The Roof


Roof shapes protect
a house from the elements.
While they define the overall look and style of a house, they also respond to their environment, support energy efficiency, catchment and overall building resilience.



Below, we review twelve of the most popular architectural styles to assist your future choices
for a new construction, or better understanding of 
the one you presently have.

Hip Roof
A hip roof has slopes on all four sides. The sides are all equal length
and come together at the top to
form a ridge.
They are more stable than gable roofs. The inward slope of all four sides makes the shape very sturdy and perform superbly in high winds.

Note: For high wind areas,
or strong storms, a pitch of 18.5° > 26.5° is recommended.

Gable Roof
One of the most popular shapes.
The simple configuration easily
sheds water, while providing more space internally for an attic, or vaulted ceiling with good ventilation.
Simple to build and cheaper
than their complex alternatives.
Note: Gable Roofs can have problems
in high wind environments and require well constructed framing and strong joints between rafter and walls.  
The roof overhang should be no more than 18” to resist uplift.

Saltbox Roof
A salt box roof is asymmetrical in design, with one side being more of slightly sloping flat roof and the other more of a lean to, with gables at each end.  This allows for more  living space with less material by adding a lean to roof to an existing gable. 

Note: The slope makes an excellent water run off. The asymmetrical design makes it more durable than a simple gable roof.

Pyramid Hip Roof
This is identical to a simple hip roof, but the walls are square rather than rectangular, making the shape of the building’s roof slope come to a point
in a pyramid shape at the top.

Note: This type of roof is extremely resistant to strong winds, so is ideal for high-wind or hurricane prone areas.

Dutch Gable (hip) roof 
This is a hybrid 'hip on gable' roof.
A full or partial gable can be found
at the end of the ridge in the roof, allowing for a greater amount of internal roof space.

Note: This style enhances the look
of the roof, providing a more unique
and interesting design than the very common simple hip roof.

Hip and Valley Roof
This roof has a total of four sloping surfaces, with two joined on 
a common ridge, and the other two
on either end of the central ridge.


Note: This design is very similar to
the trapezoid structure of gable roofs,

with the addition of the two triangular hip ends the only real distinguishing factor.

Cross Gabled Roof
This design consists of two or more gable roof ridges that intersect at 

an angle, most commonly perpendicular to one another.

Note: This type of roof is often seen in buildings with a more complex layout, for example, homes with an attached garage.

A Combination Roof 
This is a combination of roof styles.
It often incorporates two or more designs for aesthetics and practical reasons.

Note: The unique combination can characterise internal, as well as external features, or frame views surrounding the building.

Cross Hipped Roof 
A common roof type, with perpendicular hip sections that form an ‘L’ or ‘T’ shape in the roof hip.


Note: This is often used for buildings
with a complex layout and is a roof

type which manages winds and rain extremely well.

Clerestory Roof
This has an interior wall which extends above one section of the roof, often lined with several windows,
or one long window. The sections
of roof either side of the vertical wall are typically sloping, allowing a large amount of natural light into the building.

Note: The roof sections, being similar

in character to Shed Roofs, are at risk 
in high wind environments and require
well constructed framing and strong joints between rafter and walls.  
The roof overhang should be no more

than 18” to resist uplift and peeling.

Skillion or Shed Roof
A single flat surface, pitched at
a steep angle to allow water runoff. This is extremely easy and cheap

to construct.

Note: Shed Roofs are at risk in high wind environments and require well constructed framing and strong joints between rafter and walls.  
The roof overhang should be no more than 18” to resist uplift and peeling.

Butterfly roof
AKA an inverted pitch roof, angled upwards to form a V-shape.
This contemporary style provides
the added benefit of allowing larger walls and windows to a structure,
with an easily managed way of harvesting rainwater through the middle channel in the roof.

Note: the middle channel will be at greatest risk for blockage and leakage. Great care should be taken to seal and maintain this catchment and runoff.

The performance of any roof is determined
by its materials, quality of construction 
and finish and its shape, relative to its location 
and the general prevailing weather.

From the simplest to the most complex design, 
ECMIL's Colorbond® and Zincalume® Roof sheeting
in three extremely adaptable profiles and 13 colours, 
will transform your creative thoughts to a durable 
and long lasting feature.  

Add our complete range of accessories 
to guarantee a world class finish.



Whether you are Hip on Gable, Pyramid, Butterfly
or Combination, our highly knowledgeable sales staff will guide you to top quality materials to complete your project.

NB. This article is for general information purposes only and is meant as an incentive to the reader, who should then research and seek advice from their architectural and construction professionals to confirm that the ideas expressed are possible within the building codes of their territory or within the limitations of their home's architecture. ECMIL only recommends their own products and third party products which they supply, as part of their company's roofing solutions to customers.