In our latest roof conversion project in the Eastern Cape, clients convert from thatch to roof sheeting.
Our most recent thatch roof conversion was on a big family home in Komani (formerly Queenstown). The roof was converted from thatch to corrugated aluzinc roof sheeting, transforming the entire look of the home.
The original roof design was fairly complex with many hips and valleys. Our clients found that the thatch on the roof needed consistent maintenance (especially in areas around the valleys). They therefore took the decision to convert from thatch to another roofing product.
How to Convert from Thatch – More Information
What Roof Conversion Systems Can You Use?
We offer three systems to convert from thatch:
- over-sheeting – the original roof and thatch is overlaid
- structure stays – the original roof structure is retained, new roofing and ceilings are installed
- renovate/ reconstruct – the original roof structure is dismantled and the roof is re-designed and installed
Find out more about each system on our Thatch Roof Conversions page.
The existing thatch on the roof in Komani was in a fair condition therefore the thatch could be over-sheeted. When over-sheeting, the thatch roof is kept totally intact and a new roof is built over the top of it. This system is popular because it has much less effect on the inside of the home while the work takes place.
For this system to be effective and problem free, the thatch must be in a good condition. It needs to be:
- Dry (not showing signs of rot or damp)
- No signs of mites or infestation
In some cases, an older roof or a thatched roof that is not in great condition, can be maintained to improve it’s condition so that over-sheeting is possible.
Which Roofing Product Can You Use?
The choice of roofing product when over-sheeting a thatched roof depends on the original roof design. If the roof has lots of curves we recommend using a flexible product like Onduvilla tiles. For roofs with straight angles and edges there are more options including Metrotiles, corrugated sheeting such as Aluzinc or even Shingles.
The original design of the roof in Komani was quite traditional in the Dutch style and although it had many valleys, it was also designed with straight edges and angles. Our clients therefore decided to cover the roof with AZ200 corrugated roof sheeting.
The Process of Covering a Thatched Roof
Here’s an idea of the process that we use when covering a thatched roof with the over-sheeting system:
- Build a light weight timber substructure over the top of the existing thatch
2. Add horizontal timber branderings to the timber structure to hold the new roofing product
3. If there are drainage valleys in the roof design, install these roof sections
4. Apply the new roofing product and appropriate fixings. On this project we used AZ200 to over-sheet the thatched roof which comes with matching roof screws and caps to blend with the roof when it’s completed.
5. Install the roof and hip ridging. Most roofing products come with matching ridge sections for this purpose.
The Extra Little Details that Transform this Roof!
This particular roof is a beautiful example of a conversion because of a few little details that really finish off the look of house. The first is:
Premium Roof Sheeting with Colorplus® Technology
Aluzinc roof sheeting is currently a popular choice with our clients for all roofing projects, not just roof conversions. It has a slick, clean look and is available in a range of colours – the most popular of which is Thunderstorm. Colorplus® technology keeps the colour vivid over time, even in our extreme African climate.
The Parapet Wall Flashing
The straight, clean lines where the roof sheeting is sealed against the parapet walls and the light wall paint colour meets the Thunderstorm blue of the roof sheeting, really add a neat, clean finish.
Matching Fascias in Thunderstorm Blue
The lip under the edge of the roof sheeting has matching fascia boards in Thunderstorm blue so that the roof is finished with a neat edge.
The Eave Ceilings
The eave ceilings are the area between where the wall meets the roof sheeting at the top, and the roof sheeting overhangs. Our standard practice is to leave the thatch visible in these areas when over-sheeting a roof. However, a really beautiful way to finish these sections is to install eave ceilings that cover the thatch and poles.
We have developed a system that uses textured Nutec boards to create eave ceilings which, while neat and tidy, also match the style of our thatched roof conversions well. The boards are installed with the wood-grain texture running at a 90° angle to the walls. This allows us to join the boards neatly without joining strips so that the eaves are “seamless” all the way around the house. The corners join in a symmetrical triangular pattern which adds style to the ceilings.
PROJECT COMPLETION: May 2019
If you’ve fallen out of love with your thatched roof, it can be transformed with a roof conversion. It’s important to always consult a professional roofer who is experienced in the process and can advise you on the most appropriate system to convert from thatch.
If you’re thinking of converting your roof but have questions, leave us a comment below – we’ll do our best to help!