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It is important to have enough knowledge before building your dream house even if you are not an engineer or architect. There are some important factors to consider especially the design or style that you want. In this post, we compile top 15 roof types and their pros and cons. Remember, read before you build.

1. Gable RoofAlso known as a pitched or peaked roof. Gable roofs are easily recognized by their triangular shape.Pros: Easily shed water to and provide more space for an attic or vaulted ceilings and allow more ventilation. Cons: Gable roofs can be problematic in high wind and hurricane areas. If the frames are not properly constructed with adequate supports, the roof can collapse. High winds can also cause materials to peel away from gable roofs.

2. Hip RoofA hip roof has slopes on all four sides. The sides are all equal length and come together at the top to form a ridge.Pros: Hip roofs are more stable than gable roofs. The inward slope of all four sides is what makes it more sturdy and durable.Cons: Hip roofs are more expensive to build than a gable roof. It’s a more complex design that requires more building materials. Also, additional seams can make it easier for water leaks to form if a roofing system is not properly installed.

3. Mansard RoofAlso known as a French roof, is a four-sided roof with a double slope on each side that meet forming a low-pitched roof. The lower slope is much steeper than the upper. The sides can either be flat or curved, depending on the style.Pros: Mansard roofs can help create a great deal of extra living space. Using the space as a full attic or living quarters.Cons: Mansard roofs cost more than typical roofs because of the embellishments and details that go into them.

Gambrel RoofAlso known as barn roof, is much like mansard in a sense that it has two different slopes. The difference between the two is that the gambrel only has two sides, while the mansard has four. Similar to mansard, the lower side of the gambrel roof has an almost vertical, steep slope, while the upper slope is much lower.Pros: Much like the mansard, the gambrel provides extra living space for a garret, attic or loft. Plus it’s simple to frame out. Gambrel roofs are also a great idea for outdoor sheds and storage buildings. Cons: The gambrel roof is not recommended for heavy wind areas.The open design can cause the roof to collapse under extreme pressure.

5. Flat RoofsIt appears to be completely flat with no pitch. However, they do have a slight pitch to allow for water run-off and drainage. These roofs are generally used on industrial or commercial buildings. However, they can also be installed on residential houses in both high and low rainfall areas.Pros: Extra living space on the roof for a patio, garden or partially enclose for a penthouse room. Heating and cooling units can also be placed on flat roofs, keeping them out of sight. – This is especially common practice in commercial roof designs.The design is also conducive for installing PV solar panels for a more energy efficient and energy independent home.Cons: The low pitch makes flat roofs more susceptible to water leakage. They are not advised for high rainfall areas.

6. Skillion RoofSkillion is also referred to as a shed roof or lean-to. It is a single, sloping roof, usually attached to a taller wall. – It can be thought of as half of a pitched roof or as a more angled flat roof.Skillion roofs are mostly used for home additions, sheds, and porches. However, they are also now being used on the entire structure of more modern style homes.Pros: Skillions are easy to assemble and use much fewer building materials than other roof types. Their steep pitch allow water to easily run off, which makes them excellent for high rain regions.Cons: If a roof pitch is too high it can result in ceilings being too low. Also, homes using only a skillion roof can have problems in high wind areas.

7. Jerkinhead RoofA Jerkinhead roof uses elements of both gable and hip roofs. It can either be thought of as a gable roof with hipped ends (cut short with the points turning downward). Or, it can be described as a hip roof with two short sides. Pros: Jerkinhead roofs are more stable than a regular gable roof. By clipping, or turning the point down, the roof becomes more resistant to wind damage. They also provide more space than a traditional hip roof. The higher pitch offers more living space while providing better reinforcement. Cons: The most complex design will make building costs higher.

8. Butterfly RoofA butterfly is a V-shaped roof constructed of two tandem pieces which are angled up on the outside. The midsection is angled downward where the two pieces meet into a valley. The overall effect is of a butterfly’s wings in flight. The butterfly roof is popular for modern, Eco-friendly and tropical home designs.Pros: The upper angle of the outer edges allows larger windows to be used. This gives the home more natural light, lower heating bills in the winter and brings an open feel to the design.Cons: The complexity of the design makes the butterfly roof more expensive. Not only are the upfront costs higher than with conventional roofs, but the maintenance will also be more expensive.

9. Bonnet RoofBonnet roofs, also known as kicked-eaves, are double sloped with the lower slope set at less of an angle than the upper slope. It’s like a reverse Mansard. The lower slope hangs over the side of the house. This overhang is an excellent cover for an open porch.Pros: The upper slope provides extra living space for a small attic or vaulted ceilings. It also lends itself to dormers or side windows. The overhanging eaves not only provide protection for porches but also help to protect walls from water damage. Water easily runs off the slopes of the roof and the modified hip structure make it more durable than a gable roof.Cons: The complex design requires more building materials and it’s more difficult to construct. This makes the bonnet roof more expensive than other, more simple designs.

10. Saltbox Roof

A salt box roof is asymmetrical in design, with one side being more of slightly sloping flat roof and the other more of a lean to, with gables at each end. Saltbox houses are variations of early Colonial and Cape Cod designs. Pros: The slope makes it easy for water to run off, making the saltbox roof good for areas that receive heavy rain. The asymmetrical design makes it more durable than a simple gable roof. It adds more living space by making a home one and a half to two stories.Cons: The design can be tricky, which makes the building costs higher. Although more living space is provided, it isn’t as much as a regular pitched roof. Also, some of the rooms may have slanted ceilings.

11. Sawtooth RoofA sawtooth roof is two or more parallel pitched roofs in which the sloped and vertical surfaces alternate. As the name suggests, the roof resembles the side view of a saw blade.Pros: Windows are placed in the vertical spaces of the roof, allowing more natural light inside the home. The higher peaks provide the opportunity for either vaulted ceilings or loft living space.Cons: The complex design and various building materials needed will make the sawtooth roof much more expensive than other roof types. It’s also a high maintenance roof.

12. Curved Roof

A curved roof is much like the Skillion, or Shed roof, but the planes are curved. It is very modern and provides a unique, creative roof design. The amount of curve can vary from slightly curved up to an arch shape.Pros: Curved roofs are aesthetically pleasing and a way to have a home unlike any other. They also provide subtle shapes inside the home as well. A curved roof can be used to cover the entire home or a single section, such as an arched entrance. Since curved roofs are designed by the architect or builder, it can be customized to be advantageous to the region the home is being built. Cons: The cost of a curved roof will depend on the complexity of the design.

13. Pyramid RoofA pyramid roof is a type of hip roof. All four sides come to a point at the top of the roof. There are no vertical sides or gables.Pyramid roofs are mostly used for smaller buildings, such as bungalows and cabins. They are also used for auxiliary structures, such as pool houses, garages and storage buildings.

Pros: A pyramid roof is extremely resistant to strong winds. This makes it an excellent architectural choice for hurricane-prone and high-wind areas.Cons: The cost of pyramid roofs is higher due to the complexity of the design.

14. Dome RoofA dome roof is polygonal with an inverted bowl shape. Dome roofs are great for adding unique and aesthetically pleasing features to any home. They are excellent choices for cupolas, gazebos or crow’s nests.

Pros: Dome roofs are both beautiful in design as well as durable.Cons: The complexity of a dome roof makes them expensive to construct. However, depending on the structure, a prefabricated one may be available.

15. Combination Roof
A combination roof incorporates a design using various roofs on the same structure for aesthetic and practical reasons.
Pros: Using a variety of roofs adds architectural interest to a house. It’s also a great way to use the best type of roof for each section of the home.
Cons: The more complex the design, the more expensive it will be. Adding different pitches and roof types will require more building materials and labor costs.

Credits: http://www.houzz.com/, http://www.roofcalc.net/



  1. sirking June 6, 2017
  2. Rick Taylor July 25, 2017

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