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10 Types of Roofs for Houses [The Best Shapes and Materials]

What are the best types of roofs for houses? If you are currently scouting for roofing materials and shapes, you’ll come across ones you’ll really like. Most often than not, we judge roofs based on their appearances first. Then we explore their specific benefits.

But without a proper guide and advice from an expert, choosing from the types of roof materials and shapes can be intimidating. For that reason, we’ve prepared this useful post. Read this before you start your roofing project.

Types of Roofs for Houses: Everything You Should Know

First, let’s explore five various roof shapes. The second part of this section discusses common roofing materials.

What Are the Different Shapes of Roofs?

1. Flat Roof

front view of brown house with flat roof

More and more homeowners consider flat roofs because of their advantages. They’re cost effective and modern-looking.

Thinking of installing a flat roof? Previously, we wrote a post that discusses why a flat roof is worth it for your house. An advantage of a flat roof design is the added roof space for multiple purposes. You get to grow a roof garden and dedicate a space for solar panels and a water tank.

Some people ask whether flat roofs are really flat. No, they aren’t. Because if they were, they would have difficulty draining water. Instead, flat roofs have a slight pitch that isn’t obvious.

2. Pyramid Hip Roof

Imagine a pyramid - that’s what a pyramid hip roof looks like. One of the simplest types of roofs for houses, a pyramid hip roof has four slanted sides. The slides meet at one point which is the tip of the roof.

This roofing shape is advantageous because it lacks ridges. Ridges are likely to leak and get damaged. Another benefit is that pyramid hip roofs have eaves on all sides. These roof eaves provide extra shade during the summer to keep you cool.

3. Gable Roof

red orange stone house with balcony

A gable roof is characterized by two sloping sides.

We’re 100% sure that you’ve seen a gable roof because it’s the most common type of roof shape. It's characterized by two slopes that meet at the top. The sides of the slopes are open. Draw a stick figure of a house on a piece of paper. That’s a gable roof right in front of you.

A gable roof is so typical that it doesn’t matter if it’s installed in a cold or warm climate. It makes a good choice because of these reasons:

  • Highly affordable for the homeowner.
  • Gable roofs are designed to prevent snow build-up.
  • You can design your roof in many ways.

Note that there are many types of roofs for houses under a gable design. Options include front gable, cross gable, and Flemish (Dutch) gable.

4. Shed Roof

A shed roof is also called a skillion roof. It’s characterized by a single slope. If there’s one word to describe a shed roof, that’s “simplicity”. Like a gable roof, a shed roof is affordable. Now, why choose this single-sloped roof for your house?

Invest in a shed roof if you don’t like an attic space. We know that flat roofs allow for solar panel installation. However, shed roofs also accommodate them. Roofing contractors also find shed roofs easy to build because of their identical rafters.

5. Curved Roof

types of roofs for houses

Curved roofs are stylish and modern. The most commonly used material for a curved roof is steel.

If you want a unique and modern-looking house, go for a curved roof. Curved roofing systems are not just aesthetically pleasing. More importantly, they reduce the indoor temperature. As a result, you feel cooler because they receive less sunlight.

You can customize a curved roof depending on your design preferences and location. Homeowners who live in windy areas may need a curved roof with a lower slope.

Various Roofing Material Options

1. Asphalt Shingles (Lasts 20-30 years)

These are perhaps the most common and highly desired types of roofs for houses. There are many reasons…

One, asphalt shingles are versatile for they come in different colors and profiles. They can even resemble cedar shakes or slate roofs. Two, many homeowners are able to afford asphalt shingles - depending on the type (3-tab shingles or architectural shingles).

Here at Roper Roofing, we install asphalt roofing shingles from the best manufacturers. They include Owens Corning, GAF, TAMKO Building Products, and more. Asphalt roof shingles can be installed on any roof shape on this list - except flat and curved.

2. Metal Roofing (Lasts 40-100 years depending on the metal type)

red metal roof with two windows

The longevity of metal roofing systems is what makes them a great investment.

Among the types of roofs for houses, metal roofs are worth your while. Metal roofing systems offer several advantages. The most obvious one is the lifespan. Yes, metal roofs last long than most materials in the industry. Copper is the metal roof type that lasts the longest.

People may tell you that metal roofs tend to produce noise when it rains. This is not totally true. With insulation in place, noise should be greatly minimized.

3. Wood Shake Roof (20-40 years)

If you love a natural-looking house and value environmentally-friendly products, choose to install wood shakes. Cedar is a great wood material because it’s strong, beautiful, and reduces energy consumption. Cedar roofs last long and the reason is that they contain natural oils that make them resistant to decay and pests.

While not all roofing contractors install a wood shake roof, we do here at Roper Roofing. Cedar wood shakes cannot be installed on flat surfaces, only sloped ones.

4. Slate Roof (Lasts 50-125 years)

grey slate roof on house with square window

Slate roofs have a timeless beauty, wouldn’t you agree?

Nowadays, you’ll still be able to find slate roofing systems on homes that have been built about a hundred years ago. Slate roofs are one of the oldest types of roofs for houses. This only means that a slate roof is very durable.

Made from natural stone, slate roofs are recyclable and environmentally-friendly. Your only concern is the weight. Since they’re extremely heavy, your contractor should reinforce the roof deck. This allows it to accommodate the weight of the slate roof.

5. EPDM Flat Roofing (Lasts 22-35 years)

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or EPDM, for short, is a rubber roofing membrane. While it’s a leading material among commercial properties, many homes use it. Affordability is one reason why EPDM is sought after.

Also, it’s a flexible material - suited for installation in warm and cool temperatures. To boost energy-efficiency, you can have a roofing contractor apply EPDM reflective roof coatings.

Final Thoughts

So… Have you learned enough about the types of roofs for houses? Of course, there are still other roofing shapes and materials to discover. But the list here already gives you tons of options to choose from.

Of course, you'll need an excellent Denver CO roofing company with decades of experience and knowledge that speaks volumes of their work and reputation. Roper Roofing is the company you're looking for!

We install, repair, and replace asphalt roofs, metal roofs, roof tiles, slate roofs, wood shakes, and more. Speak with one of our experts today to discuss your need for a new roof.

Call Roper Roofing today at 720-307-7143 for a site inspection and FREE QUOTE.


795 McIntyre St. Suite 303
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 720-809-7586



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