The Most Common Types of Roofs
Here at D-marc we have a vested interest in roofs of all types, shapes and sizes. Today we’re going to take a look at all the different types of roof that are available with a short explanation of each. Roof shapes tend to differ from region to region with the main factors influenced by the climate and the materials available for roof structure and the outer covering. Last week we took a detailed look at the history of roofs so today we’re going to give you a quick explanation of the most common types of roof shapes that are used in buildings.
Flat Roofs – these are usually used in regions with low precipitation though modern materials which are highly impermeable have made this type of roof possible elsewhere and flat roofs are often used on commercial and industrial premises here in the UK. Despite being called flat, they are generally slightly pitched in order to facilitate drainage.
Pitched Roofs – these are sloping roofs and there are many different types of pitched roof from a mono-pitched roof (as in a lean-to roof) to a multi-pitched roof. Some of the types of multi-pitched roof are as follows:
- Gabled roofs have a triangular portion of wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches and can be ridged, dual-pitched, peaked, stepped gable, etc.) and include cross gabled (the result of joining two or more gabled roof sections together to form a T or L shape) and stepped gable (a gable roof with the end parapet walls below extending slightly upwards, resembling steps).
- A-frame which is steeply angled with the roofline beginning near the foundation line of the building and meeting at the top to resemble the letter A.
- Hipped – the type of roof where all sides slope downwards towards the building’s walls, usually with a gentle slope. A hipped roof has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof.
- Mansard (French) – this type of roof has the pitch divided into a shallow slope above a steeper slope.
- Butterfly – a V shaped roof resembling an open book with the roof separated into two parts which run towards each other at an obtuse angle.
- Half-hipped – this is a combination of a gable and a hipped roof with the hipped part at the top and the gable section lower down.
- Dutch gable (gablet) – a hybrid of the hipped and gable with the gable wall at the top and hipped lower down – the opposite arrangement of a half-hipped roof.
- Barrel-arched – this is a rounde3d shape of roof like a barrel (tunnel) vault.
Circular Roofs – these come in a variety of shapes, including:
- Domed or Onion Domed – like the roofs on the Taj Mahal, the US Capitol Building in Washington DC or the Onion Domes that are common in Russian architecture.
- Conical – these are most frequently seen on the tops of towers in medieval town fortifications and castles.
Green Roofs – these roofs are also called “living roofs” and are becoming increasingly common as designers strive to present us with ecologically-friendly buildings. We’ll be taking a much closer look at Green Roofs next week.