Types of roofs are varied and unique. Different types lend themselves to certain applications better than others. The steeper the pitch the longer the shingle life when using asphalt shingles. Shingle life does not apply when installing a metal design regardless of the pitch.
Asphalt shingles durability is suspect in the best of circumstances, put them on a low pitch and their expected lifespan is halved. How quickly a roof sheds its water will determine how long shingles will last. Low pitch roofs can expect to require asphalt shingle replacement several years before shingles installed on a high pitched roof at the same time. Consequently low pitch homeowners will spend thousands of dollars more on maintenance over the years of ownership.
There are ten types of roofs incorporating infinite variations of design.
1. The Hip Roof is a where four sides meet at a flat spot on top. The pitch can be low or severe.
2. The Flat Roof comes with its own unique methods of water drainage and seldom will shingles be used as a surface. These designs are used sparingly in residential construction. Flat systems are used predominately in commercial applications.
3. The Skillion Roof is a single sloped design much like a flat roof but with a slope. This roof can be used for definition to add uniqueness to a design.
4. The Saltbox Roof has one short steep slope and one long extended low slope. This design is used very sparingly and is seldom seen.
5. The Arched Roof is generally used for a portion of larger homes to add architectural diversity.
6. The Mansard Roof is a French inspired style with almost vertical lines. This is one of the roofs that will get the most out of asphalt shingles. Contractor’s hate this design because all work must be done from a ladder.
7. The Gambrel Roof is much like the Mansard in pitch but is extended out past the foundation on the lower portion. This is a Dutch inspired style.
8. The Bonnet Roof incorporates two slopes meeting in a point at the top and is used mainly to cover porches or verandas..
9. The Pyramid Roof usually has a very steep pitch with all sides meeting at the top in a peak.
10. The Cross Gabled Roof is the design most used by current builders with a variety pitches and slopes. This is the most difficult of roofs to work on as some parts can be walked on while others require ladders or other means of assistance.
Styles can greatly affect pricing of shingle replacement as well as installation of a permanent or metal roof. Complexity and walk ability are factored into all quotes. Homeowners should understand the pitch and actual square footage so they can have realistic expectations when talking to an installer.
Each of these styles except for the flat system will benefit from the strength and durability of a metal or permanent installation. When making the decision to put a permanent roof on all of the questions and misgivings associated with asphalt shingles can be dismissed.