Shotgun-style homes got the name from the fact that a person could shoot a gun through the front door and have the bullet come out the back door. That's due to the fact that the homes are only one room wide and several deep. The roof is topped off with a steep gabled roof that covers the depth of the house.
If you have a shotgun-style home and need new roofing material as part of a roof repair or restoration project, there are a few style-specific issues to keep in mind. Here are a few aspects you can discuss with your roofing contractors during your next meeting.
Does Your Home Receive Frequent Direct Winds?
The steep sides of a gabled roof are magnets for high winds. If your home takes on frequent direct winds on the sides where the slopes are, you will want to avoid lightweight roofing materials that could become damaged or removed when subjected to strong winds. Asphalt shingles, while affordable and durable in general, aren't great at going against wind due to the lightweight of the material.
If you really want asphalt due to the price or durability, you can certainly still use the material. But understand that repairs and replacements are likely. Unless your home would happen to have decent windbreaks, in the form of tall trees or neighboring homes, that would help dampen the rate wind some.
How Much Bracing Does Your Roof Have?
You also need to watch how heavy the roofing material is for a gabled roof, which tends not to have a lot of bracing underneath. So materials like slate or clay could cause your roof to collapse under the weight of the roofing material especially if your roof also needs to take on the weight of snow in winter. If your home has high winds to contend with, wood and metal roofing are going to be your two best choices as neither will suffer wind damage and neither is too heavy for the gable's bracing.
Wood roofing is textured and can add a cottage look to your home but comes with the possibility of weather damage after years of going through freeze-thaw cycles. Metal roofing is good for waterproofing and can accentuate the steep lines of the gabled roof, but not every homeowner likes the visual appearance of a metal roof.
If you have your heart set on slate or clay, you can ask your roofing contractors to add in more bracing. Bear in mind that the bracing will take up room in your attic or upper area of your home, which might take up valuable living and storage space in a home style that isn't large to begin with.