Thinking about an addition or new outbuilding to create more room? You want a space that complements and enriches your home. Choosing the right roof style is essential for an expansion that genuinely meshes with your existing footprint. You want to avoid an awkward patchwork look, but the roof doesn’t have to mirror your roof note for note. You can do a little mixing and matching while going for a complementary design in both form and materials.
What Should I Consider When Planning An Addition Or Outbuilding?
Whatever your project involves, you want a roof style that works with your existing home. When it comes to adding on, there are three main choices:
- Extend your existing roofline by adding to the gable end of your house (the side where the roof comes to a triangular point above your living space). It essentially means extending your existing roof from the gable end.
- Build a separate single-story addition with a gable roof that mirrors the gable roof of your house. Gable roof additions are a good choice for sunrooms and extra first-floor living spaces.
- Add a “shed” roof, a single slope attached to the existing house. It moves from high to low along your wall like a sloping porch roof. Shed roofs are easy for contractors to knock out and budget-friendly. They’re especially popular for sunrooms and screened porch additions.
What Styles and Materials Work Best For Different Spaces?
Your choice of form and materials will depend on whether you’re planning an addition to your home or an outbuilding for extra space. Here’s a look at suitable choices for different types of additions:
- Complete two-story addition: If you’re doing a full roof extension, you’ll likely want to choose the same style and materials as your existing roof for continuity.
- Sunrooms: A separate gable roof that mimics the main house or shed roof is an excellent choice for a sunroom or another first-floor addition. We often complete these additions with the same shingles as the main house. However, we can also successfully and beautifully add sunroom roofs with a different material. For example, a metal shed roof addition on the back of a shingled house can look terrific.
- Detached garages: when it comes to outbuildings, you have more flexibility in choosing materials and style since they don’t connect with the rest of the house. You can get creative while making choices that complement your home. For a detached garage near the house, a gable roof is a popular choice. Since it’s not attached to the house, the gable style offers the strength and support of triangular trusses. If your home has shingles, you might choose matching or complementary shingles for your detached garage. A neutral-toned metal roof is also an excellent choice, even if you have shingles on your house.
- Barns or agricultural outbuildings: choices include shed and gable roofs and the classic gambrel roof, which has two slopes on each side, creating a traditional arc-like shape. Gambrel roofs are higher and provide extra storage space. Metal is the material of choice for barns: it’s traditional, durable, and highly weather-resistant. When planning a barn roof, you have more options for color and style since it’s usually not right next to your home. Many clients choose styles and colors that accent rather than mimic the roof on their home, from neutral tones to green or red metal roofs that add color and flair.
Can I Mix Roof Styles When Putting On An Addition?
The short answer is yes–but it depends on your personal sense of style. One piece of advice is to focus on what you’re starting with and work from there. Then think about what you’re going for with the addition or outbuilding. You can mimic your existing roof style or find something that’s complementary but different.
How Can My Roofing Contractor Help With My Roof Addition?
Choosing a roof is one of the most important decisions when you’re putting on an addition or designing an outbuilding. It can make or break a project from both an aesthetic and functional point of view. A competent roofing contractor can give you excellent advice on materials and form and help you make the best decisions. For four decades, DryHome has helped homeowners around Northern Virginia achieve their dreams and create more space. We’ll help you source materials to match or complement your existing home and create a harmonious whole.