The Pros and Cons of 15 Types of Roofs

15 Types Of Roofs And Their Pros and Cons

A roof does not only protect the house from rain and snow. It also plays a major role in defining the style and shape of the house. Additional living space is another role that a roof can play. It can also make a home more energy efficient and more resilient. There are many types of roof designs that have been developed ever since man started building homes and structures. Here are 15 roof designs along with their advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Flat Roof

    Flat roofs seem to be completely flat but in reality they are tilted a bit to enable water to flow easily. They are mostly used in commercial buildings but they are starting to be popular in homes too.

    Pros:
    • Offers extra living space for a penthouse, a garden or a patio
    • Good for installing photo voltaic solar panels for alternative energy
    • Heating and cooling units can be installed out of sight on the roof
    Cons:
    • Low pitch makes it prone to water leakage
    • Not advisable for places with heavy snow
    • More expensive due to maintenance, repair and replacement costs
  2. Combination Roof

    These are roofs that combine the shapes and designs of one or more types of roofs.

    Pros:
    • It creates added aesthetic architectural character to the house
    • It uses the best roof design for the different parts of the structure
    Cons:
    • The more roof designs in a house, the more expensive it is
    • More building construction and more materials are required
  3. Gable Roof

    Also called peaked or pitched roof, Gable roofs are basically triangular in shape.

    Pros:
    • Can easily shed snow and water
    • Offers more space for vaulted ceiling and attic
    • Will provide more ventilation
    • Cheaper and easier to build
    Cons:
    • Can pose problems in places where hurricanes and strong winds are common
  4. Dome Roof

    This is a polygonal roof with the shape of an inverted bow.

    Pros:
    • This roof is not just beautiful, but is also durable
    Cons:
    • Its complex design makes it expensive to build
  5. Hip Roof

    The four sides of a Hip Roof are sloped. All the sides have the same length and form a ridge as they meet at the top.

    Pros:
    • More stable because of the inward slopes of its four sides
    • Snow slides off easily
    • Offers more living space on the attic
    Cons:
    • Costly to build because of its complex design
    • Requirement for additional seams makes it prone to water leakage
  6. Pyramid Roof

    This roof belongs to the Hip Roof category and is used for smaller structures

    Pros:
    • Very resistant to strong winds
    • Offers more space for high ceilings, attics and ventilation
    • Overhanging eaves can reduce energy requirements
    Cons:
    • Its complex design makes it more expensive
  7. Mansard Roof

    Also called French Roof, this roof has four sides with double slopes on each side. All four sides meet at the top where a low-pitched roof is formed.

    Pros:
    • Offers more living space for attic
    • Good for homeowners who are planning home additions
    Cons:
    • Not good for places where heavy snowfall is common
    • Complex design makes it more expensive to build
  8. Curved Roof

    This type of roof is similar to a shed roof or the Skillion. The curved design varies, with some having an arch shape while others have only a slight curve.

    Pros:
    • Aesthetically pleasing
    • Provides subtle shapes inside the house
    • Can be customized to take advantage of the general features and conditions of the place
    Cons:
    • Cost of construction can be high depending on the complexity of design
  9. Gambler Roof

    This roof is also called barn roof. It consists of two sides, with two different slopes.

    Pros:
    • Framing out this roof is very simple
    • It offers more living space
    • Cost of construction is cheaper since it requires only two sides
    • Perfect for storage structures and outdoor sheds
    Cons:
    • Not advisable for areas where there are strong winds or heavy snowfall
  10. Sawtooth Roof

    There are two or more pitched roofs parallel to each other in a Sawtooth Roof. The vertical and sloped surfaces also alternate with each other.

    Pros:
    • Allows more natural light to come into the house
    • Offers more space for loft living or vaulted ceiling
    • Allows the installation of solar panels and other alternative energy devices
    Cons:
    • More expensive to build
    • Higher maintenance costs
    • Prone to water leakage
  11. Skillion Roof

    Also called lean-to or shed roof, Skillion is a sloping roof with only one side. It is typically attached to a higher wall.

    Pros:
    • Easier to construct
    • Less costly to build because it requires fewer materials
    • Easier run off for water and snow therefore is advisable for places where heavy snow fall is common.
    Cons:
    • Ceiling can be very low if pitch of roof is high
    • Not advisable for places where strong winds is common
  12. Saltbox Roof

    This roof has an asymmetrical design. It has one side with a slight slope and the other side with a lean to shape.

    Pros:
    • Easier for water to run off making it perfect for places where heavy rainfall is common
    • Stronger than other roof types
    • Offers more living space
    Cons:
    • Design is complex making it more expensive to build
    • Slanted ceilings are possible for some rooms
  13. Jerkinhead Roof

    This roof is a combination of a hip roof and a gable roof. Basically, it is a hip roof that has two sides.

    Pros:
    • Stronger than a gable roof
    • More resistant to strong winds
    • Offers more living space
    Cons:
    • Its complex design makes it more expensive to build
  14. Bonnet Roof

    This is a double-sloped roof with one slope with fewer angles than the other.

    Pros:
    • Higher slope offers more extra living space
    • Water easily runs off
    Cons:
    • Its complex design makes it more difficult and more expensive to construct
  15. Butterfly Roof

    This is basically a V-shaped roof.

    Pros:
    • Allows more natural light inside the house because of the possibility of constructing larger windows
    Cons:
    • Its complex design makes it more expensive to build