What Roof Types Do You Prefer?

As you drive through communities, it is hard not to notice the variety of roof types and shapes, with each one providing a distinctive flavor to their buildings. While the list of roof types is quite lengthy, there are a few that most commonly appear in homebuilding.

Gabled – Houses with roof lines distinguished by a slope falling from ridge to eave. The slopes meet to form a peak, and a house can be either front or side gabled depending on where the front door is located. Houses that have two or more sections with roofs that meet to form valleys are considered cross gabled, and with few exceptions, most roofs are variations on the gable theme. The word gable originally meant forked stick, and it is a good description of the style.

Gambrel – A gambrel roof is a variation on a gabled roof, except that from the ridge line, it falls along a gentle slope and the breaks and falls again along a steeper pitch. A gambrel roof is a roof line most closely associated with barns. The term originally refers to a horses hind leg, which it vaguely resembles.

Mansard – A mansard roof has two distinct pitches. One gently slopes from a flat top or a ridge line to the next pitch which flares out over the walls. It is a version of a hipped roof.

Hipped – A hipped roof has at least four roof faces that meet to form a ridge or triangle. All four sides have eaves. They are classified as pyramidal, cross-hipped, or simple.

Shingles are the roofing choice of sloped roofs, and can be asphalt, metal, wood, slate, or ceramic. Personal taste and local homeowners’ associations determine what is used.

Flat – A flat roof has no slope, although it may be gently pitched to allow water to run off, and may or may not create eaves. Most flat roofs are covered with membrane roofing or with a layering of felt, asphalt, and gravel.


One of the most common variation on gabled, hipped, and gambrel roofs is the addition of dormers. These little beauties rise from the roof line to provide additional space inside the building. They are classified according to their roof structure. Ideally, there is a consistency to the dormer profile. Its etymology indicates that it originally referred to a window of a sleeping area.

Different roof configurations give homes a certain character. Roof types can be found that suit all sensibilities, as well as individual and community tastes and preferences.


24 best images about Gable Roof on Pinterest | The roof, Modern houses and Gable roof design