The Pros and Cons of the 5 Most Popular Types of Roofs
Choosing the right type of roof is important, whether you’re building a new home, or replacing your current one. Replacing a worn-out roof will not only increase your home’s value, but it will also extend its lifespan.
Due to the many roofing options available, choosing the right one isn’t easy. You’ll need to do your homework first. That’s why, in this article, Ryan from Onsite Property, a local property management company here in Forth Collins, shares with us the 5 most popular types of roofs and their pros and cons.
Also known as the “peaked roof” and the “pitched roof” the gable roof is undoubtedly one of the most popular types of roofs. Drive through any residential community and you’ll realize that it’s a popular option among homeowners.
The gable roof is triangular shaped, formed by two sloping faces of the roof that meet at the top ridge. These can be covered by anything from terra cotta to clay to concrete to shingles.
There are different types of gable roofs. These include front gable, Dutch gable, crossed gable, and side gable.
Simple design and classic styling for homes
Relatively cheaper and easy to build than other roof types
Allow more ventilation
Added space for the attic or vaulted ceilings
Easily shed water and snow
Can be a liability in high wind areas
Potential roof collapse if roofing frames aren’t properly constructed
Also called the French or cub roof, a mansard roof is more complex than a peaked roof. It’s four-sided and characterized by two slopes on each of its sides. The lower slope of each side of the roof is much steeper than the upper slope.
One of the most famous American buildings that have a mansard roof is the Germania Insurance building in New York City.
Many homeowners will opt for two distinct types of materials when choosing materials for a mansard roof. One type for the low slope of the roof and one type for the steep slope of the roof.
It’s best to choose slate or wood for the low slope of the roof, and then metal (zinc or copper) for the other section.
Allow flexibility for future home extension or additions as needs change
Style can allow open or closed dormers for a more aesthetic appeal
Roof design provides usable space on the upper level of the home
Not ideal for areas that experience heavy snowfall
Its design is complex – this means that it’s labor-intensive and it’s more costly than typical roofs
Also called, “hipped roof,” a hip roof slopes upward from all sides of a structure, having no vertical ends. The hip is the external angle at which adjacent sloping sides meet.
Similar to gable roofs, these can be made with almost any material, such as metal, shingles, and tiles. Cross hipped and simple hip are the two main types of hip roofs.
Additional attic space or living space for vaulted ceilings
Excellent choice for snowy and high wind areas
Stronger and more stable than gable roofs
Usually, require more maintenance
They are expensive to build due to their complex design
A flat roof is a roof which is almost level in contrast to the many types of sloped roofs. These are common on commercial buildings because they allow the more efficient use of space and are easy to install.
Flat roofs aren’t usually flat. These are built on an incline of 1/8 inch per foot. The slight incline enables rainwater to drain from the roof.
Heating and cooling units can be installed out of sight on the roof
Good for installing photovoltaic panels for alternative energy
Offers extra living space for a penthouse, a garden or a patio
More expensive due to maintenance, repair and replacement costs
Not advisable for places with heavy snow
Low pitch makes it prone to water leakage
Also known as the “barn roof,” this type of roof is distinctively American. When most people hear of the gambrel roof, their thoughts often wander to the countryside where quaint barns dot the rolling landscape.
These days, though, gambrel roofs not only cover barns and churches. These are now a popular style for homes and log cabins.
A gambrel roof is basically a cross between a gable and a hip roof. It has two slopes on each side, the upper being less steep than the lower.
Great option for outdoor storage buildings and sheds
Ample space beneath the roof provides potential expansion space
The open design can cause roof collapse under immense pressure
Not ideal for high wind and heavy snowfall areas
A roof does more than just protect your most valuable investment – your home. It also plays an important role in defining the style and shape of your house. If you are looking to replace your worn-out roof or are building a new house, these are the 5 most popular types of roofs to choose from.