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32 Types of Roofs

The type of roof that is on a home really helps create the overall look and is a key element of the exterior style. Explore the different types and styles in this article.

Solid blue sky, top of two story home, gray blue shingles with earthtone clored stone accents, black framed window and a gray roof

Typically, when you purchase a home, it has already been built and the roof selected. However, if you are building a new home, you may have the option to select the type of roof you want. 

You may be surprised at the number of different roofs that are possible for your home. Some of the roof options are variations of a specific style of roof.

There are some detailed roof designs that incorporate many different styles into one roof. You will also see the same roof used in many different architectural styles. 

There are some distant differences in roofs which may make some a better option for your home than others. This article gives you all the information you need about the different types of roofs with pictures to make your selection process easier. 

Roofs serve many purposes, including protecting the internal components of your house. Therefore, you want a roof that is durable and secure. 

You do not always have to make a choice between fashion and function when it comes to a roof. This guide outlines all of the different types of roofs and their advantages. You will know exactly what type of roof will work best for you. 

Types of Roofs


Solid light blue sky, black building with white trimmed windows and a metal a frame roof, sunny day

An A-Frame roof is one of the easiest types of roofs to identify. The roofline of this roof is steep and has angles and points that go all the way to the ground. 

This type of roof begins at or close to the foundation and then meets at the top to create the letter ‘A.’ The roof, in this case, makes up a large part of the walls of a house. 

The ceiling of an A-frame roof may be open to the rafters at the top. It is a simple design and often an affordable option. 

Bonnet Roof

Blue sky, concrete gray building, white fireplace, deep red Bonnet Roof

Bonnet roofing material is also easy to identify because of the ledge that extends along the base of the roof. Therefore, a bonnet roof may also be referred to as a belcote roof. 

This type of roof also has a double slope on all of the sides. The top of the roof has a much steeper pitch when compared to the lower part of the roof. The lower pitch is more shallow.

The lower pitch section is the part that extends over the house. This can create an area over a patio or porch that is covered. This is a common style in French style architecture. You will see this in areas that have a heavy French influence. 

A bonnet roof works well with any style of the house. An extended ledge can be added to many roof styles, such as a hip roof. This becomes a bonnet version of a hip roof.

Box Gable Roofs

Blue sky, green trees, old wooden barn with box gable roof, hay on roof, sunny day

A box-gable roof is one that has slopes on either side of the roof. These slopes meet to create a ridge. The ridge has a triangular extension on either side of it. The walls are boxed off from it. 

This is a popular roof, especially in areas that have cold and severe weather conditions. A box-gable roof is stable for snow and heavy rain. This type of roof is similar to a traditional gable roof, but the triangular section gives it more design features. 

Butterfly Roof 

White and black image showing what a butterfly roof looks like, dips in in the center

A butterfly roof uses modern roofing materials to create a uniquely pleasing design. It gives the home a large amount of ventilation and light. Unfortunately, this type of roof does not always handle drainage well. 

A butterfly roof is created with two adjacent gables that slope in toward the middle. They create a central valley as a result of the dip. The eaves on a butterfly roof look different than most roofs because they point up instead of down. Traditional roofs have eaves pointing downward.

A butterfly roof is an inverted version of a gable roof. It has a V-shape. Some may consider this to be an odd shape or style, and it is not often used as a result. However, this can be an ideal roof type if you have tall ceilings on the opposite sides of your house. 

Clerestory Roof

Blue sky with white clouds, upper part of home with a Clerestory black roof, bay windows and black chimney, 2 skylights

A clerestory roof closely resembles a skillion roof, but they are not the same. This type of roof may be asymmetrical or symmetrical. This type of roof has a vertical wall that sits between two sides that slope. 

There is typically a series of windows on the vertical wall. You can have one long window in place of several smaller windows. Clerestory roofing material allows a good amount of light to come into the house. 

The windows of this roof can be opened to allow in the fresh air. It also allows warmer air to escape to help keep the room cooler. 

Clipped Gable Roofs

Blue sky, blue home with white trim, clipped gable roof, sunny day

A clipped gable roof is also referred to as a Jerkinhead roof, a bullnose roof, or a snub gable. This type of roof is similar to a gable roof with the exception of the peak ends. In this roof, the peak ends are cut off. 

Another term for the design of the peaks is that they are bent in. This gives the roof a unique look. In addition, the removal of the ends helps to protect the house from wind damage and gives the roof more stability

A clipped gable roof has a unique look that allows you to add architectural details to your home. This type of roof is perfect for designer, high-performing shingles

Combination Roofs

Birds eye view of top of 3 buildings, combination roofs, 2 with black and red and the smaller one with black and brown, green trees all around them, sunny day

A combination roof is truly a combination of multiple different types of roof materials and designs. This kind of roof typically incorporates two or more designs. This is usually for both practical and aesthetic reasons. 

A combination roof often features a range of styles, such as a clerestory and hip roof. If you want an interesting and unique look, this is a great option for you.

Cross Gabled Roof

Birds eye view of a home with a cross gable roof, home right on street, green trees all around and open field in the back, sunny day

A cross gable roof has at least two, but possibly more, gable roof ridges. These ridges intersect at angles, most often perpendicular ones. Cross Gabled Roofing materials are more commonly seen on a house with a more challenging layout. 

Cross Hipped Roof

Birds eye view of a home with a dark brown cross hipped roof, lots of other little buildings and homes around it

A cross hipped roof is another type of roof that is incredibly common. It has perpendicular hip sections to form “L” or “T” shape. These shapes are found in the roof hip.

This is the perfect roof for buildings or homes that have a complex layout beyond a square or rectangle. In addition, this roof is ideal for extreme weather conditions, like wind, snow, or rain. 

Curved Roof

Very large building that looks something like an airport with many very large columns for structure, lots of windows, a large curved roof that extends out very far from building, night sky, lights on

Curved roofing materials are used on a more modern type of roof. This gives any type of building a unique and interesting look. Typically these roofs are constructed from metal because it takes advantage of their flexibility. 

A curved roof is often one large structure that is curved. Curved roofs are ideal because they have an increased resistance to wind. They can also create a stunning look and add a touch of design to the building.

Dome Roofs

An image taht looks like its from Rome, large dome roof white building with very ornate details, smaller burnt orange and white buildings along river, people walking along large sidewalk along river, blue sky with white fluffy clouds

A dome roof is basically how it sounds. The roof is in the shape of a dome. This roof design is complex but durable. In addition, it gives a building a pleasing look. 

It is not common to find this type of roof on a residential home in the US. It is more often found in buildings like churches and museums. Although across the globe, people have been using dome roofs for centuries. An igloo has a domed roof. 

Dormer Roof

Close up of a white home with red metal singled roof annd dormer windows, blue sky, sunny day

A dormer roof is often added to an existing roof. This type of roof has a window in it. It can be different types of roofs, such as a flat roof or a hip roof. This type of roof will stick out from the slope of the existing roof.

Dormer Roofing materials are both decorative and functional. It gives you usable space in the roof. It provides light and gives you more headroom. This type of roof is ideal when creating a loft conversion. This is a great way to provide more light and room in a loft space. 

Dutch Gable Roofs

A stone home with bright blue trim and a bright blue door, 2 large chimneys and lots of windows, Dutch Gable Roof, short cinderblock wall along front with green ivy growing on it

A dutch gable roof is a common type of hip roof that also has a gable at either end. The gable is small and provides you with a way to access the lower part of the roof while giving you some additional space and light. 

This is considered a combination roof because it combines elements from a hip roof and a gable roof. You may hear of it referred to as a hybrid roof or a gablet. It is a hybrid between a hip and a gable roof. 

A gablet is another name for a miniature gable roof that is placed on a traditional hip style roof. 

Flat Roofs

Building with a flat black roof, lots of colorful windows

In theory, a flat roof is just what it seems, a roof that is flat. However, most flat roofs are not completely flat. Instead, they have such a low slope that they appear to be flat. The small amount of slope allows water to run off properly. 

You are more likely to see a flat roof in an industrial center or a strip mall. This is because there was a period of time when flat roofs were popular in homes. These roofs were in style at the time and found on houses with large and open floor plans

A flat roof tends to leak, and so they must be waterproofed well. They should also be coated with the proper type of material, such as rubber membrane or PVC. 

Front Gable Roofs

Solid blue night sky, 2 story home with brown wood siding, gray stone, white window trim and wood brown garage doors, white pillars on entry way, professional landscaped front yard with green grass and small trees and rocks in planters

A front gable roof is one that has its roof line centered with the entrance of the home or building. While this is a style that is often found in a Colonial style home, it is becoming more popular for modern style buildings. 

The front door is often placed under the gable of a front gable roof. 

Gable Roofs

Close up of a gable roof in the middle of construction on an old red brick building, blue sky with white clouds, sunny day

A gable roof remains a popular type of roof. It is easy to construct and can be put on just about any type of house design. It has great ventilation and water runs off easily. 

A gable roof is a roof you think of when you think of a roof. It is the type of roof you probably drew on your early house drawings when you were a kid. A gable roof is basically a triangle on top of a house. 

The sides of the roof rise up to meet each other. These roofs can vary in their slope design. They may have drastic slopes, but they could also have one with a gentle grade.  

Gable Roof with Dormer Window

A gable roof with a dormer window is a popular design. This style can be mixed and matched with other styles. With this roof style, there is a gable with a dormer window attached to some point on the roof. 

In some cases, these roofs may be over the top of the door. They could also be on a long section of roof to break it up. This is a versatile style. 

Gable Roof with Shed Roof Addition

Image of a custom home with a stone gate in front, gray stone pavers on driveway and walkway, white with blakc wtone accents and black tile roof, blue sky and green grass and trees all around, sunny day

This is basically the type of roof you are most likely to see when you add a shed as an addition to the side of your house. This is a common addition to the traditional gable roof. 

This type of roof gives you more space and allows you to add an extension without having to change the existing roof. 

Gambrel Roofs

Old home with black wood shingle home with white trim and red brick chimney and a gable roof, solid blue sky, sunny day

A gambrel roof is also commonly known as a barn roof. This type of roof has been used mostly on barns. This type of roof provides extra room in the attic. You have seen the classic red barn with white trim. This type of roof is a gambrel. 

This roof has two sides with two slopes. One of the slopes is gentle and the other sharp. The design of this roof gives you the option of a loft or attic as a top floor. In addition, it is possible to add windows to the side of the roof to bring in more natural light. 

This type of roof is highly visible. Therefore, it is critical to consider the roof shingle selection because they will be seen all the time. 

Half Hipped Roof

Gorgeous earthone colored home with lots of windows and a half hipped brown roof, surrounded by fall trees and green bushes, small quiet river in front, small wood bridge from road to get across to home, sunny day

A half hipped roof is one that is similar to a simple hip roof. However, a half hipped roof has two shortened sides of the roof. These shortened sides cause there to be eaves on either side of your home. 

A half hipped roof is ideal when you are extending a loft and adding windows. This can allow a good deal of natural light in the area. 

Hexagonal Gazebo Roof

Stone pillar gazebo with a hexagon wood shingle roof, sunny day, green trees in background

A hexagonal gazebo roof is a complexly designed roof that makes a gazebo stand out in any area. This type of roof is created by six identical triangles. This creates a pitch and has six rafters that support the roof. This type of roof is ideal for a gazebo at a home or business. 

Hip Roofs

Birdseye view of a building with a hip roof with red tiles, right on street, green trees, sunny day

A hip roof is a traditional style roof that has four sides. The four sides have a slope of equal length. These four sides come together to form a ridge. There are many variations of a hip roof, like a half-hip roof. 

A hip roof is stable, durable, and performs well in areas in high winds. In addition, this type of roof is highly visible to anyone that can see your house.

A hip roof tends to be a little more challenging to build. In addition, it does not provide the best type of ventilation. 

Hip and Valley Roof

Birdseye view of a red tile hip and valley roof

A hip and valley roof is incredibly similar to a gable and valley roof. The main difference is that the ends of this type of roof slope inward.

Mansard Roof 

Row of barn style homes with mansard red tile roofs, sunny day, blue sky

A mansard roof tends to be more challenging to build than a hip roof or a gable roof. This tends to be more of a French design. Nevertheless, it has become popular in the US.

A mansard roof is one with two slopes on the roof. Each of the slopes is on either side. These slopes may be curved or flat. 

The bottom portion of this roof slope is steeper, which means that the pitch of the roof barely starts. When this happens, it provides more room inside and outside of the roof.

One benefit to this style of roof is that you can make use of the upper story of your home, such as an attic.

Mansard Roof with Flares

Soft yellow home with red tile mansard roof, brown window trim and accents, blue sky and green trees, sunny day

A mansard roof with flares is a mansard style of roof. The only difference is this roof has flares on the bottom.

M-Shaped Roof

Gray home with white trim and an M shaped roof above garage, white wooden fence along front, blue sky with white clouds

An M-shaped roof is a double-pitched roof, which means it has a double gable. An M-shaped roof has two sides that are sloped and meet in the middle with corresponding slopes on either side.

This type of roof consists of two bearing walls where the two sloping walls meet in the middle to create an M-shape. In addition, this type of roof has a central gutter that runs between the two pitches. This gutter works to prevent any build-up of rain or snow during the winter. 

Open Gable Roofs

Solid blue sky above a cream colored stucco home with an open gable brown tile roof, sunny day

An open gable roof is incredibly similar to a box gable roof. The only difference is that the offsides are boxed on either end.

On an open gable roof, the ends remain open, so they meet the walls. This open-ended portion is only there to help the roof look good.

Parapet Roof

Old red brick building with a parapet roof line, blue sky with white clouds

A parapet roof is a type of flat roof that has walls that extend upwards beyond the roof. It extends by about a few feet around all of the edges.

The parapet allows the flat roof to be safer. This is because it creates a small barrier to provide additional security for anyone standing on the roof. As a result, they are less likely to fall over the edge.

Pyramid Mansard Roofs

White home with res pyramind mansard roof woth lots of windows surrounded by green trees and bushes and a large green lawn

A pyramid mansard roof has steep sides that create a cap effect. This is a historically French type of roof that is designed to be functional to create more usable space on upper floors. 

While mansard roofs might have window dormers, the pyramid version of the mansard roof includes a unique design. This design is a pyramid on top of the steep sides instead of a flat top.

Pyramid Hip Roofs

Stormy cloudy sky, old church, white with a red tile pyramid hip roof with dross on top, tall green and fall trees, stone ground

A pyramid hip roof has a point where all four sides meet. It may have formers, but it is typically found on ranch homes. These homes do not have a top floor which means a dormer is not needed.

Saltbox Roofs

Red outdoor shed with saltbox roof, old wheelbarrow in front, green grass, tall green trees and blue sunny sky

A saltbox roof is not one of the more popular roof types. However, this is an ideal roof for vaulted ceilings, especially those with an overlooking loft for the vaulted ceiling rooms.

Shed Roof (Skillion)

A bulidling with wood siding and tan colored brick with a shed roof, tall verticle windows with wood trim, blue sky

A shed roof is also referred to as a skillion roof. A shed roof is similar to a flat roof but with more pitch. It is typically used with other types of roofs. However, this is commonly used as a modern style design. 

This is also considered a lean-to style that looks like half of a traditional gable style roof. It is often used for home additions or porches. 

A typical shed roof has a lower slope, but steeper slopes will speed up water runoff. Homes with shed roofs have a unique look. These roofs give you the ability to place windows in unique areas.

This simple roof allows for vaulted ceilings or an upper level, depending on the design and slope of the home. In addition, the ends are clipped, which provides more headroom in the loft area.