Trying to figure out the different roofing types, roof designs and styles, and which roofing materials work best for your home can be overwhelming. There are many varieties to pick from depending on your roof type, the look you want, and your budget. Below, we take a look at the different types of roofing materials, designs and styles.
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What are the different types of roofing materials?
With so many different types of roofing materials and shingles out there, it can be difficult to figure what roofing materials works best for your project. What are the pros and cons for different types of roofing shingles and materials?
- Pros – Tile shingles are favored by those who are concerned with curb appeal. Homeowners who have Spanish or Mediterranean flair along their home exterior will immediately fall in love with tile shingles. They provide an idiosyncratic visual appeal that has the potential to last for 80 years or longer. You’ll be hard pressed to find a shingle that lasts longer.
- Cons – The cost can be high. Your home must have sturdy roofing framing that is sufficient enough to hold the weight. Walking on the tile shingles can cause them to break. Tile shingles require a skilled professional roofer to install.
- Pros – The asphalt shingle is the most popular type of roof shingle. It is low-cost and fully compliant with Energy Star requirements for the “cool roof” rebate. In general, roofers consider asphalt shingles to be of good quality. You can expect asphalt shingles to last between two and three decades.
- Cons – Though they are somewhat thinner than other shingles, asphalt shingles are quite durable. If you would prefer a shingle that lasts even longer, consider thicker versions of the traditional asphalt shingle. Though an upgraded version of the asphalt shingle will cost more, you won’t have to shell out money for a deductible each time a massive storm tears through your town.
- Pros – Wood shingles have a naturally aged appearance that many homeowners adore. These shingles also have a great curb appeal for homeowners. The lifespan of wood shingles is determined by the type of wood the homeowner selects. Redwood and cedar roof shingles can last upwards of half a century.
- Cons – Wood shingles cost more than the asphalt variety yet they provide a more attractive aesthetic. Wood shingles can be very difficult to install and damaged shingles need to be replaced immediately to prevent further roof damage. They are not easy to install if you are looking to do the work yourself. If you aren’t pinching pennies, wood shingles are the perfect addition to your home.
- Pros – Metal roofs are ideal for homes that feature a steep or flat roofline. Homeowners who opt for a low-galvanized metal will find that metal roofs are extremely cost efficient. This roof’s affordability is one of the main reasons why it has become so popular. Metal roofs reflect UV rays which adds to its energy efficiency for longer term savings. Don’t worry about your metal roof’s lifespan. It will likely last around half a century.
- Cons – A metal roof on a steeper pitch can cost more during installation. This initial cost is made up for in savings from lower energy bills. Sound can echo during a loud rainstorm which can be bothersome for some people. Metal roofs do require skilled professional installation to help them last longer.
- Pros – Slate shingles are created from a sedimentary rock being split into thin sheets. Slate shingles have the potential to last 75 year or longer. They are great for resisting water absorption and are not easy to damage in wind and hail storms.
- Cons – Slate shingles cost more than asphalt, but provide a unique appearance. You need to have sturdy roofing framing that is sufficient enough to hold the weight of a slate roof. Installation and repairs need to be made by a skilled professional.
Synthetic Rubber Slate Tiles
- Pros – Synthetic rubber slate tiles have a natural appearance. They can cut with a knife to fit more intricate roof styles. The synthetic rubber slate tiles are much lighter than slate tiles. The lifespan of synthetic rubber slate is determined by the type used.
- Cons – The cost of installing synthetic rubber slate tiles is still high but it is lower than natural slate. They are susceptible to damage from satellite dishes, walking on them, or hail. Synthetic rubber slate tiles are not as durable as slate tiles. It can be harder to find a skilled professional that can install synthetic rubber slate tiles.
Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
- Pros – Built-Up Roofing (BUR) consists of layers of asphalt, tar, or an adhesive with an aggregate. Using BUR is perfect for flat roofs that have roof-top decks or generally lots of heavy foot traffic. To get the most out of the longevity of BUR, get regular inspections and repairs (as needed) and keep debris off your roof.
- Cons – The cost of BUR can be more than a variety of asphalt. You must have a flat roof or a very slight pitch for BUR installation. BUR can become sticky in the summer.
- Pros – Green roofs are extremely eco-friendly. The roof is covered in plants to help improve air quality, reduce water run-off, and help insulate homes. This helps to lower the urban heat island. Using a green roof can help reduce your energy bills all year long. With regular maintenance, a green roof can last for a long time.
- Cons – The cost of installing a green roof varies by type. Green roofs require more effort including: substantial structural support, waterproofing, drainage, water filtration, soil, and plants. Regular maintenance is a must for a healthy green roof.
- Pros – Solar tiles work twofold to help protect your roof and to be an energy producing system. Solar tiles can be installed seamlessly into your existing shingles. The addition of these tiles can help offset energy costs.
- Cons – With this type of tile being newer, solar tiles still have a high cost. The price of solar tiles is lowering as they become more popular. Solar tiles do require a skilled professional to make sure they are installed correctly.
What Are The Different Types of Roof Designs, Roof Shapes and Roof Styles?
Knowing your roof style can help you decide what roof material or shingle works best for your home. If you are not sure about what type of roof design or roof style you have, below are 13 different types of roofs. So, what are these different types of roof designs, shapes, and styles?
Saltbox RoofsThe Saltbox roof is favored by those who are concerned with visual appeal. Its unique style provides some lovely eye candy for onlookers. It features a long pitch, asymmetry, and two sides with contrasting long/short lengths. Saltbox roofs are commonly featured on homes that have a single story on one side and two stories on the opposite side. The saltbox design tends to provide more wind resistance than a standard gable house.
Mansard RoofsMansard roofs are constructed with four slopes. Each side of the home features two slopes. The lowest slope is steeper than the upper one. In some instances, the upper slope cannot be seen from ground level. The roof’s unique French aesthetic permits extra living/storage space at the top portion of the house!
Gambrel RoofsGambrel roofs aren’t too much different from mansard roofs. The main differences are that the Gambrel style roofs feature upright gable ends and have Dutch roots as compared to the mansard’s French roots.
Pyramid RoofsA pyramid roof is just as it sounds. It’s shaped in the mold of a pyramid! Pyramid roofs are typically installed on diminutive portions of a home. They are also commonly installed on garages, pool houses, and other small structures.
Hip RoofsHip roofs are not much different than pyramid roofs. Rather than creating a point at the top, each side connects at a flat section or ridge. From an architect’s point of view, the hip roof is much more pragmatic than the pyramid roof. This is the most common style of roof and tends to perform better in high wind areas.
Cross Gabled RoofsThis style of roof resembles a triangle when viewed from the home’s front yard. Though there are several different varieties of gabled roofs, they are especially beautiful (and functional) on homes that feature extra wings. This way, each section of the house can have its own cross-gabled roof for the ultimate aesthetic appeal.
Flat RoofsFlat roofs are fairly easy to construct compared to other, more nuanced types of roofs. Flat roofs are favored for their simplicity and accessibility. A flat roof can withstand your weight if you decide to walk on it. The only downside to this style of roof is that dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris can collect on its surface more easily than other roof varieties.
Bonnet RoofsBonnet roofs aren’t much different from hip roofs and pyramid roofs. However, this roof features two sides that slope outward at angles as a means of providing shelter for outdoor seating space. With the eaves extending beyond the house, it is easier to avoid water seeping around the flashing and down the interior walls.
Skillion RoofsA Skillion roof is constructed with a single slope. It is best thought of as a hybrid between a triangular roof and a flat roof. In many instances, skillion roofs are used on a single section of a house. Rainwater tends to run easily off of skillion roofs.
SawtoothSawtooth roofs have two or more parallel pitched roofs in which the slope and vertical surfaces alternate. The exterior resembles the side view of a saw blade. The high peaks allow for vaulted ceilings or loft living spaces.
Butterfly RoofsA Butterfly roof is constructed of two tandem pieces that meet in the middle and are angled up in a V-shape. The way the two pieces meet in the midsection give an effect of a butterfly’s wings in flight from the exterior. The midsection of the butterfly roof allows for rainwater to be collected so more drainage is required down the center.
Curved RoofsCurved roofs are not much different than skillion roofs, except the planes are curved. The curve can be designed slight or with more of an arch shape. Curved roofs create a unique curb appeal. A lower slope is great for high wind areas and a higher slope is great for allowing water run-off.
Domed RoofsThe Domed roof is polygonal with an inverted bowl shape. Domed roofs are not only beautiful in design but also very durable. The construction of domed roofs varies on the complexity of a project and can add more curb appeal to a home. They are often added to cupolas and gazebos.
What to learn more about roofs? Read about the different types of roof attic ventilation systems and their pros and cons.
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