What are the Cheapest Roofing Styles in Kenya?

What are the Cheapest Roofing Styles in Kenya?

Gable Roof with Corrugated Iron Sheets:

Gable Roof with Corrugated Iron Sheets


  • Description: This is a classic and dominant roof design in Kenya. It features two sloping sides meeting at a ridge, forming a triangular shape.
  • Affordability: Corrugated iron sheets are the most economical roofing material. They come in various thicknesses, with thinner grades starting around 300 Kenyan shillings per square meter. High-quality pre-painted options might cost more, but they offer better aesthetics and potentially longer lifespans.
  • Advantages: Besides affordability, gable roofs with corrugated iron sheets are relatively easy to install, requiring less cutting and fitting compared to more complex designs. This translates to lower labor costs. They also excel at shedding water during Kenya’s rainy seasons.
  • Disadvantages: Corrugated iron sheets can be noisy during heavy rain and may not offer the best insulation, making your home hotter in sunny weather.

Flat Roof with Local Materials:

Flat Roof with Local Materials

  • Description: Flat roofs are not as common in Kenya due to drainage concerns, but they can be an option in specific situations. Local materials like timber or indigenous grasses can be used for construction.
  • Affordability: The use of locally sourced materials can significantly reduce costs, especially if readily available in your area. However, factor in the labor required for working with these materials.
  • Advantages: Flat roofs can be a good choice for creating additional usable space on top of your house. They are also generally simpler to construct than pitched roofs.
  • Disadvantages: Flat roofs require a strong and well-sloped structure to ensure proper drainage. They might also be more susceptible to leaks if not built correctly. In Kenya’s climate, they may require additional waterproofing measures.

Exposed Clay Tiles:

Exposed Clay Tiles

  • Description: Clay tiles are another traditional roofing material in Kenya. They are made from baked clay and offer a natural, earthy look.
  • Affordability: While not the cheapest option, exposed clay tiles can be more affordable than concrete or slate tiles. Prices can vary depending on the quality and source of the clay.
  • Advantages: Clay tiles are very durable and can last for decades with proper maintenance. They offer excellent insulation and fire resistance. They also contribute to a natural and aesthetically pleasing look for your home.
  • Disadvantages: Clay tiles can be heavy, requiring a strong roof structure to support them. Installation can also be more labor-intensive, impacting the overall cost.

Metal Roof Panels:

  • Description: Similar to corrugated iron sheets, metal roof panels come in various materials like aluminum or zinc-coated steel. They offer a more modern and sleek aesthetic.
  • Affordability: Metal roof panels can be a cost-effective option, especially compared to some other metal roofing materials. Prices depend on the type of metal and thickness.
  • Advantages: Metal roof panels are lightweight, easy to install, and require minimal maintenance. They offer good durability and are resistant to fire and pests.
  • Disadvantages: Metal roof panels can be noisy during heavy rain and may not offer the best insulation. Some types of metal can also be prone to dents or scratches.

Additional Considerations:

  • Durability: While affordability is a primary concern, don’t overlook the importance of durability. Cheaper materials might need to be replaced sooner, leading to higher overall costs over time. Consider the expected lifespan of each option and factor that into your decision.
  • Climate: Kenya’s climate with heavy rains necessitates a roof that sheds water effectively. Gable roofs with proper drainage are generally a safe bet. Flat roofs require meticulous construction to prevent water pooling and potential leaks.
  • Professional Advice: Consulting with a qualified roofing contractor in your area can be invaluable. They can assess your specific needs, provide accurate pricing based on current market rates, and recommend the most suitable and cost-effective roofing solution for your situation.