Roofing, Gazebos and Other Structures

Roofing quality and cost vary depending on the type of material, fabrication and installation. The load capacity of your roofing structure determines what types of roofing you can use. Roof system consists of trusses or roof joists and rafters, plywood (usually with radiant barrier), and roofing tiles or shingles. Roof repairs may involve the replacement of structural lumber, plywood, shingles and flashing around chimneys, skylights, valleys and pipes penetrating the roof. The structures below may need a little more done than just a new roof…

The photo below shows the various elements of a typical residential roof system:


Roofing costs vary greatly depending on the type of material used:
Click here to enlarge image

Special thanks to FIXR for the chart.

Experts recommend checking the attic or crawlspace once a year and after any major rainstorm for leaks and water damage. Closely examine all areas with any flashing (the metal or plastic weather stripping around chimneys, skylights, pipes, vents, roof planes, eves and fascias) because these are usually where leaks develop.  Check your roof surface yearly during good weather for any rusted or deteriorated flashing, and check for any missing, eroded, loose, cracked, warped or otherwise damaged shingles, as well as the overall condition of your roof.

Roof types

Most roof variations are derived from the two major roof types – Gable roof and Hip roof, the only exception being the flat roofs. Roof price depends on your roof type because each roof type has different difficulty of installation and the amount of waste associated with each type of roofing material.

Gable Roofs

Gable roof is the simplest and most common roof type. It is a two sloped roof and it looks like an open book turned upside down. The name “gable” comes from a roof detail, also called the rake, which is the sloped edge of the roof that you see when standing on the side of a house. Gable roofs with shallow pitch have the lowest amount of wasted roofing materials and are the fastest to install. The roofing becomes complicated when you add more structures to the gable roof, such as dormers / shed dormers, valleys, etc., and it also increases the amount of flashing and the time required for the detail roof work.

Hip Roofs

Hip roof resembles a pyramid, which has four roof planes connecting on the corners of each side of the roof. Typical hip roof has 2 triangular roof sections on the shorter sides and 2 trapezoid roof sections on longer sides of the roof. A square hip roof is a perfect pyramid with 4 identical triangular sides.

Hip and gable roof with the same ground dimensions and roof pitch will have the exact same geometrical size, though you may think that the hip roof area will be larger. However, the amount of roofing materials and the cost of hip roof installation will be about 15% higher than the same size gable roof.

Mansard Roofs

Mansard roof is a hip roof with a high roof pitch (usually 18 over 12 pitch or more), with the top of it “cut off” and replaced with a smaller pitch hip roof or a flat roof. Many older multi-story buildings have a flat / mansard roof combination in urban settings, where it was used mostly for decorative purposes. Mansard roof installation costs are higher than other types of roofs because of a lot of details, such as multiple window openings and other decorative details common in 19th and early-to-mid 20th century.

Shed roofs

Shed roof is basically a half of the gable roof, and has only one roof section or plane, and no real ridge. Shed roofs are common on small structures such as storage sheds, and house additions attached to an existing wall of a house.


Dormer is a roof structure which is attached to an existing roof plane, usually in the center of a roof, and it looks like a small house protruding through a roof. A typical dormer has two slopes perpendicular to the roof plane it is on, which creates two valleys where the roofs meet, and a roof to wall connection flashing on the sides and at the bottom of the dormer. Dormers increase the interior space of a finished attic, as well as add more light to the room by having front windows.

Shed dormer is has just one roof plane, parallel to the roof section through which it protrudes. Shed dormer roof slope is considerably lower than that of a roof section it is attached to. Shed dormers are used to dramatically increase the interior space in the attic, making it virtually the same as other rooms in the house, with the same ceiling height. Shed dormer leaks are caused by using inappropriate roofing materials such as roofing shingles on a low sloped shed dormer roof. To prevent leaks keep a shed dormer roof slope at 3 or more and use appropriate roofing materials for low sloped roofs such as a flat roof membrane or a metal roof.

Sloped Roofs

30-year asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing material, mainly popular because of its low cost and low installation price. Average life expectancy of a properly installed asphalt shingles system over an adequately ventilated deck varies from 15 to 20 years depending on the region and the location of the roof.

Metal roofing

Three most common types of metal roofs are standing seam, aluminum and steel interlocking shingles

Standing seam roof

Standing seam vertical metal panels are available in steel or aluminum and are typically coated with a special protective coating. They are also available in copper or zinc. Standing seam panels are usually 16″ wide and are cut to the required length aither when produced in a factory, or on site by a roll forming machine. Panels MUST be installed over an even, clean deck with a proper underlayment. Any old asphalt shingles must be removed before the metal roofing panels are installed, to prevent the “telegraphing” effect of shingles punching through the metal. Panels are attached with clips and screws (for 1.5” – 2″ lock panels) and with nails when a “nailing strip” profile is used. Most common types of standing seam are Snap-Lock and Mechanical Lock architectural standing seam panels.

Steel standing seam

Two major types of galvanization are commonly used in metal roofing industry for standing seam panels – Galvalume and G-90 steel. Galvalume uses zinc-aluminum coating while G-90 uses mainly zinc. Steel panels are low cost, durable and flexible and when properly installed will  last many years.

Copper standing seam

Copper works much better than steel since it will not rust even if a panel has deep scratches, which is very common during manufacturing and installation of standing seam roofing materials. Copper is also the best choice near the ocean because unlike steel it will not be subject to rapid salt corrosion in the coastal areas. Standing seam are not the same as corrugated metal roofing panels. Standing seam utilizes concealed fasteners, while corrugated steel roofs are installed with the exposed screws directly through the panels, which dramatically increases the leak possibility.

Interlocking metal shingles

Steel and aluminum interlocking metal shingle offer more flexibility for roof installation, and they perform much better in flashing detail due to their low profile without ribs.

Interlocking shingles also have a different look and feel. You can choose a Slate or Cedar shingle look so your home will not look like a farm house or a barn, and you can combine different colors and shades of shingles and trim / flashing metal to create an even better, more alive look. Interlocking shingles are the least expensive metal roofs available. Due to smaller physical size of the panel, metal does not need to be as thick as that used in long and wide standing seam panels, and they will last just as long as standing seam roof

Low-slope and flat roofs

IB flat roof, a premium grade PVC single-ply roofing membrane uses hot-air fusion welding to attach individual membrane sheets together with permanent seams. IB roof provides long-term protection for low-slope and flat roofs, and is perfect for any type of roof penetrations / obstructions. A fully weldable set of roofing accessories includes inside and outside corner flashings, 7 different standard sizes of pipe flashing ranging from 1/4 inch to 1 + foot in diameter, multiple types of roof drains, wall scuppers and overflow protection drains with back flow prevention. IB roof also features PVC coated drip-edge metal to which the main roof can be welded. The only reason this roof would leak is an installation error, which is easy to fix by re-welding the seam. Any physical damage can easily be repaired by cleaning the damaged area with warm water (or acetone when extremely dirty) and by simply welding a patch over damaged area.

IB Roofs are also called COOL roofs since they are white and contain special “cool roof” pigments to reflect more solar heat, and their life expectancy is 30+ years.

While most roofing contractors will recommend a new roof when you have a leak, we are often able to engineer a solution that will enable you to continue with your existing roof for years to come. Each of our technicians have many years of roofing experience and we can solve virtually any roof problem.

Gazebos, cabanas, Tiki huts and palapas

Gazebos, palapas, cabanas and light roofing material covered trellises are becoming more popular as people prefer shade while enjoying the outdoors. Both natural and faux tropical materials are used to create an exotic Hawaiian or Tahitian feel. We can install natural or faux bamboo and natural or synthetic thatch roof for your gazebo, Tiki hut, palapa, cabana orcovered trellis with the first of it’s kind synthetic thatched roof. We also install “Tiki-in-a-box™” tiki huts that offer a realistic permanent roof designed specifically for tiki huts, cabanas, palapas and gazebos.

We can design and build any type of structure you want, from simple outdoor huts to fully functional cabanas with all amenities of a regular home. “Cabana” originates from 1830’sSpainand originally they were tent-like structures that served as temporary add-ons to residences. Now they are often standalone, adding a sense of style and artistry to outdoor spaces. Beach cabana conjures up the images this word is trying to convey – pool side or ocean side relaxation, easy living under a brilliant sun, providing just the right amount of sun protection and shade. We reach for excellence in cabana design and ambiance which we bring to a previously unavailable level of quality and craftsmanship.

Roof maintenance

Always immediately remove any objects that get trapped on your roof surface or around any penetrations. Regularly clean all rain gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris and for any mineral deposits which could indicate the erosion of asphalt shingles.

Most homeowners don’t inspect the roof themselves because roofs can be pitched at very steep angles – a major challenge for those afraid of heights and a very dangerous work. Inspecting the roof from an attic or crawlspace full of spiders and other creepy crawly inhabitants is not too attractive either, and  most people don’t know exactly  what to look for. Leaks can be hard to track – water travels downward and the damage can be far from the actual source  of the leak. Hiring an expert to inspect the roof for you is the best choice you can make because of the many issues. Before you decide what roof material is best for you review the roofing material comparison chart:

Roofing Issues

Of all the problems you can encounter around the house, roofing problems are by far the trickiest. Leaks can develop and remain unnoticed for years, causing rot, mold, material disintegration, warping and other expensive damage

Solar roofing can save you money by heating your water or producing electricity. Solar energy is a renewable resource and it is ecologically friendly. Check to see if state or federal solar roofing credits or rebates are available in your area.

We offer full service, unbiased roof inspections with a detailed report of our findings, complete with recommended maintenance and repair suggestions.



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