Roofing Shapes – Get Acquainted With What’s Out There

Roofing is a very important aspect of any home. Even if you have not built your own home, as a home owner you should have a basic knowledge of what different shapes a roof can come in.

One of the defining characteristics of every dwelling is its roof. The style of a roof is often what determines the type of home it is classified as. For example there is roofing that is modern in nature, classic, American, Victorian, gothic and so on. The line of a roof can help the owner of a home to figure out the most appropriate way to make an addition to the residence or to position the chimney. The shape is very telling when it comes to its structure. In other words, how strong it will be to withstand the harsh elements of nature and the climate of the region.

The more you understand about roofing terms the better. For instance, how do you define a roof? The most basic and simple definition is that it is the exterior and upper surface of a house or any type of building or structure. Just as the foundation of a house is significant, so is its upper surface. Here we look at some basic terminology in terms of roof shapes to give you a better understand of the structure that provides the topping for your home.

The two most common shapes for a roof are known as gabled and hipped. Let us take a brief look at each one of these.

A gabled roof has a straight slope that runs from ridge to eave. This type features a triangle or a peak that is located either on the front facade or the side. Houses that are built with the gabled roofing shape have eaves on the non-gabled facades and rakes on the gable facades. Gabled roofs are broken down into front-gabled, side-gabled and cross-gabled.

The categories of houses that have the hipped roofing style do not have a triangle or peak at the junction where the roof meets. Instead the plane is broken down along the line of the slope. The purpose of this is in order that the roof will wrap around the dwelling as it is supposed to do. Buildings that are hipped feature an even roof to wall junction that goes all the way around the structure. These buildings also have eaves on all sides. Hipped options can be classified into three groups. There are simple ones, pyramidal ones and cross-hipped ones.

Other types of gabled options that are less common but can still be found include the gambrel style (which is most often used when building barns), the saltbox style and the shed. The shed design is commonly used for raised-roof sections of a residence, as well as porches and additions built onto a home. Another type of hipped roof you sometimes see is the mansard which has two distinct pitches on the rooftop and slopes low from the ridgeline or the flat top.

There is also a flat roof which does not fit into either the gables or the hipped groups. This type stands alone because it has no slope to speak of and can end with eaves or without them. The choice is up to the builder.