You may have read our previous roofing article all about how to choose the right roofing material for your home. In that case, you likely know all about metal roofs, wood roofs, and asphalt roofs. But how much do you know about the different types of roof styles for your home?
If you’ve still got roofs on the brain, you might be wondering about the different styles available for your home. We’ve rounded up our 10 favourite roof style options to help you find inspiration for your own roof.
While not actually completely flat, flat roofs are low-sloped and give the appearance that they are. They do need a slight slope to allow for water to run-off. These roofs are commonly found on modern homes, apartments and commercial buildings. Due to their shape, traditional shingles are not a good option here. Instead, materials like rubber membranes or asphalt coatings are good choices.
This is probably the first image that comes to mind when you think of a roof, the classic triangle shape known as a Gable roof. These roofs are also known as pitched or peaked roofs, but the design is always the same. They are a favourite style of roofers because of their ease of installation. Due to gable roofs being made up of two pitched areas meeting in the middle, roofers only have to cover two flat laying surfaces.
Hipped roofs have four sloped sides, two with trapezoid shapes and two with triangle shapes. This shape is slightly more dynamic and sturdier. However, due to its construction of four hip rafters to brace the roof, this means it’s also more difficult to construct and therefore costs more to install than a simple Gable roof.
While not the most common roof out there these days, saltbox roofs were extensively used in the Colonial era. Still saltbox roofs are seen on new garages and sheds and are quite striking on homes. Their unique design lends to both modern and rustic designs. They are also a great option for Canadian climates as the slope allows for rain and snow to easily run off. Keep in mind that this sloping style will affect the inside of your home, so consider your design plans before you go ahead with a saltbox roof.
Also known as a French roof, this four-sided roof has a double slope on each side that meets to form a low pitched roof. Typically the lower slope is much steeper than the upper, and sides can be flat or curved depending on the style. Mansard roofs are great for those looking for something stylish with extra living space. Due to the flat top and angles of the slopes, mansard roofs are not the best option for snowy climates.
Also known as a farm roof, gambrel roofs are similar to mansard due to the two different slopes. With a gambrel roof, the lower sides have a very steep slope and the upper slope is much lower. Easy to frame, gambrel roofs also offer more living space. They’re a good option if you’re looking for a lower cost roof as their construction is quite simple. However, if you live in a very windy and snowy city, this is not your best option.
Another roof commonly seen in very modern designs, the butterfly roof gets its name from its V shape that resembles wings in flight. If you’re looking for a roof that allows for larger windows, a butterfly roof might work for your design. However, due to the complexity of the design, make sure you have a large budget for it. Butterfly roofs also require more maintenance than other roofs, so keep that in mind as well.
Also known as a shed roof or lean-to, skillion roofs are typically seen on home additions, sheds and porches but are coming into fashion in their own right. Skillion roofs are characterized by a single sloping roof, usually attached to a taller wall. Think of it as a more angled flat roof. A great option for areas with lots of snow and rain, as both will simply run off the roof. Skillions are also easy to assemble and use fewer building materials which help keep costs down.
Technically a type of hip roof, pyramid roofs look just how they sound, like pyramids. They have four equal sides that come to a point at the top, with no vertical sides. Usually used for smaller buildings like bungalows and cabins, the costs involved with pyramid roofs is why they’re not commonly seen on homes; however, you may want to consider them because of great benefits such as being durable in high winds and hurricane-prone areas.
If you’re looking for something really unique, consider a curved roof. The curve can vary from slightly to an arch shape, giving you design options for a truly custom look. These roofs also give a unique look inside the home. Curved roofs can also be customized to work with the weather in your area, adjusting the slope for high winds or heavy rain. Of course, the more custom and unique you get with your roof design, the higher the cost becomes.
Do any of these styles make you want to update your roof? When you’re ready to replace your home’s roof, start your search on HomeStars to find a roofing professional near you who can give your home the roof of your dreams. Let us know in the comments which roofs are your favourites!
Cover image courtesy of Houzz and Ward-Young Architecture & Planning.
Article Updated June 2022.