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10 Popular Roof Types

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While many people never really think about the shape of their roof, it actually has a lot to do with the character and personality of their home. While some roof shapes were popularized by the architecture of the era, like when flat roofs started gaining popularity in the 60s and 70s due to the modern architectural movement, many are dictated by the weather in a certain region, the stylistic preference of the architect, or the cost of the design. Read on to learn about some of the 10 most popular roof types across America.

1. Gable Roof

 A gable roof is a roof a child draws when they’re making a painting of a home. It looks like an inverted “V”, where the two slopes are angled evenly and meet up in the middle of a structure. There are several common variations on the gable roof including winged gables, cross gables, and box gables.

The gable roof is one of the most common roofs in America. It’s the simplest to install but has a ton of diversity due to the variety of slope options available. Many homes that have gable roofs look nothing alike just because of the differences in slope!

Pros and Cons

While a gable roof is cheap, easily ventilated, offers simple solar panel installation, and is a great canvas for exterior house design, it does come with some downsides. This roof is not recommended for people who live in areas with high winds and snow, as often even the smallest mistake in assembly or installation can cause the roof to collapse (in case of heavy snow) or tear off (in case of high winds).

  • Winged Gable Roof: The winged gable roof has the same basic design as a regular gable roof, but varies at the very bottom of the slope. Instead of continuing along the same slope, the very tips of the roof are winged slightly upwards at a less extreme angle than the original slope.
  • Cross Gable Roof: Cross gable roofs are normal gable roofs that have small outcroppings that extend at right angles from the base roofing structure. There can be more than one cross-section on the roof, and these are generally extended nooks with windows. The most common joinings are “T” or “L” shaped.
  • Box Gable Roof: To create a boxed gable roof, the regular gable structure is enclosed at either end. This emphasizes the triangle shape of the structure and makes the design a little more unique. Box gable designs often have additional embellishments and windows along the enclosed section.

2. Pyramid Roof

 Reminiscent of the ancient pyramids of Giza, the pyramid roof is shaped with four sloping sides that meet in a single point in the middle. Pyramid roofs can be one section of a much larger, multi-roof complex, but can also be used on small structures like a garage or pool house.

Pros

Some of the benefits of pyramid roofs include resistance to high winds, beautiful aesthetic, and lower energy bills. The aerodynamic shape of the roof is less likely to be damaged by extreme weather conditions, while the overhangs around the entire structure add shade that keeps homes cooler in warm weather.

Cons 

Unfortunately, pyramid roofs can be more expensive to install and replace because of the larger surface area of this style. It also has less usable interior attic space and can cause drainage and ventilation issues. This roof does not shed water well and is more likely to leak.

3. Hip Roof

A hip roof looks very much like a pyramid roof, but it has one major difference. Instead of the slopes coming to a single point at the top, the sides meet at a ridge that runs most of the length of the structure.

Pros

Due to the inward slope and added ridge of the roof, this style is more stable than gable roofs and is a great choice for high wind and snow areas. In fact, the slant of the rood forces snow to slide off easily. This style of roofing also offers extra living space when used in conjunction with a dormer.

Cons

Like pyramid roofs, hip roofs are a far more expensive option due to the cost of additional materials to cover all the extra surface area. It can also suffer from leaks because of the additional seems.

4. Bonnet Roof

 Bonnet roofs are very common in Louisiana and Mississippi, as they are influenced by French style architecture. The sloping roof juts out much further than a pyramid or hip roof to provide cover for outdoor porches and verandas.

Pros

The bonnet roof provides shade for a cool rest area outside the home, as well as extra living space inside due to the vaulted ceiling. The overhanging slopes also provide extra protection for the wall from water damage.

Cons

Because the two slope angles vary, there may be an issue with water pooling where the slopes meet. You’ll need to add extra waterproofing protection in these areas as an added precaution. This is also a more expensive roofing design.

5. Flat Roof

The flat roof is easy to identify, as it’s just a flat surface covering a structure. This style of roofing rose to prominence in the 60s and 70s, and it’s the most obvious impact the modern architectural movement had on roofing.

Pros and Cons

The flat roof is the easiest to construct and is generally more accessible. It’s also great in warmer climates, as it provides additional living space for residents. The biggest drawback for this style of roof is that it can often gather a large amount of debris that has nowhere to go.

6. Shed Roof

  Also known as a skillion roof, the shed roof is a single sloping roof that’s usually attached to a tall wall. It’s sort of like an angled flat roof or half of a pitched roof. Originally, skillion roofs were used for home additions and sheds, but with today’s modern style homes, they’re often the main roofing structure by design.

Pros

Shed roofs are super easy to assemble and don’t need as much building materials as other roof types. The steep slope makes it easy for snow and water to run off, which is great in snowy and rainy regions.

Cons

This is not a roof that’s ideal for windy locales, as the winds can catch on the slope much like they would on the sail of a boat. A badly designed pitch can also result in very low ceilings and cramped living space.

7. Butterfly Roof

 The butterfly roof is a very uncommon roof style, but it provides a very modern, elegant aesthetic. It’s meant to look like a butterfly’s wings in flight and is shaped like a very shallow “V”. It can be seen as an inverted gable roof.

Pros

The butterfly roof is ideal for tropical locations and it’s very eco-friendly. The style offers a lot of ventilation and natural light and the valley midsection could be used to collect water and funnel it to a rain barrel or other reservoir.

Cons

While water collection is great, it necessitates much higher maintenance than regular roofs and waterproofing is essential. It’s also harder to regulate the internal temperature of a building with this roof style and the upfront installation costs are much higher.

8. Salt Box Roof

 The salt box roof is a fascinating design with a very interesting exterior shape. It is a long pitched roof that is asymmetrical with one very long side and one short side. Sometimes home with this shape is one story on one side and two stories on the other.

Pros

This slore style makes it easy for water to run off, which is perfect for areas with heavy rain. The asymmetrical shape is also more durable in areas with lots of wind and rain, and provides additional living space.

Cons

This design inherently created slanted ceilings on the interior of a building, which many people don’t like. The building costs are also higher due to the tricky design and installation process.

9. Gambrel Roof

 To most, the gambrel roof recalls a barn or farmhouse roof, but this is not the only place gambrel’s are appropriate. Many Dutch Colonial and Georgian style homes utilize this design. There are two side and two different slopes in this roof style — the upper side which has a lower slope and the lower side which has a very steep slope.

Pros

With only two roof beams and gusset joints, construction is very easy and less materials are required. It also provides more storage and living space that’s available as an attic, loft, or garret.

Cons

Gambrel roofs look better with lots of windows, but this increases the chance of water leaks. This roof also is not recommended for high wind or snow areas, as the structure will collapse under high pressure. The gambrel roof requires regular water proofing and maintenance at all times of the year.

10. Dormer

 

While not strictly a roof style, a dormer is a common roof addition that is used to increase usable space and to create window openings. Dormers have evolved to work with many different types of architecture and have even been used on the spires of cathedrals and churches.

Read Also: Best Roof Design for Snow

Conferring with Experts

If you’re interested in learning more about your roof type or you need help deciding on a new style for your structure, consulting with expert roofing contractors, like Custom Home Remodeling & Roofing, Inc., is the best policy.

Must Read: Some Cost-Effective Tips for Your Roof Restoration

 

Image Credits:
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Home Improvement

5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Solar Panel

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Through innovation, research and billions of dollars of investment over the last couple of years, the solar panel has reached a level of development that makes it very affordable for the average household making it possible for us to draw our daily energy need from the sun. This has created a lot of advantages for the populace. Knowing the type of Solar Panel that you need involves a lot of processes.

 

According to Solarrun, a Solar Panel Company in Australia, we can shorten this process by knowing 5 important things before buying a Solar Panel. This will not just help us in choosing the right one for our household. This will also educate us about the important things that we need to know in using a Solar Panel.

 

How Do Solar Panels Work and What are their Benefits?

To simply put it, solar panel turns an endless supply of sunbeams into useful electricity. Aside from the fact that it reduces electricity bill, the biggest benefit of having a solar panel is its renewable source. Solar Energy also has the least negative impact on the environment compared to other energy sources.

 

Manufacturer’s Warranty

Pay particular attention to the fine prints of the contract that show the warranty and issues, such as where to send your modules if you encounter a problem. Check if the manufacturer’s guarantee is at least ten years. Performance guarantee is different from a manufacturer’s guarantee. Performance warranty is about the number of kilowatt-hours a solar system actually produces over time. Most of the time, the installer and not the manufacturer itself offers the performance warranty.

 

Quality and Specifications

As far as quality is concerned, a lot of people insist that a solar panel made from Germany is better than the ones made from China. But some Chinese brands are just fine. For specifications, you should also check the power tolerance, voltage rating and coefficient of temperature as well as the original manufacturer. Check for different suppliers and installers in your area. Make a checklist and compare all the key specifications that are well suited for your house.

 

Roof Suitability

The angle of the roof is essential in installing a solar panel. You have to make sure that your roof tiles are not old, fragile or worn out. You should also check if buildings, trees or any other objects shade any area of your roof. The solar panel installer will measure your roof and give you indications about the performance of the panel on your roof.

 

Maintenance and Running Costs

Solar Panel does not require big maintenance cost. You can easily use a hose to remove dust or leaves that settle on the top of the panel. Some companies would recommend servicing the system for checkup and cleaning once a year and it will not cost you that much.
We have summed up the top 5 things that you need to know about solar panels.Creating a smart home through solar energy is a big decision especially because it needs a lot of investment. It is highly recommended that you do a lot of research and improve your knowledge about solar panels before making the actual purchase.

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Electric or Wet Underfloor Heating System for Wood Flooring?

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Your home is your sanctuary. It is where you should feel the most comfortable with. Since the home is where everything and everyone you love is, it should be prepared for anything including season changes.

You’re preparing for the cold and you’ve decided to put underfloor heating under your wooden floor, the next question is do you go for electric or water heating?

 

Underfloor heating 101

The main thing to remember when combining wood floor with underfloor heating is that the maximum floor surface temperature should not exceed 27 C (80.6F).

Ensuring thermal conductivity is best when you are using a denser wood. Thinner flooring material with higher density is more responsive to the system and has a shorter heat-up time.

To help you decide on which type of underfloor heating is appropriate for your home, let’s compare electric and water-based heating; listed are the pros and cons of each to help you decided which heating system might suit your home better:

  1. How It Works

Electric: Network of wires installed under your floor. You can choose loose-fit wiring or easy-made mats for larger areas.

Water: a series of pipes linked to your boiler or solar panels that pump hot water under the floor

  1. Installation

Electric: The electric heating system is easier than water based. Although usually installed by an electrician, this system can also be a DIY project.

Water: The water-based system needs an expert (professional plumber) to install them

  1. In-house structural changes

Electric – you need to place a layer of insulation below the mats or wiring so you don’t lose heat into the ground

Water – if there’s not enough room below your floors, you may need to raise the floor levels

 

Points of consideration:

1. Type of Installation

One of the major things you should consider is the type of installation. Are you considering to renovate or are you working on a new build? The building will give you more flexibility in the sense that your floor heights have not been established yet.

You have the freedom to choose whether you’ll go for a wet underfloor heating or an electric system beneath your final flooring.

Electric underfloor heating may be more suitable if you are renovating as it does not significantly alter or increase the floor height.

2. Location

 

Where you will install the underfloor heating will also have an impact on the type of system you should get. Usually, water-based underfloor heating is recommended on the ground floor with good insulation. If you’re renovating and using a low-profile system though, it may be difficult to reach enough heat output from a low build water-based system especially if the subfloor is uninsulated.

On the other hand, most energy efficiencies are achieved in large areas with water underfloor heating combined with an air or ground source heat pump. It is advisable to conduct a heat loss calculation to know which underfloor heating system provides more heat output than the maximum heat loss.

3. Plumber vs Electrician

When considering which system to use, it’s worth researching the cost difference between a qualified electrician wiring the electrical system versus a professional plumber installing and connecting a wet system. The architecture of your house will help you determine which is more preferable.

 

Post heating system installation notes:

  1. Leave an expansion gap

There should be an expansion gap left around edges of the room. A 10 mm minimum gap is recommended but it’s always best to check with the manufacturer and their installation instructions for the expansion gap width.

  1. Ensure correct moisture content

Making sure that you have the correct moisture content is important since wood is a natural material which absorbs humidity. Laying a new wood floor with too high moisture in a dry house will result in shrinking and opening gaps between the floorboards. On the other hand, installing wood floor to a humid house would expand the width of the planks.

  1. Let the floor acclimate

Post installation, the floor should be acclimated for at least 48 hours before turning the system on. You should also check with the flooring manufacturer the suitability of the flooring with the heating system that you have chosen.

 

Conclusion

Heating your home especially during the cold season is important for your health, comfort, and well-being. You should invest in a heating system that is suitable for your design, budget, and lifestyle.

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Home Improvement

Simple Tips on Small Apartment Solutions

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When it comes to our big cities, most of us live in small apartments. The biggest reason for this is, of course, rising rentals. But many people now also prefer small apartments. As our families shrink from joint set-up to single child units, a smaller home is simply easier to manage. The trend now is to invest in just what you need. But does a small home seem too impractical? Do you worry that you will never be able to live comfortably in a small home?

If you are, then worry not. With innovative solutions, small spaces can be made more comfortable. Instead of investing in hundred things, just include things that can make your space look larger, like glass door accessories manufacturers. On the whole, the idea here is to be smart about your space. Here are our tips to bring space into your small apartment:

Remove the clutter: Nothing shrinks a space faster than clutter! A cluttered space always looks automatic. The biggest culprits here are horizontal places like cabinet tops or table tops. So, the first thing you need to do is clean up your space. A pile of newspaper, toys or books lying around the place makes the room look untidy and smaller. Instead, adhere strictly to the ‘each thing in its place’ philosophy.

Play with light: Space becomes much smaller in the absence of light and a small space can seem larger if it is properly lit up. Even better, find ways to let in natural light into the room. You can do this with wide windows and doors. In fact, we recommend that you remove one wall and replace it with glass. Contact glass door accessories manufacturers for installing wide French windows wherever possible. The removal of four walls automatically opens up a room. With the windows or doors opening up to the outside, you get plenty of light which makes the room seem larger.

Innovative storage solution: The biggest problem in most small homes is the storage. In the course of our life we are bound to pick up a lot of paraphernalia. While some of it can be thrown out, we will still be stuck with essentials that grow with our age, such as mementoes, important documents and the many little and big things you tend to collect once you have children. Since you cannot put everything out there and you do not have wardrobes for everything, the best way is to look for innovative storage solutions.

Look for box beds or tables with drawer space. Homes also come with number of such storage spaces today, like a shelving unit behind the door, cabinets under the bathroom sink or a window seat that opens up for storage beneath. Furniture companies are also focusing on making furniture with in-built storage space.

Get glass partitions: Wherever possible, get glass partitions instead of wooden or brick walls. It will again help you to open up the space. This is because glass allows light to pass through so you can see the entire room. If privacy is a concern, you can look for frosted glass from glass door accessories manufacturer.

Get dual purpose furniture: This can remove both the clutter and give you innovative storage solutions mentioned earlier. With space limited, you must think of smart solutions like furniture that can double up for another purpose, so that one piece can perform two functions. For instance, get a sofa-cum-bed if it’s just a one room space or of if you don’t have a spare room for the guests. You can also look at tables that can extend when required or stools that can be used as both side tables and sitting stools.

Think vertical: A room that is more ‘vertical’ then horizontal always looks more spacious. You can look for homes with high ceilings. Other solutions include putting shelving or storage units towards the ceiling. By keeping them at the top, we make the room less cluttered, while giving the room an illusion of light.

Innovative solutions like those provided by glass door accessories manufacturers can be very handy in making a small apartment look larger. Follow our tips and see a modern and stylish small space come alive.

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