Skillion Roof: Pros, Cons, Types, & Their Aesthetics
Author: Omar Alonso | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
When it comes to roofing, many materials and construction techniques can be used. One such option is skillion roofs. What is a skillion roof? A skillion roof is constructed of several sections that overlap and form a flat surface at varying degrees of pitch. This means it has multiple, separate roof surfaces.
A skillion roof may be covered in asphalt, gravel, or other materials to protect it from the elements. It may also be coated with clear vinyl coating, also called a clear coat, for additional protection.
Skillion roofs are popular for many homeowners, providing good weather protection and insulation while looking modern and sleek. A skillion roof typically has three or more triangular-shaped gables, with each gable having a ridge running along its length.
While this type of roof is typically easy to install, there are a few things you need to know about them to make sure your roof is well insulated.
Advantages of a Skillion Roof
Skillion roofs have many advantages, from being easy to install, affordable, and easy to repair to giving the house a modern look and allowing for energy-efficient features.
An advantage of the skillion roof is that water drainage is facilitated by having more than one low side, typically with a waterproof membrane. This protects the home from water damage and leaks by keeping the water off the roof rather than soaking into the house.
By having more than one pitched surface it minimizes the travel distance of much of the rainwater as well. The skillion roof pitch is typically between 5 and 12.5 degrees.
Skillion roofs are also easy to construct due to their structure. A skillion roof can be designed to be modular, so it can be constructed in stages and then stacked and fastened to make a larger roof. These simple types of trusses make it very efficient when it comes to construction and very economical. The skillion roof frame also makes it easier to add skylights and solar panels to the roof later.
Skillion roofs are often affordable due to their efficient construction, making them a popular choice for homeowners. They use fewer materials, which keeps the cost down, and are modular, so more of them can be constructed with the same materials and even shipped in already partially assembled.
Has a Long Lifespan
Skillion roofs have a typical lifespan, typically lasting at least 30 years if not much longer. This is due to the nearly perpendicular angle of the roof, which resists pressure from the elements and keeps the materials from wearing out more quickly. The roof also makes the structure more airtight and aerodynamic, so wind slides across it instead of pushing against it.
Skillion roofs are also a great choice for homeowners who want to keep their homes well-insulated. They’re typically made with various insulating materials, making them good for keeping the roof cool during the summer and warm during the winter.
Easy to Repair
Skillion roofs are also easy to repair because their structure allows multiple easy ways to fix any possible damage. They can also be installed quickly in case a new home is needed. Even repairing and replacing any types of gutters is simple since they're on the lower end and run in a straight line along a single roof edge.
A good privacy feature of skillion roofs is that, unlike a flat roof, there are no sides to the roof that can be seen from the street. This gives the homeowner a sense of privacy and keeps the elements out.
Skillion roofs are also great for saving energy. With a skillion roof, it’s easier to insulate and seal the roof, so less energy is lost. Also, adding solar panels to a skillion roof makes it even more energy-efficient.
A skillion roof design also has many modern elements. With its shape and modern look, the roof looks great with both modern and old homes. With its easy-to-repair, expandable, and efficient features, a skillion roof makes a great choice for a well-designed home.
Often used in both Victorian homes and older homes that have had a flat roof replaced, skillion roofs have stood the test of time. People will now build windows into the flat face created by the pitched surface, making them somewhat resemble a clerestory roof.
Disadvantages of a Skillion Roof
Despite its many advantages, skillion roofs also have disadvantages. These are the main two.
Not Suitable for All Climates
Wind damage is a big concern when it comes to skillion roofs. This can cause the roof to buckle and sag, possibly with the concrete cracking. They’re also not the best for regions with strong rain or hurricanes because they may not stay fixed like other roofs.
Potentially No Attic Space
When a skillion roof is set on a large house, the roof may overhang the house on each end, which could eliminate any space available for an attic. The roof angle may also be too steep for an attic to be built underneath. Homeowners should decide how important an attic is to them before deciding on skillion roof houses.
Types of Skillion Roofs
There are four different types of skillion roofs, which are named after the different angles they have. Each type of skillion roof is good for different climates and helps with different tasks.
Butterfly Skillion Roof
It’s distinctive for its two roof surfaces sloping down the opposing perimeters to a valley near the roof's interior. The butterfly wing shape of the angle is what gives it its name. It’s very popular in 20th-century England.
Oval Skillion Roof
The oval skillion roof is curved, usually, on two sides of a building, that slopes steeply downwards at its edge. It allows for a bigger indoor space in the home. It’s popular in hot climates where the roofs can be used as roofs and walls during the day and open for cooling at night.
Split Skillion Roof
The split skillion roof combines a traditional gable roof and a skillion roof. It has become one of the more common roofs to see in modern times. The gable roof slopes on one side of the house, while the skillion roof slants on the opposite side. The key difference here is the height between the two roof slopes.
Multiple Skillion Roof
The multiple skillion roof uses the benefits of several skillion roof surfaces to build a more stable roof that is more waterproof. The design is sleeker than other skillion roofs, and because of the length of the slant, the space for the house below is also larger.
Skillion Roof Materials
A skillion roof can be made out of a variety of different materials, from your typical wood truss with plywood over the top or even corrugated steel panels. The shingles are typically made of wood, metal, or asphalt. The stucco, which holds the shingles together, can be made of cement or metal.
Wood shingles are typically cut from cedar and pine. Cedar shingles are longer and resist being warped or torn down in hard use. Pine shingles are cheaper and lighter but are shorter and less weather-proof. However, wood shingles may need to be replaced more frequently than metal shingles, so they could be more expensive in the long run.
Metal shingles are often made out of galvanized iron. Metal is stronger and sturdier than wood, and metal shingles last longer than wood. Metal is heavier and needs more materials to support them, so it will use more space. They’re also more expensive than wood.
Asphalt shingles, sometimes felt shingles, are lighter and more weather-resistant than metal or wood shingles. They also last longer. However, asphalt shingles are also more expensive.
A standing seam metal roof is one of the most durable roofing materials available and may be used for a skillion roof. A standing seam metal roof consists of three sheets of metal attached.
It’s the most common type of metal roof and is often used for wide roofs. The three sheets are joined together at the top by an extra metal seam called a standing seam. There is an air space above the standing seam, so the roof is water-resistant.
How Much Does a Skillion Roof Cost?
Skillion roofs start at a very low price and will go up as the size increases. The minimum is usually around $6000 and up to double that, depending on the size of the roof, the material used, and the service area of the roof. The roof size will determine how many of each type of roofing material will be needed.
DIY skillion roofs are doable, but it’s usually best to hire a professional. Hiring a professional makes the roof stronger, more aesthetically pleasing, and more professionally done. Hiring a professional will save money in the long run because the roof will last longer and have less maintenance.
That’s All You Need to Know About a Skillion Roof!
A skillion roof is a type of roof that features a single-sloped plane. The single slope is not connected to the house's walls, making this roof appear to stand like a roof on its own.
A skillion roof is a cheaper option than a gabled roof. Skillion roofs are also much more weather-resistant than gabled ones, requiring less maintenance. Skillion roofs are easier to design and easier to install. Their simple yet effective design makes them perfect for any homeowner.
They come in four distinct styles: butterfly roof, oval roof, split skillion roof, and multiple skillion roof. Each of these styles has its advantages and disadvantages. They’re usually composed of metal, wood, asphalt, or a combination of all three.
With a skillion roof, a homeowner can add more aesthetic to their house while adding very little to the cost of the roof. With some extra time and creativity, any homeowner can design and install their skillion roof. However, hiring a professional will help make a skillion roof last longer and keep it cost-effective. Learn more about this style of roofing by reaching out to local professionals.