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What Are The Different Types Of Roof?

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    If you are building a new home or replacing the roof on your current home, it is critical that you choose the right roofing material for the form of roof you already have.

    Aside from protecting you and your family from the dangers of the outside environment, your home's roof can also be an aesthetic and design focus point.

    When choosing roofing materials, consider not only the shape and content of your home, but also the climate and other environmental conditions in your area. This page will provide you all the information you need about some of the most common roof styles and materials.

    For a long time, homeowners have debated the advantages and disadvantages of various types of roofing materials. Today, we will discuss some of the most common options available to homeowners in terms of material, price, durability, and other characteristics. Let's get this party started!

    Different Roof Shapes

    Before going into the many materials that may be used for roofing, it is vital to have an understanding of some of the more typical roof shapes, as well as the sorts of materials that work best with each shape of roof and structure.

    Gable Roofs

    The gable roof, with its immediately recognisable structure that is characterised by a distinguishing triangle shape, is the type of roof that is used the most frequently in the United States. The benefit of having a roof like this is instantly apparent because it deflects rainfall and snow with relative ease while also allowing for excellent ventilation within the building.

    Even while their construction is not overly complicated, which contributes to their exceptional strength, they are subject to damage in regions that see heavy winds and hurricanes. They are able to withstand most storms if they are built correctly, although there is a possibility that the crown or the shingles will be damaged.

    It's possible to further subdivide gables into the side, front, Dutch, and crossing varieties. Both the side gables and the front gables have two angles that are identical; the primary difference between them is the direction in which they face. On the other hand, a crossed gable roof consists of two separate gable roof portions that are perpendicular to one another. Last but not least, the Dutch gable is a hybrid roof that combines a hip roof with a gable.

    You can clearly recognise these roofs as being from the United States due to the triangular shape that they have. They are among of the most commonly used roofs in the country. Gable roofs are a style of roof that readily sheds water and snow, offers plenty of space for the attic, and enables increased ventilation. In addition to all of these benefits, gable roofs are extremely reasonably priced.

    The disadvantage of gable roofs is that they are not the best choice for locations that are prone to strong winds and hurricanes. On the other hand, these roofs function admirably with virtually any roofing material, such as asphalt shingles, wood shingles, metal roofing, or clay tiles.


    • Create additional headroom within the confines of attics.
    • Because of their straightforward construction, they may be produced at a low cost.
    • Allow water to quickly escape in order to avoid the possibility of leaks.


    • More prone to damage caused by wind than other types of roofs.
    • For adequate ventilation, more vents may be necessary.
    • On residences with a historic or vintage-style architecture, it could not be as aesthetically pleasant.

    Gambrel Roof

    What Are The Different Types Of Roof3

    This style of roof is most commonly seen on barns, however it can also be found on homes designed in the Dutch Colonial and Georgian styles. A pair of sides and two distinct slopes distinguish this style of architectural configuration. In contrast to the steeper slope that characterises the upper portion of the roof, the bottom portion of the roof is virtually vertical.

    The most important benefit of this is that, in comparison to other kinds of roofing, it allows for the creation of a substantially larger living space and has a more straightforward installation design.

    Gambrel roofs, which are similar to gable roofs in appearance, are also susceptible to damage from severe weather conditions like high winds and snowfall. This particular roof formation is vulnerable along the ridges, and as a result, it needs to be maintained often.


    • Because it offers additional space in the loft, it is an excellent choice for buildings that also contain an upper apartment.
    • Less building materials are needed for its construction compared to other types of roofs
    • Both the construction and the ongoing maintenance costs are low.


    • It is unable to withstand significant amounts of snowfall and risks giving way under its own pressure.
    • Demand a significant amount of upkeep in order to remain in good condition.
    • gambrel roofs that have been constructed improperly have a tendency to leak.

    Flat Roofs

    In spite of its name, this category of roof has a gentle slope that directs rainwater away from the structure. Although they are more commonly found on commercial constructions due to the fact that they are inexpensive and have straightforward designs, they can also be found on residential buildings.

    The design is overwhelmingly focused on functionality, as seen by the fact that the peaks of this roof can easily accommodate both solar panels and air conditioning units. However, because these roofs have such a shallow pitch, they are significantly more likely to suffer from water damage due to leaking. This is a significant drawback.

    Because of their low maintenance requirements and sleek appearance, roofs of this sort are gaining a significant following in recent years. Surprisingly, flat roofs do not have a level surface; rather, they feature a very little pitch that is not readily apparent but aids in the drainage of water.

    A rooftop patio, garden, rooftop heating or cooling units, or solar panel array could all benefit from having additional space provided by a house with a flat roof. However, because they have such a low pitch, flat roofs are not recommended for use in regions that see a lot of snowfall or rainfall. Because it is essential to guarantee that your flat roof is waterproof, flat roofs often demand for more durable roofing materials such as tar, gravel, metal, and PVC.


    • Allows for the creation of an outdoor garden or patio space
    • The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units can be discretely installed on top of the roof.
    • Adding solar panels becomes a fairly simple process as a result.


    • Extremely prone to leaks due to the fact that water frequently pools on top of them
    • Continual maintenance is required, which might result in high costs if not kept up with.
    • Frequent inspections are required to locate leaks and make repairs to them before they may cause significant harm.

    Butterfly Roof

    This V-shaped roof is one of the most uncommon roof shapes, and it is formed by flipping the ideas of what a roof should be in order to make it. As a result of the outside portion of the roof being lower than that of the inner portion, the roof has a slope that is directed towards the centre.

    It is generally acknowledged that the upper angles of the outside edge are friendlier to the environment. It makes it possible for homeowners to instal larger windows, which let in more heat, and makes it simpler for them to collect rainwater using a trough or rain barrel.

    The design of this particular style of roof is far more intricate, and its construction calls for a greater amount of both labour and materials. Butterfly roofs feature a substantial weakness along the valley, which makes them significantly more prone to leaks and makes it more likely that the drainage will become clogged. Maintenance is another problem with butterfly roofs because of this huge weakness.


    • The butterfly roof's middle valley is an excellent location for the collection of rainfall.
    • Because of its form, solar panels may be installed with relative ease.
    • It enables the installation of windows of a bigger size, which in turn lets in an increased amount of natural light.


    • In order to stop water from leaking through a butterfly roof, the waterproofing must be done very precisely.
    • Drainage systems have a high propensity for being blocked, and as a result, they require more frequent clearing out and cleaning.
    • When larger windows are installed beneath a butterfly roof, it's possible that the home's interior will experience both hot and cold regions.

    Hip Roofs

    The sides of a hip roof are all the same length, and they meet in the middle to form a ridge. Hip roofs have a slope on each of the four sides of the roof. Hip roofs are extremely durable and stable due to the inward slope that is present on all four sides.

    This kind of roof works really well in places where there is a lot of snow and wind. On the other hand, the costs associated with their construction are often higher than those of other types of roofs. In addition, because hip roofs have an increased number of seams, it is essential to instal an appropriate roofing system that contributes to drainage in order to prevent damage caused by water leaks that form in the valleys of the roof. The hip roof style works well with a wide variety of roofing materials, including shingles, metal, and tiles, among others.

    The roof typically had two equal sides that sloped downward in the shape of a triangle; however, a hip roof has four equal sides and is more similar to a pyramid that has had its top cut off. The overall construction of this particular kind of roof makes it one of the most stable options available.

    Because of this, it is an excellent choice for locations that are prone to storms because the wind cannot capture anything, nor can water or snow gather. Having said that, the construction of this particular style of roof is noticeably more expensive because it requires a more intricate design.

    This not only makes it more difficult to instal the roofing material, but it also makes it more likely that water leaks will form along the valleys of the hip roof. Hip roofs can generally be broken down into three distinct varieties: the plain, the cross, and the half. The Simple shape, which has two sides that are square-like and two other sides that are triangular, is by far the most common shape.

    The combination of two hip roof sections that meet at an area known as the valley is what constitutes a cross-hipped roof. In conclusion, the half model is precisely what its name suggests: the simple form that has been cut down in length on both sides.


    • Very stable, making them an ideal choice for locations with a lot of wind.
    • Since the snow can be quickly removed, there is little chance that it will accumulate on top of the roof.
    • Hip roofs are a fantastic choice for practically every architectural style because of their aesthetically pleasing shape.


    • Construction necessitates the utilisation of a greater quantity of various building materials.
    • More likely to develop leaks, particularly after the addition of dormers.
    • When it comes to ventilation, hip roofs can be difficult to work with and may require more vents than other types of roofs.

    Jerkinhead Roof

    This sort of roof takes some of the advantages and disadvantages of both gable and hip roofs since it combines the styles of both of these types of roofs. For starters, they are more sturdy than gable roofs, which means that they are less likely to sustain damage from wind due to the smoother downward setup of their structure.

    When compared to a conventional roof, this simultaneously enables the creation of additional space because the steeper pitch translates to greater living spaces. Because of its more complicated design, there is a noticeable increase in the amount of materials and labour required, just as there would be with any combination or esoteric style.

    Skillion Or Shed Roofs

    Skillion roofs are often made out of a single sloping roof that is joined to a wall that is of a greater height. Some people refer to them as half-pitched roofs, while others conceive of them as roofs with a greater angle.

    This particular style of roofing is typically seen on home expansions, sheds, and porches; although, in recent years, it has become increasingly usual to see it on modern-style houses. Skillion roofs are not the best choice for locations that experience high wind, but they are excellent for the drainage of snow and water. A standing seam, as opposed to tiles or shingles, is the most effective roofing material for this kind of roof.

    Because the roof slopes to one side, this type of structure is sometimes referred to as a lean-to. This particular style of roof has only one slope, which causes one side to be elevated over the other.

    This is one of the roofs with the simplest design, but it does an excellent job even in areas that get a lot of snow and rain. This sort of roof is considered contemporary by a lot of people, which lends it a high level of visual appeal in comparison to other forms of roofs.

    Bonnet Roofs

    This style of roof, which is also known as kicked-eaves, is analogous to a reverse Mansard in that it still has four sides but the slopes are inverted. The upper portion is significantly more steep than the lower part, which results in an overhang that is ideal for a porch.

    These roofs have French roots and are therefore most frequent in Louisiana and Mississippi, while newer homes are less likely to feature them. The lower component that has been "swooped out" prevents the walls from being damaged by water, while the upper part that gives a significant deal of living space is located above it.

    However, you should be prepared to spend a little bit more cash on this type of roof in comparison to other typical roof types, whether it be for the cost of the materials, the labour, or the maintenance.

    Types Of Roofing Materials

    Now that we've gone over some of the more popular forms of roofs, let's talk about the many materials that may be used for roofing.

    Asphalt Shingles

    This is the kind of roofing material that has been utilised the most frequently over the course of many years. Despite this, it is being used much less frequently now that there are other roofing materials that are both more energy-efficient and more long-lasting.

    Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials since they are not only inexpensive but also come in a wide variety of colours that can make any house look more appealing. It is important to keep in mind, however, that due to the frequency with which they need to be replaced, shingles wind up costing more in the long run than other roofing materials such as metal, tile, or slate.

    Depending on how well they are maintained, asphalt shingles typically last anywhere from 20 to 30 years. You can use our Shingle Picker to determine which style and colour of shingles would look best on your house by inputting the relevant information.


    • Affordable
    • Low-maintenance
    • Simple to locate
    • Functions admirably in the majority of climates.
    • It is available in a wide range of colours.
    • Recyclable


    • The colour will become less vibrant if exposed to sun.
    • Wind damage is likely to occur with the 3-tab design.
    • a short life expectancy

    Architectural And Three-tab

    Architectural asphalt shingles are individual tiles that are thicker than three-tab shingles in order to produce a more layered and long-lasting texture on your roof. Architectural shingles have a higher price tag due to the greater quality of the materials and the lengthier installation time. On the other hand, they have a lifespan of 15–30 years and are more resistant to the elements.

    Asphalt shingles known as three-tab shingles are made to look like three separate shingles despite their thinner profile. This not only makes the installation go more quickly, but it also produces a consistent pattern that looks like bricks. On the other hand, they can be damaged by strong winds and typically only endure between 7 and 15 years. This is typically the least expensive choice for a roofing material.

    Metal Roofing

    This particular kind of roofing material is gaining popularity all around the world, particularly in regions that are prone to wildfires. The lifespan of a metal roof can range anywhere from 40 to 80 years, depending on the type of metal that was used in its construction. In addition, metal roofs require almost no maintenance at all.

    Metal roofs are more expensive to instal than asphalt roofs; however, because metal roofs are more robust and last considerably longer, metal roofs are ultimately more cost-effective for homeowners who want to remain in their home for at least 30 years.


    • Low-maintenance
    • Durable
    • Can be made to appear like slate, asphalt, or wood
    • Several distinct colorations
    • Lightweight
    • Recyclable


    • In need of soundproofing to lessen the amount of noise.
    • Incorrect installation may cause the material to bend or develop ripples.
    • Installing and repairing this system calls for specialised labour.

    Wood Shingles

    Thin, wedge-shaped pieces of natural wood are used in the construction of roofs that are shingled with wood. This style of roofing is very appealing to the eye, gives the impression of being natural, and is sympathetic to the natural environment.

    Cedar is an excellent choice when looking for a type of wood to use for roofing since it is durable, helps to cut down on the amount of energy needed to heat and cool a building, and has natural oils that make it resistant to rot and insects.

    Wildfire-prone regions should avoid using wood for roofing materials. On the other hand, its lifespan is normally anywhere between 25 and 35 years, although it can be significantly longer with proper maintenance and in locations that have mild climate.

    Because of its ability to ward off insects, cedar, redwood, and pine are all frequently used in construction. The most popular option, cedar shake roofing may be purchased for anywhere between $5 and $7 per square foot on average.


    • Curb appeal
    • Natural material


    • Water damage, mould, mildew, and rot are all risks that can potentially occur.
    • It may be necessary to treat the material with fire suppressants and chemical preservatives.
    • High-maintenance

    Shakes And Shingles

    Roofing made of wood can be shaped in one of two ways:

    • To provide a more rustic and craggy appearance, shakes are typically cut into wedges. These are the more pricey choice, costing approximately $3.50 per square foot and anywhere from $7 to $13 to instal.
    • In order to achieve a consistent length, width, and thickness throughout the roof, the shingles must first be sawmilled. These are around one to two dollars cheaper than shakes on an average basis.

    Clay Tile Roofing

    What Are The Different Types Of Roof2

    This style of roofing is quite common in the Southwest, and traditional tiles are crafted from terracotta clay. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, are manufactured from clay that has been subjected to high temperatures. Other tiles are constructed from concrete.

    Roofs made of clay tiles should only be installed on strong structure that can support the additional weight of the tiles. Because they do not rot, these roofs often have a lifespan of more than 100 years when they are properly maintained. Tile roofs, on the other hand, are prone to breaking, so you need to exercise extreme caution while performing maintenance on them.


    • Low-maintenance
    • Great kerb appeal
    • Terracotta, red, brown, and grey are some of the colours featured.
    • Made from natural materials
    • Maintains a comfortable temperature inside the house


    • Vulnerable to impact
    • Could benefit from additional structural support due to its weight.
    • Installation and maintenance can require the assistance of specialised personnel.

    Slate Roofing

    Slate is one of the most long-lasting types of roofing material, and its price range, which may be anywhere from $9 to $20 per square foot, is comparable to that of clay tiles.

    This substance has a lifespan of between 50 and 200 years. It is also resistant to the impact of hail and small branches, in addition to being fireproof and resistant to severe winds and extreme temperatures.

    You have the option of purchasing real slate that has been mined from quarries or synthetic slate that is made of fibre cement slate or bituminous types. Synthetic slate is available at a fraction of the cost of natural slate while maintaining many of its desirable properties.


    • Long lifespan
    • Low-maintenance
    • Durable
    • Gray, blue, green, brown, and red are among the colours present.


    • Cost
    • Could benefit from additional structural support due to its weight.

    Green Roofing

    Green roofs, also known as living roofs, are roofs that are covered in vegetation such as grasses or native wildflowers, which are beneficial to pollinators.

    Installation of one of these roofs can cost anywhere from $10 to $25 per square foot, and it comes with a plethora of advantages, like mitigating the effects of excessive heat generated by the sun on the exterior of the home and lowering the amount of water that is lost to outflow In addition, the lifespan of a green roof is typically between 30 and 50 years.

    If you learn the truth about green roofing, you might put it at the top of your priority list.


    • Durable
    • Maintains the health of the environment


    • Upkeep of the garden and the water system
    • Additional structural support is required for both the weight and the water.
    • Demands the use of specialised labour

    Solar Shingles

    Solar shingles are among the most recent developments in the world of roofing materials. In order to have it installed, you will want the assistance of a roofer that specialises in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

    Solar shingles are a costly but potentially effective renewable energy solution that may perform efficiently for 20 to 30 years. There is a range of $21 to $25 per square foot for the installation cost. However, they have the potential to increase the value of your property by at least $15,000.


    • Generates clean, usable energy that can be used in your home.
    • Improves resale value


    • Installing and repairing this system calls for specialised labour.
    • Moderate maintenance
    • Additional structural support is required due to the weight and wiring.


    When it comes to the materials that can be used for roofing, it is essential to be aware of the various possibilities that are available. After all, the standard of your residence is on the line here! If you and your family need assistance determining which type is best for you, you can use these as a jumping off point for your research.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Types Of Roof

    Pitched roofs are typically made of shingles (asphalt, composite, wood, cedar, slate, or metal) or standing seam metal. The styles above – gable roofs, hip roofs, jerkinhead roofs, mansard roofs, gambrel roofs, and saltbox roofs – are all pitched roofs.

    Here is an overview of three popular roof designs plus their advantages.

    • Hip. A hip roof has slopes on all of its sides. 
    • Gable. A gable roof features two sloping sides that meet at the top to form a ridge. 
    • Flat. A flat roof has an extremely low pitch and is almost horizontally level.

    Here are the most common types of roofing:

    • Asphalt shingles. 
    • Ceramic roofing tiles.
    • Slate roof shingles. 
    • Wood shakes and cedar shingles. 
    • Metal roofing.

    Asphalt shingles remain far and away the most popular choice because they're relatively inexpensive and easy to install. In CR's roofing tests, we've found that some shingles perform better overall than others that cost more. And some provide a beautifully layered look or come in huge arrays of colours.

    The cheapest roof design is a roof with just hips, which are the sloping part, while the roof is the triangular bit on the end of the roof. Many subdivisions require a roof with hips and gables (rather than just a hip roof), the most common form of roof construction.

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