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Most Common Roof Types: Descriptions, Pros & Cons, Illustrations

When it comes to roofing, you have more options than you might have thought. From flat roofs and hipped roofs, to gambrel and butterfly, it’s not always easy to decide which roof would be best for the structure in question. To shed a bit of light on the subject, Salmon Solutions will be going through the most common types of roofs and their various benefits and drawbacks.

Open Gable Roof Type

Gable roofs are arguably the most popular style of roof as they can easily suit a variety of homes and buildings. In its most basic appearance, a gable roof is a combination of two roof planes which form the shape of an inverted V.

Pros of open gable roofs:

  • Rain resistant
  • Excellent drainage
  • Relatively cheap

Cons of open gable roofs:

  • Vulnerable to wind and damage
  • Doesn’t stand out aesthetically

Hip (Hipped) Roof Type

The standard hip (or hipped) roof consists of four sides of equal height which slope up to meet at a ridge. The geometry of a hip roof makes it much more stable when it comes to resisting the wind while the pitched sides protect the house from rain and snow. Just like a gable roof, there is plenty of ventilation and scope for extensions further down the line.

Pros of hip roofs:

  • Strong, traditional look
  • Wind resistant

Cons of hip roofs:

  • Difficult to build
  • Vulnerable to leakage


Flat Roof Type

Flat roofs have been generally dismissed as a bad idea by homeowners unless they were planning to build a shed. Although flat roofs are generally pitched to a slight degree to allow water to run off, they are often unable to cope with serious wet weather and tend to spring leaks.

With single ply membrane roofing systems – like those offered by Salmon Solutions – however, the issue of waterlogging can be completely eradicated. Single ply systems are easy to install, flexible and suitable for roofs of all kinds and sizes.

Pros of flat roofs:

  • Unique aesthetic
  • Easy to build
  • Opportunity for a patio

Cons of flat roofs:

  • Difficult to maintain
  • Struggle with rain
  • Costly to keep up

Gambrel Roof Type

A gambrel roof (also known simply as a gambrel), is a type of two-sided roof that is characterised by vertical gable ends and two slopes on each side. The upper slope is of a shallower pitch than the lower slope which is steeper. It is similar to a Mansard roof but differs in that it is not hipped, but has vertical gable ends instead.

Pros of gambrel roofs:

  • Unique aesthetic
  • Good storage space
  • Maximises headroom

Cons of gambrel roofs:

  • Difficult to build
  • Dominates much of the home

Butterfly (V-Shaped) Roof Type

A butterfly is a V-shaped roof constructed of two tandem pieces which are angled up on the outside. The midsection is angled downward where the two pieces meet into a valley. The overall effect is of a butterfly’s wings. The butterfly roof is popular for modern, eco-friendly and tropical home designs.

Pros of butterfly roofs:

  • Unique aesthetic
  • Eco-friendly
  • More natural light

Cons of butterfly  roofs:

  • Expensive to build and maintain
  • Waterlogging is common

Salmon Solutions are metal roofing and single ply membrane specialists. We work across the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors, providing a fully accredited installation service for roofs of any size, shape or style. Our expert team will work closely with you to ensure your new roof meets your every expectation, so if you require brand new single ply roofing for your property, contact us today.


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