Roofing in Australia

by | Apr 16, 2021

Common Types of Roofing in Australia

The choice of roofing material can make a huge difference to the value of your home. Not only can a roof boost the kerb appeal. Additionally, using the correct roofing materials makes a big difference to the quality of living too. 

Here are some of Australia’s favorite types of roofing. 

 1. COLORBOND® Roof Sheeting

A roof made from COLORBOND® is as Australian as a meat pie and sauce. Here in Perth you can proudly sit back with your bush cook and admire your new COLORBOND® roofing.

COLORBOND® steel roofing is so versatile. It is not just your average roofing sheet. COLORBOND® is the main feature of Perth’s famous Optus stadium. The world-class sporting venue comprised of approximately 14,000 tonnes of structural steel.

Single-span feature roofing trusses with architectural pin connections; feature primary steel tapered columns, roofing beams and seating bowl rakers; prefabricated facade cladding modules, the complex curved geometry of the community arbour;

COLORBOND® roofing on the food and beverage and ticket gate pavilions; and COLORBOND® roller shutters throughout. The pin joints are designed to absorb movement across the carpentry structure below.

This will make that back yard cricket match so much better. When you hit that big six on to the clubroom. It will feel like you are bouncing it off the COLORBOND® roof at the Optus arena. You will be the envy of all your mates.

COLORBOND® Roofing Introduction to Perth

COLORBOND® as we know has been put through its paces in Australia. Introduced in 1966 that’s just a year before Harold Holt did the bolt (maybe he was a roof tile?). Unlike paper dresses that were introduced the same year.

COLORBOND® roofing took a little longer to make its impact on the world. Although it certainly hasn’t fizzled out like the paper dress. COLORBOND® roofing in fact has only grown in popularity to now arguably become Perth. Also, Australia’s most sort after roofing material.

Thankfully not inspired by the colour pallet of the sixties. COLORBOND® do however have a great range of 22 colours to choose from so your roofing. Colours that will blend in with and design and complement your homes façade.

You can choose an all in one colour for your roof and guttering system. Have it installed by one of Powerdrive roofings fully qualified roof plumbers. Alternatively, you can mix it up a little, maybe a two-tone look. Also, it’s good to keep in mind the thermally efficient roofing colour range. This will allow your home to stay cooler on those hot Perth days while keeping down your energy bills.

Much the same as the hairstyles and clothing trends. COLORBOND® has had to change and adapt throughout the years. After all, there is no room for tye-dye in an eshay world. Your roofing is the same and it is not only the colour that has evolved. The technology has advanced also in the production of the COLORBOND® steel.

ACTIVATE® technology

ACTIVATE® technology was brought into production in 2013. A number of patents are held by Bluescope when it comes to this amazing technology. Not only here in Australia but all around the world. Bluescope making Australia’s roofing a worldwide success.

It makes sense that COLORBOND® has become Australia’s go-to roofing material. We mentioned Optus Stadium earlier in Perth but around Australia.

There are other major venues such as Margaret Court Arena. Adelaide Velodrome boasts the use of COLORBOND®. So when you are looking at COLORBOND® roofing you are looking at a real Aussie marvel.

2. Terracotta Roofing Tiles

What is a terracotta tile roof?

The word Terracotta translates to ‘baked earth’ from Italian. Terracotta used to make tiles is a certain clay-based ceramic.

Tiles made from clay-based or terracotta that in Australia are used for roofing. Several roof tile manufacturers mould various profiles of terracotta roof tiles. The terracotta roof tiles have been very popular in Australia and around the world for many years.

Roof tiles made from terracotta come in either glazed, semi-glazed or unglazed. Which will give you a distinctive, orange-red colour, the glazing can provide other colour options.

Roofing with terracotta roof tiles is the same as any other roof tile. They are installed to overlap and interlock with the adjacent tiles. As the years have progressed so to have the terracotta tile. There is a complete range of options to suit almost any home both modern and traditional.

Properties of terracotta tile roofs


Australia 1982, Corsets were rejected in favour of more comfortable, free-flowing skirts and dresses for the ladies. Additionally, Australia was being introduced to terracotta roofing tiles that would change roofing forever. From a little place in France called Marseilles, Wunderlich would import our very first terracotta tiles. These tiles are still commonly found on historic homes even today.

So, it is safe to assume that when it comes to roofing. Terracotta is a very hardy roofing material. It has been proven to last up to 100 years or more, if treated right. This would also depend on the manufacturing process. We’d be assuming the roof tiles are made to the same high standards as they were of years gone by.

As with all roofing cover (you would hope). Terracotta is waterproof and it is also fire resistant, this will offer good protection from the Aussie climate. Terracotta would make a good choice in bush and fire-prone areas.

The durability of terracotta roofing also comes down to maintenance and construction. As with any roofing. If the original construction is not done to a high standard you are setting yourself up to fail. Then of course maintenance, it is a good idea to have regular roof inspections.

Roofing Maintenance

Which Powerdrive roofing offer as a free service. This will identify any roofing maintenance that is required, roof pointing, broken or cracked roof tiles. Even lichen mould that requires removal that may be blocking the water channels.

Roof tiles made from terracotta are generally lighter than concrete roof tiles and obviously heavier than COLORBOND®. Terracotta roof tiles are known to be more brittle than concrete roof tiles when walking on them. This is especially true when they are retaining moisture. This makes it important when having trades like gutter cleaners or solar technicians on your roof they take extra care.

Climatic suitability and insulation

Due to their thermal mass, roofing constructed from terracotta are able to absorb the days heat and slowly release it throughout the night.

Obviously making them a great option for places with a cooler night time climate as they are more energy-efficient. Glazing and other treatments can be added to terracotta tiles to increase the ability to reflect the harsh suns heat. Making terracotta a popular roofing option in the warmer northern areas of Australia.

Natural insulating properties are also a great drawcard for the terracotta roof options. Not only keeping out the heat but also providing a great barrier for noise from rains and other outside noise. 


Roofing with terracotta leaves you open to several options. A wide variety of roof tile profiles plenty of colour choices and sleek looks to blend it with any home. When it comes to roofing terracotta is one of the best varieties to work with, from old historical buildings. With the old classic terracotta roofing, right down to the new sleek stylish modern homes with varied pitch.

Another great design in most terracotta roof styles is the ability for the tiles to interlock. This enables roofing with a steep pitch to be covered with a terracotta roof with ease and seamless beauty.

As earlier touched on, the different glazing means you are spoiled for choice in colours. There are several different finishes to chose from in the range.

3. Concrete roof Tiles

We have just discussed Terracotta roof tiles. The main alternative is concrete roof tiles in Perth. In many ways, they are similar to terracotta. However, they are also very different.

Concrete roof tiles generally contain an oxide type colour mixed through sand, cement and water or they are painted prior to being cast into the final profile. This allows for a more lasting and quality finish.

Aesthetically pleasing are both terracotta and concrete roof tiles released in an array of profiles and colours that could blend with almost any design. Whilst still performing their main function of protecting your home and directing the water into the roof plumbing.

A budget-friendly option, yet still visually pleasing and in my personal opinion a better option than terracotta. Concrete roof tiles are able to be formed into any design the manufactures dream up. They are a fantastic alternative to slate as they can mimic slate for a fraction of the cost.

So, they are more affordable. They are stronger and they actually get stronger over time on the roof. There seems to be a clear-cut winner if we are looking for an option on roofing materials for your new home.

As far as roof maintenance goes it is another positive for the concrete roof tiles. Concrete roof tiles require little maintenance, through at least the first ten years.

If installed correctly there should be no issues. At the 10–15-year mark is when you would be looking at roof pointing, other than that all should be ok.


Concrete correctly mixed is extremely strong. Due to this, concrete roof tiles are extremely durable they offer considerable advantages over their terracotta counterparts in strength. Although heavier, this is accounted for by engineers and our carpenters will build the roof frame to suit.

Suitability and insulation factors

Due to the fact they are more dense concrete roof tiles have a far greater thermal mass than the terracotta roof tiles. This will allow them to hold the heat generated throughout the day and slowly release through the night.

In northern parts of Australia concrete tiles stability is largely dependant on the thickness of the tiles. Couple this with the new technology heat reflective properties. Oxide or paint colours can also play a role in this.

As far as insulating properties go, concrete roof tiles offer some of the best on the market. On top of that, they also cancel out more noise than any other roofing material available.


Originally designed as a budget alternative to mimic other roofing materials such as slate. Concrete roof tiles now offer a huge range of profiles and colours. This has brought concrete roof tiles into the mix as one of the best roof cover options available. There is a range of original classics along with sleek modern designs concrete roof tiles really have something for every style and pitch.

Roofing Services that We Provide

Roof Carpentry

A roof carpenters’ job is to erect the roof framing. Roof framing is designed by engineers to hold up the structural load including what is known as the dead load. Dead load is the structures own weight as well as the roof covering whether that be roof tiles, colorbond roofing or even slate.

Also, there is additional loading called the environmental load which can be snow and wind, not that we have snow in Perth. Carpenters also have to construct flat roofs, not just pitched frames. These also need to be able to carry live loads for people walking on it, same as pitched frames.

In Perth, building codes 1684 specify the load and span (distance between supports) define the size and spacing of the rafter, trusses and let’s not forget the roofing battens. Because as our blog will battens are a structural element.

Roof Restoration

Powerdrive Roofing has been in the construction industry for a long time now. One of our specialist roofing services is roof restoration. From our first roof restoration way back when we first began until now not much has changed. Powerdrive roofing has always used the best available materials.

Although using the best materials on the market including either Nutech or Dulux roofing membranes, Powerdrive is still on a low scale when it comes to the cost of roof restoration in Perth. Typically roofing companies will charge anywhere from $15 to $35 per sqm a Powerdrive roofing roof restoration is generally only $17 per sqm (as long as there are no major roofing repairs required). So you are getting one of Perth’s top roofing companies. You are getting top of the range materials and you are not paying through the nose. Why wouldn’t you get a Powerdrive roof restoration?

Roofing Replacement

When it comes to roof replacement, Powerdrive roofing are well regarded in the industry. After we were roof tilers first of all.

If you are after a roof replacement in Perth and you don’t want to take out a second mortgage or sell a kidney to pay for it. You better have a chat with the guys at Powerdrive roofing.

When your old roofing system is past its use-by date and some maintenance and a coat of paint isn’t going to do the trick. You are left with the option of re-roofing, it is not what you want to hear, but is not the end of the world either.

We have spoken above about the different roofing cover options to choose from. When it comes to roof replacement, some people might say that choosing the materials and colour is the hardest part.

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