Prehistoric humans quickly learned to build shelters that would protect them from rain, snow and other elements of nature. Early roof designs were simple and were often little more than branches placed atop a frame; such shelters were intended for temporary use, so not a lot of effort went into the construction. However, as humans began to embrace permanent agricultural settlements, they began to develop architectural styles that were typically dependent on the local climate and available materials. Many of the roofing materials and styles in use today can be traced back over the centuries.
Roofing Materials & Styles – Austin, TX – The Popular Roofing Materials
Throughout history, many different materials have been used for roofing. Some of these materials have fallen out of favor in most countries; you will find few roofs in the United States that are made from thatch, mud or rocks. However, some roofing materials have been used for thousands of years.
• Metal has been used as a roofing material for at least 2,000 years. Some of the earliest metal roofs were made from copper; copper was durable but malleable, making it easier to cover domes or other unusual shapes. Copper roofs are still available, but most modern metal roofs are a combination of steel, aluminum, zinc and copper alloys.
• Asphalt shingles were introduced in America during the 1920s. Manufacturers have made numerous improvements to their products over the years, making asphalt shingles the most popular choice for homes throughout North America.
• Wood shakes and shingles were common roofing materials in Colonial America. This was primarily due to the ease of acquisition. However, in recent years, wood shakes and shingles have fallen out of favor, especially in areas with high winds that could spread fires.
Popular Roofing Styles
Over the years, architects have created many styles of roofs. Some are quite simple, but others are amazingly complex. Modern roofs may combine features of more than one style to create a unique look. The following list discusses the most popular styles for American homes.
• Gable: Gable roofs have intersecting roof planes and triangular end walls. This is one of the most popular styles in America.
• A-frame: A-frame buildings feature steep roofs that typically begin near the home’s foundation and form the letter “A” when they meet at the top. A-frames were very popular during the 1950s and 1960s; today, they are primarily used for vacation homes.
• Gambrel: Gambrel roofs have two symmetrical sides featuring two slopes per side. The angle of the upper slope is much shallower than the angle of the lower slope. Gambrel roofs are often found on American barns.
• Mansard: Mansard roofs are found on many French chateaus built since the 16th century. Although similar to gambrel roofs, mansard roofs have slopes on every side rather than just two sides.
Matching Material to Style
When selecting a roofing material, it is important to choose a material that is suitable for the home’s architecture. Fortunately, there are two roofing materials that are available in designs that match virtually any type of architecture.
• Asphalt shingles are available in an extensive range of colors. However, what some homeowners may not know is that asphalt shingles are available that mimic the appearance of other materials, including clay tiles, wood shingles and slate tiles.
• Metal roofing systems have been increasing in popularity. There are panel styles as well as shingle styles that resemble other types of roofing materials. Color choices are plentiful.
If you would like to learn more about your roofing options, contact Alpha Roofing in Austin, TX. We offer a wide range of commercial and residential roofing services, including the installation of asphalt shingles and metal roofing systems, roof repairs, moss removal and roof inspections. We also install siding, flashing and skylights. Our dedicated crews deliver exceptional work at reasonable rates. If you have more questions about Roofing Materials & Styles – Austin, TX or would like a free estimate, submit the online form or call (512) 777-1086.
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