There are various factors that determine which kind of roof to use for your house.


In hot desert-like climates where rainfall is low, flat roofs are very common. Areas such as North-Africa have alot of these roofs.
A flat roof is not eactly’flat’. It usually slopes at an angle of 5 to 10 degrees.
This angle can not be noticed easily and helps to drain water during cleaning or after rainy weather.
In traditional African societies, communities living in Arid areas of Kenya such as Maasai, Samburu had their shelters made of flat roofs. This is because rain is not common in thses areas.

From africa

In rainy climates, the roof becomes steep. In snowy regions such as Northern Europe, the roof is very steep[over 45 degrees] so as to drain away snow.

From africa

In traditional African societies which live in rainy regions such as Kisii,Mount Kenya and Coast, the thatch roof is very steep[over 60 degrees] so as to increase the surface runnoff of rain water.


Roofing materials vary depending on the budget.
In Kenya, thatch roof is the cheapest at KES 180 per square meter.

It is followed by Iron sheets. The thinnest grade in the market at the moment is Gauge 32 which costs about KES 210 per square meter.
Gauge 30 costs about KES 240 per square meter and Gauge 28 pre-painted costs approximately kes 500 per square meter.
Concrete roofng tiles cost around KES 400 per square meter.

From africa

Clay roofing tiles cost around KES 630 per square meter at Mombasa. These have the advantage of being light-weight and since they are made of natural clay with no added paint, their rain-watter runnoff can be consumed without any health issues as compared to the others wheich have paint .

From africa

Paint contains Lead which is harmful to the human body.
Stone coated steel roofing tiles such as Harvey, Decra are in the range of the most expensive and cost approximately KES 1500 per square meter.These are usually gauge 26 in thickness and hence give a lifetime guarantee.

From africa

Their light weight also gives savings to the timber supporting trusses which will be less than when supporting heavier concrete tiles.

Curved and cylindrical roofs require special types of materials such as copper and bituminous felts. These felts can take the shape of the roof easily.
Copper felt is expensive. This is usually copper in colour when new and turns greenish as it ages.

From africa

Hipped roofs are best laid using tiles since with tiles, there will be less cutting and hence less wastage.
Some steel roofing suppliers in Kenya can supply curved roofs.

Gable roofs can be done using any type of roofing products.
Some buildings such as Highlands restaurant at Afya Centre, Nairobi have glass roofs. These give nice views but are expensive to put up. A square meter of 10mm structural glass costs approximately kes 2,800.

The steepness of the roof can also be used to control cost. The more steep the roof, the more the surface area and hence the more the cost. Some roofing tiles such as Mangalore design require steep roofs to make sure that the rain water surface runnoff is fast and hence no leakages.
Recreational facilities such as tourist lodges which require rustic natural finishes will opt for the thatch roofs which can be patterned to various designs. Also, hardwood plank roofs are also common for these kind of recreational buildings. An example is the KWS Headquarters along Langata Road.

From Tourist Hotel

Use of Diamond House methodology effectively reduces the costs by 58%.

Frank Gichuhi

Tel. 0721410684

Francis Gichuhi (693 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email Telephone +254721410684

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    • For me I couldn’t do Decra in Western part of Kenya with the heavy rainfall the coat will wear out so fast. Will go for heavy mabati gauge clay tiles

  1. Hey,
    victor and sam, i work for a company that sells roof tiles that are affordable same category as decra but more affordable. you can contact me,

  2. Dear Janet,

    I am building in Kibwezi and would also like to use the decra roof for my home.

    Kindly provide me with your contacts so that I can compare prices.

    Alternatively, if Jimmy, Joaquim and Victor have Janet`s contacts, I will happy to get them from you guys too.


    Anthony K.

  3. Hey janet,

    Pliz give your contacts,i have the trusses already decra tiles went up looking for alternative

  4. Good day, I’m building a house in Kimilili municipality in Bungoma county. Initially the structure was designed to take portuguese clay roofing tiles (heavy in weight and high on timber) but now I’m scouting for better and cheaper alternatives that will also allow me to harvest rain water for drinking and other purposes.

    Kindly advise,


    • Please Janet, get me your contact and quotations asap. I am about to make a decision on the roofing materials for my house. Treat this as very urgent please.
      Pharesh from Rusinga Island, Mbita.

  5. i am resident of mombasa. am really interested in having tiles. may i know where you are found in mombasa?thank u

  6. china stone coated metal roofing factory is looking for distributors worldwide.

    amarican standard,economic price!

    • Hi Milicent. Each house has a different roof surface area. Unless i know your roof surface area, i cant be able to assist you with the exact cost. On average, decra costs around KES 2300 to fix[materials plus labour]. Assuming your roof surface area is 200m2, this will be 460k. Assuming your roof surface area is 100m2, this will be 230k.

  7. Hi interested parties,i work for Jumbochem (K) Ltd a company that manufactures roof and floor underlay materials using polyethelene foam that has thermal,sound and cooling effects.
    It is locally available here in Nairobi.
    Kindly contact me on or the above e-mail adress


  8. Hi interested parties,i work for Jumbochem (K) Ltd a company that manufactures roof and floor underlay materials using polyethylene foam that has thermal,sound and cooling effects.
    It is locally available here in Nairobi.
    Kindly contact me on or the above e-mail address


  9. very detailed research into the market.
    many above need stone coated, the most expensive staff, of course it looks nice. However, all of you should consider insulation roofing, as it has so many advantage compare to all metal roofing. This product can last 25years above, and can get you 5-10degrees lower in house temp. have a look at my blog

    And the most important much cheaper than stone coated.

  10. Pingback: Granite Tiles

  11. Looking for the best material for the following building materials
    1. sealing my roof.I don’t want or like hard board because they leak and makes the board look really bad
    2.sliding windows

    • Building supplies is the authorized importer and distributor
      of Roofing Sheets and tiles in Kenya.
      Eco has partnered with Onduline group from France to provide
      competitive and economic solutions for the most complex roofing problems
      and to offer cost effective roof building solutions.
      This innovative product has gone a long way in reducing associated costs
      such as transport costs, handling and erection costs and future roof
      maintenance costs.
      Due to its flexibility and toughness, Onduline Sheets and Onduvilla tiles
      can either be installed on timber, steel, concrete or as wall cladding.
      We offer free technical support on the roof truss design to suit any type
      of building.
      Exclusive advantages for your roof
       100% WATERPROOF- 15 years warranty
       SAFE & ECOLOGICAL- Contains no hazardous chemical Eg. Asbestos
       COST EFFECTIVE- Easy to transport and install
       INSULATION- High insulation and sound absorbency values
       DURABLE- Corrosion lifetime warranty
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       VERSATILE – Easy to cut, shape and fix
       FLEXIBLE- Does not break or bend during transportation or fixing
       LIGHTWEIGHT- Only 4 kg/m2

  12. i am building a house in rongai. And am looking for Decra roofing sheets. Anyone with information can help me cause am putting up the roof in the next one week. Give the location, size of each sheet and the price.

  13. If there is anyone around the Mount kenya region who is interested in quality, less costly stone-coated roofing tiles, my company Esteemed Homes Ltd. has been commissioned by Tactile Roofing to be their authorized distributors within the Laikipia region. I will give you discounts and at the same time youu are assured of quality during installation as I do the supervision as a builder.

  14. Currently ,the in thing in owning a home is ISSB,I know is the past blogs you have discussed this mode of construction but I believe not in depth.So my request to you is please can you give me more in sight into interlocking bricks for I wish to go this way in constructing my dream home in Kilifi.Also in ISSB how many floors can I go with this technology?

  15. Hey I wanna know about the price and the sizes of Decra Ruffing Sheets, am in Bungoma building and will be ruffing in a months time. Any one with good information around Chwele.

  16. Am currently doing a residential house in western and wanted to confirm where to find versatile 3m roofing iron sheets urgently and at what price per piece please. Regards