What's The Best Roof Shape For A Tiny Home?

Of the many decisions you have to make about your tiny home's design, one of the most important is the shape of the roof. With over 16 different roof styles available, however, choosing the right one can be challenging. Here are the pros and cons of three popular styles to help you determine which one best suit your needs.

Gable Roof

Of all the roof types available, the gable roof is possibly the most iconic. It's the roof design favored by kids when they draw pictures of houses and one that most invokes the feeling of home in homebuyers.

Gable roofs are constructed of two sloping sides that meet in the center, creating a triangular shape. This simple design is very cost effective, so you'll have an easier time staying within your budget. Additionally, a gable roof naturally creates space at its interior apex that can be used to make a bedroom or storage area.

The roof's deep slope makes it easier for rain and snow to runoff, preventing many of the problems that can occur with this type of weather. For instance, snow can put excess weight on the roof and cause it to wear out faster. At the same time, though, this roof type is more prone to being blown off or collapsing in high winds and hurricane weather if it's not properly constructed and supported.

Since both sides of the roof are sloped, you can place solar panels on either side to catch the light. However, gable and similarly sloped roofs are not appropriate for roof-top gardens.

Hipped Roof

A hipped roof is sort of a cross between a gable and flat roof. It features a flat top and slopes of equal length on all four sides. If your tiny home will be stationed in an area that gets lots of high winds or snow, this is the type of roof you should have installed on your home. It's a lot more stable than a gable roof due to the additional supports needed to hold its weight. Hipped roofs also provide more interior roof space, which means you can have a bigger bedroom or enjoy a larger storage area.

However, hipped roofs are more complex to build. Thus, they are more expensive than gable roofs. As a strict comparison, a gable roof for a 1,600 sq. ft. home cost $15,000 to $25,000, while a hipped roof can cost $20,000 to $40,000. Of course, the final cost for your tiny home will be significantly less.

Hipped roofs are also heavier than gable roofs, something you need to take into account if you're building a mobile tiny home. You'll need to ensure the vehicle the home attaches to has enough towing capacity to handle the added weight. Lastly, the seams in a gable roof may make it more prone to leaks.

Flat Roof

Although gable roofs are iconic, flat roofs are an incredibly popular design due to their simplicity. Flat roofs aren't completely flat, of course. They do have a slight slope that aids with rain and snow runoff.

These roofs are the easiest and cheapest to build (costing about $2,250 to $15,000 for a 1,500 sq. ft. home), but they don't provide any extra interior space. However, they offer a lot of exterior versatility instead. A well-constructed flat roof can be used as a deck or patio. If you want to have a rooftop garden, this is the best roof design to get as it will be much easier to tend to the vegetation and rain water won't disappear as quickly as it would on gable and hipped roofs.

You can still install solar panels on this type of roof, but extra materials are required to ensure the panels are tilted at the appropriate angle to collect the sunlight, which can increase their cost.

For more information about these roofs or help picking the best one for your tiny home, contact a roofing contractor like Drey Roofing.