5 Different Types of Roofs and Which One is Right for You

roof, house, roof panels

A well-designed roof contributes to the overall appearance of a home. The shape gives your home a distinct appearance. However, if you’re like many of us, you will likely think about your roof once it has to be replaced or repaired. The style of roof you have not only impacts your house’s beauty, feel, and look, but it can also influence the property’s overall value.

Roofs also help in providing insulation and ventilation. The design of your roof can influence how energy efficient your house is. Eco-friendly designs such as shed roofs or butterfly roofs are growing in popularity. A shed roof is an especially good choice when installing PV solar panels. On the other hand, a butterfly roof has more aesthetic appeal than most roofing styles. Here are some of the more popular roofing styles in America today.

Gable Roofs

A pitched roof is another name for a gable roof. It has the standard-pitch triangular roof shape typical of American homes. Like a dog house, the roof has one side up and another down. The traditional gable roof is the design upon which most other pitched roof styles are based. Because of this, if the shape is not complex, gable roofs can be simple and inexpensive to build.

Standard or fundamental gable roofs are suitable for all kinds of roofing materials. Some common building materials for these roofs are clay or concrete tiles, slate, asphalt shingles, and cedar shakes or shingles. However, consider using metal or wood shingles or standing seams to prevent leaks if the roof has hips and valleys. When metal is used as a roofing material, gable roofs become more durable metal roofs.

A gable roof’s overhanging eaves may suffer from wind damage, roof problems, or excessive rain. For this reason, gable roofs may not be a good idea in regions that frequently encounter strong winds or are situated along most typical hurricane evacuation routes. However, gable roofs have other advantages other than being cost-friendly.

Gable roofs come in various other styles. Each style of roof has distinct differences that set it apart from the primary design:

Side Gable Roof

The most typical and primary type of gable roof has two sides that are steeply pitched to create a triangle. It is the most common variety of gable roofs and can be built in one of two ways. The triangle part can be left open or closed to create an open or boxed gable.

Front Gable Roof

A front gable roof is typically positioned to draw attention to the entrance and provide additional coverage for the porch or doorway. The design is more common in Colonial-style houses.

Crossed Gable Roof

Typically, Cape Cod or Tudor-style homes have crossed gable roofs. They comprise two gable sections joined at a right angle or perpendicular. The two sides’ pitch, height, or length may be the same or different for a more asymmetrical appearance. The asymmetrical style can help to accent separate wings of the house. It may work for home areas like porches, dormers, or garages.

Dutch Gable Roof

Another hybrid-style roof that has features of both gable and hip roofs is the Dutch gable roof. A conventional hip roof is situated under a tiny gable roof, or “gablet.” The new gable roof gives the house more visual flair and creates extra attic space. This gable roof style layers the two styles for the best of both worlds.

Flat Roofs

A flat roof allows you to create an outdoor living area that may be enclosed for a penthouse. Flat roofs are not quite as flat as the name implies. A slight slope of about 10 degrees allows water to run off. Industrial and commercial buildings frequently have flat roofs. Most roofs have strategically located drains or gutters to help drain the water.

When building an eco-friendly house, you can put cooling and heating units on the roof, and you can also put solar panels there.

Despite being less costly to build, flat roofs are susceptible to water damage. They are unsuitable for areas with high rainfall and require frequent maintenance and repairs.

Hip Roofs

Hip roofs typically have four sides, two of which are trapezoidal and two of which are triangular. A hip roof has equal-length sides that all slope downward toward the walls. After gable roofs, hip roofs or hipped roofs are arguably the second most popular roof style. Like gable roofs, you can use practically any material to build a house with a hipped roof. You can have a hipped metal roof that is much more durable.

Because of their versatility and longevity, hip-style roofs are still prevalent despite being more expensive than gables due to their more intricate design. Because they have an overhanging eave on all four sides, hip roofs offer more excellent shade than gable roofs.

Gambrel Roofs

The gambrel roof has two slopes: one that is almost vertically steep and the other that is lower. They are commonly found on barns but are becoming increasingly common in modern home construction. They can have a rustic or more elegant appearance, making them one of the most versatile among common roof styles.

These types of roofs have a nearly vertical lower slope, a gentler upper slope, and some additional living or storage space in the form of a loft, attic, or groin.

Mansard Roof

This is yet another common type of roofing. It has four sides, each with a double slope. The sides are built to meet a flat top, resulting in a low-pitched roof. This roof is preferred for the additional living space – a loft or garret – or attic storage that the higher roof provides. These roofs are frequently used to add flexibility to a house because they make future additions simple.

Mansard roofs are usually more costly than other styles of roofs. It is due to the additional details included; however, they may be worthwhile for the value and flexibility they add to a house.

Protect Your Roof

When installing or changing your roof, it is essential to protect it. One of the best and most effective ways is by installing roof ice-melt systems. Ice dams and icicles can cause extensive damage to your roof. HotEdge® offers solutions to prevent the formation of ice dams and icicles. We can deter melted snow water from re-freezing on your roof using a combination of various products, ensuring that ice dams and icicles do not form. Contact us at (303) 578-4995 or email us at


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