When reporting on the roof or other systems, it is important
to use the proper terminology and include accurate locations.
Inspectors should get into the habit of using standard
locating verbiage, for example: “left side of hip roof when viewed from
front,” or, better still: “west-facing plane of gable roof.”
Adopting this vocabulary makes the inspection report more understandable and
reduces the number of call-backs from clients seeking further explanations.
- A flat roof should not be
fully flat but pitched down in one or more areas for adequate drainage.
- A gable roof has two covered
planes with a center ridge. The planes may or may not be of the same pitch,
as with the “saltbox” style of home.
- A gambrel roof is similar to
a standard gable roof, but each of the covered sides has two planes.
- A hip roof has four planes
and meets either at a point or (more typically) a short ridge beam.
- A mansard roof has four
pitched planes with steep sides, and either a flat or lower-pitched, upper-most
- A shed roof has a single
plane, and is the roof most commonly used for additions to existing structures.
- A butterfly roof has two
planes angled down to the center.
- cupola: a small square tower built onto the roof’s peak
- turret: an inverted, cone-shaped roof, as one would find on top of
a tower structure
- pinnacle: a decorative feature atop a cupola or turret; quite often,
the location for a weather vane
- dormers: small-roofed projections perpendicular to the plane on
which they sit
widow’s walk: a viewing area typically atop the roof of a coastal
home, sometimes a cupola-like open structure, historically named as a place to
watch for ships returning from sea