally available attic windows are heat-resistant and double glazed to prevent break-ins. Roof windows cost between Sh102,000 and Sh189,000.

Light tunnel

This roof component reflects natural light into the house, saving you from expensive electricity bills. Light tunnels are especially important in house designs where you are unable to install roof or vertical windows.The price of these products varies between Sh74,000 and Sh96,000. According to Ian Kioko, a designer at Classic Mouldings, the light tunnel can also act as an air vent eliminating the need to always open windows to aerate the house.

Attic ladder

Depending on your preference, this can either be made of metal or wood. To prevent accidents and for neatness, these ladders are normally foldable and can be pulled from the ceiling when they are needed and stashed away when not in use. They are used to access the attic. They cost between Sh48,000 and Sh59,000.


Normally when building a house, most Kenyan contractors tend to place a nylon paper on the roofing frame before laying the tiles to prevent leakages. However, a safer and more durable solution is using a eurotop which is non-permeable roofing underlay, that shields insulation and roof structure from water vapour penetration. It is laid between insulation and finishing elements – most often gypsum
cardboards. It constitutes a barrier for water vapour forming inside the building and protects wooden elements of the roof structure and insulation against moisture.

"The eurotop lasts a lifetime and instead of putting nylon, which wears out because of heat, you can use this underlay," says Classic Mouldings designer Benedict Omondi.

Eurotops normally cost Sh22,000 per roll which is 50 square metres big.


Chimney flashing

Flashings are essential for the tight connection of roof windows with roofing materials. Precisely designed flashing details ensure a durable and neat fit with the roofing material used. The purpose of flashing is to ensure good drainage away from the window and to provide protection from the elements. Flashings are important to prevent water from leaking into the house during rains through the tiny space that contractors sometimes leave open between the roof and chimney corners. They not only make the roof finishing neater but also prevent leakages. A flashing costs between Sh17,000 and Sh24,000.

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