The Self Build Self Help Site roof design
Sub header photo of a roof
On these pages we are concentrating on pitched roofs, not flat roofs. Decisions regarding the roof will include:
  1. roof style
  2. roof trusses or a cut timber roof
  3. whether to have rooms in the roof space and, if so, -
  4. the type of windows to put in
  5. the type, and colour, of roof material
  6. the type of ridge tiles
  7. the type of roof membrane
  8. the nature of soffits and fascia boards
  9. whether to have an overhang at the gable ends

Roof Style

Common styles seen are gable and hip roofs (Mansard rooves are very rarely found in modern houses).

A gable roof (see main photo) is a pitched roof having a gable at each end, so that there are 2 roof faces. There will be a straight row of ridge tiles at the top. A gable roof is the most common and easiest to build.

A hip roof (diagram below) is one where where there is a slope to all sides. There may be a ridge along the top and then ridge tiles will cover each angle. A hip roof requires a more complex truss structure, or cut timber roof, and there is more complexity at the hip in terms of cutting slates/tiles and extra ridge tiles.

Very rarely will one see a roof with gable at one end and hip at the other and then, depending from where it is viewed, it can look very odd. Often an extension to a gable roofed house may have a hip roof.

Roof trusses or a cut timber roof

By far the most common option is trusses, which can be supplied for both gable and hip roof designs. A cut timber roof is usually only needed if rooms are required in the roof and the roof/house design is complicated - and then a complete cut timber roof is going to be very expensive in terms of materials, and more so, in labour.

Photos of cut timber roofs can be seen in the Photo Gallery.

When ordering trusses, you will be asked what the roof covering will be (slates, synthetic slates, concrete tiles, clay tiles etc) as these differ in weight and the roof trusses will be manufactured accordingly.