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Understanding Different Types of Roofs For Your Home

Understanding Different Types of Roofs For Your Home

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February 22, 2007

The number of design choices for home improvement projects such as kitchen and bathrooms are abundantly obvious. You need to choose new flooring, fixtures, paint color, the layout of the space, along with any number of other aspects. In the end you see a space that reflects your personal style and taste. However, when it comes time to install a new roof, just how to reflect your personal tastes in the design may not seem as obvious. But, despite what many homeowners may think, you can install a unique roof from an array of design options.

As you begin to plan your roof replacement, you need to first consider two main traits of your roof design - the shape of the roof itself and the roofing material used to cover it. Starting a roof replacement will give you the opportunity to re-style your roof, and create a perfect combination of shape and materials that will reflect your home's design.

Determining the Perfect Shape for Your Roof

Shape is integral in the types of roofs you will want to consider. You might think a roof is simply a triangle that covers your home, but it's much more complex than a rudimentary covering of your home. Common types of roofs include front or side gabled, pyramid, salt box, cross gabled, bonnet, gambrel, mansard, flat, and more.  These are all descriptions of the roof shape, but within each shape, there are many variations as well. 

You can create a specific look by determining a certain pitch for your roof. The pitch of a roof can vary tremendously, from a shallow pitch to one that is very steep. Your roof might also have special features based on the architecture of your home, such as a turret, a cupola, a roof deck, or the like.  The shape of your roof also has a big influence on the cost to build it, the cost to install roofing materials, the cost to maintain it, and even the type of roofing materials it can handle. The shape is determined by the design of your house, but if you are building a new home then you will have an opportunity to consider different shapes during the design process. 

Choosing your Roofing Materials

Another way to look at roof types is the roofing materials themselves.  Examples of commonly used materials include asphalt shingle, wood shake, tile, and man made versions of these materials, or composite roofing.  The materials used on a roof are determined by several things, such as the home design, structural strength, cost, neighborhood covenants, local building ordinances, and homeowner preference. 

Tile, metal, and other man made materials tend to cost a bit more but also tend to be the most durable.  Traditional materials such as asphalt shingles and wood shakes are usually less expensive but not quite as durable.  Composite roofing is a very durable material, and is often low maintenance and low in price.

Whether you are building a new home or own an existing home, thinking about different types of roofs is an important part of your home's overall appearance and resistance to the outside elements.

Ready to start a roof replacement? Find local contractors and get started on your project today! For more information on a roof replacement, or for other remodeling ideas, check out our other resources.

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