skylights in kitchen

The Beauty & Benefits of a Skylight

Few architectural details are more beautiful or inspiring in a private home than a skylight.

A well-chosen, an expert skylight installation not only brings approximately 30% more natural daylight into your living space, it can even save you money on heating and energy bills. Some are designed to give your home better ventilation, drawing warm air up to vent through and cooling a room to bring in fresh air.

Thinking about installing one is exciting and inspiring, but it also should also give you pause. After all, you’re contemplating having a hole cut in one of your home’s most expensive and important features—the roof. You can count on us to help you get it right…the first time!

The most important thing you can do to guarantee a pleasant process and a positive outcome is to hire a reputable company that uses quality materials to do the work. It’s far easier to get the work done right the first time than to try to address damages or recoup lost fees when you’re dissatisfied, so choose wisely.

Here are four considerations you should think about and discuss with your contractor:

Location

Exactly where your skylight is installed within your home’s footprint determines how much benefit you derive from it. Your rafters have a lot to do with placement, too. Securing a blueprint of your home will help you and your contractor select the best spot for your skylight.

In addition to the location on your roof, the angle or slope at which the skylight is installed will also affect the amount of light and solar heat absorbed into your home. A low slope typically admits more solar heat in summer and less in winter—which is the opposite of what most people want. Setting the skylight’s slope at roughly 10 degrees more than the geographical latitude of your home is often a good plan.

Glass

Skylights typically have tempered or laminated glass—which can break. If you have a lot of trees around your home, you need to understand that there is a risk of breakage to the skylight should a branch or bough fall on it. While tempered glass shatters into small, smooth pieces that fall to the ground, the film on laminated glass keeps the broken glass shards in place within the skylight’s frame—which is much less risky.

Mounting

Skylights can be curb-mounted or deck-mounted. Curb mounting requires a box structure for the skylight to be set on. If replacement is needed, curb-mounted skylights may not always need to be re-flashed, as long as flashing remains in good condition. Deck-mounted skylights have no box structure under them, giving them a lower profile that frequently results in greater energy efficiency

Features

Do you want to be able to open the skylight for ventilation? If so, would you like an electric, manual, or even solar-powered means of venting it? Are you concerned about letting too much passive heat and light into your home in the warmer months? You may want to consider factory-installed blinds over your skylight.

There’s a lot to consider, but a trustworthy, experienced contractor can help you through the process. Choose wisely, ask the right questions, make sound decisions, and prepare to enjoy the beauty and benefits of your skylight for years to come.

roof with wind damage

How To Best Deal With Wind Damage To Your Roof

From blizzards to heat waves and everything in between, a high quality home roof that is installed in accordance with best construction practices is built to take the beating it gets year-round. However, there’s one element that can present a challenge to even the most durable roof: wind.

According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory (NSSL), winds clocked at 50-60 mph have the potential to damage roofs. And severe thunderstorms, say researchers at NSSL, regularly generate winds in excess of 100 mph. These thunderstorms account for more than 50% of all severe roof damage in the 48 contiguous, U.S. states.

Speed and severity, however, are not the only factors that affect the likelihood of wind damage. How your roof is laid out affects something called wind loading, which is the amount of force the wind applies to your roof. Houses with hip roofs tend to incur less wind damage than do gabled roofs. In addition, specific areas of the roof, such as eaves and corners, tend to be more vulnerable to damage than flats and other surfaces.

How resilient your roof is also depends on materials and installation. Flimsy shingles of questionable quality installed using shortcuts and other sub-par construction practices equals a roof that is far more likely to lose shingles and become damaged by high winds.

Even a good quality, carefully installed, and well-maintained roof can become vulnerable to wind damage over time. As time passes, the sealant between the shingles can fail, causing them to curl and crack. Repeated cycles of freezing and thawing can also affect the integrity of the shingles or cause rot to the substrate or underlying structure. The result in both cases is increased vulnerability to wind damage.

Make it a habit to inspect your roof for damage after a storm. Look around for shingles or other roof debris that may have fallen to the ground. Because high winds can damage your roof without tearing them off completely, think about bringing in a licensed roofing contractor to survey it for possible damage. A professional can inspect your roof for missing shingles and examine it for signs of wear and tear—including shingles that are curling or that have become partially dislodged and damaged from flapping or flexing, and find any gaps where shingles may be separating it from the fascia or soffit.

If wind damage has occurred, a licensed roofing contractor will document it in writing accompanied by photos, give you a list of recommended repairs, and provide a cost estimate. Ask in advance, but this should be free of charge.

Wind damage to your roof is usually covered under your homeowner’s insurance but also check your contractor guarantee and your manufacturer’s warranty. If is determined that your roof has failed due to poor workmanship or sub-standard materials, you may need these warranties.

Addressing any wind damage to your roof, even if it seems minor, will prevent future damage from storms, freezing and other severe weather. Taking care of the issues today will prevent more serious and expensive problems tomorrow– because there are few things more important to you and your family’s comfort and safety than the roof over your head!

man on residential slate roof

How the Roofing Industry Successfully Responded to COVID-19

While most Mid-Atlantic states continue to report positive trends in the COVID-19 pandemic, the global health crisis is far from over. The roofing industry will continue to strengthen and fine-tune the measures it launched during the stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders issued at the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

For example:
• In the months before the pandemic hit US shores, roofing manufacturers ramped up production in their plants in anticipation of potential slowdowns caused by the virus’ and its resulting economic impact. In mid-March—roughly a week before New Jersey’s governor issued a stay-at-home order—companies like GAF enacted a trial “work from home” day for staff to identify and address issues that might affect productivity, establishing a baseline for remote operations that they have continued to improve upon since.
• The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) advocated for the roofing industry to keep crews working safely. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, NRCA lobbied local and national officials and launched a letter-writing campaign to have roofing designated as an “essential business” after many industries were forced to close by state and local governments. Their efforts kept roofing crews on the job in many states, and the association will continue to oversee trends so they can be proactive with their actions should a second wave of the pandemic threaten to close down the roofing industry again.
• Association conferences, sales expos, and educational events quickly moved to digital platforms, allowing contractors and others to virtually attend from the relative safety of their homes and offices. Many companies upgraded their website presences to offer more information and resources to roofers and launched innovative ways to communicate with members including telephone town halls and multiple video webinars.
• Roofing material manufacturers created digital tools for their customers and contractors, including instructional videos and educational webinar series. Roofing companies like GAF, CertainTeed, and Johns Manville launched COVID-19-related web pages outlining best practices, safety protocols, news updates, and links to additional information.
• Still, other manufacturers relied on social media and robust email campaigns to communicate with their members and associates. This allowed them to explain the measures they were taking to keep their employees and contractors safe while continuing to provide essential services to their customers. Even small companies took responsibility to send emails to their customers assuring that they were open for business—and taking the appropriate health and safety measures to continue operating.
• In addition to moving much of its workforce to their home offices, other companies, including Owens Corning, implemented strict cleaning and sanitation protocols, physical distancing, and employee health screenings at all of its locations. In line with many other roofing manufacturers, Owens Corning converted its annual “Owens Corning University Business Building Days” seminar to virtual sessions and created virtual sales kits to distribute to contractors.
• GAF also accelerated the production, testing, and release of an online version of its first at-home selling app.
• The development of a MyABCSupply™ digital program is helping roofing contractors by allowing them 24/7 access to their orders in real time.

Roofing installers, manufacturers and suppliers have shown themselves to be a progressive, forward-thinking group during the unprecedented demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to responding promptly and thoroughly to local, regional, and national guidelines and mandates, the roofing industry has positioned itself to monitor emerging trends and insights in order to be proactive if and when needed.

roofers installing a roof on home

Do I Need to Move Out During a Roof Replacement?

The roof is the crown of your home. Keeping it looking good and functioning well is one of the most important things you can do to preserve your home’s value and keep your family safe and comfortable.
Making the decision to replace an old roof that is no longer functioning as it should is a significant investment. Planning ahead is critical and there are many decisions to be made. One question homeowners often have is, “Do I need to move out during the roof replacement process?”

Fortunately, the answer is no…or at least, “not usually.”

First, let’s look at the big picture. Unless there are unusual circumstances, or extreme weather comes our way, replacing the roof of a typical, single-family home usually only takes a few days— almost always less than a week. We try to get the job done during the week while many individuals and families are at work or at school to minimize the disruption to our homeowners’ lives.

If you’re working from home or spend much of your day at home, it might be a better idea to stay out for a few days just until the work is completed. Despite our best efforts, roof replacement is noisy at times— and our crew members will need to be onsite to complete the work. Some families find this a good time to vacate the premises, at least during weekdays while work is progressing.

However, if you opt to stay at the house while we’re working on your roof, here are a few things you can do:

  • Park your car somewhere else to keep it safe from debris.
  • Inform neighbors about the ongoing job, the length, and hours our crew will be on site.
  • Keep pets in the basement of your home or in another quiet room to minimize their distress from unusual noise and activity.
  • Designate safe spaces in the home where your children can play and keep them out of the work area.

There are still plenty of things you will need to do to ensure a smooth and safe installation. For example, you’ll need to schedule the work at a convenient time and accommodate any changes to the schedule forced by unexpected bad weather. However, in almost all cases, you will not have to move out of your house entirely while your new roof is being installed. Even if you opt to vacate the premises during the day while the work is progressing, in less than a week, you’ll have a brand new roof that will provide the superior weather protection your home deserves and the comfort you and your family rely on day after day, year after year.

worker replacing a home's roof

A Roof That’s Safe & Sound, Even During COVID-19

As most of us continue to observe the “stay-at-home” recommendations, we have more time than ever to look around and notice what features need work. If you’ve discovered damage or troublesome wear to your roof during one of your walkabouts, you’re going to want to attend to that promptly. Leaving roofing issues unaddressed can cause damage to your home— and you don’t want to take that risk.

Even during the COVID-19 outbreak and all the restrictions it has imposed, there are ways to get your roof repaired or replaced—and we’re here to help.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait

Of course, preserving your health and well-being should be your top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s also important to keep your home in good shape. Some home improvement projects can be delayed until restrictions are lifted, but fixing a damaged roof isn’t one of them. Even a small issue can cause a big problem. For example, non-stop exposure to moisture can make your home susceptible to mold growth, affecting the air quality throughout your home. Mold can have a serious impact on your health, especially for the very young or the elderly who may have pre-existing respiratory problems or breathing difficulties.

That’s why especially now, while we are spending more time than ever indoors, it is extremely important to be sure your roof is in good repair— despite the extra challenges social distancing imposes. Whether your roof issues are minor or major, we can fix them before they lead to bigger problems and more expensive damage.

As always, we are committed to prompt, thorough, cost-effective roof repair and replacementroof repair and replacement. However, during this time of increased public health vigilance, we are also working hard to keep our customers and our valued team members safe and well.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have taken very specific steps to preserve the health and welfare of our customers and our employees. Here are a few of the safety measures we have deployed to ensure everyone’s safety during this unprecedented public health crisis.

Staying Safe During Safety Measures During the Coronavirus Outbreak

  • Compliance with Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. Strict adherence to the guidelines put in place by the CDC, OSHA, and other regulatory agencies is the basis for any safety program, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to follow the protocols advised by the CDC by encouraging any employee who does not feel well to stay home. We routinely clean and disinfect our equipment, tools, work attire, and other gear used on our jobs.
  • Physical/Social Distancing. Most of our work is done outside your home. Our crew is careful to practice recommended physical distancing when completing work on your roof.
  • Paperless Process. We are using a contactless, paper-free process during any meetings, inspections, or transactions, including the actual roofing job itself.

Your comfort is always important, but especially now. If you need roofing work, don’t delay until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. We are prepared to repair or replace your roof at your convenience in a way that complies with the Governor’s recommendations and preserves the health and well-being of our customers and crew.

slate roofing on house

The Best Types of Home Roofing for Storm-Resistance

Summer in the mid-Atlantic states brings heat and humidity. And what comes on the heels of heat and humidity, especially in June, July, and August? Thunderstorms! Often accompanied by strong downpours and high winds, thunderstorms can play havoc with the roof of your home. While it’s impossible to predict how well a particular roofing material will weather a severe storm, there are certain materials that have been shown to weather them best.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is lightweight, durable, affordable, and highly protective against strong winds, making it one of the best choices for commercial and residential roofing in storm-prone areas like Maryland. If you take care of it properly, it will last for generations, all while making your house more energy efficient.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is a network of stone slabs. Their slick surface, combined with their sheer weight and durability, makes them very resistant to damage from high winds. Its smooth surface doesn’t give snow any traction, so potential piles of ice and snow just slide off before they can cause any damage. If storms in your area are accompanied by lightning, the fact that slate is non-combustible makes them fire-resistant as well. As with any natural material, the qualities of this material that may affect its endurance and performance may vary.

Composite Shingles

Well-known and popular within the residential and commercial roofing markets, composite shingles that are specially rated to withstand higher wind speeds are also potentially a good choice for storm-prone areas. Not just any composite shingle will do the job, so be sure to talk with us about your needs before you purchase.

Clay Tile Roofing

Similar to slate roofing, clay tile roofing is heavy, making them resistant to storm damage. They are also non-combustible, which can be a plus in areas prone to storm-related lightning strikes.

We hope this information is helpful as you evaluate your options for a storm-resistant roof. Keep in mind, however, that no roofing material will withstand storms and related damage if it is not installed and maintained correctly. Be sure to involve a professional roofing service when it’s time to repair or replace your residential or commercial roof to be sure your roof can withstand anything your local weather throws at it.

roof with gutters

It’s Spring! Time to Inspect Your Roof.

It’s been an exceptionally mild winter in Maryland, and it looks like we’re in for an early spring!  Get out and enjoy the warmer weather and the early spring flowers and foliage— just don’t forget to take stock of your home and property while you’re out there.

Just because Marylanders didn’t have to deal with a blizzard during the winter doesn’t mean your home— especially the often-forgotten roof— wasn’t affected. Even if winter’s rain and winds didn’t cause your roof serious damage, you should still do a walk-around to catch any minor issues that could cause greater damage down the road.

General Wear and Tear

Start your spring survey by checking for things like rust on your gutters or areas of your roof that seem to be sagging. These tend to be large areas that are easy to spot from the ground.

Gutters and Downspouts

No matter how clean your gutters were when you winterized last October, chances are rain and wind have filled them up again with dried-up leaves and other debris. Clean, functional gutters are the key to your roof’s drainage system. Efficient water run-off protects your soffits, siding, and shingles from damage, so make it a priority to unclog them completely.

After you’ve cleaned out the visible debris from your gutters, move on to an equally important part of your home’s drainage system— your downspout. Try using a hose or a plumbers snake for hard-to-reach areas.

Once your gutters and downspouts are clean and clear, check your roof’s drainage system for additional damage, including missing fasteners, holes, and areas that may be sagging.

Inspect the Shingles

No matter what they’re made of, the shingles that cover your roof are critically important to the integrity of your roof. Save “walking your roof” for the professionals, but you can usually see the following issues with your roof easily from the ground:

  • Missing Shingles. Have these replaced immediately. A missing shingle can result in a weak spot in your roof, causing it to leak and exposing it to damage like rot and mold.
  • Buckling Shingles. If the framing underneath your shingles retains moisture, the shingles on top can shift or buckle. Replace these right away, as they have the potential to tear or crack, causing serious damage to your roof.
  • Curling Shingles. Shingles that have been installed improperly will begin to curl at the edges. Have these fixed promptly to avoid further damage.
  • Blistering Shingles. When moisture gets trapped inside a shingle, a blister develops that can easily burst, causing damage to the roof’s infrastructure. Unlike most problems with your shingles, blistering can be hard to spot from the ground. Consider arranging for an annual, professional inspection to catch any blisters that may have developed on your roof’s shingles.
  • Stained Shingles. See any streaking or stains? Either of these usually means that your roof’s ventilation system is damaged, or there’s a leak somewhere else. Even if you’re an accomplished DIYer, think twice before tackling this repair. Contact a professional roofer.

Evaluate for Mold

If you catch mold or mildew early— before they seep into your roof’s foundation— simple remedies like zinc or lead control strips usually contain the problem. If mold has spread, or is covering a large area, call a roofing professional to contain the problem. Don’t delay, as mold that spreads to the interior of your home can be dangerous to you, your family, and your pets.

Trim Branches

Overgrown vegetation and hanging tree limbs threaten the integrity of your roof. This is a much easier job in the spring when trees are just beginning to “leaf out”, as opposed to summer and early fall when they are likely to be in full bloom. Keep them trimmed back if you have the knowledge and the equipment. If not, don’t take a chance— there are professional services that can take care of this for you at far less risk to your life and limb. (Cutting back branches will also reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning leaves out of your gutters in the future.)

Check from the Inside Out

Go into your attic and look up. If you can see any light anywhere, you have a hole somewhere there shouldn’t be. Assess for any water damage and mold/mildew growth. Mold and mildew have a particular smell, so survey with that sense, too— even if you don’t see anything, that telltale smell might mean something is amiss that you can’t see. Call the professionals for a more thorough inspection

Some people may be able to work through this list on their own. However, many will prefer to call in the professionals. Bringing in the experts can make the process more efficient and thorough. At PJ’s Roofing, we have the expertise and experience to provide you with a comprehensive inspection, followed up with any repairs needed. Call us today and start a tradition of an annual roof inspection.

roofing replacement

When You Need to Replace Your Roof: Take It From the Top

Owning a home is a big part of the American Dream— not to mention a solid investment in yours and your family’s future— but becoming a homeowner isn’t just about saving for your down payment and paying your mortgage in a timely manner for the next 30 years. It’s also about safeguarding your investment— perhaps the biggest one you’ll ever make— through a regular home maintenance schedule— including replacing your roof when needed.

How Much is This Going To Cost Me?

While it’s certainly fair at this point to ask, “How much is a roof replacement going to cost me?” the answer has to be, “That depends.” Not all roofs are created equal, and not all roofers charge the same price depending on the home’s geographic location and the complexity of the job.  Keep in mind that a roof replacement quote typically includes the removal and disposal of up to two layers of old shingles. Additional materials needed may also include a felt underlayment, ice-and-water shield, nails, ridge-vent, and roof flashing details such as valley, drip-edge, gable, and chimney flashing and caulk.

In some cases, the cost of materials may also include permitting, ordering trash removal or a dumpster, wood planks and boards, and the cost of plywood. Some contractors include their overhead in the cost of labor, while others calculate it separately.

Assuming a single-story house with a hip and/or gable combination roof measuring roughly 1700 square feet, the cost of materials for a basic 3-tab, 25-year shingles roof would be roughly $150 to $200 per square, all in.

Are Composite Shingles All the Same?

If you’re like the vast majority of U.S. residents, your home has an asphalt, or “composite” shingle, roof. Made from fiberglass mat, asphalt, minerals, and stone granules, composite shingles make up nearly three-quarters of residential roofing in the country. There are three primary types of asphalt or composite shingles:

  1. 3-tab shingles are lightweight, affordable, and can last a couple of decades under the right conditions. Although they lack some of the aesthetic qualities of architectural and luxury shingles, their exposed layer is notched (usually into three tabs) to give a more decorative appearance. “Blow off” can be a problem, but 3-tab shingles may be a good choice for homeowners on budget in certain, less vulnerable areas of the country.
  2. Architectural or dimensional shingles are strong, durable, and multi-dimensional in texture and appearance, lasting 30 years or more. You can expect to pay a bit more for 30-year architectural or dimensional shingles. The most popular asphalt shingle in use today, architectural shingles are a bit thicker and longer lasting than basic 3-tab shingles, offering a better value to homeowners under demanding conditions.
  3. Luxury Shingles are an excellent design alternative to slate and shake roofs with extra layers that provide protection against tears, impact, and blow-off in vulnerable regions. Depending on your contractor, your home’s location, and the accessibility and complexity of your roof, selecting luxury shingles— also known as “premium” or “50-year architectural shingles”— can represent a significant increase per square foot over other composite materials. (Keep in mind that no asphalt shingle roof will last for 50 years despite the label— 30 years of service from a roof is considered excellent from an asphalt roof.)

Depending on your home’s location, how easy it is to access your roof, the kind of asphalt shingle you choose, and the type and complexity of your roof (including the number of special features like skylights, chimneys, dormers), your cost of a composite shingles roof could range from as low as $3.00 to as high as $7.50 per square foot.

In the market for a new roof? Talk to PJ’s Roofing. We’re Frederick’s experts in composite asphalt shingles, and all other types of roofing material. We’ll help make what can feel like an overwhelming proposition more manageable by asking the right questions and working within your budget.

copper roof on md home

Replacing Asphalt Shingles with a Metal Roof

Keeping tabs on home maintenance is one of the best ways to preserve its value. When you find a problem, keep in mind that– regardless of upfront expenses– addressing these issues before they degrade far enough to cause further damage will also end up being economical in the long run.

So if it looks like 2020 is the year to replace your deteriorating roof, the first question you should ask yourself is “Do I stay with the existing roofing material, or try a different option?” For example, despite its higher initial cost, metal roofing is likely to save you time and money over the years. Compared to asphalt shingles that typically last 15-18 years, metal roofing has a lifespan of 60 years or more and requires only minimal maintenance. A metal roof also reflects heat, making it more energy efficient than a traditional asphalt roof.

If you’re intrigued by the benefits of metal roofing over traditional asphalt shingles, there are a few things to keep in mind. When you get the quote, remember that you’re buying a higher-end, more durable product that requires a more complex installation. There are other factors that will play a role in determining the cost of your new metal roof including:

Location. A new metal roof with identical specs in an expensive market like Washington, DC or northern Virginia is likely to cost 30-50% higher than it would in the middle of the country.

What’s Your Square Footage? Contractors measure roofs in square. One square is equal to 100 square feet. Typically, the greater the square footage of your roof, the less you will pay per square foot. Surprisingly, very small orders (200 square feet or 2 squares of custom-sized sheet metal panels) can be very expensive.

Design type matters. Another significant (but fortunately more controllable) factor to determining metal roofing costs is the type you decide upon. The least costly metal roofing option, corrugated or ribbed steel, could run $6.00 to $8.00 per square foot installed, depending on the gauge of the metal and the type and quality of the paint finish required for your climate. A metal shingle roof could cost between $8.00 and $13.00 per square foot installed, while a standing seam metal roof may be $10.00 to $16.00 per square foot installed.

How complex is the installation? If you have a complex roof with chimneys that require flashing, many angles, dormers, sidewalls, and/or skylights, sidewalls, your installation will be higher.

What type of metal do you want?
Steel is a common and acceptable metal for roof fabrication. For most residences and buildings in the Frederick area, we recommend:
– G-90 Galvanized or “hot dip” steel with a zinc oxide coating and Kynar paint finish is the most affordable option. Interlocking steel shingles and tone-coated shingles and tiles are typically made from G-90 galvanized steel.
– Galvalume to fabricate residential, standing seam panels. Galvalume steel provides longer-lasting protection against rusting and corrosion than does galvanized.
Aluminum provides longer-lasting protection from corrosion, and is generally considered a more durable option than steel for use in coastal areas.
– Aluminum shingles start at around $9.00 per square foot including trim.
– Aluminum standing seam panels are fabricated and cut to order. Expect an initial base cost of around $12.00 per square foot.
Copper and Zinc are premium quality metals whose price depends on the weight and thickness of the shingles or standing seam pans. Installation is more complex and expensive, especially when dealing with 16-20 oz. copper standing seam panels, which require soldering.

When properly designed and meticulously installed by an experienced PJ’s Roofing crew, a metal roof can reduce energy consumption, providing cost savings and immediate return on your investment. Choose from a broad spectrum of materials, colors, finishes, and gauges give you the look and performance you expect. At PJ’s Roofing, our experts are ready to help you select a new metal roof that will be perfect for your home.

home with roof in md

What’s Trending? Roofing Styles & Materials for 2020

Unless you’re in the construction business, you may not be aware that roofing styles and materials trend just like fashion, music, and topics on Twitter. In fact, every year, roofing styles and materials fall in and out of favor– and 2020 is no exception.

If it’s time for you to consider a roof replacement for your home, your best bet is to reach out to a local roofing company who can advise you on the best solution for your practical and aesthetic needs. In the meantime, think about these options for roof replacement styles and materials to get an idea of what you like and find attractive:

Roofing Styles

  • Flat – This may be the simplest and often the least expensive type of roof to build, but there are considerations that can’t be skipped. Because it won’t drain well, a flat roof needs to be expertly waterproofed. For those in urban areas who wish to turn their roofs into more livable surface area, a flat roof design would be a great choice.
  • Shed – Like a flat roof, a shed roof is a single plane. However, a shed roof is slanted– higher on one side than the other– which allows for far better drainage than a flat roof.
  • Gable – A gable roof is another style of roof that is relatively easy to build and suitable to many different climates. A two-sided configuration that both slope down from a central ridge, a gable roof creates space for an attic and additional insulation. A vented gable room doesn’t collect debris like fallen leaves, nor does it allow snow or ice to accumulate.
  • Hipped – Picture a central ridge from which two long sides and two shorter ones slanting downward. Because its eaves can be configured to provide shade to western and southern windows, the design of a hipped roof is ideal for warmer weather. Its wind and moisture resistance also makes it a good choice for climates where there are frequent rainstorms.
  • Pyramid – A pyramid roof is similar to a hipped roof, except a pyramid is topped by a sharp peak instead of a flat ridge.
  • Mansard – Another variation on a hipped roof, there are two slopes to this unique style of roofing. The lower slope contains dormer windows, and is much steeper than the upper slope. Mansard roofs are especially useful for those who want to maximize their living space, as this style allows for an additional story under the roof.

Roofing Materials

  • Asphalt Shingles – Easily the most often-used residential roofing material in the US, asphalt shingles are an easy-to-install and economical option. Fiberglass or an organic material like cellulose can be used to reinforce asphalt shutters to provide greater strength and longevity without altering their appearance.
  • Clay and Concrete Tiles – Clay tiles can be flat, scalloped or ribbed, and are extremely durable. Because they are very heavy, they should only be installed professionally. Like clay, concrete tiles are durable, heavy, and add interest and texture to a roof, but they are also less expensive.
  • Metal Roofing – When it comes to weather resistance, metal roofs are at the top of the list. Metal shingles and panels are available in stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc.
  • Wood Shingles and Shake – A popular choice for hundreds of years, wood shingles and shakes turn an attractive, subtle shade of gray with exposure to the elements. Shingles are typically cut by machine; shakes have a more roughly-hewn look, as they are usually cut by hand.
  • Slate – Available in traditional shades of green, grey and black as well as exotic purples and reds, slate roofing brings a unique elegance to roofs of all types.