3 Best – And Worst – Roofing Materials For A Minimal Modern Home

Posted on: 28 July 2016


Minimal modern homes first appeared in the United States in the 1930s. The simplistic style was a response to the opulence preceding the Great Depression. Minimal modern homes have a squared shape, little ornamentation beyond the shuttered windows, and a roof featuring a side gable main roof with a cross gable accent.

Do you have a minimal modern home that needs new roofing? The home style, and roof style, can help determine the best roofing materials for your project.

Best: Wood Shingles

Traditional minimal modern homes have wood siding and even those updated to vinyl siding over the years still have wood shutters. You can carry on that traditional minimal modern material to the roof with wood shingles.

Wood roofing comes in two main forms: shakes, which have a thicker texture, and shingles, which have a more pressed appearance than shakes but still more texture than something like a slate tile. Wood shakes might have a bit too much texture to look visually appealing on the minimal modern's squat form. But wood shingles offer the perfect blend of streamlined with texture.

Wood roofing does require more upkeep if you live in an area with harsh winters and hot summers since temperature shifts can cause the wood to warp over time. But you might consider the maintenance worth the beauty of a wood shingled roof.

Best: Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles have a low price tag that appeals to many homeowners on a tight budget. The shingles come in many different colors, finishes, and textures that can approximate the look of wood and other roofing materials. The shingles are also lightweight, which makes for easy installation and repair.

The lightweight nature can pose a problem on your minimal modern home if you don't have any windbreaks surrounding your home on all sides. Gable roofs have a sloped shape that can enhance oncoming wind and loosen a light roofing material. Due to the main roof and cross gable, your house needs to have windbreaks on all sides to remove the wind damage risk.

You can still opt to use asphalt roofing even with no windbreaks if you accept the risk of potential wind damage. This risk might be worthwhile if you have a very tight roofing budget or live in an area that doesn't receive frequent strong winds.

Worst: Slate Tiles

Gable roofs have an opened, upside-down V-shape that minimizes how much interior living space is used up by the roof's bracing. The minimal bracing means the gable isn't designed to hold up heavier roofing materials like slate tiles.

If you do want to go with slate tiles as a way to add some ornamentation to the minimal modern home, ask your roofing contractor to evaluate your bracing situation to see if more bracing can be added to support the slate.