Roof shape types (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Building Architectural Styles Based on Roof Shapes

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Photo & sketch dictionary of roof architectural styles:

How to recognize residential building roof shapes, roof architectural styles, building siding materials, window types and systems, and roof dormer shapes and architectural styles.

We also recognize that not every building fits a perfect textbook name or class, building are mixed, mashed, and sometimes. We describe clues that can help sort out combined style buildings. Page top sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Relation of Roof Form to Architectural Style

One rapid means to tracking down the architectural style of a building is to look at the general building shape, starting with its roof. Using Field Guide to American Houses (see References) as a starting point, adding extensively from our own notes and photographs, we list below common roof forms and the architectural styles most likely to be associated with that roof design.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Roof Form Photo

Roof Form Name

Common Architectural Styles
that use this Roof Form

Justin Morrill Vermont (C) Daniel Friedman Centered Gable
Steep Pitch

Gothic Revival style
(left, Justin Morrill Smith Homestead, VT, 1840)


Vassar College Library (C) Daniel Friedman Centered Gable using perpendicular central element Gothic Revival style architecture
(left, English Perpendicular Gothic style, Vassar College Library, 1905, Poughkeepsie, NY, Allen & Collens Architects)
Rockefeller Hal Vassar College (C) Daniel Friedman Centered Gable
Moderate or Varied Slope
Colonial Revival style
Georgian style
(left, Georgian eclectic, Rockefeller Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, includes Tudor/Elizabethan elements, Edward York, Philip Sawyer, architects, 1897)
Adam style
Beaux Arts style
Italian Renaissance (C) Daniel Friedman Centered Gable
Low Pitch
Italianate style
Italian Renaissance
Stick style Cross-Gabled or gable front and wings roof form, steep sloped roof

Tudor style
Queen Anne (1875 - 1900)
Stick style (left, sketch)
Gothic style
Gothic Revival style
Cape Cod (Poughkeepsie NY)

Folk Victorian (C) Daniel Friedman Cross Gabled, moderate or varied pitch roof

Carpenter Gothic (1870 - 1910) (left, Rhinebeck NY)
Shingle style
National Folk style
Early Classical Revival style

(Photo wanted - Contact Us) Cross-Gabled low pitch roof Craftsman style architecture
Spanish Eclectic style
Greek Revival style architecture
Monterey style
Eyebrow window types (C) Daniel Friedman Dormer Roofs Roof dormers as architectural features are described separately at ROOF DORMER TYPES - Photo Guide
Pratt  House Vassar College (C) Daniel Friedman Front Gabled or Tri-Gable, steep pitch

Gothic Revival style (1835 - 1880)
Stick style architecture
Queen Anne style architecture
Tudor (left, uncommon, Pratt House, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY ca 1914, also see
Pratt House, additional view )

(Photo wanted - Contact Us) Front Gabled or Tri-Gabled, moderate or varied pitch National Folk style
Shingle style architecture
Folk Victorian style
Neoclassical style architecture
Colonial Revival (rare)
(Photo wanted - Contact Us) Front Gabled or Tri-Gabled, low slope Greek Revival (1815 - 1840)
Italianate style
Craftsman style
Spanish Eclectic (rare)
Timber frame (C) Daniel Friedman Side Gabled, steep pitch Tudor style architecture
Gothic Revival style
Stick style
Queen Anne style
French Colonial style
Postmidieval English / Timber Frame(Left, Stuttgart Germany, est. 1640)
Adam (Hudson NY, does this belong here?)
(Tudor Revival, Pratt House, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY ca 1914)
Swift Hall Vassar College (C) Daniel Friedman Side Gabled, moderate or varied slope

Cape cod (1710 - 1830 to present) (1940's Poughkeepsie NY)
Colonial (1690 - 1760)
Colonial Revival style
Federal (1780 - 1820)
Georgian (early: 1720 - 1760, late: 1760 - 1780)
(left, Swift Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY, York & Sawyer, 1900)
(also see Suffolk Resolves House, Milton MA)
Adam(Hudson NY, does this belong here?)
Early Classical Revival
Folk Victorian, Neoclassical, Shingle, National Folk, Pre-Railroad Folk
Modern Colonial (Poughkeepsie NY)

Craftsman (C) Daniel Friedman Side Gabled, low slope Craftsman (left, Poughkeepsie NY)
Spanish Eclectic
Italianate style (1845 - 1885)
Monterey style
Greek Revival style
Ductch Colonial style
Spanish Colonial style
Adam style, Hudson NY
Dome Roof (C) Daniel Friedman Domed Roofs, domes with surrounding flat or low sloped roofs on wings, Palladian windows, or
Geodesic domes
Palladian architecture (1650 - 1670, 1750 - 1820) (see Window Types),
Virgina (1809)
Geodesic dome (C) Daniel Friedman Domed Roofs, Geodesic Geodesic dome roofed modern geodesic dome structure, Holmes NY
Flat roof Buenos Aires (C) Daniel Friedman Flat Roofed buildings

Beaux arts style
Italian Renaissance style
Adam style (rare)
town house subtypes
Hispanic Southwest style
Straw-bale homes (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico)

International style architecture Vassar College (C) Daniel Friedman Flat Roofed, International style International architectural style, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Modernistic style architecture Vassar College (C) Daniel Friedman Flat Roofed, Modernistic  Modernistic architectural style, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Gambrel Roof kit home (C) Daniel Friedman Gambrel Roof Dutch Colonial style
(left, this is a kit home)
Shingle style architecture
Colonial Revival style architecture
Georgian style architecture
Dutch Colonial (C) Daniel Friedman Gambrel Roof, dormers Dutch Colonial style architecture(1940's Poughkeepsie NY)
Richardsonian Victorian Hipped Roof with Cross Gables

Queen Anne style

Richardsonan Romanesque (left, Romanesque revival, Ely Hall - Alumnae Gymnasium, William M. Tubby, architect, 1889, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY)
Hipped roof, cross gables, Sears Kit House
Hipped roof, cross gables, (Port Jervis NY)

Shingle style

(Photo wanted - Contact Us) Hipped Roof, with ridge, steep pitch French Eclectic style architecture
Chateauesque style architecture
French Colonial style architecture
Hudso Hipped Roof, with ridge, moderate or varied pitch

Colonial Revival style architecture
Georgian style architecture
Adam style
Early Classical Revival
Folk Victorian style architecture
Mission style architecture
Neoclassical style architecture
Varied pitch hip roof, Molde, Norway

Mission Prarie Vassar Campus (C) Daniel Friedman Hipped Roof, with ridge, low pitch Italianate style architecture
Adam style architecture
Greek Revival style architecture
Italian Renaissance style architecture
Spanish Eclectic style architecture
Prarie / Mission, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY
Main Vassar Campus (C) Daniel Friedman Mansard Roof

Second Empire (left, Main building, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY, James Renwick, 1865)
(Fishkill NY additional example)

Beaux Arts style

Richardsonian Romanesque style

Mansard style (1855 - 1885)

(Photo wanted - Contact Us) Pent or Visor Roofs

Georgian style
Colonial Revival style
Mission Style style

(Photo wanted - Contact Us) Pyramid Roof (hipped, no ridge), steep pitch Chateauesque style architecture
French Eclectic style architecture
Pyramid roof (C) Daniel Friedman Pyramid Roof (hipped, no ridge), moderate or varied pitch National Folk style architecture
Colonial Revival style architecture
Neoclassical style
Folk Victorian style
Mission style
(Photo wanted - Contact Us) Pyramid Roof (hipped, no ridge), low pitch Prarie style
Italianate style
Pyramid style low slope roof (Norway)
Quonset building (C) Daniel Friedman Quonset Roofs  Utilitarian buildings, 1940
(Photo wanted - Contact Us) Salt Box, varied pitch Saltbox (1700-1770)

Roof dormers as architectural features are described separately at Roof Dormer Types - Photo Guide. Readers should see ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID for illustrations of building architectural types shown below are provided courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.

Readers should see the additional photo and drawing guides to building architectural styles in the links listed at page top or at the MORE READING links at the bottom of this article see ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID for illustrations of building architectural types, roof shapes, dormers, windows, and other architectural features.

Also see AGE of a BUILDING, HOW to DETERMINE where we illustrate many building styles, materials, and components, as well as individual building component links listed at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article .

At Field Guides to North American House Architecture we list (and you can buy at Amazon) books we have found particularly helpful in identifying architectural styles, including: as this more extensive list of architectural styles: Folk Houses, Native American Houses (U.S.), Pre-Railroad houses, National Architectural Styles (U.S.), Colonial Houses (1600-1820), Postmedieval English, Dutch Colonial, French Colonial, Spanish Colonial, Georgian, Adam, Early Classical Revival, Romantic Houses (1820-1880), Greek Revival style architecture, Gothic Revival style architecture, Italianate style architecture, Exotic Revivals style architecture, Octagon houses, Victorian style architecture Houses (1860-1900), Second Empire style architecture, Stick style architecture, Queen Anne style architecture, Shingle style architecture, Richardsonian Romanesque style architecture, Folk Victorian style architecture, Eclectic Houses (1880-1940), Anglo-American style architecture, English style architecture, and French Period Houses, Colonial Revival style architecture, Neoclassical style architecture, Tudor style architecture, Chateauesque style architecture, Beaux Arts style architecture, French Eclectic style architecture, Mediterranean Period Houses style architecture, Italian Renaissance style architecture, Mission style architecture, Spanish Eclectic style architecture, Monterey style architecture, Pueblo Revival style architecture, Modern Houses including Prairie style architecture, Craftsman style architecture, Modernistic style architecture, International style architecture, and American Houses Since 1940: Modern style architecture & Neoeclectic style architecture as well as unusual houses such as Mongolian Cloud (photo, Kuehn) houses and Underground Houses (photo, Roy).

Details About Roof Shapes, Types, Materials

See the page top sketch of basic roof shapes, courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.

See our photo-table guide to the Relation of Roof Form to Architectural Style above.

For a full list of roofing materials, including roof covering identification photos, (asphalt shingle, cement asbestos shingles, roll roofing, slate roofing, wood shingle roofs, wood shake roofs, etc), & identification photos as well as roof inspection, diagnosis, repair, see ROOFING DIAGNOSIS INSPECTION & REPAIR


Continue reading at CHIMNEY ARCHITECTURAL STYLES - Photo Guide or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

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