Crucial Steps for Roof Design Planning

The roof layout plan is by far the most misunderstood part of the house plan, at least for the average person. Builders and people familiar with home construction will know why that's the case. Most people will assume a set of plans will contain all the information they'll need to build a home, and they'll want to have a guide to show them the way.

Roof Design Plan: Homeowners Guide

A roof is a crucial component of a house or any other building alike. Without roofs, the furniture, household items, and people inside would be vulnerable to insecurity or damage due to the elements. Roofs help protect the house and the residents from adverse weather elements such as the wind, snow, rain, and sun. Other than protection functions, the roof also helps to add character to a house. While they serve these essential purposes, homeowners always find themselves making some mistakes when developing roof design plans. These mistakes can cost them a fortune, and it's important to avoid them at all costs. One should, therefore, be keen on the following mistakes and make sure to avoid them:

  • Failing to get a written estimate
  • Price priority at the expense of quality
  • Hiring a roofer without conducting a research
  • Failing to sign a contract

Failing to Get a Written Estimate

Not getting a written estimate is one of the greatest mistakes that homeowners must avoid. It's quite unfortunate that most people will just jump into a roofing project without estimating the cost. One must get a written estimate rather than having a roofing contractor who announces the estimate through word of mouth. A written estimate will work as proof of whatever the roofer says concerning the estimated cost of the roofing project. The document is also crucial as it helps protect clients from sudden inflation in roofing costs.

Price Priority at the Expense of Quality

There's no need to point fingers at homeowners who commit this mistake. Lowest bidders normally tempt most people to go for them. When it comes to roofing, quality becomes critical, both in terms of labor and roofing materials. One thing to note here is that homeowners get what they pay for the quality. Nobody will pay $100 and expect to get quality products and services equivalent to $1,000. If one comes across a roofing contractor whose quote seems too good to be true, they should be careful not to hire them.

Hiring a Roofer Without Conducting a Research

Some people will still hire a roofer, even though they know very little about them. This mistake is the genesis of a poor roofing plan, low-quality materials, and poor roofing services. When looking for a roofing contractor, one should always spend quality time researching them. Consider checking out the online reviews and ratings of the prospective roofing candidates. If possible, review the roofer's page on the Better Business Bureau to determine their credibility.

Failing to Sign a Contract

Without signing a contract, the homeowner can't claim commitment and legal obligation from the roof installation contractor. Failing to sign a contract is, therefore, a big mistake that always leaves the site owner counting losses in the long run. Never allow roof installation or repair to start until both parties fully execute the contract. The document is essential for both the homeowner and the roofing contractor as it acts as a protection tool in case misunderstandings arise in the course of the project.

Top Roof Styles, Details, & Design

The roof system is the most critical component of a home, and nobody can justifiably overstate its value. Every homeowner knows the many benefits it serves to ensure that their lives at home are smooth.

What are some of these benefits? Here are some of them:

  • They offer protection against stormy weather
  • Keeping off wild animals who may find their way into the compound
  • Provide home aesthetics
  • Make homes look habitable

Imagine an animal roaming in a compound whose home hasn't got a roof? Goats, for instance, could easily climb over the wall.

The above benefits aren't the only ones people enjoy with good roofs above their heads. Who'll forget the bonus point of keeping roaring winds outside? These winds are so mighty such that if they happen to get into the house, they will destroy everything, including clothes and heavy household items. One won't also suffer the effect of the scorching sun.

Nobody will be more grateful than someone having a roof over their head!

Human beings are civilized creatures who take a house's roof as a basic need. When they get a roofer who does their job right, the roof turns out to be aesthetically pleasing.

The reason why people must take care when designing their roofing plans is that roofs have a long lifespan. If one removes the roof from their homes, they'll keep a void box with no signs of life. Roofs, therefore, add life and character to homes.

In this guide, anyone can look for information and inspiration regarding roofing styles.

Is there anyone looking to update or replace their roof? Could they be considering having an addition to their house, or an added structure to their property? Whatever the case, this guide will lead them through the numerous roof details that constitute a roofing project.

Roofing Northern CA has a wide variety of roof styles for homeowners to browse through. Before getting there, there're a lot of things one needs to consider bout. Homeowners will learn more about the following:

  • Shapes
  • Concepts
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Various materials and costs

Whatever one's roofing needs are, Roofing Northern CA will do its best to ensure that they meet these needs.

A Quality Roofing Installer is the First Friend

First, things should always come in order. Regardless of how exhaustive this guide is, it's important to emphasize that a professional roofing contractor is the best friend to every serious builder or homeowner. These people help a lot in translating roof design ideas into finished products.

Interior designers or architects assist with plans while carpenter specialists focus on servicing on smaller projects.

Getting a professional roofer is a stroke of good luck. A roofing contractor is an indispensable craftsman who has the experience and probably knows the roofing trade in line with regional cultures. They also have the process down from thoughtful planning to practical roofing science.

With the right roofing contractor, the next thing will be to know the top roof design styles. Before getting to these styles, one needs to understand the four original geometric shapes found in most types of roofs.

The following are the four basic shapes of roof:

Flat: These roofs are flat, or rather, nearly flat

Single slope: This's most evident in houses with high walls with roofs sloping down to a lower wall

Double slope: This's the most common shape of the roof

4 Slopes: This shape isn't common among most homes. The peak of the roof has four slopes descending to 4 corners of a square home, forming a pyramid.

After looking at the common roof shapes, the next thing is to see the details making up the roof design. Here, the discussion would be on the main details, not everything. One should think of these details as a glossary of concepts or terms. One may need to read through the list more than once, as most of these terms borrow from one another.

Framing Concepts

The frame consists of the following items:

  • Rafter
  • Truss
  • Gables
  • Dormer


This frame is a supporting wooden beam attached to the roof peak descending to an outer wall. Traditionally, builders used rafters to support their roofs.


A truss is a network that's usually prefab with double sloped beams bridged (connected) by a brace (or bottom beam). This network is the most modern method - based on engineering - people use for roof support.

A frame is the most common truss roofers fit in double sloped homes. It's not that it's the only kind of truss pre-fabricated by manufacturers specializing in making trusses. There're still others, which roofing companies make away from home construction sites in places like Contra Costa County. Whatever homeowners need for the matching of their houses' frames, these companies can readily manufacture them.


These are interfaces or planes that extend in the same directions as the house walls. Without them, one can easily see right into the house frame. Central gables are double sloped beams descending from horizontal peak lines. Many of the top 20 roof styles of Roofing Northern CA use multiple variations of the gable frames.


Many people have seen some dormers. Dormers are structural elements that extend horizontally from the roof slope. They play a significant role in adding character to brand sloped roofs. They exhibit the structure under the roof, thus acting as a utilizing space in the upper section of the house. One can find buildings with dormers in Alameda County.

Dormers usually have windows that help facilitate ventilation or provide an outside view. Companies may also design them without windows. When they design them this way, they call them blind dormers. Blind dormers are mainly incorporated for aesthetic purposes or adding character.

Roof Details (In or on Roof Concepts)

Roof details include:

  • Sheathing
  • Ridge
  • Hip
  • Eaves
  • Valleys
  • Soffit
  • Fascia board
  • Chimney and vents
  • Skylights


These are materials such as panels serving as the slope base. Sheathing companies make them out of plywood sheets and underlying materials.


The Ridge is the highest point on a given roof, the line lying horizontally to connect two sloped roofs. The peak line has the truss and rafter supporting it.


The hip is the roof slope with two lines descending from the end of a ridge point. In most cases, its two endpoints extend to connect to the upper corners of the house. If a roofer combines several roof styles, the hip connects to another section of the roof to act as part of the frame.


These are the joints or board braces extending from the upper wall towards the part where the end of the overhanging is.


These are the lines or the ridge inverses that seem to extend towards the inward part of the roof. Usually, valleys form where two sloped planes connect, except when they connect at a peak.


Since soffit is an exterior or interior horizontal feature, Its archetypal form, sometimes incorporating or implying the projection of beams, is the underside of eaves (to connect a retaining wall to projecting edge(s) of the roof).

One can find these elements on the lower side of the eaves. Their role is to seal the visible gaps between the joints of the eaves. The filling of these gaps helps keep wild critters from getting into the ventilation holes. They also help in making a house in the crannies and nooks of an overhanging roof. Mostly, soffits are extensions of the interior or inner ceilings. Other than acting as internal ceiling extensions, they also form a section of the outer roof, as is the case for Sonoma County houses.

Fascia Board

These boards run parallel to the side of the home. They play a crucial role in covering up the eaves' endpoints. Modern office buildings in San Jose CA show fascia boards on the facade.

Chimney and Vents

These are objects starting somewhere in the home interior and traveling through an enclosed channel or pipe. They protrude through the upper side of the ceiling and extend beyond the exterior roof layer. The role of the vent is to pass heat and fumes. Keep inThe chimney and vent structures must be sealed well. Builders should also check them periodically for wear and tear that usually happens around the vent seal.


These are windows that allow the view of the sky. They provide homes with great ornamental features. It uses long-lasting laminated glass. It's also essential if builders seal along the skylight edges.

What About Planning a Roof Project?

The homeowner now understands the basic science of the roofing design. The next thing now is to set up a plan for a roofing project. The roofer hopes that their home improvement project will effectively modify the home's structure. Nobody will want to take the program as a simple restoration of the roof's outer layer.

Most roofing projects in Richmond involve repairing and replacement of the roof surface materials. When handling these projects, the homeowners must do proper planning beforehand to ensure that their desire to transform their roof structure is compelling. Failure to do so will see the roofing leaving a negative impact on the framing components.

If roofing of one's home has framing relations, then the homeowner needs to hire three specialists:

  • A roofing contractor
  • Builder
  • Carpentry specialist

Homeowners should consider hiring this collaboration. Roofers recommend this process because most roof contractors aren't framing specialists, so concentrating this joint effort is essential. With this team, the homeowner can achieve a build-to-spec frame built via two components:

  • Trusses
  • Rafters

Most Cupertino specialists manufacture trusses off-site. It means homeowners should plan and place orders in advance, preferably two weeks before installation. After they're delivered, roofers can complete the roof frame in two days.

Rafters are the conventional roofing route. The main advantage of them is that they require less planning. For a smaller project, the homeowner only needs a carpenter.

If one needs to utilize the space above the ceiling top, the best thing would be to use rafters for this purpose. That'll come with two limitations:

  • During the installation, the construction phase will take longer
  • It also comes with higher costs due to prolonged time in the construction phase

In terms of quality, the two types of frames are almost the same as they both use identical materials. This long frame leads to the following general rule:

For big projects such as the installation of mainframes, roofing contractors should consider using trusses as they're less expensive

If the roofing project is small or if the homeowner wishes to take advantages of the vaulted roof space, they may consider going for rafters

The cost of frame construction depends on the site region and the availability of the materials. Berkeley contractors employing truss in the framing construction will have the materials ready. For basic shapes, they'll mostly have a quick turnaround.

Regardless of whether the roofer will be using rafters or truss, they'll express keener interests in the materials that they'll use to make the covering layer. They'll also not forget the pitch.

Top Roofing Styles

After the shapes and the roofing plan, the next is the top roofing styles. The following are the most common styles:

  • Flat roof
  • Mono-pitch roof
  • Gable roof
  • Hip roof
  • A-Frame roof
  • Gambrel roof
  • M-Shaped roof
  • Saltbox
  • Butterfly roof

Flat Roof

Most of the Santa Clara County traditional architecture uses the flat roof type. This architecture style shows a classy style alongside being ancient because one can mostly find in warmer regions with limited precipitations. This style may appear dull at first, but one may see this view as mistaken.

This style has numerous benefits. They include:

  • Adding living spaces
  • Simple installation

An ideal spot for deck, patio, gardens, and dining

Employs standard rubber, and non-porous material

Mono-Pitch Roof

One can build this roof style on rafters. The best feature about this roof type is that it's less expensive compared to roofs with multiple slopes. Houses with a mono-pitch roofing style feature large or numerous windows to allow homeowners to take advantage of natural light.

The following are some of its benefits:

  • Less expensive than multiple sloped roofs
  • Allows a home to have natural light
  • Clean, efficient, and minimalistic

Gable Roof

This roof type is an axiomatic roof style of the modern age often found in San Rafael. It's double sloped or dual pitched characterized by an inverted V-shape.

Trusses or rafters support the gable frame. The roof is also cheap, with a complete roof with asphalt shingles ranging from a minimum cost of $15,000 to a maximum of $25,000 per sqft.

The climate is the primary determinant of the roof steepness. Moderate climates will require moderately pitched roofs, while regions prone to snow are suitable to steeper pitches.

Hip Roof

Just like gables, hip roofs use ridges, although they never connect to wall interfaces. They have a hip where two opposing roof planes meet at the highest point on the roof. This highest point refers to as two descending lines connecting to some parts of the roof.

Here're some of its advantages:

  • Hips hold up to wind
  • By combining gable and the hip roof, they give an excellent duo

A-Frame Roof

If one is looking to say goodbye to the box roof style and welcome the triangle style, then A-frame is the way to go. These frames are classic, dating back to over 100 years. One can find such classic buildings in San Marcos. Their most unique feature is the two slopes that form the walls of the home.

Here're some of its benefits:

  • Its steep slopes keep off harsh weather elements
  • With its vaulted ceiling, it's possible to install a loft
  • It's an inexpensive way of adding character to a house

Gambrel Roof

Gambrel is the old barn-style roof. It consists of two sides with a ridge at its peak. Each of these roof types have two sides with pitches, with the upper slope being low pitched while the lower one being high pitched.

The following are the benefits of gambrel roof style:

  • Their steep slopes make the method a good option for the addition of dormers
  • Gambrel frames are ideal for garages or sheds

M-Shaped Roof

This M-Shaped roof isn't a great deal. M-Shaped roof is the combination of two gable frames lying side by side. At their connection is a valley. This roofing design is most common in duplex style Oakland homes, although most single-family residences also employ the frame. The following are the advantages of this design:

  • Keeps off the wind
  • Makes it easy for debris and snow collection
  • Creates large spaces


This roof style is a sub-variation of the gable and a touch of the A-Frame. It features a ridge at the peak and two slopes on the sides. It also has an added feature of one of its side's hills being longer than the other. The more extended slope purpose is to cover the additional part of the frame width. Usually, the longer slope is more pitched than the shorter one.

This style comes with various advantages. They include:

  • Creation of more room
  • The steeper slope limits the precipitation

Butterfly Roof

Modern roof designs can't do without a butterfly style. This quintessential roofing style is mostly associated with Vallejo's contemporary houses. One of the outstanding features of the butterfly roof is its V-shape, although it usually has low pitched slopes. These slopes, however, must be steep enough to cater for drainage.

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Simply Follow The Rules in Roof Design

While it may seem intimidating, pyramid roof framing is easy as long as one follows a few simple rules. Since no homeowner has strong opinions regarding what to do in roof design, the best thing is to go through the rules and hold back their opinions.

Ten Rules of Roof Design: Really!

Consider these rules:

  • Avoid dormers and skylights like the plague
  • Say no to valleys
  • Consider an unconditioned vented attic rather than an insulated roof
  • A simple hipped or gable roof is the best roof shape
  • Don't reduce the roof slope halfway between the eave and the Ridge
  • Prefer asphalt felt paper to synthetic roofing underlayment
  • Ensure that the plumbing vent pipes penetrate the roof close to the Ridge, not the eaves
  • Choose asphalt shingles or metal roofing
  • Be sure to get the flashing details in place
  • Predict ice dams

Avoid Dormers and Skylights Like The Plague

Roofs with fewer complications have lower chances of developing problems. From health to zoning, height, lighting, and design, dormers and skylights are limited.

Say no to Valleys

The issue here isn't on designing a roof without valleys. The problem is that some roofers install shingle roofs with poorly woven valleys between roofs with different slopes. Having a woven valley is a great mistake in the first place.

Consider an Unconditioned Vented Attic Rather than an Insulated Roof

The unconditioned vented attic is cheaper, deep, more accessible to air-seal, and, more importantly, favorite to most homeowners.

A Simple Hipped or Gable Roof is the Best Roof Shape

This point is right; only that one will need to consider that broad and wide overhangs can cause issues in areas prone to powerful and high winds.

Don't Reduce the Roof Slope Halfway Between the Eave and the Ridge

This advice is worth following by those living around The Bay area as they experience substantial snow loads. For the neighbors to the south, this advice is worth ignoring, especially if they're planning to have wrap-around patios to enable them to control the light from the sun.

Prefer Asphalt Felt to Synthetic Roofing Underlayment

Maybe one can choose to consider this point as asphalt felt is cheaper, and it also allows faster drying of the wood towards the exterior.

Ensure that the Plumbing Vent Pipes Penetrate the Roof Close to the Ridge, not the Eaves

This rule doesn't attract any argument; only that one needs to take care not to get carried away and place the vent pipes where they'll interfere with ridges.

Choose Asphalt Shingles Or Metal Roofing

If one's focusing on roof longevity or harvesting of rainwater, they'd think of taking either metal or shingles.

Be Sure to Get the Flashing Details In Place

The best trick concerning employing cedar shingles with asphalt shingles and step flashing is to ensure that one gets the flashing details right in the first place.

Predict Ice Dams

If one lives far north of San Francisco, they can always predict ice dams.

Quality Roof Design

When it comes to one's roof design, numerous factors interplay to create a solution that works from both a practical and aesthetic standpoint. Such factors include:

  • Cost
  • Weather conditions
  • Quality roofing contractor
  • It's Time to Solve Those Roof Construction Issues

Among all the critical elements, getting a qualified roofing contractor is the most crucial factor in establishing top-notch roof design. Roofing Northern CA is a reliable roofer offering quality roof design to homeowners in San Francisco. The company operates under excellent artistry to ensure that it sets a safe structure without causing damage. McCurdy Roofing also provides exceptional roof designs in San Francisco. While their services are also of high quality, most clients move away from them due to their high cost. Roofing Northern CA has a quote difference of almost $1,000 less than McCurdy Roofing.

Get a detailed article sharing the most popular simple modern roof designs, their aesthetics, uses, technical construction methods, and planning considerations from San Francisco Roofing Northern CA. Whatever homeowners' roof plans are, they've got it covered. The article acts as a guide defining consistent quality, affordable, safe, and exceptional roofing materials and ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A roof plan is a two-dimensional drawing depicting the homeowner’s roof from a bird’s eye view. The roofing contractor writes the project to coincide with the home’s floor plan. The plan often includes notes with detailed specifics about the roof pitch, ridges, and slopes.

A roof plan shows the shape of the roof. The roof framing plan is almost similar to the roof plan only that it additionally includes the extent and direction of the framing members of the roof.

This drawing plan includes an architectural project, landscape architecture document, and a detailed engineering drawing that highlights proposed improvements.

Structural drawings include details and sets of plans on how to build a home or any other building structure.

A roof plan is a scaled diagram or drawing of a proposed roof improvement or development containing the dimensions of the whole roof structure. The project includes shape, design, size, and placement of all materials, drainage, ventilation, valleys, and slopes.