Contrary to popular belief, the roof isn’t just one structure; it’s actually composed of different subsystems that each play a role in protecting your home from the elements. These same parts also play a key role in defining the overall design of your roof and what you should prioritize if you want to improve its aesthetics.
Below are the four basic design components of your home’s roofing system.
The ridge is the highest point of the roof, also known as its peak area. It’s arguably the most defining part of your entire roofing system as it stands out neatly among the rest of the parts. The ridge itself is what we refer to as the “spine” of the entire roofing system. We recommend installing ridge cap shingles at the very peak; this functions as both an aesthetic component and extra protective layer on an otherwise vulnerable part of the roof.
The pitch is what we roofers refer to as the slope or steepness of the roof. This ultimately depends on the style of your home. Classic and Colonial-style houses tend to have steep roofs that naturally divert water away from the surface. In modern and contemporary homes, low-pitch or completely flat roofs are more common.
The dormer refers to the sections of the home that extrude or jut out from the roof. This is a rather common design feature in homes with attics, with the dormer itself housing the primary window area. Think of the dormer as a miniature roof, so the same roofing elements should be used for this part of the roof.
The gable is what you call the portion of the wall between the edge or edges of intersecting roof pitches. In classical homes, these are usually triangular in shape, reflecting the overall pitch of the roof. They tend to be the most vulnerable part of the entire roof, usually affected by problems originating from the ridge, pitch, or the valley.