What Are the Most Common Modern Roofing Styles?

Roof Types
August 13, 2020

As unassuming as it might seem, the roof of a building is one of its most important features. It helps to protect the inside of the building from the elements and keeps everything warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It contributes greatly to the value of a home, and although largely unsung, the roof is one of the most sophisticated pieces of building technology.

Of course, not all rooftops are created the same. There are many different modern roofing styles, each with a different purpose and specialization. Some are used primarily for homes, while others are more likely to be seen on commercial buildings. All of them are designed to serve their purpose—of keeping the inside of the building safe from the elements—and some can save you a great deal of money on heating and energy.

Below, we’ll list a few of the most common modern roofing styles:

Flat Roof

You’ll see this one on buildings everywhere, both commercial and residential. It’s very simple, being a roof that’s basically flat, and its primary benefit is in maximizing usable space inside a building. Since it won’t really be visible from the top, the flat roof doesn’t make use of decorative shingles, primarily utilizing asphalt, TPO, or PVC to reflect ultraviolet radiation away.

Despite the name, flat roofs are rarely truly flat. They still need to be able to allow for drainage of rainwater, so they almost always have a very slight gradient. Even so, flat roofs have a greater tendency to leak and let water in than other styles of rooftop, especially in areas that are prone to heavy rains, hail, and snow. If you do notice a leak, contact a professional from Interstate Roofing and ask them to come to repair it for you.

Gable Roof

Although this article is about the most common modern roofing styles, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one timeless classic: the gable roof. After all, a true classic never goes out of style, and indeed, the gable roof remains as popular on houses as ever. It’s the roof you imagine when you think of the classic “house” image—the one you see in thousands of paintings going back centuries—with the simple triangular rooftop.

Gable roofs allow a house to have a large attic or loft space. Their steep pitch also allows rainwater and snow to cascade off the rooftop easily. They are a relatively simple design, which makes their maintenance and care a bit less expensive than some of the other roofs on this list. Because of their striking shape, gable roofs are a very visible part of a house, so for the sake of your home’s curb appeal, it’s worthwhile to invest in some good-quality shingles.

Note that this style of roof, while great for deflecting rain and snow away from the home, tends to be vulnerable to heavy winds. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, it’s best to avoid the gable roof style.

Shed Roof

The shed roof has gained popularity in recent years as a trendy, modern type of rooftop, even though the design itself is quite old. As the name suggests, this rooftop resembles the one on a shed: it has a steep pitch, but only in one direction. Because this style of roof is so steep, it’s particularly great at keeping water and snow away from the home. It’s also a tad less vulnerable to wind than gable roofs are, although it’s still not recommended to utilize a shed roof in a part of the country that is vulnerable to hurricanes and tornadoes.

Shed roofs give you a good deal of freedom on the type of shingles you utilize on them. You can lean into the traditional “shed” look and opt for aluminum, or you can give your home a traditional-style boost by opting for more decorative roofing shingles.

Hip Roof

Hip roofs are popular because they allow for more attic space than flat roofs yet are sturdier than gable or shed roofs. However, there is a trade-off for this added stability. This style of rooftop tends to be more complex, and therefore more expensive, than other roofing styles. Hip roofs have four slopes of equal length, all of which come together at the top of the roof.

Besides being sturdy, hip roofs can be very attractive for a home, but they’ll require you to have a good relationship with a professional roofer. This is because maintenance is key for this type of roofing style. It’s more complex, and so minor issues must be tackled quickly before they balloon into more major problems. Even so, it’s well worth the extra investment for this roof, particularly when you make use of good-quality shingles to make your home the most striking one on the block.

Butterfly Roof

Here’s a style that’s truly befitting of modern homes. Today’s homeowner tends to be very conscious of their energy bills, both because of environmental concerns and the skyrocketing cost of heating in some areas. This rooftop, which is so named because it resembles the wings of a butterfly in flight, has two slopes that come together in a “V” shape. This allows for taller walls and, as a result, larger windows. It’s great for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. The relative flatness of the roof compared to other styles also allows for the addition of solar panels, giving you a further benefit to your energy bill.

Of course, the signature V shape of this roofing style can lead to some issues with regards to water drainage. That’s why it’s important to make sure your roofer waterproofs the entire roof. Water building up will, over time, cause damage, which can ultimately cause the roof to collapse. Fortunately, regular maintenance will help to avert this. Contact Interstate Roofing to get a quote for care and repairs of your butterfly roof.