Throughout history, people have lived in homes of different shapes and sizes. From caves to dug-outs, stone houses, mud huts to castles, wigwams, tepees and huts – although they are all quite different, they all had the same purpose – to provide protection and shelter.
Undoubtedly, the art of house building has come a long way. Today, we have an endless choice not only of the home design, but also of the roof design and shape. As roof plays a substantial role in the protection against the weather, choosing the roof shape must be given special attention.
Obviously, the shape of the roof will largely depend on the shape and size of the house but there is still room for creativity.
Pretty straightforward: it is a roof in the shape of a pyramid. This type is usually used with smaller houses or put on peripheral units like garages and sheds.
This type very similar to the pyramid one, but architecturally better. The difference is that the four roof sides don’t merge at a single point, but rather they merge at a ridge.
Similar to the previous two, a bonnet roof has two sides doing a gentle or a sudden slope. This type is most common with houses that have a porch area, with the slopes covering that portion.
A simple flat roof, as the name suggests – there’s no chance of mistaking it with any other type. It’s the kind that is easily built, stylish if you like simplicity, and you can walk on top of it, making it safe for any maintenance. However, all those bonuses come with a big minus – the maintenance difficulty. Water puddles form on top of it when it rains, along with other debris that has nowhere to go. For that reason, this kind of roof has lost some of its popularity.
Of course, the shape of the roof is not the only factor to be considered. The material you choose is equally important. Each different material used in roof construction has its benefits and downsides, so consider and inform yourself on all available materials before you make your decision. Think about the following:
- How durable is the material?
- Is it eco-friendly?
- How much does it weigh?
- Can you afford it?
Clay tiles go well with most houses. Eco-friendliness here comes with a drawback: while they are made from natural materials, they require a lot of energy to be made. They are quite durable and resist fire well – but not wind. Another problem with clay tiles is that they are very brittle and have the tendency to shatter. Weight can be a problem as well, as this option requires heavy, reinforced frames to support it.
Depending on the metal used, metal roofs can be rather cheap, as is the case with steel, or pretty expensive, like with copper. They are eco-friendly as the old roof constructions can always be melted to create new ones. Opposite to common belief, these roofs are very lightweight. Their durability varies depending on the metal used. Maintenance is quite simple, as steel roofs require only painting, while copper on the other hand creates a protective layer of its own over time.
Wood shingles / shakes
They give the house a pleasant, natural look. The weight and cost of wood shingles are moderate, meaning you can find both lighter and heavier materials, as well as cheaper and more expensive ones. They have good wind resistance – opposed to clay tiles, but fire is their biggest enemy, obviously. However, you can get around this flaw by coating them with a fire retardant. They are eco-friendly, of course, coming from natural materials. The biggest downside to them is that they have a very short lifespan and therefore, require regular maintenance and cleaning.
Building a home is definitely an important step in life. Decide how much money you want invested in it, how much time and energy you will have for its maintenance and how long they will potentially last. Figuring these questions out and having some basic knowledge will help you make the right decision.