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A Homeowner’s Guide to Residential Roof Styles

Residential roof types.

The right roof style can make or break your home. Whether your home has suffered from storm damage or your shingles are starting to curl, you’ll want to make sure that the roof style you choose for your roof replacement is an option that keeps the weather out, protects your family, seals off your home from pests — and looks great, too.

Which roof style is best for your home?

Some roofing styles look and function better on certain homes in particular areas. A flat roof on a Washington, D.C. or Boston, MA row home is a classic look. Build a house with a flat roof in Richmond’s Carytown and you may get some sideways glances.

Knowing the roof style you need for your home can help you find what you’re looking for much quicker and much easier. Here are some of the most popular roof styles you need to know about when considering a roof replacement.

Gable Roofs

Gable roof example.

Gable roofs are what most people imagine when they think of a roof. One of the more traditional roofing options, gable roofs are made up of two slanted sides that meet at the highest point at a 90-degree angle to form a ridge. Though simple in its basic form, gable roofs across the world and throughout history have been adapted to fit many different homes and design styles, making them an extremely versatile roof style.

The steep pitch (slope) of gable roofs are great for homes in cold and rainy climates, as they guarantee that the roof will insulate the home and shed rain and melted snow easily, preventing moisture from causing water damage. Gable roofs are also good options if you intend on having vaulted ceilings, as their pitch allows for the ceiling below to extend up as needed. However, the pitch also means that attic headspace can be difficult to navigate, so that’s something to consider if you intend on having a habitable attic.

Hipped Roofs

Hipped roof example.

Where gable roofs have two sides that meet to form a ridge, hipped roofs have four. A hipped roof is the most stable roof style because weight is evenly distributed around its base and its shape is usually more resilient against high winds and heavy rains, making it a great option for people that live in areas where storms like hurricanes are common.

A popular subcategory is the cross hipped roof, which is made up of two intersecting hipped roofs that cross to form an “L” or “T” shape.

Hipped roofs can still have a steep pitch, but often at a more shallow angle than gable roofs to allow for more headspace, making attic living more of a possibility.

Flat Roofs

Flat roof examples.

In an interesting turn, flat roofs are popular on both ultra-modern suburban homes and historic homes in old neighborhoods. Contrary to the name, flat roofs are not entirely flat. They are pitched ever so slightly to allow water to drain. That being said, they are still not the best roof style if you live in a rain- or snow-heavy climate.  

One of the best selling factors of flat roofs is their longevity. Flat roofs can often last 30 or even up to 50 years, making them some of the longest lasting roofs on the market.

Since some HVAC components can be installed on the roof itself, it can save valuable square footage inside the home for those already living in cramped quarters.

Plus, many homes with flat roofs are designed so that the roof itself can be used as an extended outdoor living space, making them perfect for a rooftop deck, grilling space or a gathering area.

Shed Roofs

Example of a shed roof.

A shed roof is one of the simplest, yet daring roofing styles there is. Consisting of a single plane that points downward, shed roofs are common with homes where one wall is higher than another.

Though often used for utilitarian reasons, shed roofs can be designed to make quite the architectural statement, which is popular with modern or minimalist homes.

One of the great benefits of shed roofs is the amount of natural light they let in. Since they are so pitched due to mismatched wall heights, many homes with shed roofs are often designed to have entire walls of windows or an extra layer of windows up high to let in the light that comes with more traditional roofs would otherwise miss.

No Matter the Roof Style, Long Has You Covered

With our SELECT ShingleMaster™ roof replacement accreditation, a distinction given to only one percent of roofers in the United States, the roofing experts at Long Roofing can tackle whatever roofing style fits your home.

Contact us online or call us at 844-602-LONG to request an in-home consultation and estimate to see what a LONG roof can do for your home.

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