Rooflines with Character

home addition of a family roomWhen it comes to the design and architecture of homes, one of the most significant elements that captures attention and defines the overall look is the roofline. Rooflines play a crucial role in creating the visual appeal of a house, besides serving an obviously functional purpose.

One of the more defining characteristics of a roof is the pitch, or steepness of the roof. “When designing an addition, the goal is to create a roofline that looks original to the home, whether by matching the existing roofline, or creating a complementary pitch that adds interest,” says Normandy Designer Jeremy Paris. Different roof pitches can evoke various architectural styles and give your home a unique character. For instance, high-pitched roofs can commonly be found on older Victorian and Tudor style houses, while low-pitched or flat roofs are more typical of modern or contemporary architecture.

Dormers are vertical windows that protrude from a pitched roof, providing additional headroom and functional interior space to attics or upper levels. “These are an ideal option for second story home additions that can add bedrooms, home offices, or recreational areas,” says Jeremy. “They can also provide more natural light and improved ventilation to existing spaces.”

Gables are the triangular portions of a wall formed by the intersection of two roof slopes. These can offer exciting opportunities to incorporate different materials for aesthetic effect. “You can use various siding materials or accent features on gables to create eye-catching focal points and add character to the overall design,” says Jeremy.

Contrary to popular belief, the number of roof peaks does not necessarily dictate the value of a home. “Aesthetically, homes with multiple roof peaks may exude a sense of grandeur and uniqueness, but their value is not directly linked to this particular feature,” Jeremy adds.

Roofs with steeper pitches are more challenging to construct and require more material and additional structural support. “Premium roofing materials such as clay tiles or slate can be found on some older homes with steep pitches, contributing to a higher cost,” says Jeremy. “Though, despite the expense, many homeowners consider this a worthwhile investment since they can last for decades, and these materials reinforce the historic aesthetic of the house.”

exterior of home blue siding on second level brick on lower with asymmetrical rooflineFlat roofs, commonly seen in modern architecture, offer a sleek and minimalist appearance. “When designed and constructed correctly, these roofs can effectively drain rainwater and withstand heavy snow loads without incurring maintenance issues,” Jeremy offers.

Asymmetrical rooflines add a touch of drama and artistic flair to a home’s architecture. “They break away from the conventional and create eye-catching, dynamic designs,” says Jeremy. “When executed thoughtfully, asymmetry can lend a sense of individuality and modernity to the house, setting it apart from the neighboring properties.”

Ultimately, the choice of roofline should reflect your taste and add to the character of your home. If you’ve been thinking of a home addition and how that will impact the exterior look of your house, Jeremy is here to help answer your questions. Set a time to talk with him or peruse some of our completed projects in our photo gallery, or on Instagram.

Sunroom addition peaked roof wall of windows  Craftsman style split level house with porch  Vintage looking replacement windows

Chicago's western suburbs split level home facelift  exterior of back of home with gables  Modern home exterior featuring a wall of windows and a butterfly roof


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