When it comes to your home, you want something that expresses your personality. Even if you are building from a very simple plan, you can change the whole look of the house by changing up the roof. Here at Metro Area Construction, we specialize in roofing and can help you as needed.

In this post, we will look at the most common types of roofs, looking at the style and roofing material.

Common Residential Roof Styles

Let us go through the most common styles of residential roofs first.

Bonnet Roof

This is often spoken of as kicked eaves. The roof consists of two distinct sections. The uppermost part is steeply sloped while the lowermost section is at a gentler angle. This makes it possible for the lower section to create a veranda.

While this is not considered the most modern type, it does have some excellent advantages. For starters, the steep upper roof area creates more space in the home and helps water run off faster.

The lower roof creates a nice area of shade that can extend around the whole house. The combination of both helps to keep the house cooler in a hot climate. The disadvantage is that it is more expensive to build because of the more complicated design.

Mansard Roof

You might know this a French roof. It has a double slope as well, but this time it is the lower slope that is, the steeper of the two. It is a good idea if you plan to add garrets at a later stage. It can be costly to build.

Gambrel Roof

This is considered Dutch in design and is very popular for barns. It is a two-sided roof and so allows for an attic space.

This is popular because it is relatively simple to install and so costs less. It is not ideal if you get a lot of wind or heavy snowfall because it is so open in design.

Gable Roof

These are what most people in the United States will recognize. They have a classic triangular shape and are peaked. The pitch of the roof makes it ideal for allowing rain and snow to fall off easily.

It does allow for an attic space and is reasonably inexpensive to construct. This is not a good idea, however, in an area where heavy winds are a problem unless it is reinforced.

Saltbox Roof

This is something for those who really like to shake things up a bit. The roof is asymmetrical and shorter and steeper on the one side. You will see this in many colonial homes. It is a clever way to create more space and to economize on building supplies.

The roof is also more stable than a gable roof and does allow for water to run off quickly. It does require expert design, though, and this can increase design costs.

Flat Roof

A flat roof is, well flat. It does have some slant to it so that water can drain off it more easily but it is not a noticeable one. This is a common option for those wanting a more contemporary design.

The advantage is that you can use the roof as an extension of your external living space. The disadvantage being that debris may accumulate on the roof. The other advantage is that there is no need to worry about shingles, but you do have to have it suitably waterproofed.

Skillion Roof

This is the kind of thing that you would usually see on an addition to a house or shed. The roof consists of one slope and uses the wall abutting the building as a support structure. The advantage is that it gives you some extra space and allows rain to run-off.

They are not the best option if the area is exposed to strong winds.

Hip Roof

This is a more complex roof. Each side of the roof is of equal length and meets in the center to form a flat space. The advantage is that they are sturdier and able to cope with high winds and lots of snow.

You can also create extra space or add on some dormer windows. The disadvantage is that they are more expensive.

Pyramid Roof

This looks like a pyramid – four sides that come together in the center and create a point. The roof can be steep or not, depending on the design.

They are good in high wind areas and are also good at shrugging off rain and other precipitation.

Best Roofing Materials for Homes in Minnesota

roofing materials for Minnesota homes

Asphalt Roofs

In the States, this is the most commonly used option, especially when it comes to steep roofs. The quality and price can vary substantially, but shingles here are relatively simple to come by. If you are wondering how long do asphalt roofs last, good quality asphalt shingles weather well and will last a long time. Metro Area Construction installs and repairs asphalt roofs in Cokato, Minnesota and the surrounding area.


These are also known as shake shingles and are more traditional. Your asphalt shingles are based on these. The shingles fit in under one another to help protect the home.

They are popular because they give a unique look and might initially be less expensive than slate or asphalt. The problem with wood, though, is that it will require a fair amount more maintenance.


These are created from rock and so are a low maintenance and lasting option. They might work out more expensive than wood or asphalt. Another issue is that the slate is more prone to chipping.

Metal Roofing

This is commonly used because it is fairly easy to install. Metal roofing can be low maintenance as long as the metal is treated properly before being used. It is usually applied in sheets and can be from a range of different materials like steel, tin, and copper.

Tiled or Clay Roofs

If you want a roof that will last the longest, clay is probably your best bet. It looks good and is fairly low maintenance. The trade-off is that it is also extremely expensive. Clay is traditionally used, but you can also find synthetic tiles, concrete tiles, etc.

Synthetic Roofs

There are many different synthetic roofing materials that you may come across. Under this category, I am sticking to the so-called membrane roofs. These are usually used when dealing with flat roofs that need to be watertight.

So, if you see someone with a garden on their roof, they will have made it of this type. The membrane can be a type of rubber, thermoplastic, bitumen or a range of other materials.

So, now that you understand a bit more about what types of roofs and roofing materials there are, you can make a more informed decision about what your ideal roof is.

Be sure to check out our service areas, and contact us with any questions you may have. Call now: (612) 275-5530