The Many Different Shapes Of Roofs
There are so many shapes of roofs today. The choices and combinations are endless.
In earlier times a roof was just something to protect you from the elements. Today, though they still protect us from the elements, many new homes use multiple roof lines to add interest. These roof lines can add shape, style, even different textures and materials, to make a home more attractive. The roof can be one of the most distinguishing features of a home. At least one third of the outside view of your home consists of the roof.
A gabled roof is the most common style. It is shaped like a triangle, with two sloping sides that meet in the middle. It is the easiest to build, so it can help keep construction costs down. A house can have several intersecting gables, which are known as cross gabled. If the entrance to the house is on the side where the roof looks like a triangle, it is called front gabled. If the entrance is on a side that has the long straight side of the roof, it is called side gabled. Gable roofs are built with varying degrees of slope, or pitch, that allow for rain and snow to run off easily. The drawback is that they can be susceptible to wind damage.
A hipped roof is probably the next most popular type of roof. It has four sloping surfaces, with one surface resting on each exterior wall of the house. It is a low-pitched roof that slopes upward from all sides of the building. A hipped roof is one of the most stable types and can withstand high winds. It is also very good at shedding rain and snow, though not quite as good as a gable. When a house has two or more independent hipped roofs that intersect where sections of the house are joined together it is called cross hipped.
Gambrel roofs are a type of gabled roof. In a simple gabled roof there is one rectangular piece on each side, the gambrel has two rectangular pieces of roof on each side of the roof. The lower piece has a steeper pitch, resembling a barn roof. This style began with Dutch colonial homes. It became popular because it offers more head room on the upper level. It is also cost efficient since it is not difficult to build. The main drawback is that they are not as durable as other types of roofs and can require more maintenance and repairs.
A saltbox roof is somewhat like a gable roof, but with a couple of differences. In a saltbox roof, the sides are not all the same size like they are in a gable roof. A saltbox roof has sides that are asymmetrical. It has a single story in the back and two in the front, creating a flat-fronted home with a long, low roof line. It came by the name because it resembles an old time wooden saltbox. The design is fairly easy to build, so it will help with construction costs. Another advantage is that rain and snow will quickly run off the steep slope. The disadvantage is that the slope requires an interior ceiling to also be sloped, which leaves much less attic space.
These are some basic styles of roof, though many can be combined for a distinctive look. Your roofing contractor can assist you with these choices.
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