Architecture is rife with terms, phrases, and jargon. It can be a little dizzying sometimes. Often, when we get a call from a new client and we ask about the shape of the roof, they respond with general statements like “it’s pointy?” or “kinda like a bunch of stacked triangles.” While we often know exactly which pointy triangle roof form you’re talking about, we here at Sparks Roofing threw together this quick guide to roof terms and shapes. You can put it to use when you call us for metal roofing in Clarksville!

Gable Roof

Perhaps the most iconic of all roof shapes, and the most common in the United States. The gable is the roof that any kid draws when they’re asked to think of a house. It has two sloping sides that meet together in the middle to form a prominent ridge. The ridge covers the end walls of the home and creates what is called the gable. The high peaks of these roof lines allow for great ventilation. This classic roof style can be covered in any number of roofing materials.

L-Shape Gable Roof

Gable roofs are popular for a wide variety of reasons. They are strong, durable and versatile. When two gables have their open triangle end facing two different directions and meet at some point at the top of the house, this is called an L-Shape Gable roof for obvious reasons. Because there is a valley where these roof sections meet, it’s important these valleys are lined with metal or stranding seam to prevent leaks. We think these roofs look great covered in metal roofing materials!

Gambrel Roof

These roofs are similar to the Gable style roof but have one very obvious difference. Rather than having a single sloping edge like a Gable, this roofline almost looks like it is angled at two stages. If you’ve seen a classic barn roof like in picture books, then you know exactly what this roof style looks like. These are very common on Dutch-style buildings. The two different sloping sections make this roof easy to construct, and ideal for creating more storage space in the home. While these roofs are typically covered by wood shingles, using metal roofing while cutback on the long-term maintenance costs.

Shed Roof

This roof style is pretty self-explanatory. Rather than having a peak, or point where two sloping sides meet, this roof style has one single slope. These are common on smaller buildings, outbuildings, and as accent pieces on larger homes to cover decks and dormers. Because of their naturally angular design, solar panels are ideal for this style of roof, as well as metal roofing materials.

Hipped Roof

The hip roof style is another classic and recognizable design, very common on homes built from the 1910s and through the 1960s. A Hipped roof is triangular like a Gable roof, but unlike the Gable roof, all sides slope back away from the edge of the roof. This gives the roof an appearance not unlike that of the Great Pyramids! These roofs are extremely stable and sturdy because of the inward slope of all four sides. They stand up to high winds, and shed water very easily. These style of roofs look great with any roofing material.

Mansard Roof

These roofs were very common on Victorian-style homes, and often lend buildings that classic “haunted house” shape and appearance. But despite their spooky connotations, these roofs are actually very similar to the more muted mansard roofs. Each section of the roof slopes towards the center then continues to a more milder pitch to the center of the roof. From the ground, the roof appears to be flat on top, but in actuality, has a minor peak at the top. These roofs are often found on homes that borrow many stylistic-cues from French homes, which are not uncommon to find across the American South. Because of their unique look, the more shallow pitch at the top of the mansard roof makes these sections ideal for metal roofing materials!

Sparks Roofing

Now that you know these classic roof shapes, you’ll always notice which home is sporting which style. What kind of roof does your home have? How about your neighbor? As a new expert on roof shapes, so when you’re ready to get metal roofing installed on your Clarksville home, you’ll be able to speak the lingo when you speak to us at Sparks Roofing!