Roofing isn’t always the sexiest part of home design or renovation, but it can be one of the most important. The right roof for your home upgrades its value, improves function and energy efficiency, and defines the overall look and style of your home. Let’s explore various roof design and material options to find what works best for your needs.
A roof can take many forms, and roof shapes vary greatly, and deciding on the shape of your roof is the first step.
A gable roof is the most common roof shape in the US, recognizable by its triangular shape, and is a very good choice for several reasons. It’s affordable because of its simple design, it easily sheds water and snow, and it allows for more interior space and ventilation. There are several design options for a gable roof, such as front gable, cross gable, and Dutch gable. Whatever the specific design may be, a gable roof is also customizable with multiple options for materials to use.
Another simple approach, a flat roof offers several benefits. First, a flat roof provides outdoor living space for a patio, a garden, or a penthouse room. Also, heating and cooling units can be installed on a flat roof so they’re out of sight, a common practice for commercial buildings. A flat roof is also a great place to install solar panels, making your home energy efficient. No roof is completely flat, however, as there is always a slight pitch to allow for drainage.
A shed roof, or skillion or lean-to, is one single slope, or an angled flat roof. It’s as simplistic as a flat roof, with a more modern visual appeal. They’re easy to build, with materials that are economical, and also provide a place for solar panels. Not to mention, rain and slow slide right off a shed roof.
A curved roof is like a shed roof, but the planes are curved for a more creative and unique design. The curved roof, whether its curved upward, or in an arch shape, receives less sunlight, so your house stays cooler. A lower slope is more durable in windy areas, but a higher slope would be more efficient in areas with heavy rain and snow. A curved roof design is customizable in shape, size, and material, creating a totally unique look, unlike any other.
PYRAMID HIP ROOF
A hip roof has slopes on all four sides, and a on a pyramid hip roof, all sides come to a point on the top of the roof. This roof type is mostly used for smaller houses, or cabins. The pyramid roof is less likely to leak, is extremely resistant to strong winds, and overhanging eaves provide shade to reduce energy costs in the summer.
There are many roof material choices, each providing different benefits, depending on the shape, design, and specific needs of your home.
Asphalt shingles are the most popular material for roofing, accounting for more than 70% of residential sloped roofs in the US. They’re most affordable, easy to install and maintain, and can be installed on almost any roof sloped roof shape. They’re versatile in design and come in a wide range of colors and styles. And, they’re very durable. Depending on the type of shingle, your asphalt shingle roof could last up to 30 years.
WOOD SHAKE ROOF
Wood shake roofs offer a natural beauty, improving the value of any home, with the most popular wood being cedar. Wood shakes are an excellent option for sloped roofs for several
reasons. They’re easy to install and maintain, resistant to decay and insects, very durable, and highly attractive. Environmentally friendly too, cedar shakes contain natural oils that deter decay and beautify over their lifespan of up to 40 years.
EPDM is an abbreviation for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, a n extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane commonly used for commercial buildings or apartment
buildings. EPDM is highly affordable, energy efficient, and lightweight, and is commonly used for flat or low slope roofs. It’s easy to install, suitable for all weather conditions, waterproof and energy efficient. AN EPDM roof is marginally durable, lasting 25 to 30 years on average.
Metal roofs last very long, with a lifespan of between 50 and 100 years. Copper roofing lasts the longest, providing continually changing beauty over many years. Besides copper, metal roofing comes in a variety of materials and colors. It’s generally lightweight and durable, and is resistant to even the worst weather. It also reflects sunlight, keeping your house cooler. And, contrary to belief, metal roofs are not noisy at all as long as they’re properly insulated.
With origins in Europe, slate roofs are the oldest form of roof for houses, a testament to its durability. Some existing slate roofs are as much as 125 years old. Slate roofs are very costly for their quality, durability, longevity, and unique beauty. The only red flag for slate roof is its heavy weight, requiring any roof frame with slate to be reinforced to adequately support the stones.
Regardless of which roof style you choose, or what materials you decide works best for you, be sure to hire an expert for installation. It’s a major investment, and it’s crucial that your roof is installed properly by a qualified contractor, at competitive rates, with the right insurance coverage, and warranty.