A Homeowner’s Guide To Roof Styles: Part 1

Do you know what style your roof is?

In addition to coming in a wide array of materials, roofs also come in a variety of styles. Besides helping you zero in on the style you find most attractive in any potential searches for a new home, knowing roof styles can give you valuable information about what direction you want to take in any rebuilding projects, as well as how to maintain and prolong the life of your current roof.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two of the most common styles seen in roofs on homes in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, focusing on their pros and cons and sharing some tips on maintenance.

Gable Roofs

Gable roofs are among the most popular roof styles. They are sometimes called peaked roofs or pitched roofs, because they are shaped like a triangle. There are different variations of gable roofs; for example, in an open gable, the area under the peak is open, while in a box gable, that area is closed off. Gable roofs can also have dormers built into them to accommodate windows.

There are lots of advantages to a gable roof. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, the steeper slope of a gable roof makes it easier for rain to run off of it, and less likely that snow and ice will pile up on top of it. This can make for easier maintenance, as well as stave off the likelihood or severity of damage due to precipitation.

Gable roofs are also a relatively simple construction, which makes them often less expensive to build than other types of roofs. Of course, if you add dormers, or if you have a boxed gable instead of an open gable, more materials are required, and the expense would increase.

Gable roofs can be built with a variety of materials, from the popular and durable asphalt shingles to clay, metal, wood, or concrete.

The major drawback of gable roofs is that they are less sturdy in high-wind areas. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or extremely high winds, proper care has to be taken in building the roof with adequate bracing, and you should be diligent about inspecting the roof after any significant wind or rain storm to check for damage.


Hip Roofs

Unlike gable roofs that only have two slanted sides meeting in a peak, a hip roof has four sloped sides, all of equal length, that meet in a ridge at the top. Like gable roofs, hip roofs can be built in different variations, and can also have dormers built into them.

Hip roofs are very popular and prized for their beauty as well as stability. While the slope may not be as steep as a gable roof, they are still effective at shedding rain and snow. They also can be made from just about every type of roofing material, so there is a lot of choice when it comes to design.

One of the major advantages of a hip roof is that it is more stable in winds due to the fact that all four sides are equally sloped inward.

A potential drawback of a hip roof, however, is price. Hip roofs are a more complex construction, especially if dormers are built in. More material is needed, and for that reason hip roofs are often more expensive to construct than gable roofs.

Having a basic working knowledge of roof types can help you when you’re in the market for a new home, and when you are simply trying to keep on top of maintaining your own home. For questions about your roof or how to maintain it, contact JL Roofing today!


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