What kind of roof is over your head? Part two: Style

The roof over your head has a bigger impact on your home than you might think! Last time we took a look at the various materials roofs can be made out of and how this can impact your home. This time around we are choosing style over substance by taking a look at some common roof designs. 

 An example of a hipped roof.

An example of a hipped roof.

The style of your roof is more than just cosmetics, it can impact everything from maintenance to heating costs. So, with that in mind, lets take a look at some of the common roof styles available: 

  • Hipped - The most popular roof type in Australia, a hipped roof has all its sides sloping down towards the walls.  The sides of a hipped roof are usually, although not always, on a gentle slope. 
  • Skillion - a skillion roof consists of a single sloping roof.
  • Gabled - Easily recognised by a striking triangular shape, gabled roofs consists of two pitched sides attached to a triangle shaped wall. 
  • Flat - The name says it all! Some ambitious homeowners turn their flat roofs into ‘green roofs’ by covering them fully, or partially, with vegetation. 
  • Sawtooth - A sawtooth roof consists of multiple ridges with each side consisting of one short vertical side and one long pitched side. Sawtooth roofs were once only used in factories and industrial spaces but have recently gained popularity among homeowners for the large amount of light they let in. 
 Hipped roofs are always popular choice. 

Hipped roofs are always popular choice. 

Although roof styles do vary greatly, they can be divided into two fairly broad categories: flat and pitched. 

Flat roofs are generally cheaper to construct and can make for a striking architectural feature. They are also easy to access and can double as outdoor entertaining areas, or in the case of a ‘green roof’, even a garden. However, due to their flat shape, flat roofs require more maintenance to ensure they don’t get clogged with leaves and other debris. Flat roofs also make any future changes to wiring and plumbing more expensive and time consuming.

 Flat roofs may be eye catching but they can can lead to increased maintenance costs. 

Flat roofs may be eye catching but they can can lead to increased maintenance costs. 

Although not as striking, pitched roofs generally provide builders with more options when making changes to a house and usually require less maintenance. 

Finally, something else to consider with roofing is the colour. It may seem like a fairly minor detail, but colour greatly effects the ability of your roof to absorb or reflect heat. For example,  regardless of the material it is made from, darker roofing absorbs more heat while lighter colours reflect it. 

This affects your house’s ability to absorb or keep out the heat which in turn has a huge effect on heating and cooling costs. For this reason it is usually better to have a roof with a lighter colour; however, if your heart is set on a darkly coloured roof than installing insulation blankets and insulation batts can help to mitigate the heat absorption (as long as it's not Mr Fluffy!). 

Christof

Home Demolitions, Ryde, NSW, 2112

Christof is Home Demolitions resident media guru and content writer. His days are spent blogging about demolitions, brainstorming new ways to educate the public about the demolition process and photoshopping excavators into famous movie posters.