<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2445357002353931&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

6 Roof Types - And How They Work

Published by Pickard Roofing at

If you are looking to purchase a new home, or are looking to have a new roof installed on your home, you may hear about different roof styles and types. The type of roof that is on a home affects the overall aesthetic of the roof, how the roof functions and what type of care the roof will need in the future. Learning about the different roof styles available can help you to better understand roofs. Here are six of the most common types of roofs and how they function.

Flat Roofs

While flat roofs are named flat roofs, they actually do have a slight incline to them that allows water to drain. However, that slope is slight and to someone looking up toward the roof, it may not look like much of a slope. These types of roofs have traditionally been used on commercial buildings or warehouses, but are gaining in popularity on contemporary homes or solar homes. When it comes to flat roofs, it is very important to select a top roofing company to lay a leak proof flat roof, as the low incline leaves these roofs prone to leaks from standing water.

Shed Roofs

Shed roofs are fairly similar to flat roofs, and are often made from the same materials as flat roofs. However, unlike flat roofs, Shed roofs tend to have a slightly higher incline. This gives the roof an appearance that crosses between a flat roof and a sloped roof. It also solves the leak issue that is common with flat roofs. This is also one of the simplest types of sloped roofs to construct.

Gable Roofs

When you think of a roof, most people automatically think of a gable roof. A gable roof features the triangular shape that most people think of when they think of houses, and that most children draw when they are asked to draw a picture of a home. The gable roof is the most common roof shape, and tends to be fairly easy and inexpensive to build. On top of being easy and inexpensive to construct, their strong, stiff structure allows the roof to withstand snow and high winds, without collapsing or becoming damaged.

Gambrel Roof

A barn has a very unique shape to it, and it is often the roof that gives a barn its unique shape. The roofing that is found on barns, and some unique barn-style homes, is called a gambrel roof. This type of roof has a pentagon-like shape that creates a very distinguishable roof style. The roof has very steep sides to it, but is relatively flat along the top. This allows for window placement that allows light to come into a home or barn. A gambrel roof is ideal for small homes, as it is best placed on compact buildings.

Hip Roof

A hip roof is very similar to a gable roof, with one key exception. Whereas a gable roof has a triangular shape, a hip roof has the ends clipped off the side. This means the roof itself has steep slopes to allow water to drain, yet the edges of the roof look clean, straight and modern. A hip roof makes the roof less visible than a gable roof, meaning your roof is less the focal point of the exterior of the home. Hip roofs typically look better than gable roofs, but they require large beams to be placed to hold up the weight of the hip roof, which can be time-consuming and costly.


Mansard roofs are not that common. They have two large pitches on them that overlap and bear weight on all of the side walls. These are big and heavy roofs, but the benefit to them is that they maximize the space in an attic, making them ideal for people who want to turn their attic into livable space. These types of roofs are not modern looking, and these days are typically only seen on historic homes.

Whether you are remodeling your home or having a roof built on a brand new home, you want to ensure that the roof is installed correctly. Here at Pickard Roofing Company, Inc. we are leaders in the roofing industry in Raleigh and Durham, NC. We offer residential roofing services, commercial roofing services, metal fabrication and historical restoration services. We guarantee your roof replacement is done correctly and we are proud to be CertainTeed Tenured Member Award holders. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with an upcoming roof project.

Get a Roofing Evaluation


At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.