Screen Porch with Hip Roof adjoins Patio Deck, Project by Archadeck

Screen Porch with Hip Roof adjoins Patio Deck, Project by Archadeck

In our post last week, “Screen Porch Ceiling Options” we discussed flat and elevated ceilings, open and exposed rafters, typical building materials and extra amenities such as lights with fans.

So today let’s ‘cover’ the outside of the ceiling — the roof.

OK.  Bad pun.  Groans are in order and back to the topic at hand – screen porch roofs.

For the last several years, screened porches — with or without a deck — are uber-trendy.  Porches are simply a fantastic and cost-effective way to incorporate permanent shade and protection, creating an outdoor room with indoor comforts.

Screen Porch with Shed Roof by Archadeck

Screen Porch with Shed Roof by Archadeck

And it all starts with the roof.

So naturally, a frequently asked question for Archadeck is:

“Which roof design is best for my screened-in porch project?”  And the answer is… “It depends.”

But first let’s outline and define the basic roof options:

  • Shed
  • Gable
  • Hip

A shed roof is a low roof connection with a simple design.  It’s flat but slopes downward, and in only one direction, to draw water away from the home.  A shed roof, however, can be combined with a decorative ‘faux’ gable for extra pizzazz.

Screened Porch with Gable Roof by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Screened Porch with Gable Roof by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

A true gable roof is a proportional triangular shape with varying degrees of pitch — subtle to steep.  Gable roofs are considered a classic and traditional design with two descending slopes.

A hip roof is characterized by three or more sides which gently slant downward from a common point to the walls. Hip roofs are symmetrical and are pyramid-ish.  (See top photo)

Roofing selection is more complicated than merely style, though.  The ‘right’ roof to use is always the one that best fits your existing home and your family budget.

A screen porch roof design will also hinge on:

  • technical considerations including your home’s existing roof lines and how it will tie-in with the new construction
  • aesthetic considerations for size, span and light
  • budgetary considerations and bottom-line costs
Screened Porches with Roof Tie-ins by Archadeck

Screened Porches with Roof Tie-ins by Archadeck

Existing Roof Line and Tie In

Builders will look at the back of your house and its existing roof structure to help determine which type of screened porch roof design will work best.

For example, if your home has a one-story layout, your contractor may be able to use a sidewall connection or a roof tie-in.

If your home includes more than one story, the window configuration is also key.  Roofs must adjoin a house between the first floor and second floor windows:  they cannot intersect a window-line.

Screened Porch with a Sidewall Connection and Open Gable Roof, by Archadeck

Screened Porch with a Sidewall Connection and Open Gable Roof, by Archadeck

Size, Span and Light

The size of a screened porch may also help to determine which roof is most desirable.  For example if a porch is wide and narrow, a sharp gable may look a bit out of place by giving the appearance of a church steeple.  In this case, a shed roof may be best.

But if natural sunlight is hampered by a porch addition, then a gable roof might just be the ticket because open gables allow for more light.

In other words, the ‘visuals’ of vertical and horizontal lines as well as sunlight direction are important considerations too.

Budgets

Last but certainly not least is cost because, face it, costs are a consideration for most folks.

Shed Roof with Decorative Gable for Screen Porch by Archadeck

Shed Roof with Decorative Gable for Screen Porch by Archadeck

As a rule of thumb, a shed roof is less expensive than a gable roof and a hip roof is more costly than both.  Hip roofs provide plenty of aesthetic appeal but are more complicated to build and therefore more expensive.

A happy compromise for many homeowners is a combination roof:  a flat roof with a small ornamental gable.

Key Takeaway:

Obviously, there’s a lot to think about when designing and building a screened porch for your home. So when it comes to deciding on a roof, as well as all other aspects of any outdoor structure, it’s usually best to consult with a pro.

Elevated Screened Porch with Sidewall Connection and Shed Roof by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Elevated Screened Porch with Sidewall Connection and Shed Roof by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

If you’re considering a screened porch addition for your St. Louis home, please consider Archadeck.

We can help you plan and design an outdoor living space that will suit your individual style and functional needs.

Then we’ll build it, on time and within your budget too.

Find samples of our completed projects for homeowners throughout the St. Louis area including West County, South County, St. Charles, St. Charles County, by visiting our local website west-county.archadeck.com.

For even more ideas, follow this link to download a free copy of our online magazine, Loving Outdoor Living.

And when you’re ready, just give us a ring 636.227.0800 to schedule a free, onsite project estimate.

If you live outside of the St. Louis Missouri area, go to archadeck.com to find a location nearest you.

Sources:  Archadeck Outdoor Living, Beautiful Backyard Blog, Columbus Decks and Porches by Archadeck, Archadecks in Boston, Charlotte, Kansas City, Northern Virginia, North Carolina