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Common Types of Roofs

Updated: May 20, 2022

There are many different types and styles of roofs. Some regions have common styles resulting from culture to climate. Here are a few common roofing styles around our Western North Carolina area.


Gable - One of the most popular roof styles in the U.S. It can be easily recognized by its triangle shape. By being simpler in design, it saves money on cost and maintenance and provides extra room in an attic. They easily shed water and snow, however, they are not best suited for high winds, specifically the steeper the pitch of the roof. More complex versions of the Gable exist, Crossed Gable roofs are two gable sections put together at a right angle. Often perpendicular to each other and can vary in lengths and size.

Hip - Another common roofing style is a Hip Roof. It has slopes on all sides, equal in length, and the sides come together at the top to form a ridge. They are excellent in most of all weather conditions. That extra protection comes at a price as the more complex design requires more building materials, making these style roofs more expensive than Gable roofs. Regular maintenance is important and required to prevent major problems. Alternate versions could include Cross Hipped, which is similar to the cross gable but with different wings, Half Hipped which is a standard Hip roof with two sides shorter than the other, and other combinations.

Gambrel - Common roofs for farmhouses, log cabins, and most barns. Like the Gable Roof, it has two sides however the sides extend much lower on the house. The lower side of the Gambrel roof is often almost vertical getting less steep on the upper slope. These roofs offer plenty of interior space, minimizing the amount of material used. This, however, needs more complex design work which leads to higher pricing. The openness of the interior of this style makes it less sturdy against high winds or snow. A yearly inspection and maintenance is necessary to prevent long-term problems.

Combination - It's not uncommon to use several different styles of roofs on one house! It can be very effective when constructed and maintained properly.

*Dormer - In simplest terms, it's a window that extends through the roof. This can be added to any style roof and each dormer can have its own roofing style.


Couldn't find your roof or favorite style? Here's a fun diagram of 20 common roofs in the United States:

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