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The Pros and Cons of Five Different Roofing Styles for Your Home

July 25, 2023


Whether you're in need of a roof replacement or in the midst of building the house of your dreams, choosing the ideal roof for your home demands that you to consider some key factors before making a selection, including the price tag attached to installation, the climate of regional weather, and your bank account's ability to meet future maintenance costs. While on the hunt for your perfect design, you should be aware that each roofing style sports its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. As experienced roofing contractors, we understand our role in helping you navigate this process in order to make an informed decision. That's why we've crafted a list below to explore the pros and cons of five popular roofing styles: gable, hip, mansard, gambrel, and flat roofs. Keep reading to find a roof that's right for you!

Gable roof

Perhaps the most recognizable and traditional roofing style, the gable roof consists of two sloping sides that meet at a central ridge, forming a triangular shape.


Effective Run-off: Due to its high-pitched sides, the steep slope allows rainwater and snow to run off easily, reducing the risk of leaks and water damage.

Extra Living Space: The simple, triangular design not only comes with an affordable price tag, but it also creates ample attic space, providing additional storage, living areas, or even the potential for vaulted ceilings.

Natural Ventilators: Gable roofs are conducive to natural ventilation, which helps regulate indoor temperatures and lower energy costs.


Poor in Windy Climates: If built with a large overhang and in climates with severe winds, gable roofs may be vulnerable to uplift and complete detachment. Violent storms or hurricanes could strip gable roofs of their shingles, resulting in replacement costs.

Needs Additional Support: A gable roof's high profile also leaves it prone to collapse if frames underneath are not adequately supported during construction.

Hip roof

More stable and robust than gable roofs, hip roofs feature slopes on all four sides that converge at the top, forming a gentle slope.


Resistant to Winds: The inward slope on all sides of this design makes hip roofs more resistant to strong winds and heavy snowfall as well as ideal for hurricane-prone regions.

Sufficient Water Drainage: Their steep incline provides sufficient water drainage, minimizing the risk of standing water and leaks.

More Usable Space: Like the gable roof, a hip roof offers extra living space with the possibility of a dormer or crow's nest addition. The asymmetrical design and potential dormer windows also bolster a home's curb appeal should you decide to sell one day.


Expensive Installation: The complexity of construction may result in higher installation costs compared to simpler roofing styles.

Potential for Leaks: A poorly constructed dormer enables the possibility of water leaks in the valleys between the dormer structure and the roof.

Mansard roof

Mansard roofs are characterized by their double-pitched design, with the lower slope being steeper than the upper slope. These roofs are often popular among European architectural styles.


More Use of Attic: The nearly vertical lower slope of this design allows for efficient use of the attic, making it ideal for those in need of additional rooms for storage or living areas like lofts.

Flexible Design: Mansard roofs offer flexibility for individuals looking to make new additions to their homes. When constructed out of metals like copper or zinc, mansard roofs also increase in durability over the years.


High Maintenance Costs: The low pitch of the upper slope can lead to debris buildup and potential water pooling, resulting in regular maintenance costs. If low-sloping areas are not flashed or waterproofed well to prevent leaks, you could also be looking at water damage that can compromise the integrity of the roof.

Expensive Installation: The additional embellishments and details that can go into a mansard roof design may result in higher labor costs to install.

Gambrel roof

Gambrel roofs create a barn-like appearance. They sport two different slopes, with the upper slope less steep than the lower slope. The style is very common among farmhouses and log cabins as well as Dutch colonial and Georgian homes.


More Usable Space: Similar to mansard roofs, the gambrel design offers more usable space, making it a popular design for outdoor sheds and storage buildings.

Affordable Build: Its ability to be constructed with fewer materials means it is more affordable to install.


Prone to Collapse Under Pressure: The low pitch of the upper slope makes it susceptible to collapse under heavy snow or excessive loads.

Poor Ventilation: Gambrel roofs may also not provide as efficient natural ventilation as other designs.

Flat roof

With an almost imperceptibly small pitch, flat roofs have little to no slope and are commonly used in modern architecture and commercial buildings.


Rooftop Spaces: Flat roofs can be transformed into creative living spaces, such as rooftop gardens, patios, and recreational areas.

Accessibility: When it comes to maintenance, repairs, and the installation of equipment, like solar panels, flat roofs reign supreme for their accessibility and lower injury risk.

Affordable Build: Flat roofs are also relatively easy to build and can be cost-effective because their construction does not require excessive materials.


Poor in Wetter Climates: Without a significant slope, flat roofs need excellent drainage systems to prevent water pooling and leaks, meaning they function poorly in climates with heavy rain and snowfall. We recommend using no-seam materials when building a flat roof as an added precaution against water damage.

Shorter Lifespan: Flat roofs may have a shorter lifespan compared to sloped roofs, especially if not adequately maintained on a regular basis.


If you've made it this far and have waded through the benefits and drawbacks of these five roofing styles, congratulations. You've done more research than most. While replacing or constructing a roof can seem like an intensive process that involves weighing a multitude of factors, like climate, architectural preferences, and budget considerations, in reality, it doesn't need to be a headache. At ARAC Roof It Forward, we are here to not only help you navigate this decision but to also provide expert installation and maintenance services for the roof that best suits your needs and situation. All of our technicians are fully trained and certified to carry out the work needed and are committed to superior results. Don't wait another minute to learn more! Schedule a free roof inspection and speak to our professionals for all your roofing projects, today!


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