Roof Styles for Homes
By Jonathan Geyer Submitted On May 24, 2013
Roofs come in many different styles and shapes just as homes can. The roof style choice makes an architectural statement. In fact, a roof makes such a strong style statement that the rest of the house usually just goes along for the ride. For example, a mansard roof is consistent with French 19th century architecture and is often seen on French country style homes.
When you drive through neighborhoods, you will often find two situations: a single dominant roof style or a wide mixture of styles. A neighborhood with a dominant style of roof often has homes built in the same time frame often by the same builder. A neighborhood with a mixture of style of roofs for homes has homes built in different times and by different builders. This is true of old Victorian neighborhoods as well as modern subdivisions.
Here are some of the more popular style of roofs for homes:
Gable – A gable roof is one that consists of two slopes meeting at a central ridge. The two sides are at the same angle and the same length. This type of roof also goes by the names of pitched or peaked roof. Many homes around the world use this simple style.
Cross-Gable – A cross-gable roof has two or more gable roofs coming together at right angles. Many traditional homes have this stylish update to the simple gable.
Saltbox – The saltbox roof is a variation of the gable. The front of the house has two stories, with a single story to the back. To accommodate this setup, the front of the gable is shorter and steeper than the long, shallower run that covers the back. Also called a catslide, this roof is traditional in New England homes.
Hip – The hip roof has four sides, all with the same slope. The longer sides come up to a ridgeline with the shorter sides ending at a point at the ends of that ridge line. This roof was common in the 60s and 70s subdivisions.
Pyramid – A pyramid roof is a hip roof that, instead of meeting at the ridgeline, the sides meet at a peak. Some of these roofs have equal side lengths and the same slope while others have different slops and side lengths. This style has been seen since ancient Egypt.
Mansard – A mansard roof is a complex roof shape with four sides each consists of two different angles. The lower angle is usually quite steep and accommodates windows and other openings. The steeper angle is at the top and comes together at a peak or along a ridgeline like a hip roof. This is a traditional French style.
Gambrel – A gambrel roof is much like a mansard except instead of having a roof surface on all four sides, the angles are only on two sides. The other two sides are flat similar to the end of a gable roof. This style is often found in French or Dutch-influenced neighborhoods.
Flat – A flat roof consists of a single plane on a building with little or no angle. While there is some debate, most roofs with 10 degrees or less in slop is considered flat. This is popular for commercial buildings.
Shed – A shed roof is a single plane roof placed on an incline with one end higher than the other. A slope of at least 10 degrees is seen on many modern homes.
Barrel Roof – A barrel roof is a half-cylinder shape that runs the length of the roof. It works well over a rectangular building.
Dome Roof – A circular building needs a roof that looks like half of a globe.
Which style of roof suits your taste?
This article was written and submitted by Jonathan Geyer, a roofer for Pacific Coast Roofing Service, a Bay Area roofing contractor. Pacific Coast can assist in repairing a leaking vent or any other problem with your roof. They serve the entire Bay Area including Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco.
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