Colonial bungalows have a symmetrical, small design that's highlighted with classical elements borrowed from Greek and Roman architecture. Features of the Colonial style include a small roofed front porch flanked by decorative columns, bold colored bands around the windows, and wide, temple-like front steps. A Colonial bungalow home typically has two different gable roofs – one each on the porch and the main house – that are orientated in different directions.
The presence of two gable roofs, and the orientation, can help determine the best roofing material for the home. You should also keep the general home style in mind with some special considerations while discussing roofing materials with a roofing contractor.
Avoid Asphalt if Your Roof Receives High Direct Wind
Gable roofs have a shape that can accelerate any oncoming wind due to the steep slope of the roof's sides. If your home already takes on a decent amount of high direct wind, the roof shape can potentially aid the wind in damaging your roofing material. The potential damage mostly happens when you use a lightweight roofing material like asphalt shingles.
Not sure if your roof receives a lot of direct wind? Check to see if you have tall wind breaks on both sides of your home. A neighbor with a house at a similar height as yours or a tall stand of trees will likely provide enough of a windbreak that those high direct winds won't hit your roof. If you lack windbreaks or are still unsure about the level of wind, ask your roofing contractors to conduct a check of your home's potential for wind damage.
You can still use asphalt shingles if the material is all that your budget allows with the knowledge that maintenance and repair work might become necessary in the future. You could also minimize the risk of damage by planting trees as a windbreak on the side with the wind problem.
Utilize Metal if Your Gable Roofs Create a Valley
Do the main gable roof and the gabled porch roof overlap in such a way that a valley forms between the upper and lower roof? This valley can potentially trap falling rain or melting snow for an extended period of time, which can start to cause damage to your roofing material over time. Your roofers can help counteract this problem with metal roofing either as your main roofing material or as supplemental waterproofing.
Metal roofing has come far in fabrication terms with the material available in a range of subdued colors and matte finishes that will keep your house from looking like an oversized tin shed. The metal roofing comes in either flatter metal panels or interlocking standing seam panels and both can help increase your roof's waterproofing and drainage.
Don't prefer the look of metal or consider all-over metal roofing overkill on a roof shape that's mostly naturally good at drainage? Ask your roofers about metal flashing. This bendable, metal roofing section can be installed only in the areas with waterproofing issues to help better protect the roof and help whisk away water faster. Your main roofing material can be overlapped with the flashing to hide the metal from sight.