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8 Roof Styles Compared: Pro’s & Con’s List (With Pictures)

December 30th, 2020 BY Hook Webmaster

We talk endlessly about roofing materials, colors, trends, and cost, but roof style is what really ties all of the pieces together and makes the roof. The roof style combines visual and structural elements to create the ultimate roof design to boost your curb appeal and reach your desired aesthetic. The roof style you choose can completely transform the exterior of your home. We’ll be going over dozens of roof styles loved by architects and builders alike.

open gable

Open Gable

When someone pictures a basic structure of a house, they probably think of an open gable roof. There are actually many different styles of gable roofs, but open being the most recognizable. An open gable roof, also called a pyramid roof, consists of two sloped sides coming to a point at the top of the pitch, with open triangular sides, and at least one gable. A gable is the triangular connection of a wall that brings the two slopes together. See photo for reference.

Pros of Open Gable Roofs


Cons of Open Gable Roofs

Box Gable

Very similar to the basic gable roof with the triangular extension on each end of the double-slope design, but with more emphasis on the triangle. It will have each end box gabled (closed off). Some designs can even look like a second house section on top of the main structure. You may find it on a Cape Cod style home, or any other home that has a gable style roof.

Pros of Box Gable Roofs


Cons of Box Gable Roofs


A hip roof is one in which all slopes of the roof angle down. They are similar to your basic gable, pitched roof but with the front and back, or sides, with a slope as well. To envision that, a square or rectangle-shaped house would have a hip roof that resembles a pyramid with the two sides and front and back all sloping downwards. You’ll often find hip roofs installed on french colonial-style homes or single-story ramblers. But, they would work on any number of types of homes.

Pros of Hip Roofs


Cons of Hip Roofs


A gambrel roof is the type of roof you’ll see on a red barn. It has a pitched low slope angle on top that runs down to two panels that run down the side of the house creating a sort of four-sided structure. Kind of like a mansard, gambrels utilize a wide, low slope to make more head space in the structure. That’s often why they are used in barns, so that the hay loft can utilize the space for storage of bails and other farm equipment.

Pros of Gambrel Roofs


Cons of Gambrel Roofs


A mansard is actually a type of gambrel roof. A mansard roof, also called a french roof, is a four-sided style roof. Often an entire floor is fitted in a mansard roof, with dormer windows along the sides. Mansard roofs were most popular on large homes, buildings, or mansions built after 1850. Most common in second empire style buildings, the mansard roof was a way to add another living quarters without adding another actual story to the home’s structure.

Pros of Mansard Roofs


Cons of Mansard Roofs


A shed roof, unlike the rest we’ve described is only a single slope. You’ll commonly see them on barns, sheds, lean tos, cabins, or even some mid-century modern home designs. It’s a simple design, but effective for water and snow shed, hence the name. It can protect structures from standing water without the need for a full pitched roof.

Pros of Shed Roofs


Cons of Shed Roofs


Your classic A-frame style roof is yes, a steeply pitched roof that makes the shape of an “A”. They will often run all the way from the ground/foundation all the way to the point making for a super unique design. Cabins are one of the most common structures that will be built with an A-frame roof.

Pros of A-Frame Roofs


Cons of A-Frame Roofs


A bonnet roof is very similar to a hip roof, but the ends extend much further out from the sides of the house. This allows for a wrap around porch or covered patio.

Pros of Bonnet Roof


Cons of Bonnet Roof


For more information on roofing materials plus pros and cons of each, check out our comprehensive Roofing Materials Guide. Pairing the right roofing materials, roof style, and home aesthetic are critical to boosting curb appeal and getting you into a home that really matches your style and aesthetic. We’d love to help you achieve that, so for a FREE estimate, contact First American Roofing!

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