How to Choose the Perfect Modern Roof

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Pitched, flat, butterfly or skillion – whichever roof type you choose for your house, it’s essential to make sure the style works holistically with your final house design. Aside from well, putting a roof over your head, today’s modern roof designs can reduce energy costs, improve drainage, increase natural light, and add a sense of contemporary grandeur to a home. Let’s not forget about the all-important aesthetic appeal of a house and how your roof style fits in with other design aspects such as exterior walls, windows, verandahs, and kerb appeal.

We’ve collated the top five modern roof types to make your decision nice and simple.


Also referred to as a gable or gabled roof, pitched roofs are one of the more popular roofing styles in Australia and often seen on modern farmhouses and Scandi style homes. As the name suggests, a pitched roof is recognised by its distinct centre pitch where two symmetrical roof panels meet. Aside from being functional, easy to install and relatively cost-effective, pitched roofs allow for greater attic space compared to flat roof styles, and can increase airflow and energy efficiency in a home when built with vaulted ceilings. Pitched roofs also allow for greater water drainage.

linea-moderncoastal-glennhaven-TBRphoto-jameshardie_19_wgpure Three Birds Renovations chose a striking pitched roof to add a modern feel to this coastal-farmhouse renovation.


While also technically a pitched roof, skillion roofs differ from traditional pitched roofs with a triangular profile as they only have a single flat roof surface pitched at an angle. Sometimes referred to as a shed roof or lean-to roof, the skillion design is popular in contemporary house designs for its architectural flair and unique silhouette. Skillion roof profiles are a great option when building a house extension.

matrix-modern-_williamstown-jameshardie_4 A skillion roof plus Matrix™ Cladding adds a striking contemporary edge to this Melbourne home.


Also falling into the pitched roof category, butterfly roofs are characterised by their v-shape roof construction of two roof panels joining in the middle but in the opposite direction of a triangle pitch. The butterfly roof design is popular on modern eco-friendly homes as the v-shape construction allows for water collection systems and solar panels to be easily integrated.


Flat roofs sit horizontally on top of a home and have very little pitch in their shape. As flat roofs are relatively simple in their design, they are cost-effective, easy to install and widely available. Unlike pitched roofs however, flat roofs can be a problem when it comes to water drainage, leaking and moisture retention if not adequately waterproofed. Space is the most desirable pro of a flat roof in that you don’t have to worry about upstairs bedrooms with extreme pitched ceilings and walls, and the extra space available on the roof can be used for a rooftop terrace or garden.

axon-midcenturymodern-quindalup-huxley-jame-hardie_6 A flat roof is perfect for achieving a mid-century modernist look!


Asymmetrical in its design, a saltbox roof (also known as a catslide roof) has two roof panels joined in the middle, but the posterior panel is longer than the anterior panel. Similar to the lean-to roof style, saltbox roofs were designed to extend the roofline and thus increase the amount of interior space. Saltbox roofs are easy to install when working with an existing house as the extended posterior roof panel is merely an extension and the whole roof doesn’t need to be replaced. Saltbox roofs are also favoured for their excellent drainage and resistance to corrosion.

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