There are 6 types of shingle roof types, each found everywhere on all sorts of buildings. The different styles sometimes reflect a structural requirement or specification, but more often, the type of roof that is used is purely a matter of convenience or taste. The type of shingles put on a home will depend largely on the building in question, but it is not uncommon to see unconventional roof styles on homes.
One of the most common types found on homes, a gable roof consists of 2 sides that meet at an apex or ridge running perpendicular to the sides of the house. The structure forms a triangle at either side of the house. Two subcategories include side gable and front gable roofs. Side gable roofs feature the front door on the side while front gable roofs have it in the front. With front gable roofs, the front door is on a face that runs parallel to the apex of the roof. The ridge runs the length of the house with gable roofs.
A hipped roof is another common roof type for homes. This shingle roof type is made up of four sides–two triangular sides and two trapezoidal sides. All four sides meet at a ridge that, because of the shape, does not run the length of the house.
You will most likely see what is called a gambrel roof on old fashioned barns. Like a gable roof, it leaves the sides completely open, extending up to the roof line. Instead of two sides, however, a gambrel roof is made up of four sides. The 2 outer sides are positioned at a steep angle, at the top of which they join two less sloped sides. The two inner sides meet at the ridge which, like a gable roof, runs the length of the structure.
A mansard roof is flat on top with four short sides extending downward from each side of the rectangular top. Each of the four sides is sharply angled. This roof type would resemble a shallow box top except for the fact that the sides each bend out slightly.
The name of this roof type says it all. A flat roof is just that–flat. It is a one-sided roof set atop a box and is not a very common roof type for residential homes.
A shed roof resembles a flat roof in that it consists of one side. Rather than lay flat atop a structure, however, it is sloped. Thus, one face of the structure is higher than the opposite face.
These are the six basic design types of shingle roofs. Two of them, gable and hipped, are most common on homes. While gambrel roofs are sometimes seen on homes, they are most common on barns. Mansard roofs are commonly built atop businesses, as are flat roofs. Shed roofs are mostly seen on sheds, but are becoming more common in residential home design.