5 Reasons Why Hidden Roofs are Most Preferred in Kenya's House Designs

Photo collage of a hidden roof on a house under construction and on a ready finished house
Photo collage of a hidden roof on the house under construction and on a ready finished house.
Eben Ameyibor/ Boss Yator

Hidden roofs are gaining prominence in Kenya's real estate sector, especially in urban areas.

Some developers are reviving the design to take on flat roof designs, which dominate various urban settlements, especially in Nairobi satellite towns such as Limuru, Syokimau, Ruiru, Athi River, and Tigoni.

According to roofing experts and architects, a hidden roof is where the pitch of the roof is at an angle below 10 degrees. The roof, usually made of iron sheets, is kept out of sight by short walls.

The beauty of hidden roofs, also known as secret roofs, appeals to new homeowners who are embracing it in droves.

File photo of a hidden roof erected on a complete building
File photo of a hidden roof erected on a complete building.

It's usually divided into two sections; the first part is known as the cosmetic roof, while the second one acts as the roof's eaves which can only be viewed from the bottom.

With roofs being one of the critical factors that protect a house's integrity, Kenyans.co.ke, looked at some advantages of hidden roofs.

Advantages of Hidden Roofs

Low Cost

According to Boss Yator, a construction expert, roofing materials used in hidden roof designs are less costly compared to other designs.

"It is becoming popular because it is considered cheaper than slab and hip roof. It takes a few iron sheets, timber, nails, and less labour. If you're thinking about building this, ensure the middle gutter is concreted," Yator advises.

They are considered economical, thus making them budget-friendly for new homeowners.


Installing hidden roofs is considered easy compared to other designs. According to Domod Roof, a roofing company, they do not require many trusses.

"Depending on the size of the building, a secret roofing system can be installed within a few days. Moreover, labour is cheap due to the fewer risks involved in installing secret roof designs," the company stated.

Easy Repairs and Maintenance 

Because the roof is hidden, it is easy to carry out repairs. The maintenance costs are also quite cheaper than other designs.

Climbing on hidden roofs to carry out routine maintenance is also enabled.

Creation of Space

Hidden roofs offer much space which can be utilised for other purposes.

Most designers use the extra spaces to install air conditioning units.

Aesthetic Beauty

Hidden roofs which are well set up, offer aesthetic beauty. Besides acting as buffers, they can be fitted with gutters for harvesting rainwater from the roof.


However, hidden roofs would also have some demerits affecting house integrity.

Hidden roofs would face drainage issues when it is not properly fixed. Additionally, they require regular maintenance compared to other roofing designs.

They are also considered to have a short lifespan and become unstable after time.

To counter challenges associated with hidden roofs, developers introduced flat roofs, which have become dominant in urban areas.

However, in a flat roof design, the iron sheet is replaced by concrete.

An image of a flat roofed building.
An image of a flat-roofed building.