What type of roof is this?

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May 20, 2021 at 10:57 a.m.


Q: Hi, I saw this roof in the neighborhood and had never seen anything like it. Is this a certain style or have a certain use?

What type of roof?


From Jana Zavala with HER Roofing: 

The roof style in the picture is (probably) original to the home. However, the roof (most likely) was originally wood cedar shingles. The way the shingles are ‘rolled’ around the edges is purely decorative (cottage style).

I bet, the owner chose to go with composition asphalt shingles when reroofing the house. The shingles appear to be a standard 3-tab shingle. 

There is a special way of installing wood cedar shingles that ‘rolls’ around the edges and it is very beautiful when installed properly. 

From Wendy Marvin with Matrix Roofing: 

This is called a “cottage style” edge.  Very popular in Europe and on some older homes in our area.  It’s purely decorative.  There’s a fabulous one in Maywood Park in Portland OR. 

It was originally created for use with cedar shingles.. so the adaptation to regular asphalt shingles isn’t perfect.  Most installers who do this, would “steam” the shingles to get this bend to happen. 

We have very few installers in our area who would do this due to the liability of the installation.  I know of a few who do this on the East Coast. 

I’d mostly be concerned about the shingle manufacturer warranty if I did this on a home.  There appears to be no straight forward answer about coverage or if this “use” voids their warranty.

Hope this helps!

From Stephanie Baird with Bliss Roofing: 

It is standard 3 tab with a rounded cottage gable. Very expensive!!!

From John Stout with Go Roof Tune Up

Thank You for your most interesting Question.  This Roof is interesting.  The Rolled Rake apparently has no purpose except it has a very crafty look.  Many houses were built in the early 20th Century with this Rolled Rake look.

This was originally done with Cedar Shingles.  Carpenters would build a round rake with sheathing.  The Shinglers would either cook the shingles in boiling water (or very hot water) or sometimes even pressure cook with steam.  This allowed the shingles to be bendable and Would conform to the round rake.  It was necessary to use the highest grade cedar shingles.  The straight grain would allow the super wet shingles to bend on the rolled rake.

As the shingles dried, they took on the shape of the rolled rake as intended.  This was actually very functional,  It was not necessary to paint or maintain the barge rafter.  It was completely covered by roof shingles.   And it looked Outstanding.

In later years, it was necessary to re-roof them.  (even the finest wood shingles do not last forever)    As these houses needed to be re-roofed, the choice material is Quality Modified Bitumen Mineral Surfaced Shingles manufactured by major shingle manufacturers in the United States.  These Shingles conform to the Roled Rake.  If it is done correctly, it looks Great.  (If not done correctly, it looks tacky).

I do not know what  Architectural Category this style fits into.  As Shinglers, we just called them “Fairy Tale Houses with Rolled Rakes”.  That was descriptive enough for us!

Thank You Again for the Good Question.


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