All About Roof Styles

Roof Styles

The roof of a home or building is the main protection from the elements and its type and construction not only establishes the appeal of the home, but the overall style of the structure as well. Fortunately there are many roofing styles to choose from and is usually based on the geographic location, the architectural design and the climate in which the home is built. Some examples include:

  • Flat Roof- This roof is just as its name suggests, flat.  It might have a slight angle to allow some water runoff, but is not suitable for areas with heavy snowfall.  This type of roof is inexpensive, easy to build and uses few materials.
  • Gable Roof or Pitched Roof- This is a triangular-shaped roof, resembling the letter A.  Depending on the weather conditions of the area, these roofs can have a gradual slope or a very steep slope, allowing for rain and snow to run off easily.  Gable roofs are the most popular roofs in the United States and Europe and can allow for an additional story of space, either for additional rooms, loft or attic, or can allow for larger interior space with cathedral ceilings. These roofs are easy to build and accommodate most houses.  This roof will leave two sides of the house vulnerable to the elements.  If not installed properly, these types of roofs may not hold up as well during strong winds.
  • Salt Box Roof- This roof is similar to the gable roof except that the two sides are not the same size or sloped at the same angle.
  • Cross Gable- A gable roof that has two parts that cross.
  • Hipped- A low pitched roof.  It slopes upward from all sides of the building.  They hold up well in the wind and allow rain and snow to easily run off.  Allows for large eaves on buildings, in areas with a great deal of wind and rain, this might be a good choice.
  • Cross Hipped- Same as hipped but has two parts that cross.
  • Pyramidal- A hipped roof that forms a pyramid shape at the top.
  • Shed- Simple one sided roof, like a flat roof set at an angle to the ground.  Allows for rain and snow to run off.  Shed roofs are the least expensive roofs and are good if your budget is tight.  This roof is highest at one side of the structure and slopes down to the other.  These roofs will bring in a lot of light but have the smallest amount of protection from the elements.  Three sides of the building are exposed to sunlight.  The high side of the roof can get moisture into it.
  • Gambrel- Type of roof typically seen on very large barn shaped buildings.  Shaped similar to a bell and has several faces to make up the roofs surface.  Can be thought of as a flattened gable roof.
  • Mansard- Also called a French Gabled Roof.  This roof has a flat top, where the gabled roof comes to a point and has a unique bell style shape.  This is the focal point of French chateaus style architecture.

There is a wide variety of roofs to choose from.  A professional roofing contractor can help you choose the right roof that will fit the style and weather needs of your home, as well as your budget.

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One Response to “All About Roof Styles”

  1. Robbins Roofing Says:

    Great brief description of roof designs. Each roof is designed to fit particular needs and aesthetics. Certain environments require particular designs in order to handle the elements. Slanted roofs are required for areas with a high density of snow in the winter months.

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