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Aug 21

The History of Metal Roofing in Australia

There are few things more typically Australian than a corrugated iron roof. Over the years we’ve discovered the limitations of this classic roofing material and replaced it with similar yet superior options. If you’ve ever wondered where metal roofs came from or how they became so popular, your answer is close at hand.

Early roofing materials in Australia

According to the NSW Heritage Office, early roofing materials that were popular in Australia included slate, timber shingles, terracotta tiles and corrugated iron. Many of our building methods were adopted from our English settlers and this included our preference for roofing materials.

The introduction of corrugated iron

Corrugated iron roofing was first invented by Henry Palmer, a British architect and engineer. It made its way across the seas to Australia in the 1800s and gained popularity during the Gold Rush when fast construction and cheap materials were required. Its other benefits such as affordability, being lightweight and easy to install by amateurs, and being fireproof kept it at the top of the roofing list for many years.

Making the swap to steel 

By 1915 Australian manufacturers, such as BlueScope Steel, had started using steel instead of iron, though most of the general public didn’t notice. Steel and eventually galvanised steel became the norm as they were much more rust-resistant than iron and lasted longer. Over the next century, BlueScope would continue to improve our metal roofing options with the introduction of new materials such as Colorbond® and zinc alloy which have maintained their popularity into the present day.

Is a metal roof right for you?

There are many benefits to installing a modern metal roof. From their durability to their aesthetic appeal, you can’t go wrong with an Australian classic. The only obstacle would be if your property has to comply with heritage guidelines. In this case, following the original material on the existing area of your property is preferred. New additions should be complementary, but they can use modern materials instead. If you have concerns, speak to your local council before deciding on your roof material.

Our metal roofs are built on years of tradition

When you find something that works, you may as well stick with it. For the past 100 years BlueScope Steel have been providing Australians with superior roofing materials. For the past 20 years Hooky’s Roofing has been Sydney’s metal roofing specialists. If you’d like a free quote on a high-quality metal roof, simply get in touch with the experts at Hooky’s Roofing on 0408 026 601.

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