Many people overlook how vital the roof type is when it comes to architectural design. The roof type, along with the materials chosen, can instantly and dramatically improve the visual, structural, and value of a property. Additionally, roof design can increase the curb appeal of a home.
Roofs are designed to protect the structure and interior areas of the home from the elements, i.e., rain, snow, hail, and ice. Roofs come in a variety of slopes and shapes. Roofs can be flat, steeply structured, and everything in between. Roofs can include a complex arrangement of slopes, hips, and gables.
Identifying the Most Common Roof Types
1.Flat Roofs - Flat roofs are typically used in arid areas of the country. Flat roofs are affordable and easy to construct. One thing many homeowners do not realize is flat roofs are not entirely flat. Instead, they must have a slope (pitch) of 10 degrees. This slope prevents water from ponding on the roof.
Frequently, flat roofs are created into living roofs, which allow homeowners to increase the living space of their home by creating outdoor areas on top of their roofs.
2.Gable Roofs - Gable roofs are the most common type of roofs across the country. Gables are long triangular prisms that work together to create a ridge along the top of the roof. This type of roof is the preferred type of roof for areas with a lot of precipitation. The design helps rainwater and snow to flow off the roof and provides the support needed for heavy snowfalls.
Gable roofs are inexpensive and can be designed in several ways to increase the curb appeal of the home. It should be noted that if a gable roof has a low pitch, the living space in the home may be decreased; however, adding dormers to the roof can increase living areas in the house.
3.Gambrel Roofs - Gambrel roofs are four-sided roofs. The top two sides extend from the peak across the top of the roof. Then, the two remaining sides extend down the sides of the roof and are much steeper.
This type of roof is often seen on barns and feature window dormers. Gambrel roofs allow for increased ceiling height and square footage in a home.
4.Hip Roofs - A hip roof has four sides that gently slope towards the walls. This style of roof is symmetrical. The pitch on all the hips of this style roof is identical to create symmetry from the center of the roof. Hip roofs are self-bracing, which means it does not require as much diagonal bracing as other roof styles.
This type of roof is excellent for areas of high wind and hurricane regions across America. One disadvantage seen in a hip roof is the limited amount of headspace inside the roof.
5.A-Frame - An A-Frame roof features steeply angled sides that extend down near the foundation of the building and meet at the ridgeline to create the shape of a letter A.
This type of roof is often used in vacation areas because this design is usually the least expensive type of roof design to build.
The roof design chosen for a home should be based on the overall look that a homeowner wants, whether the homeowner requires attic space, the climate that the house will be located in, and the budget of a homeowner.
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