Covering of any building by which its fabric and habitants are protected from the inclemencies of the weather. Roofs are here considered as to their form or type and finish, the structure of roofs being dealt with elsewhere. Cladding of roofs may be of metal (especially aluminium, copper, lead, iron, steel, and zinc), glass, slate, stone, thatch, tile, turf, wood, or other materials. Greek temples had marble roofs, the slabs worked to prevent leaks; the Romans used tiles; medieval churches were clad in lead, tiles, or thatched; and since C19 a variety of materials has been used. Barry's Palace of Westminster, for example, is clad in cast-iron panels.
Types of roof include:appentice:see lean-to;barrel:roof with internal appearance of a barrel-vault, like a cylinder;catslide:pitched roof covering one side of a roof and continuing at the same pitch over a rear extension, commonly found in Colonial architecture in New England (USA), where it is referred to as a saltbox. A catslide can also be the roof of a dormer pitching in the same direction but less steeply than the main roof;compass:see truss;cradle: see trusscurb:pitched gable-roof with the slopes broken to form two sets of planes on each side, the outer planes being steeper in pitch. Similar to a mansard roof, but with a curb or horizontal band with a vertical face at the junction between the two pitches;cut:see truss;double–:see truss;French:curb-roof with the sides set at very steep angles (almost vertical) and the pitched top part (gabled or hipped) almost flat;gable or pitched:commonest type with sloping sides meeting at a ridge and with a gable at each end;gambrel:in the USA curb roof with only the two sides sloping (i.e. a gabled curb-roof), but in Britain a hipped roof with a small gable or gablet under the ridge at one or both ends;half-hipped:pitched roof with gables terminating in hipped roofs;helm:with four sloping sides joining at the apex, like a pyramid, set on a square tower with gables the tops of which coincide with the lines of the junctions between the sides of the roof. The sloping sides sweep downwards over the raking tops of the gables, and terminate in points where the gables join;hipped:with four pitched slopes joining at hips, and without gables;lean-to:monopitched appentice, set against a higher wall, as over an aisle and against a clerestorey of a basilican church;M–shaped:with two parallel pitched roofs meeting in a valley or gutter;mansard:named after F. Mansart, a curb-roof with steeply pitched or curved lower slopes and pitched or hipped roof over, almost invariably with dormer-windows. Distinguished from the French roof in having a more steeply pitched upper part, and in the USA called gambrel;pavilion:hipped on all sides to have a pyramidal or almost pyramidal form, as pyramid-roof;penthouse:as lean-to, but not necessarily associated with a church, so a simple monopitched roof;pitched:as gable;pyramid:shaped like a pyramid or a hipped roof with a very short ridge so that the slopes almost meet at a point, as pavilion;ridge:any pitched roof with the sloping sides meeting at a ridge;saddleback:ordinary gable-roof on top of a tower;shed:as penthouse;single–framed:see truss;slab:flat roof consisting of one slab of concrete or of several concrete slabs joined together and spanning between walls;span:ridge roof of two equal slopes as distinct from a lean-to or penthouse-roof;suspended:web or webs hung on cable-nets stretched between heavy cables fixed to masts and the ground, as in Otto's work, called a tent-roof;tent:with a concave surface like a camp roof, or sloping inwards with a convex surface, such as the roof of a Regency balcony or a verandah;terrace:flat roof with imperceptible slope or fall, waterproofed, and permitting free use for sitting, etc.;trough:M-roof;valley:M-roof, or roof covering a building with projecting wings requiring valleys where the subsidiary roofs join the main roof.See also cruck; truss.