Understanding Different Kinds Of Roofs

There are so many different types of roofs available that it can be very confusing to a homeowner.  Any discussion of different types should include two aspects of roof type:


  1. the shape of the roof
  2. the roofing material used to cover it

The shape is determined by the design of your house, but if you are building a new home then you will have an opportunity to consider different shapes during the design process.

The materials used are also quite varied and may be determined by things like cost, climate, neighborhood covenants, local building codes, or the like.

Types of Roofs

The first types of roofs to consider are ones with different shapes.  You might think a roof is simply a roof, but it is actually an integral part of your home’s design.

Common types include front or side gabled, pyramid, salt box, cross gabled, bonnet, gambrel, mansard, flat, and more.  These are all descriptions of the roof shape, but within each shape, there are many variations as well.

The pitch of a roof can vary tremendously, from a shallow pitch to one that is very steep.  Your roof might also have special features based on the architecture of your home, such as a turret, a cupola, a roof deck, or the like.

The shape of your roof also has a big influence on the cost to build it, the cost to install roofing materials, the cost to maintain it, and even the type of roofing materials it can handle.

Roof Materials Examples of commonly used materials include:

  • asphalt shingle
  • wood shake
  • tile
  • metal
  • fibreglass shigle

The materials used on a roof are determined by several things, such as:

  • the home design
  • structural strength
  • cost
  • neighborhood covenants
  • local building ordinances
  • and homeowner preference

Tile, metal, and other man made materials tend to cost a bit more but also tend to be the most durable.  Traditional materials such as asphalt shingles and wood shakes are usually less expensive but not quite as durable.

Whether you are building a new home or own an existing home, thinking about different types of roofs is an important part of your home’s overall appearance and resistance to the outside elements.

Read more about different types of roofing materials…