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We are always trying to keep our clients up-to-date with interesting things about custom timberframe homes, as well as Log & Timber Home Shows in Canada and the United States.

Bowling Green, Kentucky USA Project Update

With partners Kelly and Stone Architects, Olde Stone is now complete.

Enjoy the exterior photo's of this architectural timber frame beauty.

To view both construction & completed photo's go to

http://www.canadiantimberframes.com/projects/oldestone

 

Understanding the Importance of Roof Pitches

 

You are working with your architect on designing your new home and he or she starts talking to you about roof pitches.  Do you want a 4:12 roof or an 8:12 roof? How about a 9:12 roof instead of a 10:12? What is a roof pitch?  I’m so confused! 

 

Definition:

Well, the pitch of your roof is the angle at which the surfaces slope. The roof pitch is written in a ratio of inches. It is the number of inches of rise for every 12 inches of horizontal distance. For example, a roof with a 4:12 pitch rises 4 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal roof run.  To visualize this, picture the roof pitch as a right triangle.  The angled side is the roof, the vertical leg is the rise and the horizontal leg is the flat roof run.

 

Standards:

Are there certain pitch standards to abide by when designing your roof?  Not really.  Many builders consider a low-pitched roof to be anywhere from a 2:12 to a 4:12 slope.  Then, a 4:12 to a 9:12 is typically a medium pitch range and anything from a 9:12 and above is considered a steep-pitched roof.  The most common residential roof slopes range from a 4:12 to a 9:12.

 

Considerations:

Typically, the steeper your roof pitch, the more expensive it is to have installed.  Builders usually need special equipment to build steep-pitched roofs and there is also additional risks for workers.  However, a steeper roof removes water, ice and snow more quickly than its shallow counterparts and usually means a longer lasting life for your roof. 

 

Design:

So, what is the correct slope to use on your new home?  In my opinion, utilizing a couple different slopes (one lower-pitched and one higher-pitched) adds interest to the overall composition.  However, you have to be careful not to use too many different slopes in one design.  If you do, the look of the house becomes jumbled and it becomes more difficult to build (and expensive.) 

 

It’s really up to you and your architect and what looks good for your particular design.  The options are endless!

 

Roof Types and the importance within Design

Architectural Roof Types

 

We all know that roofs are an integral part of a house and probably one of the most important elements.  Roofs keep us dry from the rain and snow, shade us from the sweltering sun and block us from the unyielding wind.  Usually roof forms are dictated by technical, economic and aesthetic considerations. Did you know that there are more than a dozen basic roof types and even more combinations of those?  I’m just going to touch on a few of the more popular basic forms for homes:

 

Flat:  Flat roofs are just that, flat.  They are typically used where the climate is arid and drainage is of secondary importance. They are a very popular roof type for warehouses, commercial spaces, office buildings and often residential structures.

 

Shed:  This is the first category of many sloped roof types that I will be discussing. The shed, sometimes referred to as “lean to” or “mono-pitched” contains only one pitch.  You can think of it as a flat roof that has been tilted slightly.  It is often used on just a portion of a home.  The shed roof is usually used in combination with other roof forms to create a home with interesting rooflines.

 

 

Gable:  A roof with two slopes that form an “A” or triangle is called a gable roof. This type of roof is very common on North American homes.  The gable roof can contain roof pitches that are very shallow to ones that are extremely steep.  Also, numerous gable roofs can be placed together at perpendicular angles to cover a home with many wings.

 

 

Clerestory:  A clerestory roof is one that combines both a gable and shed roof.  A clerestory usually contains a higher gable roof that sits atop a short wall with a shed roof below.  This allows for windows to be placed within the short wall for light within the interior of a large space.

 

Hip:  A roof that starts with a gable shape but has a sloped end instead of a vertical wall is called a hipped roof.  The hipped roof slopes upward from all four sides of a structure, having no vertical ends. This type of roof is very common in residential designs.

 

Gambrel:  A gambrel roof is a type of gable roof with two slopes on each side, the upper being less steep than the lower. This roof form is very common in barn designs.

 

Mansard: This type of roof is a hipped gambrel roof, thus having two slopes on every side. It can provide extra attic space or other rooms without having to build an entire additional floor.

 

Pyramid: As the name suggests, this type of roof is shaped like a pyramid.  This kind of roof is usually on a small portion of a house or on small structures such as a garage or pool house.

 

 

So there you have it, the basic roof types of residential construction.  To design a visually stimulating house, a few different roof types may be used together or several of the same forms may be utilized in different ways.  This creates a home that uniquely responds to both its interior function and its exterior individuality.

 

 

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