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Know the Different Types of Roof

Updated on July 18, 2016
Houses with beautiful roofing.
Houses with beautiful roofing.


There are many types of the roof which can be considered when you’re looking for one while building a house, or even when remodeling an old one. In this article, different roof types will be tackled, as well as the advantages and disadvantages for each of them.

Gable Roof

This type of roof is one of the most popularly used in the US. Gable Roof also referred to as pitched or peaked, is known for their recognizable triangular shape.

An advantage of using this type of roof is the fact that it can easily shed water and snow, allowing more space for attics and vaulted ceilings, as well as better ventilation. Also, because of its simple design, it is very easy and cheap to build.

Gable roofs are problematic especially when built in areas where high winds and hurricane are frequent. Proper construction, correct braces, and sufficient supports are important when using this type of roof in those said areas.

Hip Roof

This type of roof has slopes on four sides. All the sides are equal in length and come together at the top and form a ridge.

Because of the inward slope on the four sides, it becomes very sturdy and durable, and can be used even in areas with frequent high winds and snow. The slant of the roof enables snow to slide off easily without any standing water. This type of roof also offers additional space for attics or vaulted ceilings and provides more ventilation.

Because this type of roof is a complex one, it is more expensive due to the fact that it needs more materials used for building. Also, if a roofing system was installed poorly, this type of roof will make it prone to water leaks due to its additional seams.

Mansard Roof

This type of roof, also called as French roof, is four-sided with double slopes on each side that meet and forms a low pitched roof.

A mansard roof definitely gives a lot of additional living space which can be used as an attic or garret (living quarters). This type of roof is recommended especially when building or designing a home because of its flexible style, it can be simply built for starters, and homeowners can just make additions easily.

One disadvantage of this type of roof is that it isn't meant for areas with frequent heavy winds and snowfall. And because of its unique design, it has a lot of details and embellishments which make it very costly.

Gambrel Roof

Also called as barn roof, this type is similar to Mansard because of its two different slopes. The key difference among these two would be the number of sides — two for Gambrel while Mansard has four.

Gambrel roof also provides additional living space for attics, garrets, or lofts. Materials needed for this type of roof is just minimal and simple, so this one is affordable. The shape of Gambrel roofs adds a lot of storage without even taking up more space.

This type of roof is not advisable for areas with heavy winds and snowfall due to its open design which may lead to collapse during extreme weathers.

Flat Roof

This is completely flat with just a slight pitch for water to run-off and for drainage. This is commonly seen in many industrial and commercial buildings but can also be used for residential houses.

Its design is conducive for the installation of PV solar panels for the home’s energy efficiency. It also provides extra living space for patios, gardens, or can be semi-enclosed for a penthouse room. It requires fewer materials for building so it won’t be very costly.

Flats roofs are more prone to water leakage and are not recommended for areas with high rainfall and snowfall. Although it is cheaper than most types, it still becomes costly in the long run because it needs constant maintenance, repair, and replacement.


These are just a few of the many roof types. When choosing for which type to go for, consider first the area you are situated in, and what type would work well for that. With this one factor, you can immediately narrow down your choices and be left with fewer types you can consider carefully.

Also, keep in mind the needs and lifestyle of your family when choosing a roof type. Most of all don’t hesitate to ask help from the experts roofers in your area like the best roofing contractor in Plymouth, Michigan.


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    • Matt Easterbrook5 profile image

      Matthew A Easterbrook 20 months ago from Oregon

      Thanks Evane this was very educational and well researched. Thanks for sharing this information.