What are the Different Roof Types?
Are you ready to have your roof replaced but not quite sure what roof type you have out of all the different roof types? The easiest way to to classify a roof is by its architectural design. A gable roof is composed of two sloping surfaces that meet and join together along a common ridge line. The triangular end wall formed at each end of the roof is called a gable. The degree of slope or pitch will vary on different roofs.
A roof that slopes away in four directions from a common ridge line is called a hip roof. The so-called hip is found where a gable would be located on a gable roof. Sometimes a hip roof is used to cover a wing that joins the main portion of the structure covered by a gable roof. This type of roof is frequently called a gable-and-hip roof.
Some roofs are designed with a change of slope or double pitch. The gambrel roof roughly resembles the gable roof except that the gable formed at each end has a pentagonal shape. The gambrel roof can be modified roof can be modified so that the lower slope or curb occurs on all four sides. A conventional gable is then used above the curb at each end of the roof.
The mansard roof design was first introduced in France by the architect Francois Mansart. It enjoyed initial popularity in the United States in areas of French settlement, particularly in and around New Orleans, but for years it was ignored by American architects and builders. It is now experiencing a revival in popularity, especially in apartment construction.
On a mansard roof, a change of slope or double pitch occurs on all four sides of the roof. The lower slope is longer and steeper than the upper one and has a pitch that is sometimes almost vertical. The sloping surface of a mansard roof is interrupted by a series of evenly spaced dormer windows. A mansard roof differs from a gambrel roof by having a flat top or deck, which is usually covered by built-up roofing materials.
The French roof is also designed with a double pitch, and bears a strong resemblance to the mansard roof; however, unlike the mansard roof, the surface is not broken by dormer windows. The two are frequently confused by the layman, and it is common for a French roof to be mistaken as a mansard roof.
In a pyramidal roof the four sloping surfaces meet at the same point, thereby eliminating the need for a roof ridge. Examples of this type of roof design are found in Victorian architecture where they are used to cover towers. Church steeple roofs provide other examples. The cone roof bears a close resemblance to the pyramidal roof, especially in the ratio of height to the base area, but it differs by having not flat surfaces. This roof design is very old, but not uncommon in Europe. It is rarely used in the United States.
The flat roof is as common on commercial and industrial structures as the gable and hip roofs are in residential construction. The flat roof is a popular design in some sections of the country, particular in the Southwest. Flat roofs are also common among commercial properties in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Every flat roof is built to slop slightly in one direction to provide proper drainage for water. The degree of slope of pitch is almost imperceptible.
As shed roof slopes in one direction only. Although it bears some resemblance to a flat roof, its pitch is so much greater that it is regarded as a separate type of roof. This type of roof is generally limited to small frame or industrial buildings, although it is occasionally found on residential roofs and commercial roofs in Holly Springs, North Carolina.
A lean-to-roof is identical to a shed roof except that one end is built against a higher wall of a main structure. Each of these twelve types of roof designs is subject to some variation. Furthermore, several roofs or roof types will often be used to cover the same structure, particularly when offsets or wings join the main part of the structure. It is not uncommon to find a minor hip roof joined to a major gable roof or vice versa.
The term major roof refers to the main roof covering the largest section of the structure. The term minor roof, on the other hand, designates any roof that covers a smaller section of the structure and intersects with the major roof to form a roof valley.
If you scroll through this article or roof design and you find yourself more confused than before, don’t worry! A roofing contractor at The Holly Springs roofing company is trained to quickly identify your type of roof and provide you with the best information to address your roof needs. Don’t hesitate to give us a call!