Four Roof Add-On Options Scored by Appearance

As the housing market present challenges to buying new space, many home owners are choosing to add space to their existing home.


One important decision in adding space that extends outside the current footprint it the final appearance.


You want your addition or extra space to look like a natural part of your original home.


These four roof ideas offer different levels of satisfaction.



Shed roof


The shed roof is the simplest to construct. Often used for small side porches or mudrooms tacked on during small renovation projects, the shed roof is a simple roof solution.


Usually just one flat surface, with the raised end against the original structure, the shed roof is angled away from the house.


Sometimes there might be a gutter at the bottom, and other times the water is just allowed to drip off the edge.


A shed roof often looks like an afterthought, and is a clear giveaway that this part of the house was added later.


Final score: 3 out of 10





A dormer is added when expanding attic space or side closet space under an angled roof. One 90 degree section of the roof is raised, and a single projecting roof is angled over the top.


If perfectly centered, the dormer can look like a natural part of the original structure, though it often interrupts the natural shape of the original house.


Most people will quickly forget that there was ever just a normal sloping roof in the place. Once appropriate measures are taken to waterproof around the new angles created by the construction, this is a solid roof solution.


Final score: 8 out of 10




One of the most dramatic possibilities in a house renovation can be a new space topped with a gable or two.


A gable is similar to a dormer in that it extends or protrudes from the existing roof. However, a gable is peaked at the top, mimicking the overall shape of the roof as a whole. This allows the highest point of the room to extend to the window, giving a sense of a larger space inside.


A gable will also seek to imitate the slope of the roof overall, providing a pleasing balance of angles and appearances.


Final score: 10 out of 10



Roof extension


A roof extension, completed over the already gables section of the roof, is the one that most easily blends in with the original construction of the house.


At least in terms of the roofline it blends in.


However, since the gabled section is typically in the front or back of the house, instead of the sides, it is far less often the site of an extension.


This is because the front of the house and the back of the house often serve specialized purposes, and extending them is not as simple as doing a side addition or adding space on an upper floor.


This is a challenging build in terms of the floorplan, but a rewarding final product will look like it was always part of the house.


Final score: 9 out of 10

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