Homeowners look to me for guidance in choosing the right roof style for their porch addition. When it comes to the subject of roof styles, sometimes what the homeowner visualizes isn’t a viable option for their porch. Taking the existing home configuration and any second story elements into consideration can eliminate a specific style roof. For example, elements like 2nd story dormers and windows will immediately limit the style of roof you can use. Much of the time the right roof style comes down to the process of elimination.
Gable roofs are by far the most popular choice among homeowners. We often hear the gable roof come up early in the design process as a first preference. We always talk homeowners through the details of each roof style and the variable costs of each style. Even though a gable roof may be possible architecturally, it may cost considerably more than choosing a shed roof for example. The most important aspect is choosing a roof style that will work most easily with your existing house. The next step is to walk you through your options and give you the pros and cons of each option so you make an informed decision.
Learning roof styles
- Gable Roof – a gable roof resembles a triangle with two sides sloping down from a center line. Gable roofs are the most popular roofs in outdoor structure design. The most requested roof is a gable roof with an open gable that allows sunlight to fill the room. A gable roof can sometimes be the easiest one to attach to the house, especially with a sidewall porch connection.
- Hip Roof – a hip roof has 3 or more sides that all slope downward from a common point. Hip roofs are generally chosen to match the roof of an existing hip roof home. If your porch is facing south then a hip roof will provide more shade to the space. This roof style will cut down on some of the sun that enters the porch and make it more comfortable to use in the summer months.
- Shed Roof – a shed roof is a flat roof that slopes in one direction from the home. If your porch will have a house connection, a shed roof is usually the easiest choice from a cost and construction standpoint. In order for a shed roof to work with a roof connection, the roof of the house has to be higher than the shed. Tying a shed roof into the existing roof of your home is not economical.
- Flat Roof – a flat roof is built from the same principles as the shed roof. A flat roof usually has less slope and is horizontal or nearly horizontal.This roof is sometimes used as a last resort when a gable or shed roof is too difficult or too expensive. We suggest a flat roof when there are windows or dormers on the 2nd story you don’t want to cover. Flat roofs are not completely flat as their name would have you think. Flat roofs contain a slight incline that is usually 2 inches for every 12 feet to make sure water will not pool and cause damage. The biggest reason we steer away from flat roofs is the debris that can accumulate on a flat roof. This is especially a problem if your porch is located in a location with a lot of trees. Debris on a flat roof can act as a dam and prevent water from running off properly. Flat roofs can “bog” up with leaves, sticks and other debris which can lead to moisture problems and eventually leaking. Flat roofs require maintenance twice a year to prevent debris accumulation. Maintaining a flat roof requires someone climbing onto the roof and blowing off the debris. If you are not prepared to do this, or hire someone to do it for you, then we recommend not considering a flat roof as an option for your porch.
Archadeck of Central GA always goes over which roof style will work best from a construction standpoint. You need to always consider what the roof is going to look like from underneath. We always ask the homeowner if they are building the porch for themselves, or for their neighbors to look at. The visual appeal of the roof style you choose is an important consideration when looking at the space from all angles. Here is a checklist of other determinations to consider before you begin designing your new porch.
- Shape of existing house’s roof or wall we’re attaching to
- The shape of porch itself
- Distance out from house or distance across the house
- Whether you’re going to attach to roof or house
- Direction of sun
All these factors will influence the roof style you choose. It is always important to seek the professional advice of your outdoor structure professional to consider which roof style will work best. Archadeck of Central GA is an expert in porch design. We can consult with you and prepare a 3-dimensional rendering of your porch before any soil is disturbed to begin construction. This visual will give you the insight of what your porch will look like. Our rendering service also makes it easy to amend or change any portion of your design before we break ground.
If you are considering a porch addition and need guidance in choosing the best architectural elements for your desired space, we can help. Contact Archadeck of Central GA to help you choose the best roof style for your new porch today. Call for a free consultation (478) 745 – 2000