Flat Roof vs Sloped Roof: What’s the Difference?

Both flat and sloped roofing have their advantages and disadvantages for homeowners. Whether you are having a new home built or looking to renovate your current roof situation, this article will help facilitate the right choice for you.

Flat Roof

As the name suggests, this roof type is a flat surface and are more commonly seen on commercial buildings or modern builds. It is also the most trendy and energy efficient option according to Energy Star.


  • Great for those with a green thumb or who are looking to have a unique space to entertain. Many homeowners with flat roofs turn them into an outdoor venue or garden oasis.
  • They are more energy efficient. Known as “cool” roofs, flat roofs provide a direct reflective surface and are most ideal for solar panels.
  • Surprisingly, they are less expensive to install than sloped roofing! This is majorly due to less surface area, but this could depend on the square footage of the home.

However, keep in mind that flat roofs usually require more maintenance. Which brings us to the cons of this roof type.


  • Flat roofs tend to wear down quicker, especially if there is foot traffic. Though flat roofs are a trendy way to host outdoor gatherings, the extra weight of the furniture and foot traffic will cause the roof to require more maintenance and inspections.


  • Flat roofs may require sound and waterproofing. Chances are if you are not living alone, other members of your household will be able to hear whatever is happening on the rooftop. Further, flat roofs usually need a waterproof seal to keep out excess moisture.

Sloped Roof

Looking for that classic triangle shape or something less maintenance? A sloped roof might be the right fit for you.


  • Sloped roofing requires less maintenance than its flat counterpart, thus fewer inspections. Damage from the elements is kept to a minimum, and the slope design is more structurally sound. You will likely only need a roof inspection once per year.
  • Most ideal for snowy climates or heavy rain. The weight of the snow and rain will be distributed more evenly, and eventually slide ride off.
  • They last twice as long than flat roofs, usually more! Depending on the material you choose, this option can last anywhere from 30-50 years.


  • Though they are less maintenance, they require a higher upfront cost compared to flat roofing.

Next Steps

Chances are that if you are reading this post you are in the market for a new roof. Hiring a roofing professional is the next step after determining what type of roofing you are looking for. Vanity Roofing in Ottawa is capable of providing all of your roofing needs, and then some.

Servicing residential and commercial areas across Ottawa, Vanity Roofing provides white glove service worthy of 100+ five star reviews. They also offer popular add ons such as siding, repairs, snow and ice removal, and much more. Click here to set up a free estimate!

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