What You Need to Know About the Different Types of Roofs

Roofs have a lot going for them but are often overlooked. The type of roof you have isn’t only an aesthetic choice but also incredibly practical – depending on what you’re going for there are multiple choices to pick from.

If you’re building a home, purchasing a new one or just simply curious on the different styles of roofs then look no further because in this guide you’ll get the low down on some of the most common.

The Types of Roofs – What to Look Out For

Now it’s time to touch on how a roof can be constructed. The type of roof style can vary dramatically depending on the a number of factors.

Gable Roofs

Probably the most popular roof type in the United States is the gable roof – this recognizable structure is notable for its distinctive triangular shape. The advantage of this type of roof is immediately obvious as it’s easily able to push off both water and snow while providing great ventilation inside.

While their structure is simple enough, giving them remarkable strength, they can be susceptible in high wind and hurricane areas. If properly built they can handle most storms but might have issues with damage to the crown or shingles.

Gables can be further broken down into the side, front, Dutch and crossed. Side and front gables have two angles that are equal to one another – with the main difference being the direction they’re facing. On the other hand, crossed is a pair of gable roof sections at a right angle to one another. Finally, the Dutch gable is a fusion of both a hip roof and gable

Hip Roofs

Where the gable was usually two equal sides sloping down in a triangle, a hip roof consists of four equal sides more akin to a pyramid with its top cut off. This type of roof is one of the most stable based on its overall structure.

This makes it great for storm-prone areas as the wind can’t catch anything nor can either water or snow accumulate. That being said, this type of roof is notably more expensive to build as it requires a more complex design.

This also results in the roofing material itself being more difficult to install as hip roofs are prone to water leaks forming along the valleys.   There are roughly three subtypes of hip roofs – the simple, cross, and a half. Simple is by far the most common as it’s square-like on two sides and triangular on the two other.

Cross hipped is the combination of two hip roof sections meeting at an area called the valley. The half model is exactly what it implies – the simple that has been shortened on two sides.

Gambrel Roof

Sometimes seen on Dutch Colonial and Georgian style homes, this type of roof is most notable on barns. The structure of this type has two different slopes and its pair of sides. The lower portion of the roof is nearly vertical while the top part is a much more prominent slope.

The primary advantage of this is that it provides significantly more living space than other roofing types and is of a simpler installation design.

Gambrels, like the similarly named Gable roofs, are prone to be damaged by heavy wind along with snowfall. This roof formation is also weak along the ridges, and thus requires consistent maintenance.

Mansard Roof

Just in the same way a hip roof is a four-sided version of a gable, so is a Mansard to a Gambrel. Also called French roofs, this Quadro-sided roof also has a pair of slopes like the gambrel, but differs in that the lower is much steeper than the upper.

This type of roof creates an extraordinary amount of living space. Mansards are also flexible enough to allow for additions as their design is simple enough to work around.

The low pitch design of the upper portion of this roof does make it more likely to receive damage from heavy snowing. It also costs notably more to upkeep because they’re usually outfitted with extravagant designs.

Skillion Roof

Also called a lean-to-based on the fact that the roof leans to one side. Instead of numerous slopes this type of roof only has one, making one side higher up than the other.

This is by far one of the simplest designed roofs and works greats in high rain and snowy regions. Many people also consider this type of roof contemporary, giving it high aesthetic appeal compared to other roof types.

Flat Roof

Despite the name, this roof type does have a slight pitch to allow water to run-off. Usually found in commercial buildings on account of their low cost and simple design, they can be found on residential structures as well.

The design is overwhelmingly pragmatic – the tops of this roof can harbor solar panels and ac units with ease. Naturally, the incredibly low pitch of these roofs does have one major disadvantage – they are much more susceptible to water leakage.

Butterfly Roof

One of the more unusual roof styles, this V-shaped roof is created by inverting the expectations of what a roof should be. The inner portion of the roof is below that of the outside perimeter, creating a slope that goes toward the center.

The upper angles of the outer edge are considered more environmentally friendly as it allows homeowners to install larger windows to let heat in along with more easily harnessing the water via a trough or rain barrel.

This type of roof is much more complex in design and requires more labor and materials to construct. Maintenance is also an issue as butterfly roofs have a major weakness along the valley – making it much more susceptible to leaks and the drainage more likely to get clogged.

Jerkinhead Roof

Combining the styles of both gable and hip roofs, this type of roof takes some of the advantages and disadvantages of both. For one, they’re more stable than a gable roof, making them less likely to suffer from wind damage on account of their smoother downward setup.

This simultaneously allows for increased space compared to a traditional roof as the higher pitch equates to larger living quarters. Like any combination or esoteric style, there’s a notable increase in materials and labor on the account of its more complex design.

Bonnet Roofs

Also called kicked-eaves, this type of roof is like a reverse Mansard – still containing four sides but slopes that are inverted. The upper portion is much steeper than the lower part, creating a good overhang for a porch.

Rarely seen in modern homes, these roofs are most common in Louisiana and Mississippi on account of its French roots. The upper portion provides a great amount of living space, while the lower ‘swooped out’ part is great for protecting the walls from water damage.

You should expect to shell out a bit more cash for this type of roof though whether it’s material, labor, or maintenance compared to other common roof types.

The Types of Roof Explained

While not necessarily a full list, these are the most common roofs you’ll find on homes. The style of the roof can impact the aesthetics of your home remarkably.

However, one size doesn’t fit all as each roof type has its own set of pros and cons, making certain styles more recommended in some areas compared to others.

Best Types of Roofs are Found at Feldco Roofing

The only way to cover and protect your home is to go with the best type of roof shingles. At Feldco Roofing, we have asphalt shingles that are completely durable, water-resistant, and appealing to many customers. There’s no other asphalt shingle like ours because it’s made out of strong layers that will stand the test of time.

Additionally, we have licensed roofing installers that are factory-trained to finish the job from roof installation to clean up. Get started on your roofing project today by getting a free quote online and see why many people trust Feldco.

Share this article:


Get started with

*View our privacy policy

Or call us at 1-866-4FELDCO®
or visit one of our locations.


bug proof

5 Ways to Bug Proof Your Home

5 Ways to Bug Proof Your Home Discovering the most ...
new replacement windows

Pocket Window Replacement vs Full-Frame Window Replacement

Pocket Window Replacement vs Full-Frame: Which is Better? Deciding between ...
Is Window Trim Necessary?

Is Window Trim Necessary?

What Is Window Trim and Why Is It Necessary? Window ...
exterior window shutters

Painting Vinyl Shutters

Painting Vinyl Shutters: Expert Tips and Techniques Updating the appearance ...
Protecting your roof

5 Steps to Protect Your Roof on July 4th

5 Steps to Protect Your Roof on July 4th In ...

Book Today and Save!

Over 500,000 homeowners have trusted Feldco with their windows, siding and doors. Click the button below and we’ll get started on your quote!