6 Common Residential Roof Types

If you're building a new home, one of the primary decisions you and your architect have to make is what kind of roof you're going to have. There are many different types available, and you'll want to choose one that works with the overall architectural style of your new home and will provide the maximum value for your money. The following doesn't cover roofing materials (asphalt shingles, slate and so on). Instead, it looks at the shape of the roof itself. Below are six widely used residential roof types you might want to consider.


French in origin, a mansard roof will have four separate slopes, with two on each side of your home. The top slope has a more gentle incline than the lower slope, which is much steeper. Because of this, the upper slope is often not visible from ground level. One of the advantages of this type of roof is that it offers additional space that can be used either for storage or as extra living areas.


A saltbox roof provides an interesting and unusual exterior. Most roofs are fairly symmetrical, but this type has a long pitched roof with one side very long and the other very short. One consequence of this is that many homes with saltbox roofs are two stories on one side of the building and one story on the other side.


A hip roof is a roof in which the sides slope downward toward the walls and where the pitch is the same angle for all of them. Normally, this would form a pyramid, but instead of forming a point at the top, in a hip roof the four sides meet at a flat area or ridge.


Bonnet roofs are somewhat similar to hip roofs, except that in the case of bonnet roofs each of the four sides has two slopes instead of one. The bottom slope is not as steep as the upper slope. The bottom slope is usually extended out to serve as cover for an open porch surrounding the home. It also helps to shield the home from inclement weather and temperature extremes.


Not surprisingly, a flat roof is flat. Flat roofs offer certain benefits to homeowners but are more often seen on commercial buildings. The advantage of a flat roof is that it's easy to build, easier to access, and usually cost less to construct. Flat roofs do have certain problems, such as requiring more maintenance than sloped roofs. They also have a tendency to collect water in puddles that could ultimately leak into your home.


Gabled roofs come in a variety of types. They can be identified by the fact that they look like a series of triangles from the front of your home. One variation of the gabled roof that is quite popular is the cross-gabled roof. With this type of roof, the entire home forms a cross, with gabled roofs at each end. Your roofing expert, like Sunik Roofing, will be able to help you choose the right materials for the roof of your choice.