Various Roof Styles and Their Advantages

Various Roof Styles and Their Advantages

Are you ready to invest in a new roof and wonder which roof types to consider for your property?
Estimated Read Time:

Maybe you’re one step away from closing the deal with your new home, but you want to make sure that the roof construction is suitable for Florida, or you need a new roof for your gazebo because the last one went away in the last hurricane. 

Experts at Emerald Coast Roofing created this guide to help you understand different types of roofs and their benefits and drawbacks for various climates and architectural factors. 

Gable Roof 

Gable roofs might not be the house roof types you’ll come across in coastal cities, such as Niceville and Milton, because they are more suited for colder climates. A gable roof has two slopes that meet at the top and create a steep ridge. 

Roofers build gable roof structure from various supporting materials, such as trusses, purlins, and rafters and they can construct different pitches, depending on the construction shape. 

There are also variations in gable roofs as seen in different architectural styles, such as Victorian, Colonial, Dutch, and Gothic. These commercial and residential types of roofs can have shape variations, too, so cross and box gables are the most common. 


  • Straightforward A-frame design offers a lot of attic space  
  • It prevents the snow from piling up
  • Easy to vent 
  • Classic aesthetic 


  • Susceptible to damage from strong winds
  • You need to install supporting elements for windy areas

Hip Roof 

Unlike other types of roof, the hip roof has four sides that fall downward to the walls. It lacks vertical elements and may look like a pyramid on buildings with a square shape. Hip roof designs are popular because they are self-bracing, sturdy, and last a long time. Therefore, people often install them in churches and commercial buildings. 


  • Self-supporting roof construction can stay intact during extreme weather
  • Compared to some other roof shapes, a hip roof offers less attic space


  • Challenging to vent
  • Pricey

Mansard Roof 

If you prefer elegant roof styles, the mansard type will please you. Every side of the roof features two slopes with a considerable difference in angle, so they are unlike classical steep roofs. 

All sides have the identical profile, which gives the property a timeless and elegant look. The mansard roof was favored in early French architecture and gives vintage roof styles vibes. In addition, the roof ensures better airflow and the indoor temperatures are more comfortable.


  • Sophisticated look
  • The roof allows more sunlight
  • Substantial attic space suitable for storage or living
  • Because of the airflow, the mansard roof improves heat distribution and reduces energy costs


  • Expensive to install
  • Difficult maintenance because of the complex design
  • Local roofers can be unfamiliar with this type of roof so finding someone to install and maintain it gets challenging

Flat Roof 

Flat roofs aren’t common residential roof types, and they differ from roof types for homes because they lack slope. However, minimalistic and Art Deco architecture often features flat roof lines, due to greater design opportunities.

 The surface isn’t entirely level. It features a slight 10-degree slope to allow the water to run off the roof. Most people use the flat roof as a living space. 

Commercial flat roof systems often have waterproof membranes made from fiberglass, while residential flat roofs feature a rubber layer on top. Recently, the third alternative to the mentioned flat roofs with coated basement sealant improved water resistance and gained more popularity.


  • Affordable and easy to build
  • Suitable for solar panels
  • The top surface of your home becomes usable


  • It isn’t as durable as other different types of roofing with slopes
  • Potential drainage issues
  • Requires regular maintenance 

Gambrel Roof 

Common roof types on barns and Dutch colonial buildings are gambrel roofs. A gambrel roof resembles a gable roof, but it has a higher pitch and offers even more attic space with its two sides, each consisting of two parts. Because of the specific design, each side had both a shallow slope and a steep slope. 

You might not see gambrel roofs in Crestview or Pensacola, and other urban areas that often, but it is a good option for homeowners who want a countryside appearance and need to expand their home space.


  • It provides ample space for storage and different use
  • Easy to mix with different kinds of roofs 
  • Straightforward installation 
  • You can pick from various materials, colors, and textures


  • Susceptible to wind damage
  • Roof needs extra steps to be waterproof

Shed Roof 

Shed roofs aren’t suitable for large buildings, and roofers often install them in addition to different roof types. With its single-slope construction, the shed roof is used for extension or in contemporary, modern architectural designs.

Shed roofs have been in use for centuries, and there are various names for them – mono-pitched roofs, pent roofs, catslide, etc. Shed roofs require regular maintenance to prevent branches and dirt from piling up and damaging roof material. 


  • Simple and cost-effective solution
  • Provides a lot of natural light and allows for large windows
  • Excellent water drainage 


  • Not suitable for large buildings and properties with irregular shapes
  • No attic space
  • Needs regular cleaning 

Butterfly Roof 

Butterfly roofs don’t look like other roofs shapes, because they have an inverted structure, in the shape of the letter V, or butterfly winds. The inward-sloping sides give off futuristic vibes and improve the eco-friendly aspect of your home. 

Architects designed it to allow solar panel installation and rainwater collection in the central roof valley. 


  • Eco-friendly
  • Unique appearance capable of customization on differently shaped buildings
  • Ensures home gets a lot of sunlight


  • Requires experienced roofers to install it because of the design complexity
  • Expensive
  • Potential drainage issues 

Skillion Roof 

The skillion roof is another single-slope roof, but it features a steeper slope than the shed roof. The design is simple and versatile, so you can notice it on both residential and commercial properties, as a primary roof, or as part of complex buildings with multiple sections. 

Nowadays, roofers install it on industrial buildings as well, because of its benefits. 


  • Simple construction provides a contemporary aesthetic
  • Versatile design 
  • Excellent water drainage 


  • It isn’t suitable for all architectural styles
  • Limited stability, and may need support to withstand harsh weather

Curved Roof 

As the name suggests, a curved roof has a convex or concave curve and an avant-garde and contemporary aesthetic. It has been designed to ensure efficient water drainage and minimize the possibility of leaks. 

Curved roofs have unique aesthetics, especially on multi-roof structures, but they are more complex than most other roof shapes. When it comes to installation and maintenance, curved roofs differ vastly. There is less framing, but a roofer needs to give extra effort to keep the framing board curved and in place. 


  • Unique appearance
  • Excellent for high-wind areas
  • Expand the interior space and give it a creative vibe


  • Expensive
  • Require experienced roofers to install it properly
  • Specialized, expensive materials are needed for the structure to perform well

Combination Roof 

A combination roof is a structure made from two (or more) different roof types installed on one building. Because you can combine almost every roof type, a combination roof is the most versatile for the majority of buildings. Common combinations include gable and flat roof, gable and hip roof, and skillion roof and gable.


  • Susceptible to customization 
  • Excellent for irregular-shaped residential and commercial buildings
  • Enhance architectural interest


  • Complex structure
  • Costly because of the use of various materials
  • Only skilled and experienced architects and roofers can tackle complex structures

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, you can now tell the difference between various roof styles and names. Versatile hip and gable roofs have a traditional appearance, but some modern flat and skillion roof types might suit homeowners with different aesthetic preferences. 

Butterfly roofs are the most eco-friendly, but also require significant investment, which will pay off in the long run. Shed, mansard, and gambrel roofs are excellent options, too, if you want to cover a barn or auxiliary object around your home, and a combination roof is best for unique properties. 

Curved metal roofs are a fine option for areas with lots of rainfall, and can be good for artistic homeowners and industrial objects, too.

If you are still determining which roof to install on your building, consult an experienced roofing contractor. The Emerald Coast Roofing team is happy to help you decide!


How do I choose the best roof design for my home?

  • When choosing between different types of roofs, homeowners should keep in mind the climate, the architectural elements of the neighborhood, home shape, aesthetic differences, and budget. Consult a local roofing contractor to get more insights into which residential roof types are most suitable for your area.

Which roof type is best?

  • Hip roofs are the most versatile and can be used in different climates. They also offer excellent durability and require moderate maintenance, but you may need something stronger in areas with heavy snow. Also, if you want to install an eco-friendly roof, other options might suit you better.

How roof design affects the energy efficiency of my home?

  • Because it acts as a physical barrier between your home’s interior and external elements, such as sunlight and heat, rain, and snow, the roof plays an important role in your home’s energy efficiency. If it is designed to boost the airflow, the temperatures will be easier to maintain indoors, and proper ventilation in the roof will keep the entire home cooler. That way, your roof will lower your energy bills and carbon emissions. 

What type of roof is modern?

  • Flat and skillion roof designs are considered modern and urban because they feature clean lines to mimic nature’s horizon. They are also easy to blend with different neighborhoods and homeowners’ aesthetic preferences. 
Other Posts