Types of Roof Construction

Last updated on September 21, 2023

Explore the diverse world of roof construction as we delve into various types and styles, equipping you with the knowledge to make informed decisions on your next project.

Roofing is a crucial aspect of any building, whether it’s residential or commercial. It not only protects the occupants from harsh weather conditions but also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the structure.

But have you ever wondered about the different types of roof construction available? From flat roofs to pitched roofs, there are various options to choose from depending on your needs and preferences. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common types of roof construction and their advantages and disadvantages.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of roofing!

Types of Roofing Materials

types of roof construction

When it comes to roofing, the material you choose is just as important as the design. The right roofing material can enhance your home’s curb appeal and provide long-lasting protection against harsh weather conditions.

Here are some of the most popular types of roofing materials:

Asphalt shingles: These are one of the most common types of roofing materials used in North America due to their affordability and durability.

Wood shingles and shakes: They offer a natural look that complements traditional homes but require more maintenance than other options.

Clay and concrete tile: These tiles come in various shapes, sizes, colors, making them an excellent choice for homeowners who want a unique look for their roof.

Rubber Roofing: This type is ideal for flat roofs or low-slope roofs because they’re lightweight yet durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Composite Roofing: Made from recycled plastic or rubber mixed with wood fibers; composite shingles mimic slate or cedar shake while being eco-friendly.

Metal Roofs – Metal panels made from aluminum steel copper zinc titanium etc., these last longer than asphalt but cost more upfront.

Asphalt Shingles

They are made from a fiberglass mat that is coated with asphalt and topped with ceramic granules to provide protection against UV rays. Asphalt shingles come in various colors, styles, and textures, making them an excellent choice for homeowners who want versatility.

One of the main advantages of asphalt shingles is their affordability compared to other roofing materials such as metal or slate. They also have a relatively long lifespan ranging from 15-30 years depending on factors such as climate and maintenance.

However, it’s essential to note that not all asphalt shingles are created equal. Some low-quality options may crack or curl over time due to exposure to extreme weather conditions like hailstorms or heavy winds.

To ensure you get high-quality asphalt shingle roofing installed on your property, it’s crucial to work with reputable contractors who use top-grade products backed by warranties. At [company name], we pride ourselves on providing our clients with exceptional service using only premium quality materials at competitive prices.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

They are made from various types of wood, including cedar, redwood, and pine. Wood shingles have a smooth surface while shakes have an uneven texture that gives them character.

One advantage of using wood shingles or shakes is their durability. When properly installed and maintained, they can last up to 50 years or more.

They provide excellent insulation against heat transfer which helps keep your home cool in the summer months.

However, there are some downsides to consider before choosing this type of roofing material. One major concern is fire resistance as wood is highly flammable compared to other materials like metal or asphalt shingles.

Another factor that may deter homeowners from choosing this option is the cost as it tends to be more expensive than other roofing materials such as asphalt shingle roofs.

Clay and Concrete Tile Roofing

These tiles are made from natural materials, which makes them eco-friendly and durable. Clay tiles have been used for centuries in Europe, while concrete tiles were introduced in the United States during the early 1900s.

One of the main advantages of clay and concrete tile roofing is that they can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. They are also fire-resistant, making them an ideal choice for areas prone to wildfires.

Another advantage is their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, hailstorms, high winds or even hurricanes. This type of roof construction provides excellent insulation against heat loss during winter months while keeping your home cool during summer months by reflecting sunlight away from your house.

However, there are some downsides associated with clay and concrete tile roofing as well. One major disadvantage is its weight; these types of roofs require additional support structures due to their heaviness compared with other types like asphalt shingles or metal roofs.

Rubber Roofing

It’s made from synthetic rubber materials and has been used in commercial buildings for decades. However, it’s now becoming increasingly popular in residential homes due to its durability and affordability.

One of the main advantages of rubber roofing is that it can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking or peeling. This makes it an excellent option for areas with harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain or snowfall.

Another benefit of rubber roofing is that it requires minimal maintenance compared to other types of roofs. It doesn’t require regular cleaning or painting like some other materials do, which saves you time and money on upkeep costs.

Rubber roofs are eco-friendly since they’re made from recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of their lifespan.

Composite Roofing

It’s made from a mixture of materials, including asphalt, fiberglass, and recycled paper products. Composite shingles are durable and long-lasting with an average lifespan of 15-50 years depending on the quality.

One advantage of composite roofing is its versatility in design options. They come in various colors and styles that mimic wood shakes or slate tiles to match any home’s style.

Another benefit is their resistance to fire, wind damage, algae growth as well as being lightweight compared to other types like concrete or clay tiles which can be heavy enough to require additional structural support.

Metal Roof

It’s made from various metals such as aluminum, copper, zinc, and steel. Metal roofs are known to last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance.

One of the significant advantages of metal roofing is that it’s energy-efficient. It reflects sunlight instead of absorbing it like other materials such as asphalt shingles or concrete tiles.

This reflective property helps keep your home cooler during hot summer months by reducing heat transfer into the attic space.

Another advantage is that metal roofs are fire-resistant and can withstand high winds better than traditional roofing materials like wood shakes or asphalt shingles.

If you’re concerned about aesthetics, don’t worry! Metal roofs come in different colors and styles that can complement any architectural design seamlessly.

Corrugated Roofing

It’s made of metal sheets with wavy patterns that provide strength and stability, making it ideal for areas prone to harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow. Corrugated roofing comes in different materials such as steel, aluminum, and copper.

One advantage of corrugated roofing is its low maintenance requirements. Unlike other types of roofs that require regular cleaning or repairs, corrugated roofs are easy to maintain since they don’t accumulate debris easily.

Another benefit of using corrugated roofing is its versatility in design options. You can choose from various colors and finishes depending on your preference or the style you want to achieve.

However, one disadvantage of using this type of roof construction is the noise level during rainfall or hailstorms due to the material’s thinness compared with other types like asphalt shingles which absorb sound better.

Flat Roofing

As the name suggests, flat roofs have little to no pitch and are generally easier to install than pitched roofs. They’re also more cost-effective and require less maintenance.

However, one of the main disadvantages of flat roofing is that they tend to be prone to leaks if not installed correctly or maintained properly. This can lead to water damage inside your property and costly repairs.

To prevent this from happening, it’s essential that you choose an experienced roofer who specializes in flat roof installation and maintenance. They’ll ensure that your roof is properly sealed with high-quality materials such as EPDM rubber or TPO membrane.

Another way of preventing leaks on a flat roof is by installing proper drainage systems such as gutters and downspouts which will help direct water away from your property effectively.

Slate Roofing

Slate tiles are made from natural stone, which makes them durable and long-lasting. They come in various colors, including gray, green, black and red.

One of the advantages of slate roofing is its longevity. A well-maintained slate roof can last up to 100 years or more! This means that you won’t have to worry about replacing your roof anytime soon if you choose this option.

Another advantage of slate roofing is its resistance to fire and water damage. Slate tiles are non-combustible and do not absorb water easily; hence they offer excellent protection against fires as well as leaks caused by heavy rainfalls.

However, it’s important to note that installing a slate roof requires expertise due to the weight of the material involved. It’s essential that you hire experienced professionals who know how best install these types of roofs without causing any structural damage or safety hazards.

Solar Shingles and Solar Roofing

These innovative roofing materials harness the power of the sun, converting it into electricity that can be used to power your home.

Unlike traditional solar panels, which are mounted on top of an existing roof, solar shingles and roofing tiles blend seamlessly with your roof’s design. They come in a variety of colors and styles to match any architectural style.

While they may cost more upfront than traditional asphalt shingles or metal roofs, over time they can save you money by reducing your reliance on grid electricity. Plus, many states offer tax incentives for installing renewable energy systems like solar roofs.

Energy-Efficient Shingles

These shingles are designed to reflect sunlight, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by your roof and ultimately keeping your home cooler during hot summer months. This means that you can save money on air conditioning costs while also helping the environment.

There are several types of energy-efficient shingles available in the market, including asphalt, metal, tile, and slate. Each type has its unique features that make it suitable for different climates and roofing needs.

Different Types of Roof Designs

The type of roof you choose will depend on several factors such as the climate in your area, the style of your home or building, and personal preferences. Some popular types of roofs include gable roofs which have two sloping sides that meet at a ridge; gambrel roofs which resemble barns with their steeply pitched sides; mansard roofs that have four slopes and provide extra living space in the attic; hip roofs with four sloping sides that meet at a point on top; shed or flat roofing for modern designs.

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages depending on what you’re looking for. For instance, gable roofing is easy to construct and provides excellent ventilation while hip roofing is more stable during high winds but can be challenging to install gutters due to its shape.

It’s essential to consider all these factors before settling on any particular design since they affect not only aesthetics but also functionality.

Gable Roof

It consists of two sloping sides that meet at the ridge or peak, forming a triangular shape. The steep pitch allows for efficient water runoff and provides ample space for an attic or storage area.

Gable roofs are versatile and can be constructed using various materials such as asphalt shingles, metal roofing, clay tiles, and more. They also come in different styles such as front-gabled roofs where the gable faces towards the street or side-gabled roofs where it runs parallel to it.

One advantage of a gable roof is its simplicity in design which makes it easy to construct and maintain compared to other complex designs like mansard or hip roofs. However, they may not be suitable for areas with high winds since they tend to catch wind easily due to their shape.

Gambrel Roof

This style of roofing has been around since the 17th century, and it’s still in demand today. The Gambrel roof features two slopes on each side of the ridge, with the lower slope being steeper than the upper one.

One advantage of this type of roofing is that it provides more space in your attic or top floor due to its unique design. It also allows for better ventilation as hot air can escape through vents located at either end.

However, there are some disadvantages associated with gambrel roofs as well. They require more maintenance compared to other types because they have many angles and corners that can trap debris such as leaves or snow during winter months.

Mansard Roof

It’s characterized by its double-sloped sides, with the lower slope being steeper than the upper one. This style of roofing provides extra living space in attics and can be seen on many historic buildings throughout Europe and North America.

One of the advantages of a Mansard roof is that it maximizes usable space within your home while providing an elegant look to your property. The steep angle allows for more headroom in attic spaces, making them ideal for additional bedrooms or storage areas.

However, this type of roofing can be expensive due to its complex design and requires skilled professionals to install correctly. Maintenance costs may also be higher as cleaning gutters or repairing leaks could prove challenging due to their height.

Hip Roofs

This type of roof has four sloping sides that meet at the top, forming a ridge. The hip roof design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also offers several practical benefits.

One advantage of hip roofs is their stability in high winds and extreme weather conditions. The slope on all four sides makes it less susceptible to wind damage compared to other types of roofing designs like gable or flat roofs.

Another benefit is that they provide more attic space than other types of roofing designs, making them ideal for those who need additional storage space or want to convert the attic into living quarters.

Hip roofs are also energy-efficient as they allow proper ventilation which helps regulate temperature inside your home during hot summer months, reducing cooling costs significantly.

If you’re considering installing a new roof or replacing an old one, consider opting for a hip roof design.

Shed Roof

It’s commonly used for sheds, porches, and additions to existing structures. Shed roofs are simple to construct and cost-effective compared to other roofing designs.

One of the advantages of using a shed roof is its versatility in design. You can add windows or skylights on the higher side of the slope for natural light and ventilation while keeping the lower side closed off for privacy.

Another advantage is that it allows rainwater runoff easily without pooling on top like flat roofs do. This makes it ideal for areas with heavy rainfall or snowfall.

However, there are some disadvantages too; since they have only one slope instead of two like gable roofs do; they offer less attic space which may limit storage options inside your home if you plan on converting your attic into living space later down the line.


They allow natural light to enter the space, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. Skylights come in various shapes, sizes, and styles that can complement any roof design.

One of the benefits of skylights is their ability to reduce energy costs by providing natural lighting during the day. This reduces reliance on artificial lighting sources which consume electricity leading to higher utility bills.

However, improper installation or low-quality materials can lead to leaks or other issues with your skylight over time. It’s essential that you choose an experienced roofing contractor who specializes in installing skylights for optimal results.

Gutters and Downspouts

They help to channel water away from the roof, preventing damage to the structure and foundation of your building. Gutters come in different materials such as aluminum, copper, vinyl or steel.

Each material has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your budget and preferences.

Downspouts are vertical pipes that connect gutters to the ground level drainage system or a collection tank for rainwater harvesting purposes. They come in various sizes depending on how much water needs to be drained away from your roof.

It’s important to ensure that gutters are cleaned regularly so they don’t get clogged with debris like leaves, twigs or dirt which can cause them not function properly leading them overflow during heavy rains causing damage around the house including flooding basements.

Having well-maintained gutters is crucial for protecting both your home’s exterior as well as its foundation against water damage caused by rainfall runoff from roofs during storms.


What is the cheapest roof style to build?

The cheapest roof style to build is a gable-style roof with asphalt roofing shingles.

Which roof style offers the best value in terms of cost and durability?

Gable roofs offer the best value in terms of cost and durability.

What are the key differences between various roof construction materials in terms of cost and performance?

Key differences between various roof construction materials include varying costs, as well as performance factors such as durability, energy efficiency, and maintenance requirements.

How do labor costs and construction time vary among different roof styles?

Labor costs and construction time vary among different roof styles, with more complex designs typically requiring higher expenses and longer durations to complete.