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Select Smaller-Sized Tools Ideal for Women to Use Dear Pat: I am a recent widow. My husband promised the kids a deck, so I have to build it myself. I am petite, so his shovels, posthole digger, etc., are hard to handle. Are there smaller tools for women? — Karen W. Dear Karen: With the proper …Read more. Install Your own Interior Louvered Window Shutters Dear Pat: I would like to have more privacy at my windows and also block neighbors' floodlights at night. I would like to use louvered shutters and mini-blinds. How should I install them and on which windows? — Keri G. Dear Keri: Many …Read more. How to Install Plastic PEX Plumbing Dear Pat: I am converting my old garage into a room for more living area. It has copper plumbing now. I need to add a wet bar and am thinking of using PEX. Is this a good idea, and how do I install it? — Leslie A. Dear Leslie: Making a garage …Read more. Soundproof Your Existing or New Home Dear Pat: We hear a lot of road noise in our house and noise from room to room from the kids. What can we do to make it more soundproof? When we build a new house soon, what soundproofing features should we include? — Michelle A. Dear Michelle:…Read more.
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Selecting the Roof Style for a New Home

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Dear Pat: I am in the preliminary design stages for my new house, and I am trying to decide on the best type of roof style for it. What is the best roof design for a long life with few leaks? — Ann G.

Dear Ann: There really is not one "best" roof design. The quality of the roof depends on the quality of the materials used and the workmanship of the roofers. Metal roofs are becoming much more popular on homes, and many of them will literally last a lifetime. They are also often made from recycled materials, so they are good for the environment.

Different areas of the country seem to have different preferences in the roof style used. If you want your home to fit in with others in your area, drive around your neighborhood and take a count of the different styles of roofs you find. This will also help you if you like to be a bit unique and want something different than most others.

If you are using an architect to design your home, ask for his/her opinion on what roof style would look best for the style of home you are building. A high roof does offer the future possibility of converting the attic into an additional room. Your personal family situation will determine if this is a valuable option or not.

The two primary types of roof styles are gabled and hipped, with many variation and combinations of the two. A gabled roof is the typical pitched roof with the peak ridge of the roof along the center of the shorter side of the house. A cross-gabled roof is used on an L-shaped house, which results in a sloped transition between the two roof planes.

The pitch (slope) of a gabled roof impacts its appearance and its cost.

A highly pitched is very attractive, but it required more lumber to build the roof and more roof area to cover. Shingles, tile, metal, etc. roofing is usually priced based on the square footage area to be covered.

A roof with a pitch of 30 degrees or less is considered to be a low slope. A pitch of 30 to 45 degrees is more common and more than 45 degrees is considered steep. If you live in an area with heavy snow loads during the winter, a steeply pitched is stronger and may be required by code.

A variation on a gabled roof is a saltbox style that is common in the Northeast. The peak ridge of the roof is offset to one side, usually the front creating a taller vertical house front than the back.

Another variation is a gambrel roof, sometimes called a barn-style roof, which has two different pitch angles. The pitch on each side of the peak ridge is low. Midway along the roof, the pitch becomes more steep. This provides more attic headroom should you plan to use it for storage or for a future extra bedroom.

A hipped roof is similar to a gabled roof, except the sides are also sloped making the peak ridge length shorter. This is very attractive, but it creates more roofing area than a gabled roof for the same square footage home. A mansard roof is a variation, similar to a gambrel, of a hipped roof with two sloped angles on each surface.

Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com. To find out more about Pat Logan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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