Roof Line Ideas

Break up a roof line with a gabled window.
Break up a roof line with a gabled window. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

If you are thinking about building a new home or renovating your existing home, roof line ideas can give your home a new look, especially if you're after increased curb appeal. Change the roof line by introducing different elements, such as making a second story roof line more interesting with gabled windows.

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Widow's Walk

Disguise part of the roof line on the back of your two or more story home by adding a widow's walk on one section. Instead of covering the roof itself with traditional shingles, shakes or tiles, build a flat surface and add a railing so that there is a safe place to ascend to the roof and enjoy the view.

Tudor-Style Roof

Create an American version of a Tudor-style home by breaking up the second story roof line with a large gabled section on the roof. It's actually referred to as a cross-gable and is the most noticeable feature from the curb. Underneath the large gable is a raised front entry exactly in the center. If you live in a snowy clime, the rest of the roof line might be a plain, steeply pitched roof with shakes or shingles.

Italianate Style

If you want to borrow from architecture used in the 1840s to the 1870s in the U.S., create a home with an Italianate style, reminiscent of Italian country villas. In a two-story design, the first floor entrance has a special roof over a single-story porch. The roof atop the second story is flat except for a design in the center of the front, such as a raised triangular section. All eaves of the roof line are overhanging around the entire home.

Queen Anne

Make a steep, gabled roof look more interesting by adding features to the roof line after the fact. The Queen Anne style commonly features towers and parapets for an irregular or asymmetrical approach to the roof line. Towers and parapets, unlike raised cupolas, even look interesting on a home with irregular-shaped windows, lots of facade woodwork and a wraparound porch.


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