15 Types of Roofs To Consider For Your Home Upgrade

Posted on February 15, 2024

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types of roofs

From the common triangular shape of a gable roof to the sturdiness of a hipped design, there are many options to choose from when it comes to roof types. As a homeowner considering a new roof installation, it’s important to understand the details that make each roof type unique. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the best roof design options to upgrade the architectural design of your home. 

Most Popular Types of Roofs On Homes

As you explore the world of residential architecture, you’ll probably find that some roof shapes are more prevalent than others. In this section, we will take a look at the most popular roof types, including gable and hipped roofs, which have become staples atop homes worldwide.

1. Gable Roofs

Gable roofs
Gable Roofs

A gable roof, characterized by its triangular shape, is among the most prevalent and versatile roof shapes for homes across various architectural designs. They’ve been around for centuries, reflecting a significant part of architectural history. The angle of a gable roof is crucial for shedding water and snow, which is why they’re so common in regions with heavy precipitation.

When choosing materials for a gable roof, consider durability and aesthetics. Asphalt shingles, metal, and wood shakes are popular choices, each lending a distinct look to the gable end. Also, proper gable roof ventilation is important to prevent heat and moisture buildup, ensuring a long-lasting roof structure.

2. Hipped Roofs

Hipped roofs
Hipped Roofs

Hipped roofs, presenting slopes on all four sides that converge at the top, are a durable and aesthetically appealing option. This design not only offers a timeless look but also enhances weather resistance, shedding rain and snow with ease. Also, the structure of hipped roofs allows for exceptional roof ventilation, which contributes to better energy efficiency within the home, keeping cooling costs down during the summer.

When choosing roofing materials for a hipped roof, I prioritize options that complement its robust structure. Whether it’s asphalt shingles, metal, or tiles, the material must stand up to the elements while maintaining the roof’s sleek look. It’s this combination of practicality and beauty that makes hipped roofs a popular choice for homeowners.

3. Bonnet Roof

The bonnet roof is a type of hip roof with a distinctive architectural style. It is characterized by its double slopes on all sides, with the lower slope being steeper than the upper slope. This design is known for its gentle overhang or “bonnet” effect, providing excellent protection from the elements while adding a touch of elegance to residential properties. 

Apart from their aesthetic appeal and elegance, bonnet roofs offer practical benefits, such as increased durability and resistance to wind and rain. Their graceful lines and distinctive silhouettes also enhance the curb appeal of homes.

4. Hip and Valley Roofs

Hip and valley roofs
Hip and Valley Roofs

Hip and valley roofs are among the most popular roof designs for residential architecture due to their intersecting planes that form a complex and durable structure. They are compatible with a variety of roof ventilation options, which are crucial for regulating temperature and preventing moisture accumulation.

Though one of the most popular roofing designs in North America, this option’s origins can be traced back to European architecture. Also, hip and valley roofs provide a balanced look that complements a wide range of house styles, making them a go-to choice for many homeowners.

5. Cross Hipped Roofs

Cross hipped roofs
Cross Hipped Roofs

Building on the versatility of hip and valley roofs, cross hipped roof designs are a prevalent choice for homeowners seeking both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits. These roofs are distinctive, with intersecting ridges that create a well-ventilated, intricate design.

When considering cross hipped roofing materials, it’s crucial to factor in climate adaptability, as certain options perform better in specific weather conditions. For instance, in snow-prone areas, a more robust material that can withstand heavy loads is necessary.

As one of the most complex roof shapes, hip and valley roofs have unique structural requirements compared to other more simple roof designs. Moreover, one of the significant features of cross hipped roofs is the ample roof ventilation options. 

6. Shed Roofs

Shed roofs
Shed Roofs

Shed roofs, characterized by their single-sloping plane, are a popular choice for their simplicity and modern appeal in home design. One of the major advantages of a shed roof is their ability to blend with the minimalist and contemporary styles that many homeowners are looking for. 

Moreover, integrating a skylight is a breeze with this type of roof, enhancing natural lighting and contributing to an open interior feel. When considering roofing materials for shed roofs, I suggest choosing the one that offers longevity and sustainability. Many eco-friendly options are available, such as green roofs or recyclable metal panels. 

7. Mansard Roofs

While the shed roof offers a modern and streamlined aesthetic, the mansard roof brings a touch of classical elegance with its four-sided design and dual slopes on each side. 

One of the advantages of this roof type is the potential for attic expansion. The steeper lower slope makes room for extra floors in the home, not just storage. This design doesn’t just add square footage, it can also improve energy efficiency. The shape of a mansard allows for better air circulation and insulation options, which can lead to lower heating and cooling costs.

For those looking to blend timeless looks with practical benefits, a mansard roof is a compelling choice.

8. Gambrel Roofs

Gambrel roofs
Gambrel Roofs

Embracing a design reminiscent of barns and agricultural buildings, gambrel roofs have a distinctive look, combining usable space and aesthetic appeal. 

This unique shape maximizes attic space, making it a practical option for adding an extra room or storage. Gambrel roofs are also rooted in historical significance, as they are often associated with Dutch Colonial style homes, adding a touch of charm to a residence.

When considering a gambrel roof, it’s essential to factor in structural considerations. The design requires robust support to handle the roof’s angles and potential snow load. But if installed right, it’s a timeless choice that blends functionality with classic aesthetics.

9. Dutch-Gable Roofs

Dutch-gable roofs provide a mix of charm and functionality with a unique twist on the basic structure of a gable roof. One of the advantages of installing a Dutch-gable roof is the added space and aesthetic appeal it provides. 

Historically, this style has roots in the Netherlands—hence the name—but its popularity has spread to the U.S. Also, they can be constructed with a variety of materials, from shingles to slate, depending on homeowner preferences. When considering the climate, the design fares well in areas with heavy rainfall since its shape allows for efficient water runoff, preventing leaks and structural damage.

10. Flat Roof

Flat roof
Flat Roof

Moving from Dutch-gable roofs, let’s examine flat roofs, a starkly different yet widely popular option for modern and minimalist home designs. The appeal of flat roofs lies in their clean lines and versatility. When it comes to roof insulation, they’re champions. They provide an ideal space for thick layers that keep homes energy-efficient.

However, waterproofing methods are crucial with flat roofs because without proper sealing, they can be more prone to leaks. I’ve also noticed a trend in solar panel integration, with flat roofs offering the perfect platform. However, their maintenance requirements are higher due to their extremely low slope.

11. Jerkinhead Roofs

Jerkinhead roofs, often seen on residential buildings, blend the best of gable roof and hip roof designs to create a structure that’s both aesthetically pleasing and wind-resistant. This roof shape is historically significant, and it’s a timeless design that’s been providing homes with character for centuries.

I particularly admire the wind-resistance of jerkinhead roofs. Their unique design prevents wind uplift better than most, making them a smart choice in storm-prone areas.

When I’m selecting roofing materials for a jerkinhead, I always consider durability. The right materials ensure longevity, requiring less frequent repairs. Also, its maintenance requirements aren’t overwhelming, but regular check-ups are essential to keep it in top shape.

12. Saltbox Roofs

Saltbox roofs
Saltbox Roofs

Saltbox roofs are becoming more popular for homes due to their asymmetrical design and historical roots.

Saltbox roofs first emerged in Colonial times, as their shape mimics a container that held salt during this time. Their unique aesthetics, with one sloping side, create a captivating look for residential properties. The asymmetrical design isn’t just for show, saltbox roofs offer excellent weather resistance and easily shed rain and snow. 

13. Butterfly Roof

Diving into the realm of modern architecture, the butterfly roof stands out with its inverted design. There are numerous advantages of butterfly roofs, including in their compatibility with modern architecture. The unique V-shape of the roof not only catches the eye but also enhances rainwater harvesting potential, as water can be funneled to a central collection point.

However, if you are thinking of installing a butterfly roof, consider the costs involved. The complexity of design often translates to higher construction expenses. But it’s not just about the initial outlay; the environmental impact is a significant factor, too. A butterfly roof can contribute to better thermal efficiency, reducing energy consumption over time. 

14. Dormer Roof

The dormer roof stands out for its versatility and the added space it provides to attic areas. Over the years, I’ve seen a variety of dormer styles, each bringing its unique charm to a home. The benefits of adding dormers extend beyond beauty – they enhance natural light and ventilation, making attic spaces more livable.

Also, if you are installing a dormer roof, you will love the window options. Exploring window options for dormers is always exciting, whether you opt for double-hung, arched, or awning windows, each choice can completely transform the look and feel of the space. Moreover, it’s important not to neglect the choice of roofing materials. The selection of dormer materials also plays a crucial role in the durability of the existing roof.

15. Curved Roofs

Moving from the practicality of dormer roofs, now let’s consider the elegance of curved roofs, a design that’s not only visually striking but also offers unique structural benefits for homes.

The choice of roofing materials for curved roofs is important, as flexibility and durability are the keys to withstanding the elements. However, the maintenance requirements for curved roofs can be higher due to their complex shape. Also, you shouldn’t underestimate the installation challenges, it takes skilled craftsmanship to ensure the curves aren’t only aesthetically pleasing but structurally sound. Additionally, you must also consider the structural considerations, as the roof’s shape can impact the overall stability of the home.


While exploring various roof types, you might have realized it’s more than just aesthetics; It’s about matching the roof to your home’s architecture and local climate.

Whether it’s the classic gable roof or modern flat design, the choice should enhance your home’s functionality and style. Also, make sure to consider factors like weather patterns, maintenance, and energy efficiency. Apart from this, remember that the right house and roof color combination can increase the value of your home. 

Ultimately, the right roof is the one that won’t only look great but also protect your home for years to come. 

Contact The Professional Roofers In La Crosse, WI, For Your Roof Installation 

If you are considering a new roof installation in your home, contact the professional roofers in La Crosse, WI, for your roof inspection. 
Kickapoo Roofing is one the leading roofing companies serving La Crosse, WI, and the surrounding areas. We provide commercial and residential roof installation and replacement services to home and business owners, and the roofers at our company are skilled in all types of roofing jobs. We believe in complete transparency and professionalism with every project we take on. Contact us today at (608) 352-8688 to consult a roofing professional.

types of roofs
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