The 3 Different Roof Types, and What They Mean for You


different roof types Not all roofs are created equal.   

Like other components of your house, they come in different designs and materials. If you’re remodeling your current home or building your dream house from scratch, then you’re probably wondering which roof would work best.  

The Different Types of Roofs 

Let’s review the three most common types of roofs, their structure, and their design.  

Hip Roof 

A hip roof slopes down towards the ground. It doesn’t have vertical sides. This roof’s hip is located at the ridge where the roof sections meet. A hip roof has strong wind performance and is considered easy to build. The most common hip roofs are: 

  • Regular Hip: A regular hip or simple hip is the most basic type of hip roof. It consists of four triangular-shaped faces. Two sides are smaller than the other. Regular hips are not as big and tend to have smaller attic spaces.  

  • Half Hip: A half hip is a combination of hip and gable roof types. The bottom portion looks like a gable roof, but the tip ends in a hip.  

  • Cross Hip: Cross hips are found on L-shaped buildings. They consist of two hipped roofs connected. The sections meet at their ends and create a seam also called a valley. 

  • Pyramid Hip Roof: This triangular-shaped roof consists of four triangular sides that meet at a singular point at the top.  

Gable Roof 

A gable roof has a peaked or pitched roof. It has sloping sides that form a triangle at the top known as a gable.  

Gable roofs have advantages such as being easy to build, having good attic space, being comparatively inexpensive, and having sufficient drainage. However, they may not be suitable in areas with frequent high winds or that are hurricane prone. The three most common types of gables are: 

  • Front: Front gables are, as the name suggests, located in the front, under the gable. The design is commonly seen on colonial-style residences.  

  • Side: Side gables have pitched roofs over two sides placed at an angle. The sides connect in the middle, under the gable.  

  • Cross: Cross gables are two or more gables that create a cross.  

Flat Roof 

A flat roof has a very low pitch and is generally horizontal. A slight slope allows the roof to properly drain the water. Flat roofs are most seen on commercial buildings but are also preferred by some homeowners. The advantage of this type of roof is that it requires less material than other roofs, so it’s cheaper. Flat roofs are considered easy to install and maintain. Three types of flat roofs are:  

  • Membrane: Membrane roofs have a watertight covering that protects the inside of the building.  

  • Built-up: Built-up roofs have multiple layers of asphalt applied between ply sheets or felts above the roof deck and insulation.  

  • Modified Bitumen: Modified bitumen has been used on low-slope roofs for over 100 years. This roofing system is made of asphalt and polymerized rubber or plastic, then fortified with fiberglass for a waterproof membrane.  

Selecting the Right Roof for Your Home or Building  

We know picking out a roofing system that suits your home or business is not easy. There are many variations of the roofing systems we mentioned, and you probably still have questions.  

Contact a CertainTeed professional today. We will explain the different roof types, the benefits of each roofing system, and the types of roofs that will suit your home.  

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