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Different Types of Roofs For Your Home

Updated on January 9, 2014

Types of Roofs

Choosing a roof for your new home that you're building could be a difficult choice. Roofs affect the overall appearance of a home and there are many standard styles to choose from. Making sure that you choose a style that compliments the basic design of the house is important. Here's a guide to the different types of roofs that you can choose and some context behind them.

Remember that before buying a home it's important that it comes with a complete roof inspection report if it doesn't already. These are important to both the home owner and potential buyer as it outlines important information such as, the last time the roof was repaired, when it was installed, current issues with the roof, etc...

Gable Roof

The gable roof is one of the most popular types of roofs that you see on homes that's inspired by the Dutch. It is easy to build, sheds water well, provides great ventilation, and can be applied to most homes.

Mansard Roof

The mansard roof is constructed into four slopes, with two on each side of the home. The mansard roof is a French design and is difficult to construct when compared to other roofs. The lower slope of the roof is a bit steeper, and more vertical than the upper slope (See picture). This roof is constructed for homeowners who need additional space at the top of the house.

Gambrel roof

The gambrel is a Dutch-inspired roof that is sometimes called the barn roof because it has been used extensively on barns and provides additional headroom in the attic. It's somewhat similar to a mansard roof but the main difference is that a gambrel roof has vertical gable ends and the roof hangs over the facade of the home.


Saltbox Roof

The Saltbox is a roof with one short side and one very long side, which often results in a home that is one story in height on one side of the building and two stories on the other side. It's a creative design that is interesting to say the least.

Hip Roof

The hip roof is a bit harder to construct than a gable roof but it's still a popular choice among home owners. The real downside to this type of roof is that the ventilation isn't as good as other designs on the list. This type of roof has four sides that meet at a ridge or a flat spot at the top.


Bonnet Roof

Home owners that are looking to cover a veranda or outdoor porch area from rain are in luck because the bonnet roof is a great choice for accomplishing this task. The type of roof is similar to the hip roof but the difference is that two of the slides slope out at an angle.

Flat Roof

Flat roofs (you guessed it) are flat! They provide some benefits that include:

  1. Easy construction.
  2. Safer to work on if you're going to stand on them.
  3. Generally easier to access.
  4. Most economical roof to build.

The main drawback of flat roofs is they require more maintenance than other roofs in large part because they are flat. The debris will father on the roof instead of sliding down (Source: It also requires a "build-up" or membrane roof covering.

Shed Roof

A shed roof is similar to a flat roof but has more pitch. Home owners usually use it on just a part of the home or with other roof styles. One modern architectural option is to use skillion roofing on a multi-level home to create unique shapes and patterns for the home's exterior (Source:

A-Frame Roof

The A-frame roof provides a roof and walls for the structure of the home. It's usually seen in cottages, homes, churches, and other structures. These are incredible when done right and they look fascinating in person.

Butterfly Roof

Although this roof isn't widely used in homes today, it provides plenty of light and ventilation to a home. There are however some drawbacks to these types of roofs with the main one being drainage.

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