By Kevin Bohea, Managing Director at Stormking
They are the final flourish in a child’s drawing, and are symbolic of cold winter evenings huddled around the fire. A home’s personal touch, chimneys hold a great deal of value to houseowners across the country. But with traditional chimneys made from stone and brick being heavy and requiring a ‘wet-trade’ to work at height, which types of GRP roofing solutions can achieve the perfect aesthetic without the need for amendments in the future?
A sense of nostalgia with chimneys
Chimneys have strong roots in Britain’s traditional housing stock, and in today’s climate they are still a firm favourite. In most cases chimneys are a requirement for planning permission, as their design creates a uniformity and characteristic which is sympathetic to the UK’s landscape.
They ooze charm and appeal, yet to attain a maintenance-free chimney aesthetic, lifelike chimneys made from GRP can be made to look indistinguishable from the ground, enabling the image of a home to be achieved. These can be produced in any stone, brick or even a rendered finish to perfectly complement the surroundings; a prerequisite for the majority of planning applications. GRP are a very low maintenance item, requiring little or no maintenance during their whole lifetime
Brickslip chimneys, for instance, can also be matched to the style and colour of brick on any building. In terms of new builds, manufacturers can also collect bricks from the same batch as the house is built from. They can then cut them down into brick slips and bond them onto a GRP core, to create a lighter-weight chimney which is quick to install and relatively maintenance-free, although still potentially requiring a wet-trade to work at height to point them in . It is also worthwhile to select a lightweight BBA approved GRP chimney solution that can be used in a wide range of applications and is even compatible with flue systems. BBA certification is recognised throughout the housebuilding industry as an assurance of quality – which is highly important from both a practical and aesthetic perspective! It is worth noting that Stormking is the only manufacturer to offer BBA Approval on these products.
What complements a chimney?
Dormers are extremely functional and bring a visually striking addition to a roof. Dormers complement a chimney design; creating an aesthetic that is traditional, classic and not without character.
From a practical standpoint, they encourage the flow of natural daylight in roof conversions and can be utilised in three-tier townhouses where there is a restriction on the roofline height. This is an ideal solution in situations where greater living space within a roof area is required, especially for the comfort of the homeowner.
As with GRP chimneys, dormers made from this material are available in a range of designs or colours depending on the type of building, providing a flexible, lightweight solution to maximise light and space in roofing structures.
It’s all in the detail
On terraced properties it is important for homeowners to make their property a little more distinctive from the rest. Coping stones can break-up a series of roofs, and can also be installed on parapets to give the design a real edge. As with GRP dormers and chimneys, coping stones are available in a plethora of colours and sizes. But these little flourishes serve more than a visual purpose; they can be an alternative to heavier stones which are a hazard if they should fall from a roofline.
GRP coping stones are quicker and easier to install than traditional ones, and are far more robust and long-lasting. GRP coping stones do not require any cementing or pointing-in, which isn’t the case for traditional solutions. It is the cementing and the pointing-in which can fail on the roofline and can therefore be costly and time-consuming to repair.
Although GRP solutions are famed for being robust and maintenance-free after they are installed, if they do become damaged after installation, an aftersales service team can attend the home and provide an unseen repair.
When creating the perfect living exterior, it goes without saying that homeowners wish for an aesthetic that immediately transforms bricks-and-mortar into a house brimming with character. GRP roofing solutions are one answer to attaining this visual impact and also hit the mark on more practical factors such as speed of construction, durability and maintenance. To create the picture-perfect home that will last whatever the weather, it seems GRP solutions are your answer.