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Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

Here’s one interpretation of that design concept, scaled down for a housing development in Gainesville, Florida.

And an even more basic example with a flat roof in Gulfport, Florida.

    There are several reasons, besides the fact that flat and low slope roofs went of out style, that they are rarely used for newer homes. Here’s our list:

  1. 1)Air conditioning and heating ducts are usually installed in the attic, but no space for them in a flat or low-slope roof home. Ducts have to be installed in dropped soffits, usually in hallways, around the home. This severely limits where air conditioning vents (registers) can be located.

  2. 2)The space required for ceiling insulation is limited or non-existent. Energy costs were cheaper back then, and it was not so important, but complying with today’s energy code standards requires plenty of room for insulation below the roof.

  3. 3)Homes with a sloped roof can use shingles and other roofing materials that overlap downhill to make them water-resistant. They depend on the rain water flowing downward to be effective. Flat roofs have to endure standing water, called ponding by roofers, and must be sealed watertight. They are more expensive to install and leak-prone as they age. Here’s an example of ponding on a flat roof below.

  4. 4)A sloped roof, like in the photo below, makes any house look taller and look more impressive.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection


More Blogs on Similar Subjects:

  1. Are roof trusses better than roof rafters (stick framing)?

  2. How do I clean up rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) urine and droppings in attic insulation?

  3. How can I be sure my roofing contractor got a permit?

  4. How can I make my roof last longer?

  5. What is the cost difference between asphalt shingle and metal roofing?

  6. What’s the difference between a roof inspection and a roofing estimate?

  7. What is roof pitch?

  8. What’s the difference between “composite” and regular wood siding?

  9. Should I buy a fixer-upper?

  10. What are “shiners” and why did they make me lose my insurance discount?

  11. What do you look for when you inspect a roof?

  12. Why does my insurance company want a roof letter?

  13. I saw some staining on the ceiling. Do you think the roof is okay?

  14. How do I find out the age of a roof?

  15. What is a TPO roof?

  16. What is a “cool roof”?

  17. What are the roof sheathing requirements for a roof replacement in Florida?

  18. Can metal roofing be used on a slow slope/pitch roof?

  19. How many layers of roofing are allowed on a home?

  20. What is the average lifespan of a house?

  21. What is the difference between galvanized and galvalume metal roofing?

  22. Does it cost more to roof a hip roof than a gable roof?

  23. What is fiber reinforced concrete?

  24. What is the difference between a clip, single wrap, and double wrap for the wind mitigation form?

  25. What is a “continuous load path”?

  26. Is a ridge board/beam required for a roof framed with rafters?

  27. What are the most common problems with wood roof trusses?

  28. What is the difference between roofing felt and synthetic underlayment?

  29. Why is a popped nail in a shingle roof a problem? How do I fix it?

  30. Why is it a mistake to replace a roof and not replace its flashings?

  31. What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic?

  32. What is a “square” of roofing?

  33. What is the life expectancy of an asbestos cement shingle roof?

  34. Why is the attic painted silver?

  35. How can I tell if a roof has more than one layer of shingles?

  36. What is an SPF roof?

Renderng by architect Ralph Rapson of “Greenbelt House,” part of the 
Case Study House program, initiated by Arts & Architecture magazine, 1945