Design a roof

The structure of the roof

Roof construction in detailThe roof forms the upper limitation of a building. Regarding roof shapes there are flat roofs and inclined roofs (flatly inclined roof, steeply pitched roof)

The flat roof has an incline of 0 degrees up to maximum 25 degrees (country-specific differences). In case of a higher roof pitch it is called inclined roof or monopitch roof.

The roof consists of a roof structure and the actual roof which again consists of a roof system and roofing.

The structure of the roof – roof structure and roofing

The roof structure is also called roof frame work and typically consists of wood. The roof frame work mainly consists of purlins (inferior purlin, central purlin and ridge purlin), ridge collar, rafter and roofing battens.

A distinction is made between single-shell and double-shell roofs. A single-shell roof is also called warm roof and it is an unventilated roof. The typical use case for a warm roof is the flat roof. A double-shell roof is also called cold roof and is an internally ventilated roof. The air can circulate and prevents moisture condensation.

Roofing possibilities

3D RoofingsThe roofing is the upper layer of a roof and can consist of different styles and materials. The most important roofings are:

  • Roof tiles of clay
  • Roof tiles of natural stone
  • Roof tiles of concrete
  • Roofings of aluminum
  • Roofings of wood
  • Roofings of reed

Materials of hot dipped galvanized steel, copper, aluminum, zinc or premium steel are used for a classic metal roof and it can be constructed as a trapezoidal sheet metal roof, corrugated sheet metal roof or as a metal roof with standing seam.

Typical roof shapes for single-family houses

House with complicated roof shapeWhen you plan a roof you will often face a lot of technical terms and you can easily lose sight of the bigger picture.

You will have to consider many different criteria regarding the right choice of the roof shape. The most important points for the choice of a roof shape are the following:

  • personal preference
  • regional building regulations
  • roof shapes of the surrounding houses
  • geometry and statics of the house
  • economic efficiency
  • economic efficiency

The roof shapes are different from each other in regards to their design and structure f. We created a list of the most important basic roof shapes for your roof planning. All the following images were created with our house planning software, cadvilla.

Gable end roofGable end roof

In our region the gable end roof is one of the most popular and common roofs. In a rectangle floor plan the roof areas of a gable end roof on both of the gable ends (front edge) consists of one gable area and of a hipped end roof area on one on the two eave sides (two additional sides).

The laterally inclined roof areas (eave sides) are often equipped with a dormer and thus facilitate an extension or the development of the attic floor.

Hipped end roofHipped end roof

In a rectangle floor plan the hipped end roof consists of a hipped end roof area on all four sides. Therefore the roof has an inclined roof area on all four sides. The inclination of the roof area can be user-defined. The inclined roof areas offer less contact surface for snow and wind load.

Compared to a pyramid hip roof (pyramid roof), a hipped end roof does not have a roof top but instead a roof ridge.

Mansard roofMansard roof

Planning a mansard roof can create additional living space under the roof. The room slopes inside the roof are hardly noticeable and the created roof space can be used efficiently.

The roof areas of the mansard roof are flatter in the upper part than in the lower part of the roof. The roof angles in the lower part have severe bends in the lower part.

Side outshot roofSide outshot roof

Side outshot roofs are roofs where the roof areas (or parts of it) stick out far beyond the external wall in order to create a shelter in the entrance area or a space for storing wood.

A side outshot roof is also designed to create a protected parking space.

Monopitch roof

Monopitch roof

The monopitch roof consists of only one inclined roof area. In a rectangle floor plan the roof areas of a monopitch roof on the three gable ends (front edge) consist of one gable area and of hipped end roof area on one on the two eave sides. The inclined roof area is always aimed towards the weather-exposed side.

Typically, the roof pitch of monopitch roofs is low. Therefore the roof areas provide lots of space for solar collectors and the roof space resulting from this can be used efficiently.

More room shapes and special types of roofs

Other common roof shapes are flat roof, barrel roof, pyramid hip roof (pyramid roof), cone-type roof, valley roof, shed roof, clipped-gable roof and extended mansard roof.

clipped-gable roofextended mansard roof

You can find additional articles helping you plan your house in our guidelines for house builders.

Design the roof of your dream house with our professional 3D house planning software

dream houseHouse plan

You are a house builder planning your dream house? The design of your dream house with our planning software cadvilla professional plus leaves no wishes unfulfilled. The CAD program cadvilla professional is the ideal software for planning your dream house on your own and for quickly gaining a first insight into 3D technology. (Remark: All images shown here were created with cadvilla)

Compatible with Windows 7 / 10 / 11

Plan roof shapes yourself (or an entire house) with the house planner software from cadvilla

Plan now the roof form of your house on your own PC with the professional 3D house planner software of cadvilla and save at the same time money by the current special prices!

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Sample pictures

Shown below are a few examples which were created with the cadvilla architecture software.

To enlarge one the following images simply click on it. To close the window which is then opened, simply click on close window or press the ESC-key.

House with flat roofHouse with flat roofMulti-family houseSingle family houseDream House 3Dream House 4House with solar panelsMy houseDream houseHouse with garageHouseHouseHouseModern HouseHouse with side outshot roofmodern housemodern housePrecast houseHouseLiving houseLiving housemodern houseDream houseSampleGround floorExample of display optionsSampleSampleHouse by the seaHouse on supportsHouseHouse facadehousetopHousemodern houseHouseHousemodern housemodern houseHouse

Kitchen SampleKitchen SampleKitchen SampleKitchen SampleKitchen SampleLiving room furnitureLiving room furnituredining areadining areainteriorinteriorinteriorinteriorinteriorbathroomLiving roomLiving roomLiving roomLiving roomLiving exampleLiving exampleLiving exampleOffice Facility 1Office Facility 2Office Facility 3

Customer projects:

FlatFlat from outsideLandscapingLandscaping
commercial buildingcommercial building