When you’re upgrading your home and considering getting a new roof for that, it’s essential to give much thought to the type of roof you’ll put in place of the old one.

After all, there are several different roof types to consider, and you will need to understand their potential performance and design impactfully.

Familiarizing yourself with the most common roof types will also help you choose the best roofing materials available. By the time you hire a professional roofing contractor with proper roofing insurance coverage, you will be in a position to have the perfect roof installed in your home.

Let’s look at some of the most common roof types and see what they have to offer.

Gable Roof

Easily the most recognizable of all roof types, gable roofs are probably the most common roof type not only in the United States but also in the whole world. Its distinct triangular shape can be seen just about everywhere, and it’s the type of roof we often put on the houses we drew as kids.

One of the best things about a gable roof, which is also known as a pitched or peaked roof, is how its shape makes shedding water and snow easy.

Cheaper and easier to build than other roof types, a gable roof is also a great choice if you want more ventilation or attic space. As for roofing materials, just about any type goes well with gable roofs, from asphalt shingles to concrete tiles.

Mansard Roof

Many roof types are great for a home’s curb appeal, and a mansard roof is one of them. Also known as a French roof, a mansard roof has four sides, and each side has a double slope. With its double slopes, this type of roof will allow you to create more living space or storage space.

Roofers typically recommend metal for mansard roofs, as its color and texture versatility complements a mansard roof quite well.

Flat Roof

While more commonly used for industrial and commercial buildings, flat roofs can also be found in many homes. Some even use a flat roof to create a rooftop garden or even a patio. Flat roofs are also an excellent place for HVAC systems.

One of the more obvious drawbacks of a flat roof is the tendency of water to collect on top of it, although it typically has a slight pitch to assist in draining any pool that may form.

Because it’s prone to collecting water, the best materials for a flat roof are those that present no seams, such as tar and gravel, metal sheets, and rubber membrane.

Gambrel Roof

A gambrel roof is similar to a mansard roof because they both have two different slopes, although they differ in the sense that the former only has two sides, while the latter has four. One steep and one gentle slope make up each of its two sides.

Like the mansard, the design of the Gambrel also allows for the creation of extra living space on the upper floor, such as an attic room or loft.

Homeowners commonly use asphalt, slate, or wood shingles for gambrel roofs.

Saltbox Roof

If your home has a single story on one side and two stories on the other, then a saltbox roof is a great option. Visually appealing, a saltbox roof features an asymmetrical design, with its two sides having contrasting lengths.

Its design makes it easy for water to run off, making it the perfect choice if your house is located in an area that experiences heavy rains most of the year. You can use any roofing material for this type of roof.

Hip Roof

A hip roof has four sides of equal length that form a ridge as they come together at the top. Sturdy and durable, hip roofs feature an inward slope on all four sides.

If your home is located in an area where high winds and heavy snow are common, consider getting a hip roof installed, as its slant ensures that snow will easily slide off it. You can also use most types of standard roofing materials for this type of roof.

Jerkinhead Roof

A jerkinhead roof combines design elements from both hip and gable roofs. When you take a look at one, you’ll see that it looks like a gable roof, only with clipped or shortened ends. You can also mistake it for a hip roof, but with two shorter sides.

Jerkinhead roofs offer greater wind resistance owing to their turned-down points or edges, which help make them more stable. As with several other roof styles, a jerkinhead roof also allows for more living or storage space under it.

These are just a few of the many roof types you can choose from when you’re upgrading your home. As always, make sure you consider other factors such as climate, the architectural style of your home, and your personal preference before making a decision.

Rachel Porter is the content specialist for Custom Contractors Insurance, LLC, an Arizona roofing and contractors insurance company. When not writing, she enjoys reading and mountain biking with her friends.