Top 9 Roof Styles and Materials Explained and Rated

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Top 9 Roof Styles and Materials Explained and Rated

roof styles

Have you ever given much thought to the roof over your head? Most of us don’t think twice about it unless we’re building a new home or renovating the one we have.

Roof styles and materials have a significant impact on your home’s structure and visual aesthetic. They can also have a huge effect on your property value.

If you’re looking to upgrade your home, think carefully about the different roof styles and roof shingle styles you choose. Here is a quick review of different roof styles and materials for you to see what works best for your home.

Different Roof Styles

There are a number of different types of roofing styles. Regional variations and climate are as important to consider as material and budget when making your selection. Here are 6 of the most

1. Gable Roof

One of the most popular roofs in the US is a gable. They have a triangular shape, with a pitched or peaked roof. They are great in areas with lots of snow and rain, as the water runs right off of them.

They offer more space to include attics and vaulted ceilings in a home. And they usually allow for more ventilation in a house. However, they’re not great in high wind situations like tornadoes and hurricanes. They can collapse or detach from the walls if the wind gets underneath the overhang.

2. Flat Roof

On the other end of the spectrum is a flat roof. Very common in arid climates, they have only a minimal pitch for water drainage. They’re most often found on industrial and commercial buildings but can be seen on residential homes as well.

Flat roofs are easy and affordable to build. Many people like them because they add to the outdoor living area of a home, providing space for a patio, or even a rooftop garden.

3. Skillion Roof

A skillion roof is most popular on homes with varying heights because of additions or porches. They include a single, sloping roof attached to a taller wall.

Skillion roofs are easy to build and need fewer building materials. They have a steep pitch making it easy for snow and rain to run off. But like the gable roof, they can encounter problems with high winds.

4. Hip Roof

Hip roofs are shaped like a pyramid, with subtle roof angles and slopes on all four sides. They’re more stable than gable roofs. Their slanted pitch allows snow and water to run off, but they are more durable in high wind situations.

They are more expensive however as they require more material. And they need to be regularly maintained to prevent water leaks from forming.

5. Gambrel Roof

The gambrel roofs are a commonly seen farmhouse and barn roof styles. They’re symmetrical with two sides of sloping panels. The lower slope is quite steep compared to the upper one.

They offer sloped roof angles but more headspace inside. This allows for extra living space in the attic or loft.

They’re simple to assemble. They use two roof beams and gusset joints.

6. Mansard Roof

The mansard roof is very popular in Europe. It looks like a four-sided gambrel roof. There are two slopes on each of four sides. They often have dormer windows.

These roofs offer more living space, often allowing the attic or garret, to be a fully usable living area. This is a great option if you think you will make any additions to your home in the future.

Their biggest disadvantage is they don’t do well with heavy snow. And they often cost more because of the detail and embellishments they require.

Different Roof Materials

When you’re considering the material for your home, you want to consider more than just the budget. Keep in mind things like local fire codes and weather conditions. Also, consider if the material requires special installation or maintenance.

1. Asphalt Shingles

This is the most common roofing material in the U.S. They’re affordable and easy to install. They come in a variety of colors and work with most architectural styles.

They don’t provide as much insulation as other roofing materials. But they usually have a 50-year warranty and are rated very good for high wind areas.

2. Clay and Concrete Tiles

Spanish and Mediterranean styled homes often include clay or concrete tiles. They’re very energy-efficient and long-lasting. They’re well suited for hot environments and if maintained properly, they’ll last between 50-80 years. 

They’re very heavy however and as such require additional framing to support them. This can make them more expensive than other materials. They should be maintained consistently to avoid cracks and holes.

3. Metal Roofs

Metal roofs come in either panels or shingles. They are made up of either aluminum, copper, stainless steel, or zinc. There is a wide variety of metal roof colors and styles, so you can match almost any aesthetic you desire.

They are lightweight and long-lasting. This recyclable and durable material lasts longer than other roofs. They are excellent for high wind areas but can be noisy when it hails or rains heavily.

4. Slate

Slate is a strong, fire-resistant, and elegant looking roofing material. It comes in a variety of dark, rich shades like grey, green, and burgundy.

They’re much more expensive than other roofing materials, however. They’re heavy and require additional framing to support their weight. They’re also prone to damage but require specialized professionals to repair, adding to their cost.

5. Wood Shake Shingles 

If you want a unique, classic look to your home then you need to consider wood shake shingles. They’re more environmentally friendly than other roofing materials. And their energy efficiency can help you save money.

There are some downsides, however. Some areas don’t allow them due to fire code regulations. They do require more upkeep and maintenance than other materials. They are also more susceptible to mold and termites.

An Abundance of Options

When you want to change the look and feel of your home, different roof styles or materials can make a significant difference. There are so many options to choose from. But with a little research, you can find the one that’s right for you.

If you’re considering building or renovating your roof, contact us for a free estimate!

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