The roof fitted together like a Meccano set based on the dimensions that Andrew Charters had supplied to U-Roof

To all intents and purposes a recently self-built garage in Gloucester appears like any other but peel away the roof tiles and you’ll see it reveals an innovative form of roof structure.

When self-build enthusiast Andrew Charters was looking to create the attractive new addition to his house he opted for U-Roof, a novel steel roofing system that he came across while visiting the National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon.

Andrew explained: “I was looking for an efficient way of spanning the width of the garage without losing space inside the attic. It wasn’t a major project but I wanted to get it right and U-Roof offered a common sense solution that helped me to create an upper floor attic storage space.

“The surprising aspect was that it went up in just one day thanks to a little help from a couple of friends. Had I opted for timbers it would have taken me a lot longer and would have involved using an RSJ. There were simply no complications from initial contact through to completion,” added Andrew of his 6.2 metre by 9.2 metre garage.

U-shaped section

The U-Roof System incorporates a range of galvanized steel sections and in particular, utilizes an innovative u-shaped section manufactured by cold rolling steel strips into the required length and shape using bespoke machinery at the company’s headquarters in West Yorkshire.

U-Roof inventor and director, David Thurston, an engineer who hit on the idea whilst on holiday South Africa, commented: “U-Roof is perfect for projects such as Andrew’s garage where space can be created with ease and in double quick time with no specialist skills or tools.

U-Roof delivers a high performance warm roof design but is also effective within cold roof environments. It exceeds all British targets for construction energy efficiency with insulation.

“However, the system is flexible enough to cover a myriad of other applications for new build developments for example, where time can be of the essence and a number of housebuilders are recognising that fact. It just makes economic sense.” added David.

There are other benefits associated with U-Roof’s innovative ‘Mecanno-set’, especially when compared to traditional timber joists. “There’s no dry rot or infestation to worry about,” continued David, “and it’s delivered, cut-to-size in flat pack form and invariably in just one delivery.

“We receive each customer’s dimensions and requirements, such as rooms in the roof, and create the structure accordingly using our computer software. In addition, there’s a saving of around 20 per cent.

Having the peace of mind knowing that you’re ticking a number of environmental boxes is another key selling point of the U-Roof system as David explained: “It offers zero manufacturing wastage and optimises the potential usable living space and that is a important aspect of the Code for Sustainable Homes.”

Instituted in May 2008, the Code measures the sustainability of a new home against categories of sustainable design, rating the ‘whole home’ as a complete package. Any type of traditional and modern roof coverings can be constructed with ease. It fits in perfectly with the ethos and objectives of MMC (Modern Methods of Construction),” added David.

The final word belongs to Andrew Charters who enthused: “This has to be the way forward and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking to save time and money without compromising on quality.

While Andrew’s new garage may not look out of the ordinary, it’s hiding a structure that really does raise the roof in construction standards.

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