1. Saddle roofs: structure, shapes and material
  2. Maintain saddle roof
  3. Renovate saddle roof
  4. Flat roofs: structure, shapes and material
  5. Maintain flat roof
  6. Renovate flat roof
  7. This is how much a roof renovation costs
  8. Insulation: Overview of advantages and disadvantages
  9. Save energy and receive subsidies
  10. Apply for subsidies for roof renovation
  11. Do you need a building permit?
  12. Do you need an architect or planner?
  13. Calculate renovations online

The roof protects your home from wind and weather. If it is leaking or the air is pulling through every crack, it is time for renovation. And ideally also for insulation: on average, a single-family house loses one fifth of its heat through the roof. That's why energy-efficient renovation is worthwhile. Especially if you receive subsidies for the renovation measures.

Saddle roofs: structure, shapes and material

Saddle roofs come in many variations. The most common is the classic saddle roof, less common are the monopitch roof with one sloping roof surface or the hip roof with four sloping roof surfaces. Most saddle roofs are built on a supporting structure of wooden beams. This is followed, from the inside outwards, by the laying underlay or formwork, the vapour barrier, the thermal insulation, the sub-roof and then the actual roof covering.

The sub-roof diverts water that penetrates, for example during storms with rain. There are still old saddle roofs that consist only of supporting structure and roofing, mostly tiles. Such roofs are never completely watertight. Because the roof space underneath is permanently ventilated, the moisture dries out again quickly. In return, a lot of heat energy is lost.

Roof renovation costs: Saddle roof
The classic saddle roof is the most widespread roof shape in Switzerland.

Maintain saddle roof

Pitched roofs are low-maintenance and have a long service life. It is important to check after a storm whether all tiles or panels are still in place and the gutters are clear. Moisture stains on the ceiling, walls or floor may indicate a leaking roof. Contact a specialist immediately if you discover such stains.

Renovate saddle roof

When you renovate your pitched roof, you should also insulate the roof at the same time. Thermal insulation ensures balanced temperatures in winter and summer. It reduces heating consumption on cold days and prevents overheating on hot days. In addition, you can use an insulated attic as additional living space, provided that the building regulations or the utilisation factor allow this. However, only pitched roofs with a sub-roof can be insulated, which is not always the case with old houses.

If roof insulation is too complicated or expensive for you, you can have only the screed floor insulated. In this case, however, you cannot use the attic as living space.

A pitched roof can usually be insulated from the roof space without any problems. For example, the thermal insulation can be installed above the rafters, the roof support beams, i.e. between the roof truss and the roof covering. This way, the roof space is not reduced by the insulation. However, this is only possible as part of a roof renovation. It is easier to insulate between the rafters. The rafters themselves must also be covered with a layer of insulation material, otherwise thermal bridges will occur. Because of the final boarding, for example panelling, the roof space is reduced.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

- Insulating the roof reduces your heating costs and ensures balanced temperatures throughout the house in summer and winter. - You can only insulate a pitched roof with a sub-roof. - You can use the insulated attic as living space, provided that the building regulations or the utilisation factor allow this.

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Flat roofs: structure, shapes and material

A flat roof consists of a substructure with a sloping layer of concrete or bitumen chippings built on top. This is followed by a vapour barrier, thermal insulation, roof waterproofing and, if necessary, a top layer. The flat roof is usually slightly sloped, usually between 2 and 5 degrees, so that rainwater runs off quickly. Instead of a roof covering, for example tiles, a flat roof has a roof sealing. This consists of plastic sheeting, bitumen or elastomer, a synthetic rubber. Which material is best depends on the type of flat roof, use and weather, among other things.

Non-usable flat roofs may only be entered for maintenance work. The foil of these flat roofs is covered with gravel ballast or slate chippings or is greened. Usable flat roofs are covered with tiles and may be used as terraces. However, such terraces need a parapet, railing or wall to prevent people from falling off the roof. Converting an unusable flat roof into a usable one and using it as a terrace is technically complex, if the building regulations allow it at all.

Roof renovation costs: flat roof
The roof waterproofing for flat roofs usually consists of plastic sheeting, bitumen or elastomer.

Maintain flat roof

Flat roofs must be checked regularly to prevent holes or leaks. Moisture stains on the ceiling, walls or floor can indicate a leaking roof. Contact a specialist immediately if you discover such stains.

Renovate flat roof

Older flat roofs are usually insufficiently insulated. A lot of energy and therefore a lot of money is lost through them. When the roof sealing has reached the end of its service life, it should not only be replaced, the flat roof should also be insulated. Don't wait too long: if the waterproofing leaks and rainwater enters the house, the damage can be considerable.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

- Insulating the roof reduces your heating costs and ensures balanced temperatures throughout the house in summer and winter - Replace the roof sealing before it starts to leak and water can penetrate - Have your roof checked regularly by a roofer

This is how much a roof renovation costs

Roof renovations are complex and expensive. That's why it makes sense to put money aside for it early on. With the free Renovation Calculator, you can analyse the condition of your house or flat, plan renovation measures and estimate the costs. This overview with average values for an average single-family house shows you approximately how much you should expect.

Roof renovation costs
Roof renovations are complex and expensive, so budget early and put money aside.

Renovation

  • Re-roofing: 15,000 to 22,000 francs
  • Replacing the roof truss: 24,000 to 51,000 francs
  • Refurbishing the flat roof: 4000 to 12,000 francs


Insulation

  • Above-rafter insulation: 25,000 to 45,000 francs
  • Between-rafter insulation: 11,000 to 27,000 francs
  • Below-rafter insulation: 7500 to 15,000 francs
  • Insulating attics: 4000 to 7000 francs
  • Insulating flat roofs: 3000 to 20,000 Swiss francs

Insulation: Overview of advantages and disadvantages

All insulation methods reduce heating costs and improve the living climate. The most important advantages and disadvantages of the individual methods:

  • The above-rafter insulation is clean and the living space is preserved. On the other hand, insulation is complex, takes a long time and costs a lot.
  • The insulation between the rafters is simple, effective and has a good price-performance ratio. For this, the insulation needs an under-rafter insulation and reduces the living space.
  • The under-rafter insulation is a supplementary insulation to the between-rafter insulation and reduces the living space.You can insulate the attic yourself. Insulation is simple and inexpensive, has a good price-performance ratio, but only makes sense if you do not want to convert the attic.
  • Insulating the flat roof is very effective. Insulation is cheap with blow-in insulation, but will be expensive if no additional load can be carried.

Save energy and receive subsidies

The financial support of renovation measures is not uniformly regulated in Switzerland. The harmonised funding model of the cantons from 2015 defines which measures are funded. Each canton can select the measures it wishes to support from these. Cosmetic measures such as new roofing are not supported. On the other hand, insulation is subsidised in most cantons.

That is why it can be worthwhile to combine roof renovation with insulation and to collect subsidies for the insulation. The prerequisite is that the thermal transmittance value or U-value of the insulation after the renovation is below 0.2 watts per square metre and Kelvin (W/m2K). According to measure M-01 (thermal insulation of façade, roof, wall and floor against the ground), all cantons except Bern, Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Ticino and Vaud subsidise insulation with at least 40 francs per square metre of insulation area. Insulation between rafters that costs 15,000 francs is subsidised to the tune of about 6,000 francs.

Apply for subsidies for roof renovation

The easiest way to apply for funding for energy-efficient renovations is via the website of the Swiss Buildings Programme. On the homepage, click on your canton of residence and you will be redirected to the details page. On this page you will find detailed information, can download documents and submit your application. It makes sense to have the renovation plan at hand, as you will need to submit it with your subsidy application. Some cantons also offer tax breaks in addition to investment grants.

By the way: More and more banks are offering mortgages with an interest rate advantage for financing a renovation, a conversion or an energy-saving investment. Talk to your bank advisor.

Do you need a building permit?

This, like the subsidy, varies from canton to canton. As a rule, you need a building permit for structural changes such as skylights or a new roof truss. It is better to ask the building authority in your municipality of residence once too often than once too little.

Do you need an architect or planner?

There is no clear answer to this either. It depends on how complex the renovation is. For simple and minor measures, a good roofer is enough. If the project is more complex and may have to be approved by the building authority, an architect or planner may make sense.

Calculate renovations online

With our free Renovation Calculator, you can analyse renovation needs with just a few clicks, estimate costs and thus build up sufficient reserves. The intuitive programme guides you safely through the simple process, creates an interactive lifespan table tailored to your house or apartment based on your input and derives the approximate renovation costs from this. In this way, you can estimate what you will be facing in the next few years and plan the financial requirements at an early stage. In addition, the smart renovation planner shows you which components you should tackle together in order to renovate as cost-effectively as possible. This pays off twice for you: With the right strategy, you can reduce renovation costs and at the same time maintain or increase the value of your house or apartment in the long term. Try it out without obligation:

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