From ArticleWorld

A Roof is the term used for the external top part of a residential unit. It provides basic protection from the elements of nature like sun, wind and rain. The occupants of the house may or may not have access to it. There are cases where a roof is private and instances where it is shared with other occupants of the building, like in an apartment house.

Types of roofs

Whether composed of slate, tile, wood, metal, or modern composite, the roof portrays the essence and personality of a house. An uncomplicated roofline implies quiet dignity, while an elaborate roof with cross-gables or turrets suggests style. Although the type of roof that a house has depends on the owner’s liking and taste – it is largely dictated by the weather of the place.

Flat roofs are generally found in arid parts of the world, where slope is not important. Southwestern American houses, often have flat roofs. Then again flat roofs are also common on modern, international-style homes and many urban townhouses.

Roofs get sloping as we move further north in America. This is to prevent water and snow collecting on the roof tops and causing seepage and other related problems. With the recent developments in roofing material, concern about durability of roofs has diminished considerably.

It becomes simple to identify the overall architectural style of a house by observing two key characteristics: the shape and the pitch of the roof. Pitching is referred to the slant or the tilt of the roof.

Shape and pitch

Pitch of a roof may range from flat to slight pitch to a dramatic (steep) pitch. Roof shapes are of many kinds, the few popular ones are:

  1. Cross gabled: often used for Tudors and Cape Cods;
  2. Front gabled: Used for Cape Cods and Colonials;
  3. Gambrel: Either front- or side-faced; used in Dutch Colonials;
  4. Hipped: Used in 1 and 2- stories and four square bungalows;
  5. Mansard: Often found in French colonial and Ranch styles; and,
  6. Salt Box: Featured in two-story colonials; common in the eastern United States.