What Are the Most Popular Residential Roof Styles?

Yes, style does come into play when determining the best type of roof for your residential property. While a roof may seem like just a roof to many people, roofers and builders can agree that the right roof choice will set the tone for the exterior appeal of a home.

Before considering the roof style on a property, it’s important to ask yourself one simple question: What does a residential roof style mean to you?

Although subtle, a residential roof style can be the most prominent point on a home, impacting the overall look of a property. When building a new home, the residential roof style that you choose will greatly influence the total cost of construction for your property.

Most residential roofs will be built in one of two shapes:

  1. Gable
  2. Hip

A gable roof meets in a peak as two straight slopes join from the ridge of a roof to its eve. This will create a familiar triangle shape on the front or side of a home’s exterior.

The peak side of a gabled roof is called the rake; the sloped side of the roof is called the eave.

A gable roof remains one of the most popular roof styles since it has two roof surfaces of the same size. Consequently, it’s easy to design and inexpensive to build. It works well to repel water, provides adequate ventilation, and offers the most ceiling space.

As a note, gable roofs aren’t recommended for use in high wind areas compared to hip roofs. A gable roof is also most likely to suffer damage and cause collapsed walls if it isn’t braced properly.

Gable roof styles may vary and can include:

  • Side Gable Roof
  • Front Gable Roof
  • Cross Gable Roof
  • Dutch Gable Roof

A hip roof has a more uniform roof-to-wall junction. The roof plane is disrupted along the line of the slope, making it easier for a roof to wrap around the perimeter of a building.

A hip roof is more versatile since it can have eaves on all sides.

A hip roof differs from a gable roof since it doesn’t have flat sides. Instead, the sides of the roof slope until they adjoin with the walls of a house. Compared to a gable roof, building a hip roof is slightly more complex, although it makes construction for a home easier as walls can all be built to the same height.

Hip roofs are popularly used in high wind areas with frequent hurricanes since they are constructed with a better internal bracing structure. A hip roof offers more protection from the elements, like rain, wind, and sun, which can help to cut down on maintenance costs over time.

Yet because a hip roof is built with less internal roof space, it makes maintenance access harder and offers significantly less storage room than a gable roof. More complex hip roof designs, like a cross hipped roof, will also need regular surveillance to keep valley areas free from debris and moisture buildup.

Hip roof styles may vary and can include:

  • Simple Hip Roof
  • Pyramid Hip Roof
  • Cross Hipped Roof
  • Half Hipped Roof
  • Dutch Gable Hybrid