Roof Types and House Styles
Roofs are very important, but especially important on the waterfront. You want them to get water off the roof, route winds up and over the shelter, and they contribute strongly to the overall look of the house.
Flat Roof This is the simplest roof type and very common on commercial structures. Sometimes a flat roof accommodates a deck. However, you don't see many in residential construction because they don't get water quickly off the roof, consequently they are often prone to leaking. In the northwest, that is a major problem. Also, if the drains plug or there is heavy snow with rain they can get very heavy and cause roof collapse.
Shed Roof: This is also simple. Take a flat roof and raise one side. This has the benefit of getting water off quickly. Sometimes the higher area on one side can be used for a loft or for storage. Or the sheds can run different directions for an interesting effect. Pitches vary widely.
Gable Roof: This is the most common roof in residential construction. Most gables are pitched between 4/12 and 8/12. Usually the ridge is at center span with equal pitches on each side. Roof overhangs in Western Washington are normally around 24 inches.
Hipped Roof: This is a roof that people love in rainy areas. Water is carried to the edges quickly. And the style provides good wind protection. It is tricky to frame but can make for very interesting ceilings below.
Gambrel Roof: This looks like a barn roof. It runs two pitches, a more gentle pitch for the top (around 4/12) and a steep pitch on the sides. It creates a lot of volume on the inside and is often used for storage sheds, barns, and multi-story houses.
Mansard Roof: This roof has steep side slopes and is flat on top. Sometimes the top is depressed and the mansard is a false front for a building. In most mansards the second story is housed in the mansard and has dormers for windows.
House styles are varied in our country and have many influences
Architectural Style also strongly influences the look of your house.
Houses are sometimes described as contemporary, Asian, ranch, traditional, saltbox, two story, four square, farm house, cottage, A-frame, bungalow, Victorian, Cape Cod, Lodge style, even storybook style.
For an extensive list of architectural styles in the U.S. go to the following link: