Which roof shape for my house?

When you think of your dream home, the shape is fixed at the beginning. So you have a clear picture in mind, which is created exactly with the help of the contours. In addition to the walls, the roof shape has the greatest influence. This forms the whole face of the house and shapes the character immensely.

In the history of building, there is probably no element that is as subject to trends as the roof shape. We too are enormously influenced by the prevailing design. Today, roofs can be planned and built in a variety of forms, creating a colorful mix in the world of architecture. Formerly the roof forms showed a very uniform picture and are nowadays implemented in different variants. 

You prefer it plain and clear, then you are more likely the flat roof type. Or rather playful, then hipped roofs are definitely something for you. Do these clichés and statements really apply? You can tell us so in the comments. But before we would like to show you today different roof shapes and clarify the pros and cons and the structural gimmicks.

saddle roof

Let's start with an absolute classic: the pitched roof. This straightforward and simple form is particularly popular in Germany, because it comes up with some technical refinements, which we want to explain to you later in more detail. Quite simply, the roof is composed of two mutually inclined roof surfaces that meet at the highest point. The frequent occurrence is explained especially in Germany due to the weather, as rain and snow should simply slide off the surface. Especially in the south of Germany, where there is too much snowfall, the degree of inclination is less steep, to counteract an uncontrolled slippage of the snow masses. The construction of a gable roof is relatively simple and due to the right-angled, straight contours extremely timeless. A wide range of designs allows the builders to give the roof its own charm, such as the integration of dormer windows or skylights. Furthermore, different designs can be achieved by varying the size of the roof overhang. 

Another example of a house with a low roof overhang we have here: Detached house with wow effect

Pent roof

As the name of the pent roof already reveals, the term derives from a desk. The roof is characterized in most cases by only one inclined roof surface. This creates a modern shape, which is currently particularly the hearts of young builders inflamed. The practical advantage of a pitched roof is that a house with a pent roof always has a full storey. Usually, the construction is a unilaterally inclined rafter roof. Already since industrialization, this roof shape has prevailed particularly in outbuildings such as garages or warehouses, as they represent a particularly cost-effective variant. In addition to the relatively manageable costs, they have another advantage that should not be underestimated: the construction. Traditionally, the orientation of the weather side, so the northwest side meant to keep out snow, rain and wind as far as possible. However, one exception is pitched roofs, as these - equipped with solar water heating or photovoltaic systems - are oriented to the south in order to achieve the greatest possible benefit. If you opt for photovoltaic modules, they can also be used as actual roofing.

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flat roof

Who builds today, plans his house usually with a flat roof. The history of this roof form is surprisingly old and does not begin, as many think in the 1920s, but was already known in ancient times. So the Greeks built their buildings, such as the temples, with a flat roof. The explanation for the roof shape is amazingly light. A level surface meant little structural effort and thus a quick and cost-effective solution, especially in warm countries, where it rains little. However, when the bungalow with a flat roof became a trend in Germany in the 1960s, the buildings had a weak spot: in many cases they were leaky. This defect enormously damaged the reputation of the roofs. Meanwhile, the image of the flat roofs has changed extremely. Not least because the technology has made extreme progress and the watertight waterproofing of the surface has improved. The drainage of a flat roof is done over several points, which is derived either externally or via an internal pipe.

tent roof

If you like symmetrical shapes, you could become a fan of the tent roof. Because this roof shape can only be erected on an approximately square ground plan, so that one is relatively limited. This explains why this form is not very common in Germany, because in general, planning is based first on the spatial program from which the actual structure is derived, and finally on the roof that is set up. In the actual slope of the roof, you are completely free, so that the contour provides a lot of leeway. The biggest advantage is that you can fully exploit the rooms in the lower storeys and thus use ordinary windows in the façade. Even if you think that this form is a relatively new version, you will be surprised. For tent roofs are particularly often used on churches, where the ridge, ie the highest point at which the surfaces meet, is particularly high. In addition to the tent roof, the name of the pyramid roof is also widespread.

Mansard roof

Strolling through old suburbs, one finds stately homes with mansard roofs extremely often. The reason for this is that in addition to the larger space available, one benefited from tax advantages. For more than a century ago, the space under a mansard roof was not considered a single storey, so that the property tax, which was only measured on a single storey, was much cheaper. As a rule, these so-called mansard apartments were reserved for the servants. 

Today you can see the extravagant roof shape less often, as it is associated with a higher construction cost and therefore with higher costs. In a mansard roof is otherwise a horizontal, two-part saddle roof, but has different slopes. Due to this construction, large rooms are created directly under the roof, which in most cases are provided with roof or dormer windows to create a bright interior. For those who want to make full use of their projectiles, a mansard roof is the ideal solution, even if this intervention involves increased costs.

hipped roof

One of the oldest forms of roofs is the hipped roof. Unlike the pitched roof on the narrow sides of the house, this roof has roof surfaces that are located on one level with the deeper neighboring surfaces of the roof. The connectors are called Walm. The hipped roof offers, in addition to its generally inclined surfaces, great protection against weather. In addition, the roof overhangs protect the facade from moisture. The space below the construction does not offer as much space as under the attic or tent roof. To counteract this problem, you often see integrated dormers in the roof areas, as they not only provide light, but also provide additional space. This type of roof is particularly common in German regions, which are often exposed to rain and snow, as the shape already described as input already offers. But not only in Germany finds this kind of fans, just as in Mediterranean countries like Italy you can find the hipped roof in less steep version.

hipped roof

A special form of hipped roof is, as the name already suggests, the crippled hipped roof. The actual construction is derived completely from the big brother, but shows on the side panels areas that do not reach to the eaves, but only about half. Another term is also for the crippled hipped roof Saddleback roof with crippled whale, because the saddle roof can be clearly read. In addition to the Krüppelwalmdach there is another variation, called Fußwalmdach. In this variant, the house carries a classic saddle roof and is connected to the side parts in the lower area, each with a piece of roof that calls itself abgewalt.


Lastly, we would like to thank all future builders
Giving information along the way. Because who builds, he has to
keep some rule. Before the planning begins, the specialist planners
take a look at the zoning plan or B-plan. This
writes in most cases some basic building rules
which also includes the shape of the roof. This specification is used
to cultivate a homogeneous area and thus to create a clean, urbanistic overall picture. Certainly there is
Exceptions or exemptions from the prescribed plan

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