Types of Roof Designs & Styles
When designing a building, it can often be taken for granted that the roof is a one shape-fits-all affair, but this is definitely not the case. There are a huge number of roof types, all serving a different purpose and more suitable to certain weather conditions and building styles.
Knowing which roof is which, and what’s most suitable for your needs can be an overwhelming process, JTC Roofing have compiled 28 types of roof designs available for a range of building styles here:
- Bonnet Roof
- Box Gable Roof
- Butteryfly Roof
- Clerestory Roof
- Combination Roof
- Cross Gabled Roof
- Cross Hipped Roof
- Curved Roof
- Dome Roof
- Dutch Gable Roof
- Flat Roof
- Front Gable
- Gable Roof with Shed Roof Addition
- Gambrel Roof
- Half Hipped Roof
- Hexagonal Gazebo Roof
- Hip and Valley Roof
- Jerkinhead Roof
- Mansard Roof
- M-Shaped Roof
- Open Gable Roof
- Parapet Roof
- Pyramid Hip Roof
- Saltbox Roof
- Shed Roof or Skillion
- Simple Hip Roof
- Skillion and Lean to Roof
Bonnet roofs are essentially a mansard roof in reverse. Also known as kicked eaves, a bonnet roof has four sides with a steep upper slope, and a more gentle lower slope, providing cover around the edges of the house for a porch. This style is more commonly seen in builds from the 1700s, but is often seen as outdated for modern builders.
Box Gable Roof
Box gable roofs have two sloping sides that meet to form a ridge, with a triangular extension on either side that is boxed off from the walls. This type of roof is popular for areas with cold weather conditions, providing a stable design that deals well with rain and snow.
A butterfly roof, otherwise known as an inverted pitch roof, emulates the wings of a butterfly with two tandem pieces of roofing angled upwards to form a V-shape. The style is an eye-catching, modern look for buildings, and provides the added benefit of allowing larger walls and windows to a structure, with an easily managed way of harvesting rainwater through the middle channel in the roof.
A clerestory roof has an interior wall built extending above one section of the roof, with this section of wall often lined with several windows, or one long window. The sections of roof either side of the vertical wall are typically sloping, allowing a large amount of natural light into the windows.
A combination roof is, quite literally, a combination of types of roofs. Often incorporating two or more designs for aesthetics and practical reasons, combination roofs can feature a range of styles; a clerestory and hip roof, for example. This is a great option for a unique, interesting look.
Cross Gabled Roof
A cross gable roof is a design that consists of two or more gable roof ridges that intersect at an angle, most commonly perpendicular to one another. This type of roof is often seen in buildings with a more complex layout, for example, homes with an attached garage.
Cross Hipped Roof
A cross hipped roof is a common roof type, with perpendicular hip sections that form an ‘L’ or ‘T’ shape in the roof hip. This is a great option for buildings with a more complex layout than a simple rectangle of square, and is a type of roof that will hold well in rain, snow or windy conditions.
A curved roof adds an extremely modern, interesting feature to any building. Modern roofs take advantage of the flexibility of metal materials, creating one large curved structure. Curved roofs do help to reduce resistance to wind, but are mainly chosen due to the stunning aesthetic look they can add to a building.
A dome roof, unsurprisingly, is a roof in the shape of a dome. A complex and durable design, this type of roof adds a beautiful aesthetic to a building, and can be seen in many historical buildings from the Capitol Building in Washington DC, to the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Dormers contain a window that projects vertically from a traditional pitched roof, creating an extended window in the roof. This type of roof is most popular in loft conversions, providing an easy way of expanding the space and natural light in the converted loft room.
Dutch Gable Roof
The Dutch gable (hip) roof is a hybrid of a gable and hip type of roof. A full or partial gable can be found at the end of the ridge in the roof, allowing for a greater amount of internal roof space. This style also improves the look of the roof, providing a more unique and interesting design than the very common simple hip roof.
Flat roofs have just a slight pitch to allow water to run-off and drain. Although they are most commonly used for industrial and commercial buildings such as offices and warehouses, flat roofs can also be a popular roof type for homes - the flat space is perfect for a roof-top garden!
Front gable roofs have the roof ridge in line with the building’s entrance. This type of roof is commonly seen on Colonial-style homes, but is an increasingly popular design for modern buildings.
Gable Roof with Shed Roof Addition
Some gable roof designs have a shed roof addition on the side. This is a popular alteration to the standard gable roof, providing more headroom and space for an extension without having to completely alter the existing roof.
Most commonly seen in barns, a gambrel roof is a symmetrical two-sided roof with a shallow upper-section, and steeper lower slope on each side. This design maximises on the space within the loft of a building, but are mostly used on outhouses and barns due to their unsuitability in heavy wind or snowfall areas.
Half Hipped Roof
A half hipped roof is almost identical to a simple hip roof design, but instead, the two sides of the roof are shortened, creating eaves at either side of the house. This type of roof provides more options for extending into the loft and installing windows, allowing a greater amount of natural light into the room.
Hexagonal Gazebo Roof
This complex roofing design makes any garden gazebo really stand out. Formed of six triangular identically pitched roof panels and six supporting rafters, this type of roof is most typically used for a beautifully unique gazebo addition to a home or commercial garden lawn.
Hip and Valley Roof
Hip and valley roofs have a total of four sloping surfaces, with two joined on a common ridge, and the other two on either end of the central ridge. This design is very similar to the trapezoid structure of gable roofs, with the addition of the two triangular hip ends the only real distinguishing factor.
Jerkinhead roofs, also known as clipped gables or snub gables, are essentially a gable roof with the two peaked ends are clipped off. The advantage of this design is that the clipped ends reduce potential wind damage to the home, making the roof more stable. Additionally, the clipped ends provide more headroom in the loft than a traditional hip roof.
A mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel roof, with each side having a double slope of one steep slope, and one shallow upper slope. Mansard roofs are a popular option for buildings wishing to maximise the amount of living space in the building, providing the option to use the loft as an additional living space.
An M-shaped roof is double-pitched roof; essentially a double gable. The roof rests on two bearing walls with two sloping walls meeting in the middle to form an ‘M’ shape. Central guttering runs between the two pitches to stop any snow or rain building up in the winter season.
Open Gable Roof
An open gable roof is identical to a box gable roof, with the only exception the boxed off sides on either end. In this type of roof, the ends are left open to meet the walls directly. There are no added benefits between the two, the choice is purely based on aesthetics.
A parapet roof is a flat roof with the walls of the building extending upwards past the roof by a few feet around the edges. The addition of a parapet makes a flat roof far safer, providing a small barrier that provides additional security to reduce the likelihood of anyone standing the roof falling over the edge.
Pyramid Hip Roof
A pyramid hip roof is identical to a simple hip roof, but the walls are square rather than rectangular, making the shape of the building’s roof slope come to a point in a pyramid shape at the top. This type of roof is extremely resistant to strong winds, so is ideal for high-wind or hurricane prone areas.
An asymmetrical design in which one side of the roof is a sloping flat roof, with the other side more of a lean-to, creating a gable in the middle. More commonly seen in older colonial-style houses, this distinctive durable roofing style is often seen nowadays in industrial buildings and garages.
Shed Roof or Skillion
A skillion roof has a single flat surface pitched at a steep angle to allow water runoff. Also known as a ‘shed roof’, skillion roofs are extremely easy and cheap to construct as they are made of simply one piece of roofing.
Simple Hip Roof
The popular simple hip roof is a type of roof where all four sides feature symmetrical gentle slopes towards the walls, with no gables or vertical sides to the roof. The defining feature of hip roofs is that the roof faces are almost always identical in pitch, making them symmetrical from the centre point.
Skillion and Lean to Roof
A lean-to roof, similar to a skillion roof, is composed of one angled pitch. The roof is supported at one end by a wall raised higher than the other, enabling the roof to be pitched at a steeper angle to allow runoff in heavy rain.
JTC Roofing are a leading metal roofing contractor, providing roofing in a range of styles and materials across the UK. We’ve worked on a wide variety of buildings, from industrial warehouses to ornate churches, so our team are equipped for any project.