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What Style is Your Roof? 7 Common Roof Types

There are many different types of roofs that exist, each with its own benefits and weaknesses. Apart from protecting a home from the outside, a roof also has a significant impact on the overall design of a home. Not only does it impact the appearance, but it also affects how energy efficient a home is, and how much living space is made available.

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As a homeowner, knowing key information about the large variety of different roof styles available will help you choose either the right home or the right new replacement roof that meets your needs.

7 Different Types of Roof Styles

While some of these are popular residential roof types, there are a few that are also popular choices for commercial roofs. Here is an overview of the most common roof types, including their roof style names along with a description of their pros and cons.

Gable Roof

Gable roofs are one of the most popular types of roofs. Gable roofs have a triangle design, making them easily recognizable. They're known for being easy to build and install, the ability to provide adequate ventilation and being efficient at moving water and snow away from the roof. One of the downfalls of gable roofs is that they are vulnerable to strong winds due to their steep pitch. Despite this, they are still a common roof type for Northern Georgia homes due to their affordability and the amount of living space it makes available.

Hip Roof

A hip roof is formed of four sloping sides that are all equal in length. These sides eventually join together and create a ridge at the top. Hip roofs are known for their ability to withstand sharp winds which makes them a popular option in areas where strong winds are common. They also do a good job of removing snow and water away from the roof. A downside of hip roofs is that they are more expensive to build due to their difficult design and require more building materials compared to other roofs. Common roofing materials like asphalt shingles, tiles and metal roof panels can be used for hip roofs.

Dutch Gable Roof

A Dutch gable roof is a strong mix of a hip roof and a gable roof. It uses the same design of a hip roof but adds a gabble also known as the "gablet" on top. This type of roof provides extra attic space and a window is often added for sunlight to come in through. The downsides of dutch gable roofs are that, since it's a combination of two types of roofs, it's often more complex to build leading to higher pricing. Since the roof structure has quite a few meeting points, you need to ensure they're tightly sealed and waterproofed to prevent any water from leaking in.

Gambrel Roof

Gambrel roofs are the typical roofs you see for barns. A gambrel roof has two sides with two different slopes on them. The bottom slope is steeper than the top slope. Due to their unique design, they provide a lot of extra living space that other roofs can't match. Building them isn't too difficult which also plays into their affordability. While the design has its benefits, it also makes it vulnerable to harsh winds and heavy snowfall.

Mansard Roof

Mansard roofs have two slopes on all four sides, with the top slope being less steep than the bottom one. The sides are often flat but can also be curbed. They're probably most recognizable in Victorian Era houses. Mansard roofs are one of the more efficient roof shape types which adds a sizable amount of living spaces in homes. On the downside, Mansard roofs are among one of the hardest roof styles to build due to their intricate design. They also can't withstand large amounts of snow, which can be a big problem if you live in a state where large amounts of snow are common. Luckily if you live in a place like Atlanta, Georgia this isn't much of a problem.

Shed Roof

A shed roof is composed of one entire slope starting from a low wall going across to a much taller wall. As the name implies, they are often used for sheds as well as porch roofs, but they have grown in popularity for entire homes too. Due to their slopped design, snow and water naturally fall off with ease. In states like Georgia where rainstorms are common, shed roofs tend to be a popular choice for entryways and tiny homes. They aren't complex to build, and you don't need a lot of building material, making them a great budget option. Their weakness is that they are vulnerable to high winds if they don't have enough reinforcement. Due to the design with one wall being smaller than the other, the ceiling might be too low affecting the amount of living space available to the home.

Flat Roof

Flat roofs are one of the simpler roof design types. They're easy to recognize since they tend to be what they sound like: flat! They're often not completely flat, since they might have a very small slope in order to help drain water off them. Although a common choice for commercial buildings, they are sometimes used for residential homes. Flat roofs are cheap to build due to their simple design and low material costs. They add extra space that can be used for things like building a garden, adding solar panels for energy efficiency, or for storing air conditioners. The main issue with flat roofs is that they require constant maintenance. In snow-heavy areas you'll have to constantly remove snow from the roof. You also have to ensure that water is draining properly to avoid roof rot and leakage.

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