The pitch of a roof refers to the amount of slope the sides have in relation to the walls of your home. Even a flat roof isn't truly flat or else the rainwater would simply pool on top until the roof collapsed. But residential roofs generally have higher pitched roofs for a variety of cosmetic and functional reason. Two of the more common types of pitched residential roofs are the gable and the mansard.

What are the pros and cons of each of these roof styles? Here are some factors to consider before talking with the roofing company responsible for your new roof.

Gabled Roof

Gabled roofs have two steeply pitched sides that come together at a sharp point at the top. The gable roof is likely the shape you would get if you asked a child to draw a house with a roof. It's a simple but classic style that remains popular in new residential builds.

A gabled roof is excellent at shedding water and snow due to its steep sides and lack of hips or valleys that could cause the moisture to get stuck and accumulate. The gabled roof tends to be easier to build, which means lower costs, and gives you some extra standing room in your attic.

On the downside, the steep sides of the gable can also prove to be a problem when high winds are involved. The wind can whip right up the side and potentially damage or pull up any loose or lightweight shingles. For this reason, lightweight asphalt shingles might not work the best on a gable roof.

Mansard Roof

A mansard roof is the style typically seen on Victorian homes or on new builds evoking the Victorian style. The mansard roof has a relatively flat upper roof that is met on each of the four sides by lower roof segments. These lower roofs have two parts: a bottom, low sloping section and a higher, steeper sloping section. The overall look makes the house look as if it is wearing a fancy roof hat.

The mansard roof provides even more living space in the upper levels than a gable provides. In fact, if you would love to have a full office or living quarters in your attic, the mansard might be the perfect choice for your home. A mansard roof is also a great way to add a touch of style to a home that has an otherwise plain layout to its walls and windows.

The fanciness of a mansard roof can come at a cost if you add on windows, embellishments, and a quality roof material that will add to your home's curb appeal. So a mansard might not be the best choice if you're on a budget. Mansard roofs also don't do well in areas with heavy snowfall since the upper roof is fairly flat.

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