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Why Are Flat Roofs Less Common on Homes Than On Businesses?

Flats roofs are a viable option for residences.

As you drive around Kansas City, it’s very common to see flat roofs on commercial structures: apartment buildings, office complexes, hospitals, and strip malls. It’s less common to see them on homes in residential neighborhoods. Why is that?

Many of the your roofing companies in Kansas City will give you their perspective on that. Lots of roofers in Kansas City work on both residential and commercial properties. We do, too. At Shamrock Roofing and Construction, we’ve been working on homes and businesses in the Kansas City area for over 55 years. Here’s our perspective on why you see flat roofs more often on commercial properties than on residential.


Flat roofs are more often found on large commercial properties because they’re easier to install on large surfaces. Many of today’s modern roofing materials for flat roofs come in sheets that can be rolled out, making them ideal for large surfaces. Also, some of the membrane roofing systems, such as TPO, can be rolled out and heat-fused to keep rain out – easier done on a flat surface. With a flat roof, drainage is a much bigger issue because if it’s not done right, water sits in puddles on the roof, creating moisture issues in the future. Commercial roofers in Kansas City can move around on a flat roof much more easily and safely than on most residential roofs. And a larger team can tackle the project at one time.

Residential roofs typically have a slight slope to them, which makes moving around up there more difficult and more dangerous. Most residential roofing materials come in smaller pieces and don’t need to be rolled out. Qualified residential roof contractors are trained to do all this safely, but it’s still more challenging moving around on a slope than walking on a flat surface.


A flat roof also allows commercial roof contractors to work around obstacles on the roof. A large building may require several air conditioning units, as well as vents, exposed pipes, and possibly skylights, depending on the building’s design. Commercial roofing membranes can be cut to size and sealed around these obstacles, forming a watertight bond. On residential homes, residential roofing contractors usually have to work around chimneys but not much else. On a residential job, it’s relatively easy to lay shingles around such structures. 

Flat Roofs Are an Option for Your Home

Flat roofs are gaining popularity with homeowners, and you’ll already find them in some Kansas City neighborhoods. They’re attractive, economical, and can expand the usable space in your home. Many homeowners are discovering the wonder of roof gardens and patios – perfect for entertaining during nice weather.

Shamrock Roofing and Construction Answers Flat Roof Questions

If you have questions about the benefits of a flat roof for your home, give us a call at Shamrock Roofing. We specialize in all things roofing for both residential and commercial properties. We also handle maintenance and repair storm damage on Kansas City homes and businesses. We’re happy to talk with you about any roofing issues you may have. And if you’re considering a flat roof for your home, we can walk you through the pros and cons before you make your final decision. Contact us today for more information.