Your roof is most likely the largest and most visible part of your home’s exterior, which is why choosing a roof that complements the design of your home is so important.

We’ve put together 10 of our favourite roof style options to help you find inspiration for yours.

1. Flat

While not actually completely flat, flat roofs are low-sloped and give the appearance that they are. These roofs are commonly found on modern homes, apartments and commercial buildings.

Pros:
Extra living space on the roof for a patio, garden or partially enclose for a penthouse room.
Heating and cooling units can also be placed on flat roofs, keeping them out of sight. This is especially common practice in commercial roof designs.
The design is also conducive for installing PV solar panels for a more energy efficient and energy independent home.

Cons:
The low pitch makes flat roofs more susceptible to water leakage. They are not advised for high rainfall or high snowfall areas.
Although the upfront cost of building a flat roof is less expensive than a pitched roof, they can be more expensive in the long run due to maintenance and ongoing roof repair and replacement costs.

2. Gable

Also known as pitched or peaked roof, gable roofs are some of the most popular roofs in the US. They are easily recognized by their triangular shape.

Pros:
Gable roofs will easily shed water and snow, provide more space for the attic or vaulted ceilings and allow more ventilation.
Their inherently simple design makes it easy to build them and cheaper than more complex designs.

Cons:
Gable roofs can be problematic in high wind and hurricane areas. If the frames are not properly constructed with adequate supports, the roof can collapse.
High winds can also cause materials to peel away from gable roofs. If there is too much of an overhang, winds can create an uplift underneath and cause the roof to detach from the walls.

3. Hipped

A hip roof has slopes on all four sides. The sides are all equal length and come together at the top to form a ridge.

Pros:
Hip roofs are more stable than gable roofs. The inward slope of all four sides is what makes it more sturdy and durable.
They are excellent for both high wind and snowy areas. The slant of the roof allows snow to easily slide off with no standing water.

Cons:
Hip roofs are more expensive to build than a gable roof. It’s a more complex design that requires more building materials.
Also, with the addition of a dormer, additional seams can make it easier for the water leaks to form in the valleys, if a roofing system is not properly installed.

4. Saltbox

A salt box roof is asymmetrical in design, with one side being more of slightly sloping flat roof and the other more of a lean to, with gables at each end.

Pros:
They are also a great option for Canadian climates as the slope allows for rain and snow to easily run off. The asymmetrical design makes it more durable than a simple gable roof.

Cons:
The design can be tricky, which makes the building costs higher.
Although more living space is provided, it isn’t as much as a regular pitched roof.

5. Mansard

A mansard roof, also known as a French roof, is a four-sided roof with a double slope on each side that meet forming a low-pitched roof. Typically the lower slope is much steeper than the upper, and sides can be flat or curved depending on the style.

Pros:
Mansard roofs are great for those looking for something stylish with extra living space.

Cons:
A low pitched portion of a mansard roof isn’t ideal for areas receiving heavy snowfall.
Mansard roofs cost more than typical roofs because of the embellishments and details that go into them. But, the added space and character can more than make up for the extra cost of initial construction.

Types of Mansard Roofs

Mansard roofs can take various silhouettes, including straight-angle, convex or concave. Windows are very important to provide light for the extra living space provided. Grand houses may also display wood quoins, trim or decorative cut stone.

6. Gambrel

Also known as a farm roof, gambrel roofs are similar to mansard due to the two different slopes. With a gambrel roof, the lower sides have a very steep slope and the upper slope is much lower.

Pros:
Easy to frame, gambrel roofs also offer more living space. They’re a good option if you’re looking for a lower cost roof as their construction is quite simple.

Cons:
If you live in a very windy and snowy city, this is not your best option.

7. Butterfly

Another roof commonly seen in very modern designs, the butterfly roof gets its name from its V shape that resembles wings in flight.

Pros:
If you’re looking for a roof that allows for larger windows, a butterfly roof might work for your design.

Cons:
Due to the complexity of the design, make sure you have a large budget for it.
Butterfly roofs also require more maintenance than other roofs, so keep that in mind as well.

8. Skillion

Skillion is also referred to as a shed roof or lean-to. It is a single, sloping roof, usually attached to a taller wall. – It can be thought of as half of a pitched roof, or as a more angled flat roof.

Pros:
Skillions are easy to assemble and use much fewer building materials than other roof types. Their steep pitch allow snow and water to easily run off, which makes them excellent for high rain and snow regions.
They can also be used purely for design purposes to add architectural interest and aesthetic appeal.

Cons:
If a roof pitch is too high it can result in ceilings being too low.
Homes using only a skillion roof can have problems in high wind areas.

Suggested Materials: Because of the steep incline, rubber skins and roofing membranes can be eliminated. To give a more streamlined look, you can use standing seam rather than tiles or shingles. For a more eco-friendly and energy independent home, large PV solar panels can also be installed.

9. Pyramid

Pyramid roofs are mostly used for smaller buildings, such as bungalows and cabins. They are also used for auxiliary structures, such as pool houses, garages and storage buildings.

Pros:
A pyramid roof is extremely resistant to strong winds. This makes it an excellent architectural choice for hurricane-prone and high-wind areas.
The slope provides extra space for ventilation, attics or high ceilings.
Energy costs will be reduced by the overhanging eaves.

Cons:
The cost of pyramid roofs is higher due to the complexity of the design.

10. Curved

A curved roof is much like the Skillion, or Shed roof, but the planes are curved. It is very modern and provides a unique, creative roof design. The amount of curve can vary from slightly curved up to an arch shape.

Pros:
Curved roofs are aesthetically pleasing and a way to have a home unlike any other. They also provide subtle shapes inside the home as well.
A curved roof can be used to cover the entire home or a single section, such as an arched entrance.
Since curved roofs are designed by the architect or builder, it can be customized to be advantageous to the region the home is being built.

Cons:
The cost of a curved roof will depend on the complexity of the design.

As a top development building company in West Vancouver, we can’t wait to join this journey with you to create your dream home. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and professional team for a quote, or to discuss your dream home project.