Comprehensive Guide on Various Types of Roofs and Styles

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By George Taylor

Updated: Jan 25, 2024

8 min read

Types Of Roofs

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    Whether building a new home or adding extra space to your home that requires extra roof space, acquainting yourself with various types of roofs is a vital part of outdoor decor ideas. The roof is the first visual impact that plays an essential role in the overall look and curb appeal, balancing the style and functionality quotient.

    Each type of residential roof has pros and cons, so a well-researched process will help you install the best types of roofs. There are many types of residential roofing options: asphalt roofing, metal roofing, wood shakes and cedar shingles, tile roofing, and many more. You have landed on the right page if you are looking for tips to choose the best residential roofing design.

    Different Roof Styles

    The roof style also makes a lot of difference which depends on the architectural design, local climate, and budget. Some of the roof styles are as follows:

    Gable Roof

    Gable roof

    It has a triangular shape with two sloped sides. It is one of the most common and simple types of roofs. It is a cost-effective design that matches all architectural styles. 

    Gambrel Roof

    Gambrel roof

    This style resembles the gable style but has two sets of symmetrical slopes on each side. It’s easy and cost-efficient to install.

    Hip Roof

    Hip roof

    It has four sloping sides meeting at a point. The best feature is it can withstand high winds.

    Skillion Roof

    Skillion roof

    It is a single flat, sloped surface that is simple and cost-effective. It’s ideal for snowy weather due to its slope.

    Butterfly Roof

    Butterfly Roof

    The slopes in this roof are downwards that meet at a valley in the middle. It is the best way to collect water, but not ideal for the snowy season.

    Shed Roof

    Shed roof barn

    It is similar to skillion roof types with one sloping side that works for several design styles. It is budget-friendly and looks good on modern homes but can’t withstand high wind storms.

    The Different Types of Roofs

    Asphalt Shingles

    Asphalt Shingles For Roofing

    Most people in the US prefer asphalt shingles because it’s affordable, long-lasting, and easy to install. It can last up to 30 years and be recycled to make the pavements. Manufacturers create a variety of color options by mixing fiberglass, asphalt, and mineral mixture; however, it fades over time due to sun exposure. 

    Metal Roofing

    Matte Black Metal Roofing

    It’s a mistaken fact that metal shingles are a stylish choice; however,  it’s been around since the 1800s. Shingles and metal roofs are people’s favorite because it’s affordable, lightweight, recyclable, easy to transport, low-maintenance, and durable (can last up to 80 years). It comes in multiple colors, and you can even paint some styles. The only cons are that it’s not soundproof and needs professional help in installation.

    Wood Roofing

    Wood Roofing

    These roofing styles suit Tudor-style homes and cape cod cottages. Cedar shake roofing is a popular choice. It is durable and can last for 50 years in a dry climate. In fire-prone areas such as California, it needs treatment. It’s a high-maintenance roofing. 

    Clay Tiles

    Clay tile roof

    It is one of the most common roof types preferred by people. It is available in various styles, such as Spanish, French, and Scania. It’s a low-maintenance style, more durable than any other roof type. It is perfect for hot weather, which people in Southern California and Florida prefer. It is fire-resistant. The only con is its high installation cost.

    Slate Roofs

    Slate Roof Covering

    One of the most durable roofing types are slate roof shingles which can last for more than 50 years. It is similar to clay tiles in cost. It is fire-resistant, resistant to extreme temperatures and high wind. It is available in synthetic slates or natural slates. Synthetic slates are budget-friendly and have similar benefits to natural ones.

    Solar Panels Roofs

    Solar panels patio extension roof ideas

    Solar shingles are one of the latest roofing materials. You will have to hire a professional to install it. Though it’s an expensive option, it’s renewable and can last for 30 years and more. It will add value to your property manifold. 

    Corrugated Roofing

    Corrugated roofing

    This roofing is the best solution for sheds and garden structures with a unique look of thin sheets containing a symmetrical pattern of ridges and grooves. These roofs are made from steel, polycarbonate, and asphalt fiberglass composite, which makes it fit for agricultural and industrial buildings rather than for homes. The pros are it can be installed without tearing the original roofing material.

    Wood Shingles

    Wood Shingles For Roofing

    Wood shingles are the first choice for luxury homes because of their amazing look. It is not as durable as other roofing materials and is costly to install. Don’t go for it if you stay in a moist area or areas prone to wildfire. The durability depends on how you maintain it. In the dry climate, it can last for 60 years. 

    Concrete Tile

    Concrete Tile

    These roofs are similar to clay tile with the same benefits and techniques but are budget-friendly. It is a good choice in high wind zones because it is heavy and durable.

    Synthetic Slate Tile

    Synthetic Roofing

    Synthetic slate shingles are lightweight roofs that look like natural slate if seen from a distance. It is fit for a house that can’t support the heavy weight of natural slate. 

    Green Roof

    Green Roofing

    When properly planned, a living roof provides an effective roofing material. These roofs provide thermal insulation to the house, absorb rainwater, allow you to grow plants, and remove pollutants from the air.

    Factors to Consider While Selecting the Types of Roofs

    • Durability – Always go for the material that can last longer.
    • Slope and complexity of the roof – The roof design depends on the slope of the roof because that determines the complexity of installation.
    • House style – The roof type is concluded based on the style of your house because each roof design has its unique look that goes with a particular home style.
    • Local climate – One of the most important factors to consider is the local weather. The longevity and maintenance depend on what type of material you have chosen.  
    • Return on investment – ROI doesn’t matter if you plan to stay in your house. It matters if you plan to sell it in the coming years. The best types of roofs will add value to the property to give you the best price.
    • Aesthetics – Choose the roof that adds aesthetics and matches well with the siding. Curb appeal is a major factor in changing the roof as it is the first visual impact. 
    • Total cost – Any decor idea should be initiated after calculating the total expenses to avoid sudden financial burden.
    • Frequency of repair required – Maintenance plays an essential role because a higher repair frequency will increase the overall cost. Try to install a roof that suits the climate and is a perfect fit for your home style, minimizing the repair expenses simultaneously. 

    Final Thoughts

    Choosing suitable types of roofs is vital. Consider the factors such as longevity, structure, budget, and roofing styles before buying. A well-researched and planned roofing idea will help you buy the best one for your home. 


    What Style Roof Lasts the Longest?

    Concrete, clay, and slate tiles are undoubtedly long-lasting types of roofs with a lifespan of 100 years and above, but these are costly once. Slate roofs are called “forever roofs” because they last forever. Most European homes have these roofs. The second best choice is wood shakes and metal roofs due to their low cost and durability.

    How Often Do You Need to Replace a Roof?

    A properly installed roof made of good material won’t require any replacement until 20 years. The roofing material is the deciding factor in the time taken to replace. Select a durable material for a long-lasting feature.

    What is the Most Common Type of Roofing?

    The most common types of roofs material is asphalt shingles due to its durability, low maintenance, and cost-effectiveness. Most of the people in the US prefer asphalt shingles for their homes that can last for more than 50 years. It is similar to clay tiles in cost as slate roof shingles. It is fire-resistant, resistant to extreme temperatures and high wind. It is available in synthetic slates or natural slates. Synthetic slates are budget-friendly and have similar benefits to natural ones.

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