Types of Roofs - Know the Basics and Save More On Your New Home

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Cost Effective Options When Building Your New Home

Roof Style, Pitch, and Lines

Cost Effective Home Building - Roof Lines Style Pitch - Custom Homes Raleigh NC


Looking to build or buy a new home? 

Knowing a little about roof styles, pitches and lines can help you make a cost effective choice when deciding on your dream floor plan!

Roof Pitch - Definition

The pitch of a roof is the steepness. 


An 8/12 roof climbs 8 inches in height for every 12 inches in width.

The shallower the roof pitch, the lower the cost.  Lower cost homes often have a simpler 4/12 or 5/12 roof pitch.  However, this can really limit the attic space available, particularly on a smaller home.

There are several ways this saves cost - there is less roofing, less labor required to put the roof on the home, and also, less framing materials and framing labor required to build the support system for the roof.

However, the shallow roof pitches are usually not as visually appealing as a steeper roof pitch.

Roof Lines, Hips, Gables, and Valleys

Cost Effective Home Building - Roof Lines Style Pitch - Custom Homes Raleigh NCThe number of gables, hips, and valleys in a roof can affect aesthetic appeal as well as cost.

A hip is where two rooflines meet at the top.

A gable is a triangular section of wall formed by the intersection of two sections of roof.

A valley is where two sections of roof meet and connect on the downward slope. 

This example shows nine different hips on the front of the home, counting the small dormer window. 

The more complex the roof, the higher the cost.  But the roofline and architectural design is also something that is chosen once and extremely difficult to change over the years, so think carefully about your selection.   On the other hand, additional trimwork or upgraded flooring and countertops can be added later as budgets allow.   

Roof Styles and Lines for Every Budget

Cost Effective Home Building - Roof Lines Style Pitch - Custom Homes Raleigh NC


There are plenty of roof styles that can work for any budget.  Ask your builder for suggestions. 

A style with a mid-level pitch and several gables and valleys can add a lot of sophistication, but still be at the mid to lower end of the cost spectrum.







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Mark Watterson
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Real Estate

In our market a buyer can buy a spec or existing home cheaper than they can build.  Some build if they have very specific tastes and they can't find in existing home.  Hope your market is better.

Feb 05, 2009 11:17 PM #1
Ray Wilson
Meticulous Home Inspection Corporation - Bohemia, NY
NYS Licensed Home and Building Inspector

Great info Penny! So many people don't know the simplest of terms when it comes to their house, and don't know why prices can vary so much when builders quote prices. I am having my house added onto, and the architect drew up these sketches with tall cathedral peaks which I did not ask for. His price to draw plans and have it 'shelled' were $11,000 over my budget. He did not listen to my requests, so I will find another architect. -Ray

Feb 05, 2009 11:18 PM #2
Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

I love this information.  I also believe that many real estate agents should have to take courses in construction and know some of the terms like, hip roof, mansard, dutch tip etc.

Feb 05, 2009 11:24 PM #3
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Good informational post.  Thanks for sharing!

Feb 05, 2009 11:56 PM #4
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Mark - in the Raleigh area, we've still seen appreciation of 4%, even across 2008.  There isn't much difference between building exactly what you want or buying an existing home.  Hopefully this information is helpful no matter what type of home someone is buying!

Feb 06, 2009 12:12 AM #5
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Ray - an advantage of designing is supposed to be that you get exactly what you want! 

Jim - Knowing the basics can make a big difference.

Kristin - glad to help!

Feb 06, 2009 12:25 AM #6
James Wexler
wexzilla.com - Scottsdale, AZ

great homes at a great price , loooks like Stanton homes builds a tremendous product in style, design and quality - hope you sell a lot

Feb 06, 2009 01:40 AM #7
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