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!
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
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.
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
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.
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
● Expensive Installation: The additional embellishments and details that can go into a mansard roof design may result in higher labor costs to install.
More Usable Space: Similar to mansard roofs, the gambrel design offers more
usable space, making it a popular design for outdoor sheds and storage
● 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 roofs can be transformed into creative living spaces, such as rooftop
gardens, patios, and recreational areas.
When it comes to maintenance, repairs, and the installation of equipment, like
solar panels, flat roofs reign supreme for their accessibility and lower injury
● 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
● 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!