Butterflies, Crickets, and Our Roof

Besides a foundation, the roof may be the most important part of a house. Modern houses tend to have really slight slopes to the roof, probably influenced by mid-century designs. Our roof is drawn on paper with a 1:12 pitch, which is in the category that roofers refer to as flat.

We’ve always liked the look of our roof on our drawings, but after talking with our contractor, we have come to understand that in real life, this roof slope over such a large area can be problematic for leaks, construction (only certain materials can be used to build it), and in many places it isn’t even legal. In fact, our roofing contractor won’t even agree to build the house unless we increase the pitch to 2:12 or consider a butterfly roof (see below).

image from Genite

Butterfly roof image from Prairie Design Build

We don’t have a problem with either of these options, because more than anything we don’t want leaks, but our architect does, citing that it will significantly change the overall design of the house. Changing the roof to a higher pitch would mean more facia in the front, like this:

(Keep in mind that these drawings of the roof were done by me and are approximate and not all that accurate, as I’m no roofing expert at all, but you get the picture.)

Changing the roof to a butterfly style might be the best option for keeping the basic look of the front of the house, as a cricket could be put in the middle, and each side of the roof would flare up, like this:

Presently, it’s a standoff between form and function, but ultimately function has to win when building a house…


One thought on “Butterflies, Crickets, and Our Roof

  1. Pingback: Up on the Rooftop « Rock n Roll Problems

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