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Understanding Your Roof: Styles of Roofs and Roof Material Types

Facts to Consider When Hiring a Contractor

If you're choosing a new roof whether its for your existing or new home, aesthetics are always important, but you should keep in mind so are the roofing material's cost, weight and installation requirements. Only a professional remodeler specializing in roofs can give you good insight into all these areas. Residential Renovations has over 30 years experience in roofing and is highly qualified to answer any roofing questions you might have. Please feel free to email us if you find yourself with more roofing questions than we can answer here in this roofing informational overview.

Ten Roof Types

  1. Mansard Roof — This roof is made up of four slopes, two on each side of the home. The lower slope is a steeper, more vertical slope than the upper slope. The upper slope may or may not be visible from the ground. This French style of roof allows for additional living space or storage space at the top of the house.

  2. Gambrel — A roof type very similar to the Mansard Roof. The main differences are the Gambrel Roof has vertical gable ends and the roof hangs over the facade of the home. The Mandrel Roof does not. Additionally the Gambrel roof type is Dutch-inspired.

  3. Saltbox — It is an asymmetrical long pitched roof with one short side and one very long side. Often times this results in a home that is one story in height on one side of the building and two stories on the other side.

  4. Pyramid Roof — A type of roof shaped like a pyramid. This type of roof is usually used either on small portions or on small structures such as a garage, guest house or pool room.

  5. Hip Roof — This roof is very similar to the pyramid roof, but instead of coming to a point at the top the four sides meet at a ridge or a flat spot. A very practical roof design.

  6. Bonnet Roof — This type has two of the slides sloping out an angle. The most common purpose for this is to cover a veranda or outdoor porch area.

  7. Flat Roof — Easy to identify because it is exactly what the name reflects! The benefits of a flat roof include construction ease, safe to walk on and it's more accessible. However, the main drawback is that it requires more maintenance than most other roof types mainly because debris tends to gather on the roof and has nowhere to go.

  8. Cross Gabled Roof — There are many types of gabled roofs. Each portion of the home will have its own triangular gabled roof.

  9. Arched Roof — Typically it used on only a portion of the home but it definitely adds a great look to the overall architectural design of a home.

  10. Skillion Roof — A single sloping roof surface - basically just one half of a triangular roof or some consider it flat roof with a slight inclin. It is often used on just a portion of the home and can be utilized to create unique shapes and designs for a home's overall exterior appearance.

Not every roofing material can be used on every type of roof on a home. For example, a flat roof or one with a low slope may require a surface different from one with a steeper pitch. Materials like slate and tile are very heavy, so the structure of many homes is inadequate to carry the load. Here are different types of roofing materials for you to consider:

Roofing Materials

  1. Asphalt Shingles are the most commonly used of all roof materials, probably because it’s the least expensive and requires a minimum of skill to install. It’s made of a fiberglass merged with asphalt and then given a surface of sand-like granules. Two basic configurations are sold: the standard single-thickness variety and thicker, laminated products. The standard type costs roughly half as much, but laminated shingles have an appealing textured appearance and last roughly half as long (typically 25 years or more, versus 15 years plus).

  2. Metal - Including aluminum, steel, copper, copper-and-asphalt, and lead are all durable and more expensive roofing surfaces. Lead and the copper / asphalt roofing varieties are typically installed as shingles. Others are manufactured for seamed roofs consisting of vertical lengths of metal that are joined with solder.

  3. Wood was the main choice for centuries, and it’s still a good option, though in some areas fire codes forbid its use. Usually made of cedar, redwood, or southern pine, shingles are sawn or split. They have a life expectancy in the 25-year range (like asphalt shingles) but are not as economical.

  4. Tile and Cement come in half cylinders of tile roofing and are common on Spanish Colonial and Mission style homes; cement and some metal roofs imitate tile’s wavy effect. All are more costly, durable, and heavy.

  5. Slate is among the most durable of all roofing materials. Not all slate is the same. Some comes from quarries in Vermont while other slate comes from Pennsylvania and other states. The best of slate will outlast the fasteners which hold it in place. Hundred-year-old slate, in fact, is often recycled for reinstallation, with the expectation it will last another century. But slate is expensive. Typically slate starts at about $800 a square and is very heavy.

Want to find out what that new metal roof, vinyl siding, replacement vinyl or wood windows, insulation, asphalt roofing, gutter protection, sunrooms, pergolas, patio covers, decks or other exterior home remodeling will cost?

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Exterior Remodeling Manufacturers Residential Renovations Proudly Recommends!
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