A special type of architecture developed in American colonial days as a practical way to increase the size of a residence. Homes constructed this way came to be known as saltbox houses. They had a distinctive roof structure that fit the size and shape of the home. Although originally built on the east coast of the states, saltbox homes and roofs can sometimes be found in other locations. Experts at Bergen County roofing companies can help homeowners decide if the saltbox style has advantages for their local climate and neighborhood.
Due to limitations of time, materials and weather, many of the homes the first settlers constructed were small. Although small, the homes were generally two stories high. As families grew, more space was needed. Rooms were added to the rear of the home, often one at a time. The additions were only one story high. Thus the front of the home was taller than the back of the home, creating a distinctive asymmetrical shape. The shape reminded settlers of the boxes in which they stored salt.
Originally, some of the added rooms were little more than a lean to. The roofs were added as the rooms were added, necessitating blending old roofs with new. This usually led to a noticeable break in the roofline.
The roofing experts at All Professional Remodeling of Bergen County NJ can assist you with any questions regarding roofing, siding or skylights.
Because the basic architecture was practical and easy, later builders included the additional rooms as an integral part of the main structure. These homes don't have a break in the roofline.
As well as part of the building and roof being lower than the main part, the pitch, or slope, of the roof varied. The front part was usually short and flat. The roof covering the one story addition was long and usually very steeply sloped. This configuration was also known as a sloping gable roof. Since many of the saltbox homes were built in harsh climates, the sloped roof was built on the north side whenever possible. The roof minimized the buildup of snow and ice.
Saltbox architecture today appears more on outbuildings, such as sheds, than it does on residences; however, it does have advantages that appeal to some homeowners. Those who want a home that doesn't look like everyone else's house may select a saltbox. Although getting the roof trusses correct can be complex, the basic saltbox design is simple and strong. It fits in well in most environments. The roof can usually be easily insulated to reduce heating or cooling costs.