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A Complete Guide to Roof Shapes & Types and How Could They Affect Your Loft Design

Table of Contents

Roof Shapes
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In the UK, loft conversions offer an elegant solution for homeowners looking for a valuable commodity or space. Converting an idle loft into a beautiful and functional space can fulfil space requirements and increases the property’s value.

Many factors must be considered when designing and styling a loft; the most important is the roof structure. The roof structure immensely impacts your loft’s final dimensions and design.

Choosing the one that best suits your house, climate and weather conditions can be tricky and overwhelming.

This guide will help you understand each roof type and how it can affect your overall loft design.

Roof with Skylights

A roof with skylights is one of the simplest designs that does not require major structural changes and can be installed on any property.

In roof light conversion, also known as a Velux conversion, skylight windows are installed in the existing roof’s pitch. Among these, some other tasks are done, such as roof insulation, floor reinforcements and connection to basic utilities.

However, to get the most out of this roof, the space and headroom must be sufficient to create a spacious and functional loft.

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Dormer Roof

Dormer Roof

A Dormer roof is added to the existing roof pitch that extends vertically to create extra headroom and floor space. The dormer roof is extremely popular as they are suitable for almost all types of homes. For instance, they are mostly built on one-and-a-half-storey homes and semi-detached homes featuring sloping roofs.

Further, dormer roof is divided into pitched or flat type.

  • If one wishes to create extra interior space, in such a situation, flat roofs are suitable. They are boxed-shaped structures with flat ceilings and straight walls. However, they do not look very welcoming.
  • On the other hand, a pitched roof is more aesthetically pleasing and provides ample headroom; this will allow for bringing in much sunlight and ventilation in the loft.

A great benefit of dormer roof is that though it requires planning permission, they are a worthwhile, smart and pocket-friendly investment. 

Hip to Gable Roof

A hip-to-gable roof comprises changing the hip roof into a gable roof. This roof best suits semi-detached and detached properties with sloping side roofs.

This type of roof is expensive to carry out because it takes considerable work and requires planning permission. However, they look highly appealing and provide enough interior space while adding great value to your property.

Gable to Gable Roof

This is perhaps the most common and popular across the UK. This standard roof design – comprises two equal sides – is suitable for cold and especially for UK weather and climate conditions. Another reason for its popularity is that it can withstand heavy rainfall, ensuring water does not pass through the roof’s surface.

Hipped Roof

This is common throughout the UK, with four sides sloping down towards the walls. This hipped roof is more robust and sturdier than gable to gable. They are suitable in areas such as Scotland because they can withstand heavy snowfall and gusts of winds.

Moreover, a lot of material is required to carry out a hipped roof, meaning it is expensive and only seen on larger structures.

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Mansard Roof

Mansard Roof

Though Mansard roofs can be built on most properties, they are highly suitable for detached, semi-detached and terraced homes.

Among other roof types, mansard roof types are the most expensive and demand complex structural changes, requiring planning permission.

The mansard roof is created on the rear side, and the existing roof is changed into a flat roof with a slopping wall. 

Furthermore, this roof provides several opportunities, such as, in terms of space, one can create a master bedroom or an ensuite bathroom.

This type is highly valued because it has a lovely, graceful design and offers special versatility.

T-shaped Roof

In this type, two roof areas are combined to create a T-shaped roof. It can also be designed in an L shape. This provides a weatherproofing solution – where the roofs are intersected (the valley), it provides a space for drainage.

Mono-Pitch Roof

A single-sided pitched roof is known as a mono-pitch roof. This roof is frequently used on sheds, other outbuildings, garages or property additions where the pitch extends from the main structure. The roof may meet the main structure at the top or side of its slope, creating an abutment feature.

Flat Roof

A flat roof comprises a pitch of not more than 100 to the horizontal. As drainage cannot be created on a flat roof, a fall is created via a tapered insulation system or by building a pitched deck.

Initially, flat roofs were famous for commercial buildings, but recently they have also become popular in housing. They are commonly seen in modern urban flat blocks.

Gambrel Roof

A symmetrical two-sided roof with two slopes on each side is known as a gabled roof. The Gambrel roof only has double slopes on two sides; the ends resemble typical hipped roofs.

Sawtooth Roof

During the industrial era, Great Britain was at its height of power. And this roof was invented so that more sunlight could enter the factory. The sawtooth roof has a double pitch on both sides featuring several windows for maximum sunlight. 

Barrell Vault Roof

Resembling a semi-circle, this roof type has a continuous arched shape. This barrel vault is famous for new-built structures in city and town centres.

Wave Form 

Like its name, the roof has a wave-like structure. Though a beautiful structure, one may face drainage issues. And to deal with the issues, several challenges may need to address while selecting a pitch.

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