Building a new house or want to replace your roof? Is I heard a yes, then I can guess the next question will be which of the roofing materials to use. The many options available in the market brings all the challenges when picking the best one. The considerations that should come to your mind are issues of cost, durability, structural needs and the safety of water harvested from the roof selected. If a single roof matches all the needs required, then you are good to go. In Kenya, the most popular roofing materials are the clay tiles, galvanized sheets and stone coated tiles. Picking among the three can give a hard time. Let’s check details of each at a time.


These are the top leading roofing materials all over Kenya. That is basically due to their many advantages including being lightweight, easy to install, affordability, high performance, strength and durability. You don’t need complex truss frameworks when installing metal sheets. For brick made houses, Mabati are the ideal option for roof systems as they are lightweight and brick is not the best material for supporting heavy concrete tiles together with their heavy frameworks. Flexibility of Mabati comes with regard to size, shape and shades.

Mabati is however leak prone and replacing them after several decades may be necessary. Others get discolored and corrode with time necessitating replacement or re-painting.

Clay tiles

Within the Nairobi suburbs, you are likely to find clay tile roofs. That applies to other cities and towns around Kenya. Clay tiles like the name suggests are made out of clay. Safety for water harvesting is guaranteed as no chemicals are included in its making. They offer durability and nice outlook regardless of how many years they remain in position. On the other side, they are heavy weight and that means the framework has to be strong enough to support them. In matters of cost, tiles can be expensive. Leaking is also common and hence the need for underlay backup.

Stone coated tiles

These are the modern tiles in town and have the much needed appeal especially in the classic building designs. The fact that they are lightweight ensures that they consume less for truss framework that doesn’t need to be complex. Durability is the other feature that makes them popular. They have a natural look. On the negative, they go at a price. Be ready with Kshs. 1500 for every meter squared. Water harvesting on such type of a roof is also not recommended.

Where you are faced with the vote situation, expect the above discussed options to be on the ballot. What option you find best will depend on whether you are satisfied with it. If the advantages exceeds the disadvantages, then pick that option. If the vice versa is the case, be wary and consider another option. There will be something to be compromised with however. You can expect that in advance.