making decisions about roof replacements

making decisions about roof replacements

Best And Worst Roofing Materials For A Shotgun-Style House

by Lorraine Fisher

Shotgun homes are one room wide but many rooms deep and boast a steep gabled roof that accents the long, narrow shape. The homes got the name from the fact that the front and back doors are in a straight line so a gunshot through the front would go out the back.

If your home is Shotgun-style and you need a new roof, there are a few architecture-specific roofing materials that are particularly good or bad fits. Here are a few of the materials you can discuss with your roofing contractors. 

Best: Wood Shakes and Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are medium-weight, textured, and offer a natural charm to any home. The shingles aren't vulnerable to the strong winds that can go up the steep angles of the Shotgun's gabled roof. And the shingles are too heavy for the gable's modest amount of bracing. 

Shakes and shingles are two different terms for roofing materials cut from cedar trees. The shakes are simply cut a bit larger and thicker than the shingles, which are more compressed and flatter. Both styles are installed with an overlapping pattern that resembles a cottage but also helps water run off the steep sides of the gabled roof.

Best: Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is available in flatter, smaller shingles and in long, interlocking segments called standing seam roofing. The metal is available in a variety of matte colors to make the material look more like a standard shingle and, in the shingle style, can be pressed with textures and patterns.

Metal is good at controlling the roof's water runoff and is also great for insulation. The lines of the standing seam metal can help accentuate the shape of the gabled roof.

Worst: Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are popular with many owners due to the low cost, wide color, and texture availability, and the lightweight. It's the last aspect that makes asphalt a poorer choice for a Shotgun home since the gabled roof can take on quite a bit of direct wind. The wind can loosen, damage, or remove the asphalt tiles.

The only advisable way to use asphalt is if you have windbreaks around your home that makes high, direct wind unlikely. Otherwise, you will need to be prepared for semi-frequent maintenance and material replacement.

Worst: Slate Shingles

Slate shingles are beautiful, elegant, durable, and heavy. It's that last aspect that can be a problem for a Shotgun roof. Gabled roofs don't' have a lot of bracing and can collapse under the weight of a heavy roofing material.

You could theoretically ask your roofing contractors (such as those from Surface Shield Protective Coatings) to install additional bracing that could support the slate roofing. But that bracing would take up some of your interior storage or living space and space in a Shotgun house isn't plentiful already.


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making decisions about roof replacements

Is the roof on your home ready for replacement? If so, do you know what type of roofing you are going to have installed to replace it? Will you have the existing roof removed, or just have the home re-roofed? You will face several decisions while you work to replace the roof on your home. Scroll through my site to find a great list that can help you decide what product and method of installation will be best for your home. Hopefully, the information provided will take some of the confusion and stress out of this big, important home improvement project.