Whether building new, renovating, or adding on - houses need roofs! Fortunately, there are many different roofing designs to choose from. The best roof to have installed on any home, is one that is installed by a good, reputable roofing company, and is often dictated by the design of the home. Companies who are experienced in roofing installation contend that sometimes a homeowner does have the option to change their basic roof construction, if there are benefits in doing so.
Various Types of Roofs to Choose From
For any homeowner looking for ideas, or in situations where changing the architecture of a roof is a consideration, following are roof design styles that are most commonly found on a wide variety of homes:
Flat - Flat roofs are the most basic of roofing designs. This type of roof is made of a single, flat surface that includes a very gradual angle of about 10 degrees to aid drainage, but which is not very noticeable to the eye.
Gabled or Cross-Gabled - A gabled roof is a typical design, with one steep pitch on either side of the ridge. Cross-gabled roofs combine gables in more than one direction, such as gables over windows and other extensions off the main roof.
Gambrel - A gambrel roof is similar to the gable, except where the gable has two slopes originating from the ridge, the gambrel is broken in the middle so there are actually four distinct pitches - two on each side of the ridge. Both angles are steep and very noticeable. This design creates large amounts of upper level space.
Mansard - The French, or Mansard roof starts out like a gambrel roof, except there are four sides, rather than two. Typically, the lower pitches are much steeper than the upper ones. This creates a specific look where the top pitches (which may be fairly flat), are not as noticeable, while the lower ones seem to comprise the entire roof - like a crown around the structure.
Pyramid - A “pyramid” is a four-sided, square roof that comes to a pointed peak at the top. From overhead, when properly installed by a good roofing company, this roof design looks like a pyramid.
Hip - A “hipped” roof is a variation of the pyramid roof. It is also four-sided, although it is not necessarily square. The four sides rise up to a horizontal ridge, typically with two long sides and two short ones. From the top, the hip roof looks like a pyramid, with the point stretched into a long ridge at the top.
Bonnet - The bonnet roof is very similar to the gambrel roof - with two pitches extending off either side of the ridge. The exception is the pitches on a bonnet roof create a concave, inward shape, rather than a convex, outward one. This roof looks like a brimmed hat on top of the structure, hence the name bonnet.
Saltbox - A saltbox roof has two angles extending from an offset ridge toward the front of the structure, rather than a ridge in the middle of it. Saltboxes have one very long, more gradual pitch, and one very short, steep pitch.
Skillion - The skillion roof is basically one long, steep pitch that spans the entire structure. It is similar to the flat roof in that there are no ridges, but the slope is considerable - making one side of the roof much higher than the other.
Arched - Arched roofs are not typically used for an entire structure, but are frequently used over room extensions - like bay windows, sunrooms, and other areas built off the main structure. The arched roof is decorative, and mixes well with many other styles of roof over the main structure. These roofs should be added by someone experienced in roofing installation.