What are The Different Types of Roofs?

What are The Different Types of Roofs?

Putting a new roof on your house may seem like the last priority when it comes to home improvement goals. However, if your roof starts leaking, it quickly takes on emergency status. This guide to roof architecture and styles helps you identify the various types of roofs, so you can figure out the shape of your own house.

With the many roofing materials available to choose from, it takes a bit of research to decide whether to go with your existing roof’s construction or select from the many types of roofs available. To choose the right roofing material, you should weigh the appearance, longevity, cost and structural issues among your top picks. Learn more about the different types of roofs below.

Types of Roofs

Knowing the different types of roofs gives you more than bragging rights during walks around the neighborhood. Each category has unique properties that may appeal to you. According to Energy.gov, the color and type of roofing material impact how well your roof absorbs and repels heat and cold. This is another factor to consider.

Gable Roof

A gable refers to a triangular area formed where two pitched sections meet. This is a popular type of roof that sheds water well and aids ventilation at the two open ends. It’s also flexible and easy to build, making it suitable for most home layouts.


A hip roof has four sides. This style is harder to build than a gable roof and has no open ends to allow for ventilation. It’s still a popular choice due to its stronger properties, which suit areas with high winds.


Dutch roofs are more complicated to build than hip or gable styles. They consist of four sloping sides topped by a gable at each end. The result offers easier access to the lower portion of the roof, with the added benefits of natural light and extra space.


This French design features two slopes on each side. This bottom section of the roof is steeper, with the pitch really beginning in the second slope on each side. This maximizes the space inside the home, and can allow for a usable third floor. Originally, the style was used to create grand chateaus and townhouses.

Flat Roof

Flat roofs are commonly used to top commercial and industrial buildings, as well as some homes. They’re relatively inexpensive to build. Flat roofs aren’t completely flat, but instead have a slight pitch to aid in water run-off.

Shed Roof

Shed roofs typically have one horizontal plane that’s slightly pitched. Many builders use this style for additions and outbuildings. This style of roof easily sheds water and debris, and works well on smaller homes or adds-ons.


The butterfly roof has two vertical slopes that fold inward in an elongated V-shape. This creates a home with a dramatic, modern design. Butterfly roofs maximize light and space, but can present drainage issues because the two sides meet in a valley instead of a peak.

Gambrel Roof

These roofs resemble many barns and have two sloped sides, with the other two sides meeting walls. Like Mansard roofs, gambrels have two slopes on each side. On gambrels, the bottom portion of the roof has more of a pitch. Whereas some Mansard roofs have flat tops, gambrels are pitched and meet along a central seam.

Dormer Roof

If you’re already considering different types of roofs, adding dormers may allow you to dramatically renovate your home. A dormer simply involves adding a window and a protrusion with a flat, gabled, hipped or another style of roof. Once installed, a dormer roof can add light, space and headroom to your attic.


This is basically two gable roofs combined on a single home or to separate duplexes and other structures. At the center of the M, there’s a valley that may require additional flashing for drainage. This style is mainly used for a dramatic effect.

Set Your Budget First

If you have continuous problems with leaks or structural issues with your roof, it’s time to replace it. According to Consumer Reports, it’s important to check with your home insurance provider so you understand what’s covered. This gives you a better idea of what you’ll pay out of pocket.

Roof Installation for Your Home

Thompson Creek Window Company provides roofing inspections to help you determine whether you need a new roof. The type of roof impacts the cost of replacing it.

Contact us today to start your roofing project or discuss different types of roofs.