What are the Different Roof Types?

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There are many different types of roofs on both commercial and residential structures. With so many unique qualities to each of these, it’s easy to see why working with an expert is so important. Fortunately, our team at Action 1 Roofing only partners with the best local roofers in your area. They can help you with any type of work you need done, so your roof stays strong throughout the year. If you’d like to learn more about the types of roofs our partners can help with, the information below can help.

Roof Designs, Shapes & Styles

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A-Frame

This roof is named after its shape, which resembles the letter “a” or the triangle shape. The sides of this are generally steep, which helps protect it from water damage. Shingles are generally recommended for this type of roof, as they provide great coverage for the steep slope.

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Bonnet

This style of roof has four sides that are designed with double slopes. The lower slope is not as steep as the one above it and usually extends to cover a patio or porch for additional shade. Virtually any type of material can be used on a bonnet roof, although shingles made of stone or asphalt are the most commonly installed.

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Butterfly

This type of roof features two separate roofs that slope down toward each other, much like the wings of a butterfly. It’s also called a “v” roof, as it shares a similar shape to the letter. Most roofers recommend standing seam metal or rubber as the materials for this roof because both provide excellent waterproofing.
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Combination

A combination roof is designed with combinations of different styles and designs, based on the home and what’s best for it. It’s a customized option that will allow the homeowner to set their property apart from others in their neighborhood. Asphalt shingles for this roof are commonly used, although the material chosen may be based on the style of the home specifically.
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Curved

Curved roofs provide a modern look for homes that were designed to stand out. The curved shape can vary based on the design, with the slope varying as well. Some of the most popular materials for this type of roof are copper, aluminum, and stainless steel.
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Dome

Domed roofs are made in the shape of a dome, just as the name suggests. The shape is ideal for larger structures that wish to maximize light and air by having a very tall ceiling. Domes can be made out of just about any type of material, although glass is incredibly popular for owners who want more light inside.
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Flat

This type of roof is mostly level, although some may have a very small slope. While seen on some homes and apartment buildings, flat roofs are more common on commercial or industrial buildings. Spray foam and rubber roofing are two of the most common materials used on these roofs.

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Gable

Gable roofs are made with sides that slope opposite to one another and connect together at a common ridge. The most highly recommended materials for a gable roof are asphalt shingles and cedar shakes.

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Clipped

Clipped gable roofs do not have a high point like traditional gable roofs do. Instead, they are flattened and have a downward slope. Also known as a jerkinhead roof, the most common material used on this is asphalt shingles.

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Dutch

This roof combines the styles of a gable and hip roof to create something unique. It features sloping sides with a gable sitting at the top. This type of roof can be made with metal, shingles, or concrete tiles.

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Open

An open roof looks similar to a pyramid, with all sides coming together at the top to create one peak. Many different types of shingles can be used on this style of roof, depending on the desired look.

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Box

A box roof is unique, with each side featuring two different sloping angles. Normally, the upper angle will not be as steep as the lower angle on this style. These roofs also have triangular extensions that are boxed on each end. Most of these are made with asphalt shingles.

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Gambrel

A gambrel roof is designed with two symmetrical sides that have a shallow upper slope and a steep lower slope. The shape is what you would expect to see on a barn. Slate, wood, and asphalt shingles are some of the most popular materials you’ll find on this type of roof.

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Hip

A hip roof is made with sides that gently slope downward and meet at the top to form one common ridge. Since all sides of hipped roofs slope down, they will allow water or snow to slide down easily. Asphalt and wooden shingles are recommended for hip roofs.

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Jerkinhead

This roof is a combination of a hipped roof and gable roof to provide the homeowner with style and functionality. Instead of tall peaks, these roofs are clipped to maintain a flatter appearance. They also have two large sides and two small sides to maintain symmetry. Slate and tile are both highly recommended materials for this style of roof.

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Mansard

Two slopes can be found on each side of a mansard roof, with the bottom slope being the steepest. It’s designed with a combination of a hipped and gambrel-style roof that normally has windows projected outward. Slate and wood shingles are recommended for this style.

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Pitched

A pitched roof is extremely common on most residential homes, as it features a central ridge with sides that slope down. Asphalt shingles are the most common materials you’ll see on these, although ceramic tiles are popular as well.

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Pyramid

This roof has four sloping sides that come together at a top peak. This shape is popular for gazebos and sheds, although many homeowners use them for their unique look. Any type of shingle can be placed on this roof to provide adequate protection from the elements.

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Saltbox

This is an asymmetrical roof design with one very long sloping side and another short sloping side. They are common on Colonial homes, although they may also be found on barns and other classic structures. Wood shake and asphalt shingles are commonly used on saltbox roofs.

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Sawtooth

These roofs are made with a series of ridges that protrude from the top of the building. These can be found on commercial spaces as well as some larger residential homes. Metal is a common choice for this type of roof, although the material chosen will be based on the specific design.

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Skillion & Lean-To

These roofs have a perpendicular pitch and only one plane. They are made with just enough of a slope to allow water to drain away to prevent pooling and subsequent water damage. Shingles are most common for these, although tiles are also popular for more modern-looking properties.

What Roof Material Should You Choose?

When considering which roofing material to choose, it’s important to think about the details. This includes longevity, the benefits, the drawbacks, and what you can expect out of their performance. By understanding more about how each material works, you can have confidence in your decision. Below you can learn a little bit more about some of the different roofing materials you can choose from.

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Asphalt Shingle Roof

Traditional asphalt shingles are made with a base mat of woven fiberglass that’s covered with UV-resistant ceramic granules and a water-resistant asphalt coating. They come in many different colors and styles with an average life expectancy of 15-30 years.

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Clay Tile Roof

Tiles made of clay are very heavy and layer beautifully to provide structures with the best protection possible. These come in many shapes and colors, with an average life expectancy of 50-100 years and is one of the most durable.

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Concrete Tile Roof

Tiles made of concrete are heavy, durable, and long-lasting. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, so any homeowner should be able to find something they like. When it comes to longevity, concrete tiles can last up to 50 years.

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Copper Roof

Copper is an affordable and durable roofing material that can be installed continuously, in panels, or in shingles. It’s finished with a patina that prevents damage from water exposure. These roofs can last 60-100 years, although the cost can be quite high.

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Wood Shake Roof

Wood shake shingles are made out of hardwood and layered to create a naturally insulated home. They are thicker than their shingle counterparts, which allows them to last longer. This is a strong roofing material that can last 20-40 years.

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Built-Up Roof (BUR)

This type of roof is made of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics. BUR roofing can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance. Materials and installation methods have improved in recent years.

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Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof

Spray foam is a liquid that expands and hardens to create an airtight and watertight seal. It can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance, which is relatively simple with the help of a roofer.

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Rubber Roof (Single-Ply Membrane)

Rubber roofing is made from plastic polymers that are waterproof and durable. They are ideal for flat roofs or other roofs where shingles are not ideal. Rubber roofs can last up to 50 years.

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Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

TPO roofing is usually made from a blend of different types of rubber to provide a leakproof membrane from the rest of the structure. It can last anywhere from 22 to 30 years, depending on conditions.

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Metal Roof

Generally made of steel, metal roofing is a popular choice because it is lightweight, fire-resistant, and reflects heat. Longevity for this roof is anywhere from 40-70 years, depending on wear and tear. Mainly used for commercial buildings.

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Slate Tile Roof

This natural stone roofing tile is durable, long-lasting, and uniquely beautiful. Although it’s heavy, this lends to its incredible longevity, which can be up to 200 years. One of the longest-lasting roofing materials and typically most expensive.

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Solar Panel Roof

Solar panels are available in shingles, tiles, and panels, so any structure can take advantage of their benefits. Shingles look like traditional asphalt shingles but generate electricity and can typically last two to three decades.

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Tar and Gravel Roofing

Tar and gravel roofing is commonly installed on low or flat sloped roofs because it provides excellent protection. It’s installed in alternating layers to prevent damage from the sun and bad weather, including hail. This roof can last up to 30 years with proper installation and maintenance.

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Tin Roof

Tin roofs have become increasingly popular because they are durable, they do not rust, and they are considered to be eco-friendly. However, these are not made of pure tin. Instead, they are made of rolled steel and coated with tin for better longevity. They can last 40-70 years with proper maintenance.

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Wood Shingle Roof

Wood shingles are smoother than shake shingles, although they have similar shapes and durability. Generally, cedar is the wood of choice because it’s resistant to termites and rot. The longevity for this material can be up to 30 years. Typically used to add an extra touch of elegance to a roof.

Importance of Roof Maintenance

Regular maintenance will allow you to catch any issues, such as minor damage, before it becomes worse. By having repairs taken care of as soon as possible, your roof will remain strong and in better shape for years longer. If you ignore problems, the deterioration of your roof will likely be more rapid and result in the need to replace it much sooner. It’s generally recommended to have an inspection done once per year to make sure your roof is in good shape.

Action 1 Roofing only works with the best local roofers who have a proven track record of great service. We make sure they are experienced, knowledgeable, affordable, licensed, and insured. Our goal is to help you strengthen your roof, whether that means through repairs or a replacement.

When you contact us, we’ll learn more about your roofing needs so we can set you up with the local roofer that is the best for you. You can ask us questions at any time because we want to make sure you have a positive experience from start to finish. If you need roofing work, let us know. We are here to help no matter the type of roof you have or the work you need to have done.

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