Recessed roof is a trend in residential projects, it is true. This style of roof is gaining the preference of designers and architects, for not leaving the tiles visible and giving a more modern style to the coverage.

Although the recessed roofs are becoming popular in USA, this type of coverage requires some attention. Read on to understand the delicate aspects about the inlaid roof.

Recessed roof: get to know the details of this coverage

box recessed roof

Also known as a box roof, the inlaid roof is a type of coverage that does not leave the tiles visible. The tiles are hidden by side walls of varying heights, also called platibands, and are practically accommodated on the slab with a minimal inclination.

There are different techniques, styles, and materials for building a recessed roof. However, in residential projects, fiber cement and metal tiles are the most commonly used. If there is one striking feature of a recessed roof, it is its’ design. As it is a very modern roof style, it ends up being used in differentiated projects, especially in high standard houses.

Because it is a type of roofing that uses cheaper tiles, it is perceived as a financially viable option. In addition, the construction of a recessed roof is relatively simple, since the required inclination is small and this coverage does not require a robust structure.

What are the main features of a built-up roof?


It is one of the simplest roof structures in construction. They are relatively light, because they do not require a support structure above the house’s roof. As we explained, the materials used are less dense, such as fiber cement tiles. In some cases, metallic structures can be used, such as galvalume alloys.


As the most commonly used roof tiles are relatively poor at thermal insulation, it can often be necessary to install a thermal insulator to improve comfort in the room – especially in residential projects. Installation is very simple, and they are usually fitted by bolting.


The main characteristic of a recessed roof is the inclination, which is 150º to 180º. Thus, it is possible to create a smaller structure to take the visibility off the roof.

Drop pipes

To avoid water accumulation on the roof and thus generate infiltrations, it is necessary to install a good water flow system. This is possible with the use of well-dimensioned down pipes.

What are the positive points of this type of roof?

The built-up roof has been widely used, because it offers many attractive advantages for architects and their clients:

Less wood and materials are used

To create sloped roofs and other models, it is necessary to create a support structure made of wood or metal. This is where the tiles will be supported and fixed. In the case of the built-up roof, this is hardly necessary, and therefore less material is spent on each project.


Everyone is already used to the traditional models of roofing, so it is past time to innovate. In this sense, the recessed roof is very interesting, because not many buildings follow this model. This creates a great aesthetic differentiation.

Easier maintenance

As it does not need many tiles and beams, the maintenance of this roof is much simpler. If there is any defect in the tiles, they can simply be replaced, and there is no need to worry about termites or deterioration in the wooden beams.

Shorter construction time

Since it is not necessary to create a very large supporting structure, there is much less work involved, since it is only necessary to fit and screw the tiles onto the pre-molded rails.

Negative points of the built-up roof

Built-in roofs can be very interesting for numerous projects. However, before opting for this type of roofing, it is worth evaluating not only the roof design, but also the disadvantages of this type of roofing.

Civil construction and architecture rely on several techniques for different types and styles of projects. However, more than aesthetics, the functionality of the materials and the characteristics of each type of coverage should be taken into consideration when building or renovating. If you have been considering the recessed roof as an option, it is worth evaluating some aspects. Check them out!

1. Hidden cost

Most consumers use low-cost shingles, such as fiber-cement shingles, for the recessed roof. Naturally, the choice for this type of material is aimed at reducing the cost of the work. However, even if you save money with the roof tiles, the recessed roof generates other costs such as the construction of the gables and gutters, as well as the thermal blankets, which are almost obligatory for this type of coverage.

For those looking for a cheap roof, it pays to research and evaluate well whether the built-up roof is the best choice. After all, it demands other construction costs that make it less advantageous from a financial point of view.

In this case, choosing non-fiber-cement tiles is a way out. Although tiles made of other materials cost a little more, they offer more advantages in terms of functionality. Fiberglass shingles, for example, can be an alternative for this type of roofing.

2. Thermal discomfort

Thermal comfort is not just a detail in the project and must be carefully analyzed. As fiber cement tiles are the most common choice for the construction of a recessed roof, it is necessary to take some measures so that thermal comfort is not harmed. In these cases, the use of thermal blankets is recommended to avoid overheating or excessive cold in the internal environments. A good alternative is to opt for specific tiles, such as thermal tiles, for example.

3. Access restrictions

The recessed roof does not offer access to the inside of the roof. This hampers the maintenance of the electrical network and other roof-related procedures.

Because it has very little inclination, this type of roof also does not allow any use of the slab. The installation of a water tank on this type of roof is also not possible.

4. The need for gutters and flashings

The project and the execution of the embedded roofs are not something that demands great complexity. However, the gutter system of this type of roof deserves maximum attention. As the prefabricated roofs do not have any inclination, it is necessary to design an efficient water drainage system to avoid problems such as leaks. The presence of ruffles is also necessary in ridge roofs to avoid excessive humidity and even infiltrations in the roof.

5. Need for waterproofing

Besides the gutter and flashings system, another point that must be considered for the built-up roofs is waterproofing. As the drainage system of the built-in roof is specific, it is recommended that the roof be waterproofed to prevent humidity from creating problems.

The waterproofing stage must be carried out before the subfloor and final coating. This is because, depending on the type of waterproofing, the roof structure can be overloaded. It is recommended to choose a flexible waterproofing system, without seams or joints, for the procedure to be more efficient.

6. Frequent maintenance

Some types of roof require more maintenance than others. In the case of a recessed roof, precisely because of the water drainage issue, maintenance should be periodic. All failures linked to the accumulation of water and humidity should be corrected as soon as possible, to prevent the problem from worsening in the form of leaks.

Maintenance, of course, also comes at a cost. Therefore, more than evaluating the project’s budget, it is necessary to consider the costs arising from the type of covering used.

7. A question of style

Finally, for those who like a “house that looks like home” it is important to evaluate well the use of the recessed roof. It is true that it ensures a more modern style of architecture. However, for residential projects, when badly designed, the flat look of this type of roof can make the property look commercial.