Colonial Revival homes are one of the most common types of residential architecture found in the United States – and that's partly because the style is so open-minded. The characteristics for this style are fairly fluid with simple lines, a couple of stories, and possible ornamental additions. There are even three different roof types that can be found on a Colonial Revival: gabled roof, hipped roof, and gambrel roof.
If your Colonial Revival home is in need of a new roof, there are a few materials in particular you might want to discuss with your roofing repair contractor. The right choice for you will come down to the roof style on your home, your project budget, and your personal style.
Asphalt Shingles: Hipped and Gambrel
Asphalt shingles are low-cost, durable, and one of the most popular roofing materials in modern builds. The material is a great match for Colonial Revival homes with a hipped or gambrel roof but might not be as good of a match for a gabled roof.
Hipped roofs have four equal sides that slope gently upwards to meet at a low peak. The hipped roof has a lot of surface area, which can drive up costs unless you use a budget-friendly material like asphalt shingles. And the hipped roof's shape doesn't take on as much direct wind as the steeply sloping sides of the gabled roof, which is where asphalt shingles can be too lightweight and come off the roof in a windstorm.
Asphalt is also a good choice for a gambrel roof, which is also the type of roof commonly associated with barns. The gambrel has a large surface area, like the hipped roof, but not a lot of bracing, which means it is best to use a lighter roofing material.
Wood Shingles: Gabled, Hipped, and Gambrel
Wood shingles are a classic, historic roofing material that can add earthiness, rustic chic, or a storybook look to your house depending on the overall styling. The shingles are cut from cedar, stained one of a variety of natural colors, and then installed in an overlapping pattern that helps water whisk off the roof.
Wood is moderate in both weight and price and is thus a good choice for all of the Colonial Revival roof styles, if your budget allows. The wood shingles are a bit more high maintenance than asphalt and tile due to the potential for weather damage, but regular checks and spot maintenance can mitigate this problem.
Slate Tiles: Hipped
Hipped roofs are the only one of the three Colonial Revival styles that have a great deal of bracing. If you have a hipped roof and your heart is set on slate as a roofing material, you should find the two a decent match.
Slate is elegant, pricey, but low maintenance. The natural stone colored tiles can be arranged in brick-like patterns, which can prove especially enticing if you have brickwork on your siding or ornamental elements.
There is a possibility that you could use slate on a gabled or hipped roof. But you will need to consult with your roofing repair contractors to see how much bracing exists and whether more bracing could be added to support the slate weight.