Roof Inspections

Our guide will help you definitely understand and identify the best type of a roof shape for your business, home, shed, garage.

On commercial buildings usually we see flat roofs made of vinyl, PVC, tar, rolled asphalt etc. However the most uncommon is a bowstring sometimes referred to as a shoestring roof truss system. Bowstring roofing systems are well designed and very complexe. It also is one those designs that has had a lot of failures over the years. The failures often resulted from loads such as equipment on the roof or hanging from the interior. Snow, wind and ice also contributed to these roof failures. Over the years I believe we have walked on, inspected or installed just about every roof system.

Bowstring, Gable, Hip, Mansard, Gambrel, flat roof, Skillion, Jerkinhead, Butterfly, Bonnet, Saltbox Sawtooth roof, Curved, Pyramid, Dome roof


1. Gable
2. Hip
3. Mansard
4. Gambrel
5. Flat
6. Skillion
7. Jerkinhead
8. Butterfly
9. Bonnet
10. Saltbox
11. Sawtooth
12. Curved
13. Pyramid
14. Dome
15. Combination

1. Gable Roof

Also known as pitched or peaked roof, gable roofs are some of the most popular roofs in the US. They are easily recognized by their triangular shape.

Pros: Gable roofs will easily shed water and snow, provide more space for the attic or vaulted ceilings and allow more ventilation. Their inherently simple design makes it easy to build them and cheaper than more complex designs.

Cons: Gable roofs can be problematic in high wind and hurricane areas. If the frames are not properly constructed with adequate supports, the roof can collapse. High winds can also cause materials to peel away from gable roofs. If there is too much of an overhang, winds can create an uplift underneath and cause the roof to detach from the walls.

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.

Pros: Hip roofs are more stable than gable roofs. The inward slope of all four sides is what makes it more sturdy and durable.

They are excellent for both high wind and snowy areas. The slant of the roof allows snow to easily slide off with no standing water.

Hip roofs can offer extra living space with an addition of a dormer or a crow’s nest.

Note: For high wind areas, or strong storms, a pitch of 4/12-6/12 (18.5°-26.5° angle) is recommended.

Cons: Hip roofs are more expensive to build than a gable roof. It’s a more complex design that requires more building materials. Also, with the addition of a dormer, additional seams can make it easier for the water leaks to form in the valleys, if a roofing system is not properly installed.

Note: Proper construction and maintenance is a must to prevent minor issues from turning into major problems.

Suggested materials: Hip roofs, like gable roofs, can be with almost any type of roofing material, such as shingles, metal, or tiles.

Types of Hip Roofs

Simple Hip: The most common type of a hip roof. It has a polygon on two sides and a triangle on two sides. The sides come together at the top to form a simple ridge.

Cross Hipped: Similar to a cross gable roof. Use separate hip roofs on homes with different wings. The line where the two roofs meet is called a valley.

Note: Valleys can allow water to pool. Proper waterproofing is a must.

Half Hipped: A standard hip roof that has two sides shortened to create eaves.