Porch roof styles

Updated April 17, 2017

Your porch is an extension of your home, a place where you can enjoy the outdoors, greet the neighbours and just kick back and relax. The porch's style is a reflection of the architectural style of your house and should complement it. The porch roof is what identifies the porch's style and porch roofs come in a variety of architectural types.


A shed roof slants in one direction over the porch. It is attached to the house on the high side and slopes down over the porch. A shed roof is the easiest type of porch roof to build and is one of the most popular and versatile porch roof styles. Shed roofs are often found protecting long, narrow porches.


This type of porch roof slopes down on either side of a centre ridge. A gable roof has a steep pitch and comes to a point, forming a triangle where the slanted sides meet the centre roof ridge. The steep pitch of this type of roof helps it to shed snow and water. Gable roofs that are high and wide offer extensive space under them. This type of roof goes well with Cape Cod- and Colonial-style architecture.


A gambrel style roof slopes down from a centre ridge like a gable roof. The difference is that, halfway down the slope, the sides of a gambrel roof turn downward at an even steeper pitch to produce a roof style often seen on barns. Gambrel-style roofs are a hallmark of Dutch colonial-style homes. Often, the house's roof line is extended to overhang a porch.


On a hipped roof, all sides slope down to the four walls of the house. From above it is possible to see that a hipped roof with four equal sides that meet at the top and slope down toward the walls, has a pyramid shape. Any side of a hipped roof can be extended to act as a porch roof or a lower, separate hipped roof can be attached to the house below the roof to shelter a porch. Hipped roofs are often found on colonial- and ranch-style homes.


A flat porch roof has very little or no pitch, which makes it a poor choice for homes located in areas that receive a lot of rainfall or snow. Flat porch roofs are most often found on contemporary-style homes. If you have or are planning to install a flat porch roof, you will want to explore your roofing options. Often, a flat roof that is shingled will leak. Consider a process that covers the roof with a rubber membrane.

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About the Author

Jan Czech has been writing professionally since 1993. Czech has published seven children's books, including “The Coffee Can Kid," which received a starred review from School Library Journal. She is a certified English/language arts teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Niagara University.