5 Reasons Why a Thatched Roof is a great option

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Thatched Roof

A thatched roof structure is built with poles and laths and the roof mainly consists of staw/reed and grass. These kinds of roofs are ideal in high-temperature areas with low humidity. Thatched roofs also make a great setting for lapa’s and entertainment areas, cottages, huge hotels, houses, commercial establishments, heritage centers, holiday villages, game lodges and more.

Thatching has come a long way and is still used often in many countries; “Thatching methods have traditionally been passed down from generation to generation, and numerous descriptions of the materials and methods used in Europe over the past three centuries survive in archives and early publications.” – Wikipedia

The only difference between the old era and the new era of thatched roofs would be that the rules have become stricter and designers have become more creative. For instance, structures with thatched roofs need to be strictly built according to SANS 10407 regulations. So, if these rules are not followed, it could result in a catastrophe of the roof completely failing. The most important factor of a thatched roof is the frame structure, which is built with quality Eucalyptus CCA poles.


Why a thatched roof?

Thatched roofs have many environmental advantages as it is built with natural resources. Firstly, to enjoy the effective qualities of a thatched roof, it is important that it is built correctly from the start. For instance, builders may use untreated poles to build the structure, or they may not follow the correct procedures regarding the spacing of the poles and laths. As mentioned above, if these factors are implemented correctly, it could lead to structural failure.

However, a thatched roof is always a great idea because it holds so many advantages. Let’s discuss a few of them:

Naturally water resistant

Builders should construct a thatched roof with a slope of 45 degrees because the tight overlapping cells of water reeds will prevent water from entering. The water needs to run down the reeds.


CCA poles used to build the structure are treated for protection against wood-destroying organisms and weathering conditions such as heavy rain and extreme sunlight. With proper planning and maintenance, a thatched roof can last 40 years and more.

Natural Insolation

Thatched roofs provide their own insulation, so your building will stay warm when it’s cold outside and cool during the hot days. Therefore, there is no need to spend money on electricity to do climate control.

Environmentally friendly

A thatched roof is built using natural resources, is easily grown, and replenished and the production of the roof does not affect the environment.

Visually Appealing

Contractors build thatched roofs with natural, free-flowing shapes, making them one of the most beautiful natural features for buildings. This inviting appearance adds character, charm, and personality to a home.

Another unique factor a thatched roof has is when the material ages, it shapes into natural forms, becoming darker and blending in with its surrounding. This also adds to its character and charm.


Thatching can accommodate irregular roof structures. To clarify, thatch is lighter than other materials used to build roof structures, and less timber is required in the roof that supports it making it possible to use in almost any shape.

Why should you consider a thatched roof structure?

A Thatching Contractor needs to ensure the availability of CCA-treated Eucalyptus Poles, laths, Cape thatching reed (dakriet) and grass in order to build a thatched roof in South Africa. Fortunately materials are generally available in South Africa.

Readily available

People plant Eucalyptus extensively in the Highveld, Lowveld, and Kwa Zulu Natal with high rainfall zones. This is where the trees grow quickly and efficiently. CCA (treated) Eucalyptus poles and laths are the primary materials builders use to construct a thatched roof. Furthermore, the following is considered:

Cape thatching reed plants take between 5 to 7 years to reach a mature stage at which they are ready to be harvested. Stems have 5 to 7 years to become stronger.

South Africans particularly in the Western Cape grow cape reeds, so importing them is likely to be easy and readily available. When using Cape thatching reed, you may require less material to thatch the roof.

You can use many kinds of grass species for thatched roofs but Hyparrhenia hirta is the most common kind used throughout Africa. You can find it in open grassland, on rocky slopes, and along rivers on most soil types, with a preference for well-drained, lighter textured granites to heavy black, stony soils. This grass is self-fertile, enabling new populations to arise from a single plant. Seeds can germinate readily in different light regimes, over a wide range of temperatures.


As explained above, the South African climate is well suited for the materials needed to build a thatched roof structure. As long as you follow all building and maintenance procedures correctly, you can be sure your thatched roof structure can last a long time. Our maximum temperatures are generally between 40 – 47 degrees with minimum temperatures being between 0 – (-5) degrees.  

Required poles for a thatched structure

CCA Poles and laths that comply with SABS 457 regulations are used to build the frame of the thatched roof structure.

At Sabie Poles, we do not build thatched roof structures but, we supply the SABS-approved CCA-treated poles required to build a sturdy thatched roof structure. Some basic specs for poles used in a thatched roof:

CCA Poles in Thatched Roof Structure
  • Ground poles/ columns need to be at least 175mm thick and should have an anti-split plate to prevent the pole from cracking.
  • We do not recommend using Poles thinner than 100-125mm (with the thin end 100mm) for a timber structure.
  • Laths thickness at the thin end can range between 25mm and 32mm.
  • Poles used as rafters shall have a diameter of at least 100mm measured at the thin end of the pole.

To know more about building a Thatched Roof, visit the following link: SA Thatchers

Add more features to your thatched structure

Thatched roofs are very effective by themselves; however, you can add some extra features for comfort and style.

Timber Cladding

CCA Treated Cladding is perfect for a unique and pleasing appearance and protection against rain and wind. furthermore, it adds to the benefit of great insolation.

We manufacture and supply the half-log cladding profile for the exterior and interior of timber structures. Half log cladding has a curved profile to the front of the timber. It is flat on the back giving the timber a half-log look.

Timber Deck

Add some extra space for socializing by building a deck. The most important part of building a deck is its substructure. A deck’s substructure provides the framework that holds up the deck.

We offer Quality CCA Treated Decking boards with a thickness of 22mm or 32mm. There are two profiles available namely plain or non-slip. Furthermore, we also supply the required timber to build the timber frame.

Timber flooring

For a much neater style and extra character, CCA-treated flooring can be added as an addition.

We specialize in the “Tongue and groove flooring “profile for flooring.  The floorboards are all fitted with protruding (tongue) and concave (groove) parts that fit together like puzzle pieces. We have two thicknesses of flooring available, namely 22mm or 32 mm.

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