20 Roof Types for Your Awesome Homes–Complete with the Pros & Cons

Roof Types – Can you imagine that with only 3% cost you can make your home more impressive than ever?

Compared to the whole price of a house construction, the number is small. But, with the right choice, you can have a charming house out of it.

Yes, it’s about the roofing. In case you’re in an emergency of choosing the right roof types, there are so many roof style that can you choose.

Here we outlined 20 of the types –plus their pros and cons.

roof types

1. Flat Roof

Flat Roof

If you want the simplest roof design, a flat roof is a better choice. Just like the name implied, it lays flat on top of a building.

Though so, most of the roof is not full flat. It slants a little to enable water runs off the roof. The designs are popular in modern houses or commercial buildings.


  • It has the simplest design
  • It gives modern tone to buildings


  • A totally flat roof may pool water if not properly designed
  • It needs carefully planned drains or the similar types of water management systems
  • Traditional roofing won’t be suitable

2. Gable Roof

Gable Roof

Gable roof is what you see in almost all houses. It consists of two slanting roofs which meet at the tops.

The triangle areas resulted from the construction is the reason why you call this type of roof gable.

There’re variations of the roof. Open gable roof, box gable roof, and front gable are only a few of them.

If you want a roof with a simple construction, without any hips or valleys, this one is yours.


  • Easy to construct a simple house design
  • It doesn’t need hips or valleys
  • Rainwater run freely to the ground


  • Gable roofs tend to peel off easily under strong wind
  • There’s no cover/shade on both end of the gable roof

3. Hipped Roof

Hipped Roof

You can view hipped roof as the development of gable roof. The hipped roof is a gable roof with an extension of cover at both of its ends.

The covers serve as covering parts for both ends of the roof, making better cover or shading to the house.

Therefore, the hipped roof has four sides: 2 trapezoid-shaped roofs and two triangle-shaped roofs.

As the favorite variation of this type, you often can see hip and valley roof, cross hipped roof, pyramid hip, and intersecting/overlaid hip roof.


  • The roof offers better covering or shading parts of the house
  • It performs well in windy areas.
  • There’s no water-pooling problems after rain


  • It has hips which need to be planned carefully
  • It’s more challenging to construct than the ordinary gable

4. Gablet (Dutch Gable)

Dutch Gable Roof

The combination of a gable roof and hipped roof makes Gablet or Dutch Gable roof.

Gablet roof is the term in UK, while Dutch roof is its term in US design communities.

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In the Gablet style, a hipped roof serves as the base of a Gable roof. It presents a light and airy atmosphere to the house.

The light is also freely pouring into the house with this roof style.


  • The roof enable plenty of natural light into the house
  • You can construct an attic under this roof
  • Free of stagnant water after rain


  • It needs stronger frames, or it has the risk of collapsing
  • As it has plenty of overhanging parts, it prone to strong wind from underneath

5. Jerkinhead Roof

Jerkinhead Roof

A Jerkinhead roof is a gable roof with small hip attachments on its ends. Unlike the regular Gabler, it has higher resistance to the wind.

It also is pleasing to the eyes, and won’t obstruct the line of view when you build an attic under the roof.


  • It has good wind resistance
  • Appealing design
  • You can build an attic under it


  • Complex design and construction, a cost rise is possible

6. Saltbox Roof

Saltbox Roof

If previously you deal with symmetrical roofs, here we have an asymmetrical roof for you: the saltbox roof.

It has one short and a rather flat roof at the front and along slanting roof at its opposite.

The shorter roof is at the front to cover 2-storied parts of the house, while the longer roof to cover the other 1-storied parts at the back.


  • The water pours down to the ground easily
  • It provides more spaces
  • Stronger to the strong wind than gable house


  • It’s more difficult to build or repair
  • You will have slanted roof for certain rooms, mostly at the back of
    the house
  • It will be a long-term problem if you have symmetrical mind

7. Catslide Roof

Catslide Roof

A Catslide roof is just like a gable roof, except that one of its sides has a roof that extends beyond the eaves of your house.

It gives additional spaces to the house. It also gives a pleasant extension to the roof.


  • It provides a handy house extension
  • It suitable for entrance or transition areas
  • Free of stagnant water


  • Due to the complexity, it needs additional cost to build
  • It may look too ordinary for modern taste

8. Dormer Roof

Dormer Roof

A dormer is an extra to the existing roof. You can put a dormer on almost all type of roofs.

It consists of a window and roof (any type of roofs) that protrude out of the side of the main roofs.

You can make this dormer roof as a part of a functional room, or just as a false room.


  • Adding extra spaces or room to the house
  • Put extra natural light to the house
  • Provides extra architectural touches


  • It’s the spot where you find most of the water leak
  • A complex building means extra cost
  • Need regular attention

9. Shed Roof (Skillion)

Shed Roof

This roof only has a single part of the roof. It just likes a flat roof, but gradually sloping to opposite direction, just like a shed.

This roof is very popular with the fans of modern houses. It simple and offer plenty of natural light.

Most of all, the down-to-earth design never fails to enchant your neighbors.


  • Simple and modern designs
  • Allow plenty of light to the house
  • Easy to maintain
  • Suitable for most roofing materials
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  • No option for attic
  • Too simple for the complicated minds

10. Lean-To Roof

Lean-To Roof

A Lean-to roof is so similar to the shed roof. The difference is that the Lean-to leans to an object, usually a wall.

The practical construction making it as the option when building a deck, sunroom or garage. The roof is an ideal pair of the shed roof.


  • Practical and easy to build
  • Good for a house extension
  • Suitable for carport, home office, or sunroom


  • It will be a design disaster without a suitable main roof.

11. Mansard Roof

Mansard Roof

If you love a classic yet chic roof, a Mansard roof will do well. It consists of two levels of the roof: the bottom and steeper roof, and the upper hip-styled roof.

If you want to renovate the rove in the future time, for example adding attic or extra rooms, this roof is a better choice.


  • It allows future renovations, like adding attics, dormers, or other extra rooms
  • It has a classic and beautiful design


  • Need a lot of framing materials, which mean additional cost
  • The lower pitch of its upper parts causes the roof won’t stand well against snow

12. Gambrel Roof

Gambrel Roof

Gambrel looks just like Mansard, except that it has only two slopes. Most barn uses this type of roof.

For a reason, Gambrel is also called barn roof. It has open ends and has a steep bottom slope. With this style, you can put extra spacious attic right under it.


  • Has high and airy designs
  • Provides extra-large attic or storerooms under it


  • Without strong framing materials, it tends to crumble under heavy snow
  • Without proper construction, it tends to rattle under strong wind

13. Rainbow Roof

Rainbow Roof

A rainbow roof is characterized by its curvy shape. At a glance, it similar to a Gambrel roof, but the slopes are substituted by a subtle arch.

The arch provides an effective solution for heavy snow that often haunting the Gambrel roof.


  • It eliminates the snow build-up that often happens on Gambrel roof.
  • Easy to maintain.


  • Unimaginative design.
  • Need stronger materials to withstand strong wind.

14. Bonnet Roof

Bonnet Roof

The character of a Bonnet roof is similar to the Mansard roof, except that the lower part of the Bonnet roof protruding out beyond the eaves of the house.

These lower parts form a kind of shades all around the outer house.


  • By installing windows, its upper slopes allow plenty of natural light into the house
  • The extended out lower slopes prevent water from leaking into the house
  • Provides a good base for a dormer


  • The valleys tend to pool water if not properly constructed
  • It includes two types of roof; hence it’s difficult and expensive to build

15. M-Shaped Roof (multi-gable, ridged)

M-Shaped Roof

The Ridged roof is a combination of 2 Gable roofs. They stand side by side and make an M impression if seen from their ends.

The roof does not only consist of 2 gables though; you can line up as much gable as you can as you can see on the roof of a mall or condominium.


  • It’s practical roof for big building
  • Simple roof building.


  • Water may pool on the lower meeting slopes, causing water leakage.
  • Need carefully planned water gutter or it will leak out
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16. Butterfly Roof

Butterfly Roof

A Butterfly roof is an inverted gable roof. The uppermost of the gable now become the lowest part of the roof, making the roof looks like a spreading out butterfly wing.

If you like a modern roof, this one is your alternative. It allows plenty of light pouring into the house and offers spaces for solar panels –if you are a green energy enthusiast.


  • Modern and fresh design
  • You can put high windows under it
  • With proper roof windows, you can have plenty of light inside the house


  • If not properly installed, you may face greater risk of water leakage
    on the gutter part of the roof
  • It’s not easy to build and maintain

17. Hexagonal (tented)

Hexagonal Roof

Just like the name implied, the hexagonal or tented roof has the appearance of a rigged tent.

The roof is a polygon (many-sided) hip roof with steep and pointy peak.

This hexagonal gazebo roof is not a usual staple for an ordinary house, it most often applied to old castles or recreational buildings.


  • It looks imaginative and majestic
  • Giving slimmer illusion to a big building


  • Difficult and costly to build
  • It’s not easy to maintain
  • Not suitable for ordinary houses

18. Clerestory Roof

Clerestory Roof

If you want a simple one of roof types that able to gather as plenty of natural light, a Clerestory roof needs to be your roof.

It looks like a gable roof which doesn’t meet at the appointed height. The one roof lean to the wall under the other (the top) roof.

In between, you usually see rows of windows to allow light into the house.


  • Allow plenty of natural lights
  • Simple and minimalist design
  • The high windows allow privacy to the host


  • The irregular shapes need extra attention during installation processes

19. Saw-tooth Roof

Saw-tooth Roof

You often see Saw-tooth roof on top of an industrial building. Seen from one of its ends, the roof is just like a saw-tooth (hence its name).

The roof is great to provide light and warmth of the sunshine. Now you can see this roof is also used in a certain eco-friendly home.


  • Provides plenty natural light
  • Offers ample spaces for solar panels
  • Awesome and iconic design


  • The valleys need constants attention, as it prone to water leakages
  • High building cost, due its complicity

20. Combination Roof

Combination Roof

If you still dissatisfied with the existing roof types, building a combination roof is the only alternative left.

You can pick one roof as the main roof, and combine it with other roof types as the sub-roofs. The key is to make the combination good to the eyes and your tastes.


  • It will accommodate your tastes
  • The right roof combination design will look awesome


  • The different roofs need different building approaches
  • Expensive to build
  • Difficult to maintain


A roof does not only protect you from the elements, now it also serves as the representative of your personality.

So, picking up the right roofs may lead you to another level of confidence. You have found 20 of the most popular roofs available in this modern world.

And now you probably have found the right roof types. So, happy renovating!

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