Get to Know Your Roof Style

Whether you are looking to build a home, are currently in the process of looking for one, or are a current homeowner (even renter!), it’s good to know what kind of roof style you have. In this post we’ll cover pros, cons and insights into the most common roof styles along with some unique styles.

Starting with the most common roof style, the Gable:

This style is inexpensive, easily built, and popularly used for homes and churches. It sheds water and snow easily, allows for more ventilation than other styles, and provides much more available space to be used for an attic or vaulted ceilings compared to others. A con to this style is that it’s more prone to wind damage due to it’s steep pitch and should not be used on homes in tornado prone areas.

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Next up, the Hip roof:

Easily built and efficient at shedding water, this style eliminates large expanses of wall on the exterior which can reduce the amount of exterior siding making it cost efficient in that regard (though typically more expensive than a Gable Roof). This style is predominately chosen for it’s low to the ground, natural looking, horizontal appearance but it should be noted that it’s very sturdy and durable. Cons to this style would be the overall cost as construction is fairly difficult and this style requires specific structural supports.

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Shed style roof: This style is very simple, affordable, and because of it’s steep slope, sheds water and snow very effectively. The shed style is contemporary, allows for lots of natural light, and provides ample space for a skylight or for solar panels. Downsides of a shed style are the limitations on ceiling height, attic space, and this style is susceptible to high winds.

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Gambrel style roof:

This popular Dutch and barn style roof has multiple slopes and provides ample attic space. It’s easy to build and provides good drainage but is not advised for those in high wind areas or with heavy snowfall as snow can gather on the lower slope portion putting a strain on the overall roof. Gussets are advised for this style of roof to alleviate the concerns of heavy snowfall.

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Butterfly roof:

This unique style is shaped as the name would imply and gives the appearance of two shed roofs meeting over the center of the home. Often used on contemporary style homes, this style allows for larger windows, and is designed to collect water in the center (typically in a specially designed holding tank) that can be used for watering plants, showers, etc. If not collecting water, this style does provide good drainage but it is not ideal for areas with heavy snowfall and if constructed poorly (as with any roof) leaves potential for leaks. This style is also quite costly and does require frequent maintenance.

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Low Slope style:

This style is often referred to as the flat roof but there is a slight slope to ensure drainage. Heating and cooling is also improved with this style as there is less attic space for air to gather in need of circulation. Accentuating the exterior walls of the home, this style is preferred when trying to achieve a clean or Euclidian type of architecture. This style is cost efficient as it doesn’t require a lot of materials, but this also means no shingles, rolled sheet roofing is predominately used for a low slope.

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Mansard roof:

The last roof in this series is the Mansard Roof. This style is more like a wall than a roof given it’s vertical sloping sides on all faces of the home. This style maximizes interior space providing an extra living space rather than the typical, limited attic space and is ideal in rural or urban areas for the same reason, it allows for growth upward rather than outwardly. Developed in France and popularized in America in the 19th century, this style brings an air of sophistication to any home. Another advantage is all the natural light from this style’s dormer windows and the extra space allows for good air and heat distribution. This style can be costly and time consuming given the extra materials/labor compared to a standard roof and it’s not ideal for heavy rain or snowfall due to the flatter upper slope of the roof.

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We hope this article has been helpful and insightful for you. If you’d like to learn more or want a comprehensive inspection of your home’s roof, please give us a call or visit our contact page to schedule. We are your trusted, local source for helpful information, resources, and a thorough inspection keeping you and your loved one’s in great hands from beginning to end.