Benefits & Drawbacks of Five Common Roof Types

Whether you are in the middle of having a new home constructed or you are planning a major renovation project, the odds are good that you haven’t given a great deal of consideration to the roofline on your house. This is actually, however, an extremely important topic that you must think about at some point. There are a wide variety of roof types homeowners can choose from, all of which have unique features. As you read this particular guide, you will discover the benefits and drawbacks of five common roof styles.

1. Gable roofs – Gable roofs, which can also be called “pitched roofs” are extremely popular throughout the United States and in parts of Europe, including Switzerland and Germany. This type of roof has a triangular shape that sets it apart from many other sorts of rooflines.

Benefits – If you live in a region of North Carolina or South Carolina that gets snow in the winter, one of the major perks of a gable roof is that it will easily slough off excess piles of snow and melting ice without any effort on your part. Furthermore, because they are peaked, they provide higher interior attic ceilings than many other roof options, which is great if you plan to use that space in your daily life.

Drawbacks – Residents of coastal areas, such as the Outer Banks, may be wary of gable roofs because they can be challenging to deal with when hurricane-force winds strike. This is something to keep in mind if you live near the ocean, like many North Carolinians and South Carolinians do.

2. Mansard roofs – Mansard roofs are often simply called “French roofs.” This roof style features two sloped sections on each side (eight altogether). These meet in the center to create a gently pitched roofline.

Benefits – The main benefit of a Mansard roof is that it gives homeowners a great deal of versatility in the attic space. As a matter of fact, Parisian buildings famous for their garrets all have Mansard roofs! Another perk of this type of roof is that it can be constructed on a budget and easily enhanced with dormers or other architectural features later without a lot of construction.

Drawbacks – The primary drawback of a French roof is that it can be difficult to clear in the winter if your region receives heavy snow; this isn’t an issue for people in many parts of North Carolina and South Carolina, however. One other thing to keep in mind is that, when all of the extra architectural features are added, Mansard roofs can be pricier than other roof options.

3. Flat roofs – Once thought of specifically for commercial buildings, such as pole barns, flat roofs are becoming increasingly popular on residential building sites as well. This type of roofline, as the name implies, has no pitch whatsoever to the naked eye, but is actually engineered with a slight pitch to allow for rain and snow runoff.

Benefits – The main perk of choosing a flat roof for your home is that you automatically increase the amount of outdoor living space your family has access to. This is particularly important to families in the Southeast because the weather is temperate for much of the year in most regions. You can create a beautiful rooftop deck with ease if you opt for a flat roofline. You can also easily place heating and cooling units out of sight on your rooftop.

Drawbacks – Flat roofs are more likely to leak than other roofline styles. This means they are not ideal for areas that get a significant amount of annual rainfall or snowfall; talk to your contractor to learn more about this issue. Furthermore, some homeowners simply don’t like the aesthetic of flat rooflines, so consider your personal tastes before going this route.

4. Butterfly roofs – Butterfly roofs feature a V-shape consisting of two upwardly-angled outer sections that fit with a downwardly-angled middle portion. The final effect is that of a flying butterfly, hence the name of the roofline. Butterfly roofs are ideal for contemporary style homes, tropical or beachy residences, and eco-friendly abodes.

Benefits – A major perk of choosing a butterfly roof style for your home is that you’ll be able to use large upstairs windows than you could with most other rooflines. This not only allows for extra natural light but can reduce your utility bills, particularly during the winter months. In addition to these practical points, butterfly roofs have a unique appearance that appeals to homeowners who desire one-of-a-kind residences.

Drawbacks – The primary drawback associated with butterfly roofs is their cost. Although they are becoming more common than they once were, they are still more expensive to construct than more popular sorts of roofs. Additionally, if the waterproofing measures on a butterfly roof fail, the odds are good that the drainage system will get clogged and lead to a variety of issues, including potential collapse, if not quickly repaired.

5. Saltbox roof – Saltbox roofs are asymmetrical, with one side featuring a gently sloped flat roof and the other a lean-to style with one gable at each end. Saltbox roofs are traditionally found in New England, where Colonial American families first started using this roofline style. Nowadays, however, saltbox roofs are found throughout the nation, though they remain especially popular in coastal regions.

Benefits – Due to the slope on one side, saltbox roofs are ideal for regions that get heavy rainfall on a regular basis. Furthermore, they can add interior space by increasing a single-story home to a one-and-a-half story residence. This makes them the perfect choice for families who want to majorly remodel rather than move.

Drawbacks – Since saltbox roofs are relatively complex in their design, they can be more expensive to install than some other types of roofs. It is also important to consider the type of living space they are able to add; due to the gables they feature, the interior rooms created by saltbox roofs typically have slanted ceilings that some homeowners don’t like.

Whether you’re thinking about one of these rooflines or another style altogether, the team at Hatch Homes would love to oversee your upcoming roofing project. We are roofing experts and you can rest assured that you won’t have to worry when our crew is on the job. Give our office a call to schedule a preliminary consultation. We’re excited to learn more about the plans you have for your house!

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