Roof Types

    Roofs add to a Home's Character and Style


    Roofs serve an important utilitarian purpose: keeping rain, snow, and debris out of the house. But they also add to a home's character and style. The material of roof is an important element of design and an indication of how long the roof will last. A slate roof, for example, can last from 70 to 125 years and is relatively expensive; whereas an asphalt tile roof is less expensive and will last typically from 15 to 20 years.



    Bonnet roofs are similar to a hip roof with a different pitch and gables at the top

    Cross Gable

    Cross gable roofs have two or more gable rooflines that intersect. A house with a basic gable roof will have a rectangular shape, but a house with a cross gable roof can have a more complex shape and therefore a more complex layout.

    Front Gabled

    Front-gabled houses have a gable roof and the front door is under the gable. The gable is the area at the front and back of the house beneath the pitched roof that follows the roofline - it is typically triangular. A gable roof is very common and has two sloping planes that meet in a central ridge.


    Either front- or side-faced; used in Dutch Colonials. Gambrel roofs have a shallow slope over a steep slope. It is typical of the Dutch colonial architectural style and also frequently seen on barns.


    Hipped roofs slope in four directions. The "hip" is the angle formed where two sloped sides meet. This roof is used with many different architectural styles and is said to stand up to hurricane winds better than a gable roof.


    Pavilion Hipped

    Pavilion-hipped roofs have four sloping planes that meet in a single point. They are sometimes also called pyramid-hipped roofs and are typically used on smaller buildings such as a garage or pool house.



    Mansard roofs have four sloping sides, like a hipped roof, and each side has a shallow slope over a steep slope, similar to a gambrel roof. There are almost always dormers in a mansard roof. Mansard is named after the French architect Francois Mansart (1598-1666), who was known to use this style of roof. This roof style was particularly popular in the latter half of the 19th century, and is often seen on Victorian row houses.


    Side gabled is descriptive word for a house with its front door under the side of a gabled roof. Examples can be seen in many residential styles, from a ranch house to a Georgian house.


    Salt Box

    Saltbox roofs are typical of colonial architecture in New England. A saltbox house is two stories high in the front and has a low sloping roofline in the back of the house. It is named after its resemblance to saltboxes used in colonial times.

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