When you have a home built from the ground up, one of the decisions you will need to make is which type of roof to include. Many customers choose a basic box gable roof because this design is well known and easy for the roofing company to implement. But a box gable roof is not your only choice. Some roof styles, like butterfly roofs and flat roofs, don't work well in snowy areas because they do not shed snow. But these three somewhat-alternative roof styles shed snow just as well as a box gable roof, and they have more character.
A Mansard roof is a style that features four sides. The slope closest to the peak is really steep. Then, there are separate sections of the roof connecting that steep-sloped section of the roof to the edge; these are even steeper — almost perpendicular to the ground. Mansard roofs allow for a lot of living space in the top floor of the building without the low ceilings that you get with a typical box gable roof. They also have a lot of character, looking right in-place on more rustic and country-style homes.
A Skillion roof is basically a shed roof. There is no peak — just one surface that is sloped to one side. Usually, when used on a house, a skillion roof is sloped from front to back. The advantage of this style is that all of the water runs off of one side of the roof. You really only need gutters along that back edge, which makes for a very clean-cut appearance. Skillion roofs are also cheap and easy to design, and they are easy to work on, making them a good choice for homeowners who like a DIY approach.
A Clerestory roof is basically two Skillion roofs put together. The house is built so that one section is higher than the other. Then, a shed roof is placed over each section, with each section angled in the opposite direction. Like Skillion roofs, Celestory roofs are easy to install and work on. However, Celestory roofs have a little more character and work well on larger homes where a single Skillion roof would not be feasible.
Box gable roofs work well for many homeowners, but if you're having a home custom-built, it pays to consider these alternatives as well. Talk to your roofing company to learn more.