The climate and environment where you're building, the availability of building materials, and the building’s purpose will all affect the resulting shape of its roof. For example, in most cases, the pitch of a roof (the angle it slopes at) will be proportional to the amount of snow and/or rainfall it's likely to see.
Some materials, like steel, can easily be used to create a curved roof, while more rigid materials like tiles will create solid lines. Grand buildings call for bigger and more awe-inspiring roof shapes, whereas more humble or understated homes are likely to favour functional roofs over decorative ones.
A well planned roof shape plays an important role in maintaining the building envelope, which in turn will contribute to a home’s liveability, energy efficiency and resale value.
Hip roofs (or hipped roofs) are very popular in Australia. Hip roofs also often have shady eaves, and offer strength, and excellent resistance to strong winds.
A gabled roof, often called a 'pitched roof' or a 'peaked roof', is easily recognised from its triangular shape. Gabled roofs also offer a greater amount of room for an attic.
Flat roofs are, as the name suggests, a flat, low-pitched style of roof that can be used as an upstairs living area or roof garden. Waterproofing is very important for flat roofs.
Sometimes called a 'shed roof', a skillion roof is similar to a flat roof, but uses a steeper pitch which allows for better drainange. Skillion roofs offer lots of design options.
Clerestory roofs allow in plenty of natural light while still preserving privacy, and allow for effective passive heating and cooling when they're correctly designed.
Often also referred to as a 'French roof', a mansard roof is a 'historic' variation on a hip roof. These types of roofs are unusual, but offer plenty of interior space for an attic.
Arched roofs offer excellent structural strength, and an unusual and eye-catching design. Nowadays, arched roofs are typically made from curved steel.
Circular roofs can take many shapes and forms - either flat or pitched, or even domed. Domed roofs, while strong, are unusual and may be expensive and complicated to construct.
Saw tooth roofs were traditionally an industrial/warehouse type roof. They are now increasingly popular in houses, thanks to the amount of daylight they allow.
Curved roofs, most commonly made of steel in modern designs, offer the opportunity to add organic curves and a softer, rounder look to your home.