A roof is the part of a shelter that covers the enclosed space. Roofs provide protection from rain and snow falling on top of the structure, and, along with walls and a floor, helps creates an enclosure to maintain temperature and isolation from the wind and animals. Roofs can also be used to harvest rainwater and provide a framework to mount solar panels.
A roof's shape, and the material to construct it, can widely vary. Each with its own set of pros and cons.
Simple roof shapes are cheaper and easier to build than complex shapes. An open gabled roof over a rectangular structure is not only one of the easier roofs to build, but when oriented with the sun, can create a passive solar building that provides an ideal framework to mount solar panels. Fixed position solar panels should be mounted towards the sun exposed side and at an angle approximate equal to the degree of latitude of the location of the installation.
- Steeper roofs use more material and therefore cost more.
- Steeper roofs are harder to walk on if you need to do any maintenance or setup Christmas lights or whatever.
- Flatter roofs are more prone to leaking as the water isn't repelled as fast.
- Steeper roofs are better at preventing snow accumulation.
- Steeper roofs are more conducive to attics or other storage needs.
- One roof type in a community made of other roof types may stick out in a bad or good way and impac curb appeal.
- A lower pitched roof is more conducive to installing and maintaining a green roof.