Pros and Cons of Different Roof Types

You’ve probably never given it a second’s thought; however, roofs tell us a lot about a place. From a glance, you can tell if it rains a lot, if it’s hot or cold, if it snows, or if powerful winds are a regular occurrence. Our homes and buildings are built for their climate, and not just to provide adequate occupancy for those living inside. Therefore, it’s essential to know the different kinds of roofing designs that have been created.  

We help locals with roof repair in Cambridge and are fascinated by the different kinds of roofs. We hope you find this article interesting and insightful!

Gable Roof

A gable refers to the triangular end of a roof. These roofs are also known as pitched or peaked roofs and are widespread throughout the world.

Pros: Gable roofs are highly adaptable, able to be stuffed with insulation in a colder climate, or raised in warmer areas to provide ventilation. They also allow water and snow to shed off the sides easily. 

Cons: Gable roofs struggle in high wind and hurricane zones, as they increase the lateral surface area of the building, leading to possible collapse.

Hip Roof

Instead of a flat wall at the end, hip roofs have slopes on all four sides, with sides of equal length meeting at the top to form the spine of the roof.

Pros: Hip roofs are a most aerodynamic-shape, while still allowing rain and snow to slide off. 

Cons: Due to the more complicated design, hip roofs are more expensive to build and require more materials. 

Mansard Roof

Also known as a French roof, the scalloped style was popular in the US post-Civil War. Characterised by the double slope, with a flat or gentle slope on top, dropping down to a second steeper curved slope, where windows frequently are placed. 

Pros: Mansard roofs shape the roof over the living space, increasing the size of the house. Plus, they can later be expanded with a garret or dormer.

Cons: The low-pitch of the uppermost roof is ill-suited to areas with heavy snow or rain.  

Gambrel Roof

Gambrel or barn roofs are similar to a mansard in their two-slope design. However, they differ in the sheer size of the roof. The upper slope usually is pitched higher, and the lower slope descends almost vertically down the side of the house.

Pros: Again, like the mansard, the gambrel allows greater living space by stretching the roof over the house.

Cons: Yet, like the gable roof, the design creates a lot of surface area, so is ill-suited to high wind areas. 

Flat Roof

Flat Flat Roofingroofs are, well, flat. There’s not much more to them than that. Previously, the roofing design was restricted to industrial or commercial buildings but has now become common on residential buildings as well.

Pros: Flat roofs essentially create another floor to your house. They can be made into roof gardens, host solar panels, or – if your home can hold the weight – have a penthouse constructed on them.

Cons: Due to the extreme low-pitch, flat roofs are ill-suited to rainy or snowy climates. They are also susceptible to leaks, and so require a lot of maintenance.


Top 15 Roof Types, Plus Their Pros & Cons – Read Before You Build!