Besides protecting the building interior from the elements of weather, the roof adds immense value to the appearance of the building and contributes to its architectural excellence. This is why you must take a well-thought decision about the type of roof that matches with the overall architectural philosophy of the building. How the house will look and what kind of appeal it will create depends a lot on the shape of the roof. Some types of roof can even provide additional living space and can make homes more energy efficient, weather-resistant, and resilient.
In this article, we will discuss different roof architecture and styles that should help to understand what kind of roof would be most suited for your home.
Flat roofs that have a level surface running almost parallel to the ground do maintain slight slope or pitch for draining out water, but the slope is so minimal that it is hardly recognizable. Flat roofs have high durability and weather resistant properties and suitable for both commercial and residential buildings. It is good for areas that receive heavy rainfall as well as those that receive less rainfall. The roof space is useful for installing heating and cooling equipment and for garden and patio.
Leaving aside flat roof, all other roof styles have visible slopes of varying degrees and different layout.
Gable roofs with prominent slopes like cottage roofs are very popular in the US. The roof has two sloped sides that meet at a ridge and create end walls called a gable with a triangular extension. This roof costs the least to construct, and its slope drains off water and snow quickly. The roof design allows more attic space and better ventilation. However, it is not suitable for areas that experience strong winds, storm, and hurricanes if the frame structure is not strong enough.
The experts at Patriot Roofing & Construction suggest that there are many variants of gable roof like side gable, cross gable, front gable, and Dutch gable roof.
A hip roof has four sloped surfaces of equal length that meet at the top to form a ridge. The inward slopes on all four sides make the construction sturdy and more durable than Gable roof. It can withstand strong wind and snow with the excellent draining facility, and it is possible to create extra living space by adding a crow’s nest or dormer. The roof design is more complex and costs much more than Gable roof, and it needs proper maintenance. Adding a dormer to the roof can make it prone to water leakages due to the additional seams which can leak due to poor installation. There can be a simple hip roof, crossed hipped roof, and half-hipped roof.
Also known as a barn roof, a Gambrel roof has two different slopes on two sides. The lower side of the roof has almost a vertical slope, which is very steep, but the upper slope is much inclined. Although this roof style ideally suits barn houses, log cabins and farmhouses, Dutch Colonial and Georgian style homes adopt the design very well. The roof helps to create extra living space like an attic, loft or garret, and its construction is easy by using only two beams and gusset joints. This kind of roof is not suitable for snowy areas and areas with high wind force.
The roof with a single sloping that you find on a shed is the best way to describe the Skillion roof. The roof remains attached to a taller wall and resembles a half pitched roof or an angled roof. The roof is ideal for porches and sheds and even considered for home additions. Some modern style homes are also using it for the entire roof. The construction is easy with fewer building materials, and it is excellent for high rain and snow areas due to the easy drainage achieved, but there may be problems with high wind. You can think of using the Skillion roof purely for enhancing the architectural appeal.
Just think about two slopes of a roof forming a V-shape, and you can visualize a Butterfly roof. The two slanted pieces are at tandem that forms an angle on the outside. The midsection where the two pieces meet to form a valley is angled downward that makes the roof like a butterfly flapping its wings. Tropical homes and modern home designs use Butterfly roof design, which is also a choice for eco-friendly construction. The outer edges of the roof that create a wider angle that allows the installation of larger windows with more natural light that lowers heating bills in winter and gives an open feel to the design. Rainwater harvesting is easy by using the water collected in the roof valley, and it is possible to install solar panels on the roof. However, the tall and open design can be detrimental to energy efficiency.
A saltbox roof looks almost like Gable roof, but the design is asymmetrical, and the slope on one side has a much higher pitch than the other. The design evolved from the Cape Cod and Colonial designs by incorporating certain variations for creating more room. By adding a lean roof to an existing Gable roof, it became possible to add more space with less material, and this led to building homes by adding the lean to the roof. The structure is stronger than a Gable roof due to the asymmetrical design and facilitates building homes with one and a half or two stories.
Bonnet roof is a double-sloped roof with the slope of the lower roof set at a lesser angle than the roof above it. The overhanging lower slope provides a cover for the porch and adds a special dimension to the building architecture. The roof design is ideal for modern houses and especially seen in French-speaking areas of Mississippi and Louisiana. Creating extra space in the attic is a benefit of the design while the overhanging eaves provide protection to the walls.
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