Answering Your Questions About Roofing

Tips for Identifying a Craftsman Home and Choosing the Best Roofing Material

by Donald Evans

Identifying a home's architectural style involves knowing the details that can help you identify one style compared to other similar styles. An example would be the Craftsman home, which can resemble a Cape Cod at a glance but has its own distinct style. Knowing the Craftsman's details can help you choose the best roof-replacement material when working with your contractors on a roof repair.

What are some tips for identifying a Craftsman home—and what are the best roofing materials for the style?

Identify: a Craftsman

The Craftsman has a simple, squared build with one to one-and-a-half stories. The taller Craftsman homes often feature dormers on the upper story as a way to add more living space. Siding materials include a blend of wood, brick, and stucco, and the front of the house is wrapped with a long, roofed front porch. Simple columns support the porch roof and serve as one of the only pieces of ornamentation alongside some wooden beam trim along the upper story.

A Craftsman typically has a roof in the low-sloped, modified gable style. The style only has two sides that slope slowly down from the peak until reaching the overhanging eaves of the home. Combining this low-sitting roof style with the siding materials can help guide you toward the best roofing-material choices.

Best Roofing: Wood Shakes

The wooden elements of the siding and trim are some of the most eye-catching parts of a Craftsman. You can mirror that material onto the roof with wood roofing in a stain color that complements rather than matches the color of the siding wood. Wood roofing comes in two different styles, but it's the thicker, rough-hewn wooden shakes that add the most charm to a Craftsman home.

The shakes can add dimension and a cottage look to the low-slung gable roof, which can look overly plain with a flatter, sleeker roofing material like wooden shingles. Keeping the colors complementary rather than matching ensures the coloration doesn't wash out your home.

Shakes do require a bit more maintenance than many other roofing materials because wood can become damaged due to repeated large temperature variations and potential insect infestations. But your roofing contractors can advice you on a maintenance routine and offer tips on how to keep your roof in peak health and keep up with roof repair.

Best Roofing: Asphalt Shingles

Do you want to save money or maintenance time that doesn't make wood seem like the best option? Asphalt shingles can offer a similar look and texture, right down to the (artificial) wood grain, for a lower price and no upkeep.

Asphalt shingles can prove a bad match for traditional gables, which have steeply sloped sides, due to the risk of wind catching under the shingles and causing damage. But the Craftsman has a low-sloped gable roof that minimizes wind-damage risk regardless of windbreaks around your home.