Top 8 Roof Styles For Homes In Maryland

Maryland weather is unpredictable, ranging from scorching summers to snowy winters and everything in between. With such varied conditions, ensuring your home is adequately protected from the elements is paramount.

Recently, the Millington Square community in Harford County experienced firsthand the destructive power of nature when heavy rain and gusty winds toppled trees, damaging three homes.

As we can see, the destruction caused by trees has significantly affected the roof and exterior of the home and, as a result, required immediate renovation.

Home renovation is a significant investment. According to Forbes, the expense of replacing only a roof ranges from $6,700 to $80,000, with an average cost of $11,500 for an average-sized home. This cost is influenced by the materials utilized. In fact, the materials required for roof replacement constitute approximately 40% of the total expense. That is why it is crucial to choose the material for your roof very carefully.

Different types of materials you can choose for your roof replacement in Maryland include:

  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Metal Roofing
  • Wood Shakes or Shingles
  • Slate
  • Clay or Concrete Tiles
  • Synthetic Roofing Materials

Since the slope and shape of your roof determine the quantity of shingles, shakes, or tiles you’ll need, it is crucial to decide the roof style. In this guide, we will discuss different types of roof styles for homes in Maryland.

So, What Are The Different Roof Styles For Your Home In Maryland?

1. Gable Roof

Gable Roof

Gable roofs, also known as pitched or peaked roofs, are characterized by their triangular shape formed by two sloping roof panels that meet in the middle. The walls at the end of the building extend to the same height, creating the distinctive gable shape.

These roofs are typically more cost-effective to construct compared to more complex roof designs. Their simple structure and ease of installation can result in lower labor and material costs, making them an attractive option for homeowners seeking budget-friendly roof styles.

Here are some key characteristics of gable roofs:

  • Simple Design: Gable roofs have a straightforward design, making them relatively easy to construct and cost-effective compared to more complex roof designs.
  • Adequate Drainage: The steep slope of these roofs allows for efficient water runoff, making them suitable for areas prone to heavy rainfall or snow accumulation, such as Maryland. In such areas, it is recommended to use a 10/12 or 40° pitch angle for a gable roof.
  • Ventilation: They provide ample space for ventilation, which helps regulate indoor temperatures and prevent moisture buildup in the attic space.
  • Attic Space: The triangular shape creates additional attic space, which can be utilized for storage or converted into living space, further adding value to the home.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Gable roofs offer timeless appeal and can be customized with various materials and finishes to complement different architectural styles.

The biggest drawback of gable roofs is that high winds, heavy rainfall, or hurricanes can damage the overhanging eaves. That is why it is recommended not to install gable roofs that experience high winds.

There are different types of gable roofs, including:

Types of Gable Roof

2. Hip Roof 

Hip Roof

A hip roof is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. Each side of the roof is triangular and meets at the top to form a ridge. Unlike a gable roof, which has two sloping sides that meet at a single peak, a hip roof has at least four sloping sides. This design provides excellent stability and resistance to high winds, making it particularly suitable for areas prone to hurricanes and strong storms, such as coastal regions like Maryland.

Hip roofs typically entail higher construction costs compared to gable roofs due to the design of hip roofs. It requires more roofing materials and labor to accommodate their multiple sloping sides, resulting in increased material and labor expenses.

Moreover, the complexity of hip roof construction, including precise measurements, intricate framing, and additional structural support to ensure stability, contributes to higher labor costs.

While the initial investment for a hip roof may be higher, homeowners may find value in its durability, resistance to high winds, and aesthetic appeal, making it a worthwhile long-term investment.

Here are some key features of hip roofs:

  • Symmetry: Hip roofs typically exhibit a high degree of symmetry, with each side being of equal length and slope. This symmetrical design contributes to the overall balance and visual appeal of the structure.
  • Eaves and Overhangs: Hip roofs often feature generous eaves and overhangs, which provide shade and protection from the elements. In Maryland, where summers can be hot and humid, these overhangs help to keep the interior of the home cool and comfortable.
  • Attic Space: The sloping sides of a hip roof create additional attic space compared to other roof types like gable roofs. This space can be utilized for storage or converted into living space, adding value to the home.
  • Drainage: Proper drainage is essential for any roof, and hip roofs excel in this aspect. The sloping sides allow rainwater and snow to easily run off, reducing the risk of water pooling and leaks. Gutters and downspouts can be installed along the eaves to enhance drainage efficiency.

The demerit of a hip roof is that it requires relatively more maintenance than other roof types. You may need to hire a reputable roofing contractor for periodic inspections to keep your roof in the best condition.

How is the hip roof different from the gable roof?

3. Jerkinhead Roof


Jerkinhead Roof

The jerkinhead roof, also known as a clipped gable or half-hip roof, is a distinctive roofing style that combines elements of both gable and hip roofs. It features a gable shape with clipped or truncated edges, resembling a hip roof. This unique design provides a blend of aesthetic appeal and functional benefits, making it an attractive option for homeowners in Maryland.

Key characteristics of jerkinhead roofs:

  • Unique Design: The jerkinhead roof stands out with its distinctive shape, combining the clean lines of a gable roof with the stability of a hip roof. The clipped edges add visual interest and uniqueness to the roofline.
  • Enhanced Stability: Jerkinhead roofs offer excellent stability and resistance to high winds, making them suitable for areas prone to severe weather conditions, such as coastal regions or areas with frequent storms.
  • Space Optimization: Jerkinhead roofs create additional attic space, which can be used for storage or converted into living areas. This extra space adds value to the home and provides homeowners with flexibility.
  • Improved Drainage: The sloping design of jerkinhead roofs ensures efficient water runoff, reducing the risk of water pooling and potential leaks. Proper drainage is essential for maintaining the integrity of the roof structure and preventing water damage.
  • Versatility: Jerkinhead roofs can be adapted to various architectural styles, from traditional to modern, allowing homeowners to customize the roof to suit their preferences and complement the overall design of the home.

The biggest con of jerkinhead roofs is their high cost. These roofs tend to be more expensive than gable and hip roofs. However, their durability, stability, and additional space for the rooftop make them a worthwhile investment.

Jerkinhead roof vs. Hip roof: which is better?

Ultimately, choosing between a jerkinhead roof and a hip roof depends on individual preferences, architectural requirements, and budget constraints. Consulting with a professional contractor can help you decide the best home roof design based on specific needs and circumstances.

4. Mansard Roof

Mansard Roof

Mansard roofs derive their name from the French architect François Mansart, who popularized this style during the Baroque era. However, it was later refined and widely adopted by other architects, particularly in the 19th century during the Second Empire architectural period.

Mansard roofs are distinguished by their double-sloped design, with the lower slope exhibiting a steeper pitch than the upper one. Often, mansard roofs incorporate dormer windows and decorative elements.

This configuration not only adds visual interest but also creates additional living space or attic storage, known as a garret or loft. The versatility of mansard roofs allows for various silhouettes, providing homeowners with options to suit their architectural preferences. It includes:

Here are types of Mansard Roof: 

Types of Mansard Roof

Exploring Roof Silhouettes: From Concave to Straight:

While mansard roofs offer unparalleled architectural elegance and functionality, they often come with a higher price tag compared to other roof types. This is primarily due to the intricate detailing and additional structural considerations involved in their construction. However, the future flexibility and value they add to a property make them a worthwhile investment.

Key characteristics of mansard roofs:

  • Versatility in Silhouette: While mansard roofs typically have a concave shape, they can also feature convex or straight angles, depending on the architectural style and preferences of the homeowner. This versatility in silhouette allows for customization and architectural expression, making mansard roofs suitable for a range of design aesthetics.
  • Dormer Windows: Dormer windows are essential components of mansard roofs, especially when the attic space is intended for living or recreational use. These windows are typically integrated into the steep lower slope to bring in natural light and provide ventilation. Dormer windows also contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the roof and enhance its functionality.
  • Decorative Details: Mansard roofs are often embellished with decorative elements to enhance their visual appeal. These may include decorative stonework, wood or stone quoins, ornate trim, and other architectural details around the dormers and roofline.
  • Weather Resistance: Proper waterproofing and flashing are crucial for mansard roofs, particularly in regions with heavy snowfall or inclement weather conditions. The steep lower slope of the roof makes it susceptible to water infiltration, making effective waterproofing essential to prevent moisture damage and maintain the structural integrity of the roof.
  • Material Options: Mansard roofs can be constructed using a variety of roofing materials, including traditional options like asphalt shingles, wood shingles, and slate, as well as more modern materials like metal roofing. Distinctive metals such as copper or zinc are popular choices for mansard roofs due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. The choice of roofing material can significantly impact the appearance, longevity, and maintenance requirements of the roof.

However, the choice of roofing material for mansard roofs can vary based on the pitch of the top portion. If the top portion has a pitch above 2:12, the same material as the lower part can typically be used. However, if the pitch is below 2:12 or completely flat, a water-tight membrane, such as EPDM, PVC, or TPO, is required to handle sitting water effectively. This additional consideration ensures proper water drainage and maintenance of the roof's integrity.

5. Gambrel Roof

Gambrel Roof

Gambrel roof is also known as a Dutch roof or a Barn roof due to its frequent use in traditional barn constructions. Gambrel roofs are characterized by their symmetrical two-sided design with two slopes on each side. The lower slope is steep, while the upper slope is shallower, creating a bell-like curve.

Here are types of Gambrel Roof:

Types of Gambrel Roof

There are different types of gambrel roofs, including:

Gambrel roof is similar to a mansard roof in several ways. However, unlike a mansard roof, which has four slopes - two on each side - the gambrel roof features only two slopes per side.

Apart from this, the lower slope of a gambrel roof typically begins at the eaves and extends upward to meet the upper slope at a ridge or peak, whereas a mansard roof includes a distinct break or change in slope near the midpoint of each side.

This design maximizes interior space and provides additional headroom, making it ideal for attic utilization or additional living space.

Here are the differences between gambrel, gable, and mansard roof styles:


Key characteristics of gambrel roofs include:

  • Symmetry and Balance: Gambrel roofs exhibit symmetrical lines, with both sides mirroring each other, creating a balanced aesthetic that adds charm to the home's exterior.
  • Increased Space: Similar to gable roofs, gambrel roofs offer ample interior space, thanks to their design with steep lower slopes and shallower upper slopes. This extra space can be utilized for storage or living areas, enhancing the functionality of the home.
  • Effective Drainage: The steep lower slope of gambrel roofs allows for efficient water drainage, reducing the risk of water accumulation and potential structural damage, which is particularly important in Maryland's varied weather conditions.
  • Architectural Versatility: Gambrel roofs complement various architectural styles, from colonial and farmhouse designs to more modern interpretations. They can be adapted to suit different aesthetic preferences while maintaining their practical benefits.Visual
  • Appeal: The distinctive silhouette of gambrel roofs adds character and visual interest to homes, contributing to their curb appeal. With the right choice of materials and finishes, gambrel roofs can enhance the overall aesthetics of the property.

However, before you choose this style for your roof, make sure you understand its maintenance requirements. These roofs require annual roof inspections to keep them in top condition.

6. Saltbox Roof


Saltbox Roof

Saltbox roofs trace their origins back to early Colonial and Cape Cod-style homes, predominantly found in the Northeastern and Eastern coastal regions of the United States. The term "Saltbox" itself is derived from the roof shape resembling the wooden boxes used to store salt in New England.

The design was born out of necessity rather than aesthetics. Early settlers often built their homes with a simple gable roof, but as their families grew, they required additional space. To accommodate this need, they extended one side of the roof further down the back of the house, creating a unique, slanted profile.

Difference between saltbox, gable and hip roofs:

Key characteristics of saltbox roofs include:

  • Asymmetrical Design: Saltbox roofs feature an asymmetrical silhouette, with one side sloping steeply while the other side extends into a lean-to structure. This unique design adds visual interest and charm to the home's exterior, distinguishing it from more conventional roof styles.
  • Efficient Water Runoff: The steep slope of the longer side of the saltbox roof facilitates efficient drainage, minimizing the risk of water pooling and potential structural damage. This characteristic is particularly advantageous in regions with varied weather conditions, such as Maryland.
  • Utilization of Space: While the slanted ceilings of saltbox roofs may limit interior space compared to other roof styles, they offer opportunities for creative utilization. Attic space under the sloped roof can be converted into storage areas or cozy living spaces, maximizing the functionality of the home.
  • Versatility in Materials: Saltbox roofs can be constructed using a variety of roofing materials, including asphalt shingles, metal roofing, wooden shingles, or slate. Homeowners have the flexibility to choose materials that complement their architectural preferences while ensuring durability and weather resistance.
  • Iconic Silhouette: The distinctive profile of a saltbox roof, with its asymmetrical slope and triangular gables, adds character and visual appeal to homes. This iconic silhouette contributes to the overall curb appeal of the property, making it a standout feature in the neighborhood.

The disadvantage of this roof style is that it is complicated to install and takes more time to install properly. Moreover, the attic space will be less than that of other roof types like gable.

7. Butterfly Roof

Butterfly Roof

The butterfly roof is a distinctive and visually striking architectural style that has gained popularity in contemporary design. Its unique shape resembles the wings of a butterfly, with two upward-sloping roof sections meeting at a central valley or trough. This innovative design not only adds aesthetic appeal but also offers several practical advantages, making it an attractive option for homeowners in Maryland.

There are two types of butterfly roofs, including classic and hybrid. Here is a table to differentiate between the two types of butterfly roofs:

Types of Butterfly Roof

Classic Butterfly Roof vs Hybrid Butterfly Roof:

Key characteristics of butterfly roofs:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Butterfly roofs make a bold architectural statement with their distinctive shape and clean lines. They offer a modern and contemporary aesthetic that stands out from traditional roof styles.
  • Water Drainage: The central valley or trough of a butterfly roof collects rainwater, which can be directed towards a drainage system or harvested for eco-friendly purposes. This efficient drainage system helps prevent water pooling and reduces the risk of water damage to the home.
  • Natural Ventilation: The steep pitch of butterfly roofs allows for ample airflow beneath the roofline, promoting natural ventilation and helping regulate indoor temperatures. This can be particularly beneficial during Maryland's hot and humid summers.
  • Daylighting: Butterfly roofs provide opportunities for integrating clerestory windows, skylights, or solar panels along the upward-sloping roof sections. This maximizes natural light penetration into the home, reducing the need for artificial lighting and enhancing energy efficiency.
  • Contemporary Design: Butterfly roofs are synonymous with modern and contemporary architecture. They offer homeowners the opportunity to embrace innovative design concepts and create a visually stunning home that stands out in the neighborhood.

While butterfly roofs offer numerous benefits, they may entail higher construction costs compared to traditional roof styles due to their unique design and specialized construction techniques. Homeowners should carefully consider their budget and weigh the long-term benefits against the initial investment.

Moreover, Maryland experiences a range of weather conditions, including heavy rain, snowfall, and gusty winds. When opting for a butterfly roof, it's essential to ensure proper waterproofing and structural integrity to withstand these weather challenges effectively.

8. Bonnet Roof

Bonnet Roof

A bonnet roof, also known as a kicked-eaved roof or a kicked roof, is a unique architectural style that looks like a reverse mansard roof. This distinctive design features two slopes, with the lower slope being steeper than the upper slope.

This distinctive configuration creates a unique profile that adds character to any home. The lower slope of a bonnet roof extends beyond the front and back of the house, forming an overhang that serves as an excellent cover for a porch or outdoor patio.

Difference between bonnet roof and mansard roof?

  • Weather Resistance: The steep lower slope of bonnet roofs provides excellent protection against heavy rain, snow, and high winds, which are common weather occurrences in Maryland. The overhanging eaves shield the walls and windows from water infiltration, reducing the risk of water damage and maintaining the structural integrity of the home.
  • Ventilation: Bonnet roofs offer opportunities for natural ventilation, with the overhanging eaves allowing air to circulate freely around the perimeter of the house. This helps regulate indoor temperatures, especially during Maryland's hot and humid summers, improving comfort levels for occupants.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Bonnet roofs have a timeless charm that complements various architectural styles, from traditional to contemporary. The distinctive shape and symmetrical lines create a sense of balance and harmony.
  • Space Utilization: The additional attic space created by the double slope design of bonnet roofs can be utilized for storage or converted into living areas, adding functional value to the home. This extra space offers flexibility for homeowners to customize and optimize their living environment according to their needs.

However, When it comes to cost, bonnet roofs can be more expensive to install and maintain compared to more traditional roof styles due to their complex structure. Additionally, extra care may be needed to ensure proper waterproofing, especially in the valleys between the slopes, to prevent water settling and potential damage.

The Bottom Line

A roof replacement is not just a cosmetic upgrade; it’s a crucial investment in your home’s structural integrity and longevity. That is why it is crucial to carefully consider the style of the roof when it comes to roof replacement.

The roof style you choose can significantly impact your home's appearance, energy efficiency, functionality, durability, and maintenance requirements. No matter what roof style you choose, it is vital to get multiple free estimates for roof replacement to ensure you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and budget.

Whether you're in need of repairs, replacements, or maintenance, we offer affordable solutions to keep your roof in top shape. Trust for all your roofing needs, and get started today to ensure the longevity and integrity of your home's roof.