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Rockville Roofing: Article About Traditional Roofing Alternatives

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Gable and hip roofs are two of the most widely used roofing styles across the country today. Both of them have sloped surfaces that are joined by a ridge at the top. The difference in the two is that a hip roof slopes downward on all four sides whereas a gable roof continues all the way to the end of the structure with no change in configuration. For homeowners who like to mix things up, there are several other Rockville roofing types from which to choose. Bonnet and mansard roofs offer both functionality and style.

A bonnet roof is referred to by some as a modified hip style because of the slopes on all four sides. The difference is that a bonnet roof has an additional surface around the bottom that is not as steep as the main part of the roof. While it does lend itself to a different appearance, the additional surface usually hangs further over the side of the house and provides the benefits of a sun visor. It also adds more shelter from the rain and often covers an open sided porch. Some people refer to this style as a kicked eaves roof.

A mansard roof has slopes on all sides like a bonnet roof, only the slopes are much steeper, and they do not join at the top to form a ridge.

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Instead, the top portion, which is not normally visible from the ground, is virtually flat with only enough pitch to allow water to drain. Mansard roofs may or may not have the near horizontal eaves around the edges like a bonnet roof.

An advantage created by the steep sloped portions of a mansard roof is increased attic space. In fact, the attic can be finished and become an additional story on the house. These roofs may not be the best choice in areas that receive a lot of snowfall, however, due to the extra weight a heavy snow places on the supporting structure.

A variation of the traditional mansard roof has the center section constructed like a hip roof to avoid the disadvantages associated with flat roofs. Houses with additional living space added as an upper floor often have the steepest part of the roof fitted with windows that stick out from the main part of the structure to further increase the amount of usable space. In these cases, the window sections themselves are often covered with a small roof structure.

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