Porches help you expand your living space into the outdoors without the high price tag of a full room addition. Covered porches are best because you can kick back and relax even when it's raining or snowing. Before you just use whatever roof style is capping the rest of your home, find out why a shed roof is a better option.
Trying to add a porch to your home on a tight budget? A simple shed roof costs the least out of all the roof types for both labor and materials. When you compare the average costs for a shed-style porch roof to a gable design, you'll save for every square foot. This assumes that the two roofs are built with the same materials and without a finished ceiling on the interior.
Keep in mind that shed roofs need a little more maintenance over the years than gable or hip designs because they don't shed water and snow quite as well. Increasing the slope of the shed design helps reduce the damage done by moisture, but it also makes it harder to fit the roof onto the house.
It's often tricky to fit a high-peaked gable roof onto a side of your home that is covered with important windows. A low slope shed roof is easier to tuck under a line of second story windows or high casement windows on the first floor. This allows you to keep getting plenty of rich natural light into the home while enjoying the comfort of a covered porch. You'll also leave more of your exterior details exposed for guests to see, like gingerbread trim or handmade cedar shake siding.
Flat roofs offer even less of a visual obstruction when used to cover a porch, but many people find the lack of height feels confining. The pitched height of a well-sloped shed roof is more attractive due to:
- The increased air circulation, giving heat more room for rising so the porch itself feels cooler in the summer
- Extra light coming in from the sides, as long as you don't enclose them with siding or framing
- Space for mounting lights, ceiling fans, and outdoor heaters without taking up valuable wall and floor space.
The extra square footage of a sloped shed roof also gives you more options for mounting solar panels if your porch has a southern exposure.
Unless you're trying to design a complex freestanding porch that is more like a gazebo, the roof for the structure has to connect to the exterior wall of the house for support. Attaching the shed roof to the wall is very simple because there's only a single straight line where the anchor plate holds up the high edge of the new roof. This means only a few rows of shingles need to come off, while trimming out shingles for the angles of a gable or hip roof takes a lot longer and has the potential to look a lot more noticeable if done incorrectly.
More Roofing Options
Finally, you can use almost any type of shingle or panel on the properly sloped shed porch roof for the dramatic look you want. In contrast, low slope and flat roofs only work properly when covered with rolled roofing or certain asphalt shingles. Gable and hip roofs work with metal coverings and cedar shingles, but the complexity of these structures increase the amount of roofing you need to cover the decking. This translates into a higher overall building cost, especially when you choose small shingles that are hammered in by hand and one at a time.
Contact companies like Miller Roofing & Guttering Inc. to get a better idea of your options.