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One of your home's most critical parts is its roof. Not only does it shield your home from the elements, but it also significantly impacts the overall look and feel of your home. With so many different roof types available, figuring out the ideal option might be challenging without help. To help you make the best decision, this blog will go through the common types of roofing for houses in Australia. Let's explore each one of them.

Types of Roofs for Houses

Gable roofs

A gable roof, referred to as a pitched roof, is Australia's most common type of roof. It is distinguished by its two sloping sides that meet at a peak in the centre, giving it two triangular extensions on either side of the roof.

Gabled roofs are categorised into two: symmetrical or asymmetrical gabled roofs. There are also varying types of gable roofs under the two categories. These include front gable, side gable, crossed gable, and dutch gable.

Additionally, these roofs are available in various materials, including timber, metal, and tile, giving you options depending on your preference. However, if your gable roof has ridges and valleys, it's advisable to incorporate a standing seam or metal shingles to prevent leaks.

Hip roofs

A hipped roof is similar to a gabled roof; however, the former has four sloping sides that come together at the top, forming a ridge. Two sides of this roof are trapezoids, while the other two are triangular. This difference between the two roofs makes hip roofs more stable than gable roofs.

Consequently, they are less likely to suffer from wind damage. They are also an ideal choice if you live in an area that gets a lot of snowfall, as the two extra slopes are effective in preventing snow build-up on your roof.

Hip roofs are available in various types: simple hip, half hip, and cross hip. Additionally, you could choose to construct your hip roof from multiple materials, as most are applicable.

Flat roofs

These roofs are precisely as their name implies: they are generally flat. They are popular for commercial buildings and homes constructed in warm climates. This is because houses in such areas have little to no chance of snow or ice accumulating, which would otherwise be an inconvenience.

Flat roofs require less maintenance than other types of roofs and are made from various materials, including asphalt and rubber. However, they are less durable than pitched roofs and might need to be replaced more often.

Skillion roofs

Skillioned roofs, also known as shed roofs, are similar to flat roofs except for having one steeply pitched flat surface to facilitate water drainage. They are an ideal roof design if you want the simplicity of a flat roof with the added benefit of extra drainage and ventilation. Skillioned roofs are available in various materials, including metal, tile, and asphalt.

Butterfly roofs

Butterfly roofs get their name from their V-shaped design that resembles a butterfly's wings when spread. They are popular for eco-friendly and modern tropical house designs, as you can install water barrels and solar panels on them.

The pitch at the upper levels is also made to facilitate better ventilation and natural light penetration. Unfortunately, these roofs require extensive maintenance, are more complex and expensive to build and are susceptible to collapses if water leaks or pools exist.

You could use various materials for butterfly roofs, including metal, timber, and plastic. However, if you want to keep your roof watertight, you should use a seamless and continuous membrane.

Metal roofing

Metal roofs are quite a popular choice for homeowners in Australia. Some of the reasons for their popularity are their durability and long-lasting characteristics. They also have reflective properties, making them effective in keeping your house cool in the summer months. Metal roofs come in various colours and styles, allowing you to find one that perfectly matches the look of your home.

Gambrel roofs

Two symmetrical sides characterise a gambrel roof, each with a shallow angled pitch on the upper section and a steeper one on the lower section. Additionally, each side has a ridge running along the top.

Gambrel roofs are similar to gabled roofs; however, they have a more traditional look often associated with barns and farmhouses. They are available in various materials, including metal, timber, and asphalt.

Mansard roofs

Mansard roofs are characterised by four slopes on each side with two ridges running along the top—one at the eaves level and one at the ridge level. The slopes' bottom parts are steeper, so the pitch is nonexistent or barely starts.

Mansard roofs are similar to gambrel roofs but have a more classical look often associated with French architecture. Mansard roofs can be made from various materials; however, they are most commonly seen in asphalt shingles or metal cladding.

Factors When Choosing a Roof Type for Your Home

The overall cost

One of the most imperative factors to consider when selecting a roof for your house is the overall cost considering your budget. Not only do different types of roofs have varying price points, but they also have different life spans. Some roofs have a lifespan of around 50 years or more, while others might need replacing after about 5-10 years, depending on their maintenance.

For instance, asphalt roofs are an economical option with a limited lifespan, while metal roofs tend to be more expensive but last much longer. The cost should include payments to your roofing contractor, permit application, and any other applicable fees, including unexpected repairs or changes.


The style of your desired roof plays a vital role as it could drastically change the look and feel of your home. For instance, architectural shingle roofs come in various colours and textures and could add visual interest to your home's exterior, while cedar shakes offer a classic rustic look.

Clay tile roofs give homes an elegant Mediterranean flair, while metal roofs provide a modern edge with reflective surfaces that help reduce heat gain in summer months. From the examples, your roof style should be influenced by the look you intend for your house.

Local climate

You must select a roof type based on the climate of your locality. This is primarily because certain materials fare better in certain environments than others. For instance, asphalt shingles are not well suited for hot climates because they are not energy efficient and could easily be damaged by hail or high winds due to their thinness.

On the other hand, metal roofs are often used in hot climates because they reflect sunlight and help keep homes cooler during warmer months. In colder climates, metal roofs might freeze during winter due to their lack of insulation, so asphalt shingles might be better suited here. This is because they have better insulation properties and will help retain heat during colder weather conditions.


Some roof types require less maintenance than others. On the one hand, some roof types generally don't require maintenance except for occasional cleaning. However, others need regular care and inspection every few years (or after significant storms) to ensure they remain free from damage and wear over time. 

Be sure to research maintenance requirements before deciding so you know what kind of upkeep is involved with each type before making your purchase decision.


The aesthetic of your roof will determine its overall look and feel. Different roof types offer varying architectural styles that could create unique looks for any home. It's essential to assess your home's existing architecture and determine which style best suits the overall look you're going for.

Do you want a traditional look? Or do you prefer something more modern? You should also look at the surrounding landscape and neighbouring houses and determine how the roof type will fit in with its environment.

Additionally, it's also important to consider whether you want to maintain architectural integrity when selecting a roof type for your house or are going for an eclectic house design. Feel free to break any architectural rules tied to your house design if it's the latter.

Picking a Roofing Contractor: Mistakes to Avoid 

Choosing the right roofing contractor is a crucial step, whether it's a replacement or a first install. This is so because it helps ensure that the roof type you settle for is installed correctly and safely.

Unfortunately, there are many mistakes people make when selecting a roofer that could lead to costly problems down the line. Let's review some of the most common mistakes homeowners make when choosing a roofing contractor.

Failure to undertake conclusive research

One of the most critical steps in choosing a roofing contractor is undertaking conclusive research beforehand. This means more than just checking out reviews online; it also includes looking into whether or not the contractor is licensed and insured and speaking with previous customers about their experience with the company.

It's essential to take your time and be thorough when researching contractors so that you have all the important information necessary to make an informed decision. You want to avoid mistakes that might cost you more in the long run; therefore, this is crucial in ascertaining that.

Failure to get multiple quotes

When getting quotes from contractors, it pays to shop around. Ensure you get at least three quotes from different contractors before deciding; this will ensure a good deal on quality workmanship. When comparing quotes, look at more than just the price. You must also consider other factors like their customer service, whether they have warranties, the quality of their materials, and their reputation.

Cutting corners on quality materials

Some contractors might offer lower-grade products than recommended for your project to save money on labour costs or cut corners on quality materials. To avoid this issue, ask any potential contractors about their choice of materials before hiring to install your desired roof type.

It's also wise to undertake some research yourself beforehand to know which products are best for your particular needs. That way, you'll be better able to spot any shortcuts taken by potential contractors during their estimates or proposals.

In Need of Help Choosing the Right Roof Type?

As you have read in this post, choosing the right roof style is crucial for the protection and longevity of your home. A well-maintained roof not only enhances the appearance of your property but also adds value to your home.

Therefore, it is essential to consider all the important factors mentioned in this article while selecting a roof type. To make an informed decision, consult a professional roofing company near you. This will ensure that you choose a suitable roof type for your needs.

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