5 Types of Roofing And How to Choose The Right One

Types of roofing can mean two different things. It can be about the style of roof or the materials used on roofs, and each of these things work together to create a different look while protecting properties from different weather conditions.

Knowing which is right for you is something that takes a bit of research, but it starts with looking around the neighbourhood to see what kind of roof is currently in use. This is because when properties are built, the kind of roof is often taken into account.

That said, over time, conditions have changed in parts of the world and we’ve developed a better understanding of withstanding external conditions, which might mean a change is in order.

Types of Roof

Roofs keep you warm and dry when the weather turns bad. Attics are often used for storage, if not actual rooms, and while an open-topped room might appeal in the warmer months when the weather is good, without something to protect it at other times, you’ll be inviting trouble into the home.

1. Gable Roof

A gable roof is the most common type of roof you’ll see on a building. It is made up of two angled sides meeting at the tip to form a triangle. The angle creates space in the attic, but this depends on how high the roof reaches.

As a design, it helps with ventilation and allows for a range of roofing materials to be used. Water will easily drain off with the steepness of the two sides and they’re easy to construct. Their versatility and sturdiness makes them a popular choice.

2. Hip Roof

A hip roof is similar to a gable roof but rather than being made up of two angled sides, it consists of four sides all rising to meet a singular point. It offers many of the same advantages as a gable roof but often at a lower meeting point.

If you’re looking for headspace in the attic and keep this style of roof, you’ll want to consider sharper angles or a raised roof to make it useful.

3. Mansard Roof

One of the more complex styles of roof is the Mansard, which is a roof of four double slopes, with the bottom slope being at a steeper angle than the top. This is to give the uppermost floor more headroom, making it a more viable option to use as a room or floor in your home.

This style of roof takes inspiration from the French, and the top of the roof is at a slight angle to help with shedding water. Anything that may settle on top and add weight, snow for example, is something to consider.

4. Dormer Roof

Another very common style of roof is the dormer. While not a style of roof in its own right, it is seen often on many houses that have had a conversion in the attic area. The idea is a bigger window for extra natural light but it also adds more headroom to the top floor of the building.

Dormers work with most roof types and can be of various sizes, from a single window to a large one running the length of the property. Care should be taken to make sure this extension is secured properly, but it is a valuable addition to many houses.

5. Flat Roof

Despite the name, flat roofs are not actually completely flat. If they were, they’d be at risk of water pooling and collecting after rain. Not to mention snow and debris after extreme weather. That means they do often sit at a slight angle to help with this, although too much weight for a prolonged period of time without the right support is something to watch for.

They often give more headroom, though, so if the climate and environment suit it, and you have ways to clear anything from the roof that shouldn’t be there, it’s a good option.

Different Roofing Materials

Once you know the type of roof you want, you can start looking at the materials and options that will top it. This is your main barrier of protection from the outside and elements, as well as being an aesthetic choice.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are popular across the country for their smart look and durability. They can handle all types of weather that might be thrown at it and allow for water to run off easily - which is helped by the angle of the roof.


Slate roofing has been around for a long time, so you’ll see it on many houses. It is heavy, which makes it harder to dislodge, and is waterproof and heat resistant. It can break, however, so be careful on installation to make sure you’re not left with a gap. Hail and debris, when moving at speed and with force, can break slate, too, so regular checks are needed to avoid leaks.

Clay and Concrete

Another heavy option are clay and concrete roof tiles. These protect from water well, and are harder to dislodge than some other roofing materials. This means they can withstand strong winds, but like slate, they can be broken with enough force so are better suited to warmer climates where hail is less common.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is perfect for dispersing water and snow thanks to their long sheets. There’s no room orgaps for leaks, and it’s a lightweight material that can even be installed over other materials. It’s biggest drawback is noise. When it rains, the patter on the roof will reverberate and heavier rain means more pattering and more noise.

Wood roofing

An uncommon choice is wood roofing. Whether with crossed beams or in the shape and style of roof tiles, wood is pleasing to look at and gives a very natural look, however it does absorb water and this can alter the shape of the material in excessive amounts. It can be treated with chemicals to become more water and fire resistant, but regular maintenance and care will be required.

Talk to Us About Your Roof

Before embarking on any changes to your roof, it’s worth getting expert advice on styles, materials and the project you have in mind. This will make sure what you want is going to work out the way you want and avoid unnecessary costs or hassle.

Get in touch with our team today and see how we can help with different types of roofing.