The Best Roof Designs


Any home's architectural style is affected by its roof design. For example, skimpy overhangs around the roof perimeter can subtract from the look of the structure. Generous overhangs serve to protect the home's exterior walls, windows and foundation. Everything from the pitch of the roof to the materials used will affect the home's market appeal. Go over as many roofing options as possible, such as using clay tiles or cedar shakes, before making a decision.

Angles Do Matter

  • A roof must have the correct pitch. For example, a basic ranch roof looks best if the roof angle denotes ample attic space. A 45-degree pitch, for example, gives the roof a generous look from any angle. The same roof with only a 30-degree pitch makes the roof look too flat. Use graph paper to draw a home's design, and plan the roof in detail, so the proportions will give the house enhanced market appeal. The human eye will largely determine the best slope of roof angles.

Mass Affects Design

  • Roof shapes must cap a home's exterior with just the right mass. A large two-story colonial with two-story columns in front can look perfectly fine with a small, hip roof. In fact, the four sloping sides of the hip roof with no vertical lines can balance the mass of the home. Envision a hip roof as having all four sides slope gently toward an exterior wall. The simplicity of this type of roof is often the best choice to reduce a bulky look, which can occur if a roof looks extremely large and heavy.

Artistic Touches Add Appeal

  • Special touches on the roof design can enhance visual appeal. For example, if you add two dormer windows to the front of a cottage-style house, this looks more appealing than just a plain sloping roof. Light added to rooms inside the dormer area is significant, too. Traditional or colonial-style homes can look very appealing with a cupola built on the main house and the garage. A square cupola, which is a dome structure made to crown a large roof, adds a New England flavor to a colonial home.

Mixed Angles Denote Uniqueness

  • Multiple roof lines create great curbside appeal. Having several angles in any house roof design works well if the house has attached garage space or a front addition, for example. One long roof line can make a house look like a replica of every other home in the neighborhood. Unique roof lines provide the opportunity to accentuate these angles with interesting windows of different shapes and sizes, too.

Center the Roof Focal Point

  • Well-planned roof designs accentuate the center of the home as the focal point. You do not want a sharply pitched A-frame roof design on one end only, for example. The highest part of the roof should be over the front door and entry area. Make sure that auxiliary roof areas over a garage or back porch, for example, harmonize with the core roof space in the center of the house.

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