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Install a Pocket Door to Save Floor Space Dear James: I was raised in an older house that had pocket doors, but they never worked smoothly. I am building my own house now, and I would like to use pocket doors. How can I avoid the problems with those old doors? — Pat G. Dear Pat: …Read more. Stencil Your Old Laminate Kitchen Countertop Dear James: I would love to remodel my kitchen, but my budget must go for my kids' new shoes first. Is there any inexpensive method to improve the appearance of my old laminate kitchen countertop? — Amy P. Dear Amy: Do not despair. There is a …Read more. Regular Maintenance Keeps Gutters Open Dear James: Every time it rains, water overflows my gutter and streams down my window and cedar siding. It doesn't seem to be hurting the window, but I've noticed the siding is starting to peel and flake. Do you have any suggestions? — Rich P.… …Read more. Build a Compost Bin to Recycle Wastes Dear James: My children are learning about composting in their science class. We want to do our part for the environment and build an inexpensive compost bin. Do you have any suggestions on building a simple, yet effective one? — Hope D. …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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