16 Types of Roof Overhangs (2022)

Roof overhang helps in the total design of a house. This article features some roof overhangs that you can consider and their benefits.

16 Types of Roof Overhangs (1)

I never gave much thought to roof overhangs until recently. I live in a conventional brownstone in the middle of a major city. My place, and those around me, are beautifully designed but tidily structured. There are no extravagances in the homes in my community.

A friend from college got married a few months back, and him and his bride moved into a house in the suburbs of my city. It is a rather upscale neighborhood with older and elaborately designed houses. The roof overhangs were especially noteworthy. I am a writer by profession, and whenever I take an interest in something I feel compelled to learn everything I can about it. I have done so with roof overhangs. The following article is a summary of the nature, types, and brief history of roof overhangs.

What is a Roof Overhang?

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A roof overhang consists of the extent to which a roof extends beyond the outside wall of a house. An overhang is also known as an eave and the underside as a soffit.

A roof overhang is not there merely for show. It is designed to protect the exterior of a house from strong winds and rain. It also keeps rain, snow, and ice from getting behind the siding. Failure to protect these structures can cause rot and erosion in them. Roof overhangs also shade some of the hot sun from windows to prevent glare and extra heat out.

Houses located in areas that are exceptionally hot and rainy—houses in tropical climates—have more extended overhangs to protect them against the excessive moisture. Most such overhangs are no longer than 2 feet. Any overhang longer than this requires a reinforcement of the soffit.

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In addition to protection against weather, roof overhangs are also designed to complement the architectural style of a house.

Types of Roof Overhangs

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These are some of the most popular types of roof overhangs. The list is not exhaustive, but it is a good roundup of what you will find on most houses.

1. Shed Overhang

These types of overhangs are typically sloped. This allows water to fall away from the shed. Many homeowners like this set-up because it gives them a space right outside their homes to stack firewood. A shed overhang is also effective in preventing your porch from getting wet.

2. Hip Overhang

This type of overhang has several eaves that slant down on all sides and angles. Hip overhangs follow the design of the roof line, and they tend to enhance the look of the home.

Indeed, hip overhangs are the most common overhangs. They withstand wind and rain well, and they also protect homes and buildings against water runoff.

3. Flat Overhang

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Flat overhangsare best suited for two-level homes, as they provide clear views from second-level windows. This type of roof overhang needs to have an angle from the wall of the house to the overhang in order to divert water from the latter.

4. Gable Overhang

This overhang has a triangular shape that protrudes from the eave. It is easily adjusted to the exterior lines of any home. The tall angle of this type of overhang makes it an effective diverter of rain and melted snow. The overhang itself is commonly seen over entryways and front porches.

5. Awning Overhang

This type of overhang is typically added to a home to protect thedeck or patio. An awning is not attached to the actual roof of a home, which means it can be removed at any time.

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Awning overhangs are also used to give some protection to people whose windows face a southern direction and are therefore exposed to extreme heat. When used over a doorway or entrance, they provide some protection against weather for those entering or leaving a home.

6. Retractable Awning Overhang

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This type of overhang is, like the one above, added to a home to protect a deck or patio from the sun. They tend to be mounted directly to the exterior wall of a home. The distinguishing feature ofthis type of awning overhang is its motorized crank, which makes it possible to extend and retract the awning.

In the event of prolonged inclement weather, the awning can be extended completely for a high degree of coverage.

7. Juliet Awning Overhang

This type of awning overhang is not mechanical. It is made from metal, copper, aluminium, or steel and comes in a variety of colors. The awning has a straight top line and deep concave sides with sections of metal that run vertically.

This type of awning overhang can provide a beautiful finish to a home entryway. It can also be used to cover windows so that inhabitants are protected from weather and sun.

8. Canopy Overhang

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This type of overhang is used for entry doors when space is limited. It has a steep arch and is connected to the home’s exterior wall. A canopy overhang is best placed in a home’s backyard or patio area. It consists of a large frame and posts that hold up a large and sturdy covering sheet, which can provide a seating area. Canopy overhangs can be purchased in styles and colors that match the décor and architectural lines of your home.

9. Screened-in Porch

This structure protects you from bugs and other unwanted critters. At the same time, it offers fresh air and breezes to flow in. The structure can be installed in the back or front yard of the home.

10. Pergola Overhang

These are often seen in gardens. It is made from beams and rafters that create a grid pattern. The latter has a short overhang of beams and an open top. Pergolas are supported by columns made of wood or masonry.

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A pergola can also be used as a porch roof, allowing the placement of intertwining vines or clear roof panels. You can attach this type of overhang to a home’s exterior wall to create an outdoor seating area.

11. Cantilever Roof Overhang

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This type of overhang is found mostly in modern home designs. It extends straight out from the roofline as though suspended in the air. This type of overhang creates a dramatic look, and itoffers good protection from weather. They are typically flat. Additional support is needed for the soffit in areas with heavy snow in the winter.

12. Bonnet Overhang

This is a very attractive design. It consists of two slopes. The top slop has more of an angle and sits higher than the lower slope with less of an angle. There are potential problems here. Water may accumulate where the two slopes meet without proper construction and waterproofing. This type of roofing also tends to be more expensive to construct.

13. Curved Overhang

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This type of overhang is most commonly seen over porches and other home entrances. Its base structure is typically made of wood, but the actual covering tends to be made of metals such as copper. The latter is heated and curved to track the line of the overhang. It is also possible to shape the slope to your liking. If you live in an especially windy area, then you should go fora lower pitch; it will avoid the overhang from being swept up and destroyed.

14. Gambrel Overhang

This type of overhang is found on barns, farmhouses, log houses, and certain colonial style homes. The peak of the roof runs horizontally to the front and back exterior walls, and then cascades to a waterfall. The slope ofthis type of overhang is highly resistant to strong winds and can withstand blowing rain and snow.

15. Hexagonal Overhang

Many homeowners use this type of overhang for a front porch extension. It creates a gazebo when screened-in, which can be used as a spacious sitting area. Hexagonal overhangs are attached directly to a home’s siding and do not need an overhang where it meets the exterior wall. The rest of the angles typically have a slight overhang.

16. Mansard Overhang

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This is one of the more interesting designs. The roof has two slopes on all four sides of a home or building. The lower slope has a steeper angle than the top slope. The lower slope has dormer windows. The overhang on all four sides is similar to a hip roof overhang.

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Some Specifics on Roof Overhang Dimensions

As there are numerous roof overhang types, there is no standard size. A roof overhand that is used to protect the exterior walls and siding of a home from rain should be 16 to 18 inches from the house. A roof overhang that is designed to provide shade for windows to reduce heat build-up in the home should be at least 24 inches from the exterior wall.

It is important to note that once the length exceeds 24 inches the overhang must be reinforced. Here are some of the factors you should consider when deciding whether to install a roof overhang:

  • Protection from sun and heat
  • Protection from water damage
  • Protection from high winds
  • Enhancing the style and appearance of your house
  • Reducing splashback

This latter factor needs some explanation. Reducing splashback consists of keeping water runoff from pouring into the ground around your house.

If enough water accumulates in this soil, it can ruin it. You will not be able to do any kind of gardening in the area. The build-upof water in the grounds around your house can also increase the dampness inside of it, especially in your basement. This can lead to mold growth, wood rot, cracked cement, and other kinds of unpleasantness. Splashback can also cause dirt and mud to kick up and stain your exterior siding.

How to Install a Roof Overhang?

If you have purchased a house that is without an overhang, and you want to have one installed, this is possible. You should be warned that installing a roof overhang is not a typical DIY project. It is a highly technical undertaking that involves the material and architectural base of the house, which it is wise for a layperson to take the project on. There are professionals who specialize in this kind of work, and you should contact one if you want to have it done.

If your house comes with an overhang, and you want to have it lengthened or shortened, then you can have this work carried as well. You should consider the overall structure and dynamics of the house before you have such work done. There may be a very good reason why the overhang is at its present length.

A Brief History of Roof Overhangs

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Overhangs have a long history. They were common in Medieval Indian architecture, especially that of the Mughal empire of the 16th to 18th centuries. The latter were common in Hindu temples. Extensive overhangs were also seen in early Buddhist temples, and later became part of Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese architecture.

Roof overhangs were also seen in Renaissance Europe. The upper stories of timber-framed houses had overhangs called jetties. These began to disappear in the 18th century, when more homes began to be made of brick and stone.

In 17th century colonial America, overhangs were a common feature of architecture in New England. This particular style features an overhanging second story which ran across the front of the house or around it.

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In the early 20th century, the style was adopted by architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, who updated it to a more modern look and feel.

FAQs

How much roof overhang should you have? ›

There is no true standard size for overhangs, but typical overhangs that are used for protection from rainfall are 16-18 inches wide. Overhangs wanted for shading should be minimally 24 inches. More commonly, they are 36 inches wide or more.

What is a roof overhang? ›

The roof overhang refers to how much the edge of the roof goes beyond the house siding. Under the overhang is a structure known as the soffit. Most homes have an overhang, however, length varies greatly depending on the architectural style of the roof, with slate roofs having longer overhangs typically.

What items are part of the roof overhang? ›

An eave is the edge of the roof that overhangs the exterior siding. Parts of an eave include the soffit, which is the underside of your roof's eaves, and the fascia, the vertical facing board.

Where should overhangs be placed? ›

Roof overhangs should be included in your home construction or remodeling plans, as they require special placement for optimal performance. In the northern hemisphere, roof overhangs work best when placed facing south.

Are roof overhangs necessary? ›

Roof overhangs have several important functions: they can protect exterior doors, windows, and siding from rain; they can shade windows when solar heat gain is undesirable; and they can help keep basements and crawl spaces dry.

How far can you extend a roof overhang? ›

Once you have them cut, position the new extensions so about two-thirds of their length overlaps the existing rafters. The remaining one-third should extend outward to define the new overhang. This new overhang should be no more than two feet to ensure that it will be well supported.

How is roof overhang measured? ›

Sustainable By Design :: Overhang Length. This is the distance that the overhang (or roof eaves) extend from the wall. Measure along the overhang from the outermost tip of the overhang to the wall. You can use any units for the overhang length—feet, inches, meters, cm, furlongs, etc.

How much overhang do you need on a metal roof? ›

A typical metal roof overhang may be 2 to 4 inches, or even less. Some slight overhang is recommended, in conjunction with a drip edge flashing, to prevent water from getting under the roofing and onto underlying wood.

How do I extend my roof overhang? ›

It's very easy to extend or retract a roof overhang. You can do this by cutting the rafters in your existing roof, adding new rafters, and then cutting trusses to fit between the two sections of rafter.

Does a flat roof need an overhang? ›

As long as the EPDM is properly installed, then the waterproof surface will encourage liquid to enter the gutters, but an important point to note is that an overhang at the gutter edge is required. By adding this overhang, the water flows across the flat roof and goes directly into your drainage system.

How much should a lean to roof overhang? ›

Overhangs can vary from a few inches to a few feet depending on preference; however, the suggested width of an overhang is between 12” and 18” for eaves and no more than 8” for rakes.

What is a roof above a roof called? ›

Eave – The part of the roof which overhangs beyond the house walls. The eave helps to keep water away from the lower part of the house. Soffit – Soffit covers the underside of the eave. It can be decorative and is often vented. Box End – This is the finished end of the soffit and fascia.

What is under the roof overhang called? ›

What Is a Soffit? Your roof by necessity, will often times extend over the walls of your home. This overhang can go by a few names, such as the house eaves or the rafters of your roof. The underside of this overhang, when given a finished appearance, is known as the soffit, which means “something fixed underneath”.

What are parts of a roof called? ›

Ridge: This is the top or peak of the roof, where two roof planes meet. Valley: This is where two pitched roof faces connect and project inward. They are always at a lower slope than the adjoining roof planes. Dormer: This is a roof feature that projects out from the roof face.

What is the part of the roof that extends out from the wall? ›

Eave: A roof edge that extends past the exterior wall line at the bottom of a slope. Fascia: Vertical roof trim located along the perimeter of a building, usually below the roof level, to cover the rafter tails at the eaves and to seal off the top of the siding along the rake; also called gutter boards.

How much overhang can you have without gutters? ›

You need an overhang of at least 10 inches or so, so water will drip harmlessly on the ground, and flow away if the ground slopes a little. One problem is that a lot of water along the foundation can flow down the foundation and can leak into the basement.

How much overhang should a porch roof have? ›

The minimum requirement for an overhang on a porch roof should be at least 12 inches long. However, some models can range up to two feet, depending on the style and climate.

How far can you cantilever a roof? ›

The general rule of thumb is that the overhang can only extend up to 1/3 of the length of the beam, but it is more common for the overhang to be shorter. Builders typically place the beams along the top of the walls and allow them to extend outwards.

How do you attach an overhang to a house? ›

How to attach a patio or verandah to a house - YouTube

How far can a truss overhang without support? ›

A roof truss can span up to 80' without support, however in any home that distance would be impractical and incredibly costly. Trusses are designed to span spaces without interior supports, and spans of up to 40' are the most common in today's homes.

How far can a truss overhang? ›

Overhang is the portion of the truss that extends beyond the outside bearing of the structure, creating an eave for the building. Overhang length can vary from as small as 6” to as great as 36” in certain applications.

How do you calculate a roof? ›

To calculate your roof area, simply multiply your roof length by your roof slope height, and multiply this by two. This should give you the total area of your roof, not accounting for a chimney or other sections of your roof not covered by tiles.

What is the standard height of roof? ›

As per the National Building Code of India 2005, the height of all rooms for human habitation shall not be less than 2.75 m measured from the surface of the floor to the lowest point of the ceiling (bottom of the slab). In the case of pitched roof, the average height of rooms shall not be less than 2.75 m.

How wide is a roof? ›

The two most common widths are 26 and 36 inches. Other standard widths include 24 and 39 inches. When calculating coverage using the width and length of corrugated roofing, keep in mind that each piece will need to overlap by several inches.

How much should metal roofing overhang the drip edge? ›

How Far Should Metal Roofing Overhang Drip Edge? What is this? Typically, you will want the metal roof to overhang the drip edge by 1.5 to 2 inches. This is because the overhang prevents water from rolling around the edge or using surface tension to creep along the bottom of the metal.

How far should metal roof overhang gutter? ›

How Far Should a Metal Roof Overhang The Gutters? Metal roofing experts say that the panels should overhang the gutters from 1 to 1.5 inches.

What is the correct way to overlap metal roofing? ›

Pro-Rib Panel Overlap - YouTube

Can you extend a roofline? ›

If you're adding to the gable end of the house (the side wall that goes up to the roof's peak), it's fairly easy to extend the existing roofline over the new space, says Curt Schultz, a Realtor-architect-builder in Pasadena, Calif. That's a simple, low-cost solution that can tie in well with the main house.

How much does it cost to build overhang? ›

Generally, a roof over a deck will cost $1250-$1350 if you do it yourself, or between $4000-$8000 if you hire professionals to build it. A professionally built roof over a deck can cost $30 to $75 per square foot. Depending on the design, materials, and labor needed, the price will fluctuate.

How do you put overhang on a shed roof? ›

HOW TO Put An Overhang On Your Shed - YouTube

How much overhang can a roof have without support? ›

Standard Roof Overhang

Once the length exceeds 24 inches, the structural integrity may be compromised and need to be reinforced with supports. At times, when a climate is extremely hot and sunny, an overhang may extend 36 inches.

How much should a lean to roof overhang? ›

Overhangs can vary from a few inches to a few feet depending on preference; however, the suggested width of an overhang is between 12” and 18” for eaves and no more than 8” for rakes.

How much overhang should a patio roof have? ›

Typically, a porch overhang should be at least 12-inches long. However, they can range from two feet to very minimal in length depending on the area's climate, so be sure to account for the amount of rainfall you might expect. Drier climates require minimal overhang length and wetter climates require longer overhangs.

How is overhang length calculated? ›

In most climate conditions the following formula can be used to determine the appropriate amount of overhang: X=1/2Y (where X is the length of the overhang required and Y is the distance from the bottom of the door to the base of the overhang.)

Does a flat roof need an overhang? ›

As long as the EPDM is properly installed, then the waterproof surface will encourage liquid to enter the gutters, but an important point to note is that an overhang at the gutter edge is required. By adding this overhang, the water flows across the flat roof and goes directly into your drainage system.

What is a small overhang called? ›

What Is a Soffit? Your roof by necessity, will often times extend over the walls of your home. This overhang can go by a few names, such as the house eaves or the rafters of your roof. The underside of this overhang, when given a finished appearance, is known as the soffit, which means “something fixed underneath”.

How do I extend my roof overhang? ›

It's very easy to extend or retract a roof overhang. You can do this by cutting the rafters in your existing roof, adding new rafters, and then cutting trusses to fit between the two sections of rafter.

How much overhang can you have without gutters? ›

You need an overhang of at least 10 inches or so, so water will drip harmlessly on the ground, and flow away if the ground slopes a little. One problem is that a lot of water along the foundation can flow down the foundation and can leak into the basement.

How far can a truss overhang without support? ›

A roof truss can span up to 80' without support, however in any home that distance would be impractical and incredibly costly. Trusses are designed to span spaces without interior supports, and spans of up to 40' are the most common in today's homes.

How far can a truss overhang? ›

Overhang is the portion of the truss that extends beyond the outside bearing of the structure, creating an eave for the building. Overhang length can vary from as small as 6” to as great as 36” in certain applications.

Does a porch roof need an overhang? ›

The minimum requirement for an overhang on a porch roof should be at least 12 inches long. However, some models can range up to two feet, depending on the style and climate.

What do you call a roof over a patio? ›

The roof over a deck is usually called a patio cover. This attached structure provides protection from sun and rain and can either have a solid or open roof. Pergola is another name for deck or patio roofs. This is typically characterized as an open roof that's supported by posts or columns.

How far can you cantilever a roof? ›

The general rule of thumb is that the overhang can only extend up to 1/3 of the length of the beam, but it is more common for the overhang to be shorter. Builders typically place the beams along the top of the walls and allow them to extend outwards.

What is overhang width? ›

Standard countertop overhang is 1 ½ inches.

Keep in mind that this is 1 ½ inches over the front edge of the base cabinet. While some countertops may have different overhang measurements, this is the number that is seen as standard for homes. While 1 ½ inches is the most common, it's far from mandatory.

Where do you measure roof overhang from and to? ›

A roof overhang is measured from the building out to the end of the fascia board.

How much overhang can you have on a 40 foot trailer? ›

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) says, “No state shall impose…a rear overhang limitation of less than four feet.” Therefore, four feet is the minimum allowable, and individual states set different maximum limits.

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