15 Types of Roofs for Houses (with Illustrations)

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15 Types of Roofs

There are a surprising few types of roofs for the home.  Intricate roofs you see incorporate several of the basic roof designs such as a gable roof sitting atop a gambrel or variations of the gable & valley roof design.

Also different architectural styles will use the same type of roof.  For example, you can have a gambrel roof on a cape cod or shingle-style home (plus other architectural styles).

That said, in many cases a home will incorporate one roof style throughout.

Below is our poll where you can vote for your favorite style of roof.  Below that is our list of roof design illustrations that clearly illustrate the various types of roof designs.

Here’s the full list of types of roofs for houses:

1. A-Frame Roof

The A-frame is very easy to identify.  It’s a steep, pointed roof which extends all the way to the ground or close to the ground.  The roof makes up much or all of the walls of the home.  It’s a very simple roof design and is inexpensive because the roof serves as both roof and walls.

A-Frame Roof

2. Bonnet Roof

The bonnet roof is identified with the extending ledge around the base of the roof.  The other part of the roof can be many designs such as hip, gambrel or gable… but when adding an extending ledge, it becomes a bonnet variation of that roof design.

Bonnet Roof

3. Butterfly Roof

The butterfly roof is an inverted gable roof.  It’s a V-shape.  It’s a rather odd looking roof design and is not used much.  However, one benefit of the butterfly roof is you end up with tall ceilings on two sides of the home.

Butterfly Roof Design

4. Gable & Valley Roof (Cross Gable Roof)

The gable and valley roof is a very popular roof design.  It’s also known as a cross gable roof since the home has a cross footprint.  Interestingly, you can mix and match roof styles when building a gable and valley roof such as a gambrel and gable or gable and hop.  It’s common to combine roof designs for a cross footprint home.

Cross Gable Roof Design

5. Flat Roof

While plain looking below, the flat roof is frequently used on modern and mid-century style homes and can be a striking design if you like the modern look.

Flat Roof

6. Gable Roof with Dormer Window

The gable roof with dormer is extremely popular and again you can mix and match roof styles.  For example you can have the main roof gabled with a gambrel dormer or vice-versa.

Gable Roof with Dormer Window

7. Gambrel Roof

The gambrel roof has a distinct look for sure.  It’s a 4-sided roof.  The top 2 sides extending from the peak are not as steep as the bottom 2 sides.  Gambrel roofs often include window dormers, but not always.

Gambrel Roof Design

8. Hip & Valley Roof (Cross Hipped Roof)

The hip and valley roof is similar to the gable and valley roof except the roof ends slope inward.  You can combine gable and hip designs with a cross footprint home as well.

Hip & Valley Roof (Cross Hipped Roof)

9. Hip Roof

The hip roof is identified with inward sloping ends on the roof.  If the four sides of the roof meet at a point, it’s a pyramid hip roof.  When they don’t, it’s a simple hip roof. American Foursquare homes’ key feature is the hipped roof.

Hip Roof Design

10. Pyramid Mansard Roof 

The mansard roof is identified with steep sides that create a cap effect.  This is a French roof historically and the design has a functional purpose which is to create more usable space in upper floors.  Mansard roofs can include window dormers and often do since the space is usable and therefore the dormers provide natural light.

The pyramid version of the mansard roof includes a pyramid design on top of the steep sides instead of a flat top.

Pyramid Mansard Roof

11. Mansard Roof that Flares Out

This mansard style roof flares out at the bottom.

Mansard Roof that Flares Out

12. Mansard Roof Design

This is a basic mansard roof design with window dormers.

Mansard Roof

13. Pyramid Hip Roof

The pyramid hip roof is one where all 4 sides meet in a point.  It can include dormers, but is often used on ranch style homes which has no upper floor and therefore dormers aren’t necessary.

Pyramid Hip Roof Design

14. Saltbox Roof

While not popular, the saltbox roof is great for creating vaulted ceilings in part of a home and a corresponding loft overlooking the vaulted ceiling rooms.

Saltbox Roof Design

15. Shed Roof (Sloped Roof)

The shed roof is a very simple roof.  It’s essentially a flat roof that’s sloped.  It allows for vaulted ceilings or an upper floor for part of the home, depending on the slope and design of the home.

Shed Roof (Sloped Roof)

Vote for your favorite roof style

Vote for your favorite roof design and see what other people like (results displayed after you vote):


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