2 Questions When Choosing A Roofing Material For A California Bungalow Home

California bungalow was an architectural style that exploded in the 1920s United States and has since had a revival. The homes can vary slightly in the details but have similar basics, which include low, sloping roofs and small front porches. The details and the associated pros and cons are what can help determine the right roofing material for your roof renovation or repairs.

Here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself before you meet with roofing contractors to discuss replacing the roofing material on your California bungalow home.

Does Your Home Have Gables or Hips?

California bungalows tend to have one of two types of roofs: gabled or hipped. Gabled features two sloping sides that meet at a peak. A hipped roof has four sides that have a gentler slope than the gable and a less pronounced peak.

What's the difference between a gabled roof and a hipped roof when it comes time to choose roofing materials? The hipped roof is more stable due to the additional sides and additional bracing underneath. So you don't need to worry about the weight of your roofing material as much with a hipped roof as you would with a gable. Weight is a particular concern with gabled roofs in areas that receive frequent heavy snowfall, which can stay on the gable despite its downwards-sloping sides and add more weight.

Heavy roofing materials like clay tiles or slate tiles would be a better bet on a hipped roof. But that doesn't mean these materials are completely out of play if you have a gabled bungalow roof. Ask your roofing contractor to check your existing bracing to see if the roof can support the material or if additional bracing could be added to make slate or clay possible.

Does Your Home Have a Dormer?

California bungalows often have a dormer, which is a windowed protrusion through a forward-facing part of the roof. The dormer offers additional inside living space and natural light. A dormer also breaks up the line of the roof, which adds more architectural interest.

The presence of a dormer means a couple of things. First, you will need to make sure you replace the dormer's roof with the same material used on the main roof since both will be visible from the street. Second, the areas where the dormer meets the main roof needs to be thoroughly waterproofed.

If the dormer meets the main roof at sharp corners, your roofer should use thorough waterproofing. Using metal roofing all over both roofs on your bungalow can ensure the corners of the dormer, and the hipped roof if you have that style, are all very well waterproofed. Or your roofer can use malleable metal flashing under your chosen roofing material to add extra waterproofing only to the tricky corners.