roof design

The Pros and Cons of the Different Roof Styles for Screen Enclosures


When designing a screen enclosure, one important consideration is its roof. And, it’s not as simple as choosing the roof that you like best. You need to consider if it goes well with the profile of your home. It should fit how much leaves or debris would fall onto it. Moreover, it should suit the intended purpose for the enclosure, and the amount of space you have allotted for its construction.

Here are the different roof styles that you can have for your enclosure and their advantages and disadvantages.

Mansard Roof Style

The mansard roof of screen enclosures has slopes for all four sides. The four sides slope upwards to a flat midsection that makes up the middle of the roof. The lower slope of each side can be steeper or flatter depending on the desired design.

Any mansard roof looks elegant and this is true even for screen enclosures. The flat midsection and sloping sides of the roof give the interior an impression as if it is more spacious than other enclosures of the same size. And, the symmetrical and simple look of this style suits almost every type of home.


  • Strongest design for screen enclosures
  • Suits almost every type of home
  • Symmetrical design
  • Makes the interior feel spacious


  • Expensive installation
  • Screen sag will be more noticeable at the flat midsection
  • Difficult to clean leaves and debris stuck on the flat midsection

Dome Roof Style

The dome roof style has a characteristic semi-circular arch from all sides of the enclosure. The steepness of the slope will vary on the design of each screen enclosure. 

The dome shape of the roof gives it’s exterior a majestic look. The semi-circular roof also lends to a more spacious feel in its interior. Its shape makes it more stable and stronger in resisting strong winds.


  • Beautiful exterior look
  • Spacious feel in the interior
  • Strong resistance against strong winds
  • Less noticeable screen sag


  • Expensive installation
  • More joints in the frame that need maintenance
  • Leaves and debris will not easily fall off of the lower angled slopes at the top

Gable Roof Style

The gable roof-style screen enclosure has two sloping sides that meet in the middle to form a triangular shape. Gable roofs can vary between high- and low-angled slopes. Because of how its shape goes well with houses with the same roof design, it is often attached to the side of a house with an open patio.

The shape of the gable roof is less complicated which makes the construction and installation more affordable. It is also easy to clean since any leaves or debris slides off the sloped roof.


  • Angled roof easily sheds leaves and debris
  • Little to no cleaning is required
  • Simple and affordable installation and construction
  • Appealing yet simple design 


  • Smaller gable roof enclosures can have a constricting feel to the interior
  • Some might not like the simple look of the gable roof style
  • Sides with no slopes can be problematic during strong winds

Slope Roof Style

The sloping roof has the top of the enclosure pitching to only one side of the enclosure. There are two types of slope roof style – shed and lean-to. A shed roof style is used on a standing structure and has a single sloping roof. On the other hand, a lean-to roof style has the higher end of its roof connected and supported by another structure.

Both of these slope roof style variants are easy to construct. The sloping surface of its roof prevents leaves and debris from getting stuck on it and makes it easier to clean. And, the roof can be designed to have its pitch as steep or low depending on what suits the design and purpose of the enclosure.  And, with lean-to enclosures, it requires fewer materials for installation since it’s supported by another structure.


  • Looks great on shorter screen enclosures
  • Simple and fast construction
  • Efficient in shedding leaves and debris from the enclosure
  • Save on construction and materials (lean-to roof style) 


  • Debris can get stuck on low-angled slope roofs
  • Style only suits modern-style homes
  • Does not look good on taller screen enclosures (shed roof style)  

Hip Roof Style

Hip roofs have all their sides sloping downward towards the walls. A hip roof style has two opposite sides of the roof with a triangular shape and the other two with a trapezoid shape. All the slopes meet at the middle of the top to form a ridge parallel to one side of the enclosure. Unlike gable and steeper mansard roofs, the slopes of the hip-style roof have a gentler angle.

The sloping side of the roof makes it easy for leaves and any debris to slide off of it. Thanks to a sloping roof on all sides, enclosures with this roof style have better wind resistance. And, the shape of the roof makes it look taller from both inside and the outside of the enclosure.


  • Almost no need to remove leaves and debris from the roof
  • Can make shorter enclosures look taller
  • Better wind resistance 


  • Sag from older screens can be noticeable
  • Complicated to construct

Flat Roof Style

As the name implies, a flat roof has no pitch or angle. It is completely level and parallel to the ground. It is the simplest and cheapest screen enclosure to build. And, thanks to the stability of its shape, it can withstand strong wind pressure. Unfortunately, its shape will not be a flattering addition to your home. And, the flat roof will collect leaves and debris. Moreover, regardless of its size, a flat roof screen enclosure gives a feeling as if you’re inside a cage.


  • Simplest enclosure to construct
  • Cheapest screen enclosure
  • Stable and rigid shape 


  • Leaves and other debris will always get stuck on the top
  • Difficult to clean and maintain
  • Not a good-looking screen enclosure
  • Screen sag is easily noticed
  • Looks and feels like a screen cage

Custom Roof Style

You’re not limited to a fixed roof type. You can make a custom roof that combines various styles for your screen enclosure. This approach is often used for screen enclosures that have an unconventional shape.

Creating a custom roof style for your screen enclosure is great for making a design that fits your yard and home the best. You can pick a roof style that you like and combine it with another one to counteract its disadvantages.

Of course, custom roofing comes with its unique disadvantages. Due to having a custom roof, you will have to go in blind when it comes to knowing which problems to expect. Your custom roof will have problems that are unique to it. Also, you can expect construction to have a high price tag and a long timeframe. And, it also has a lot more joints to create its custom shape that will eventually need maintenance.


  • Create the perfect look that suits your yard or home
  • Pick more than one style to get their benefits
  • Combine different styles to counteract their disadvantages


  • Expensive to construct
  • Unique problems since it’s a unique roof
  • Expect repairs and maintenance to be expensive
  • How it looks still depends on the skills of the designer
roof design

Do You Need Help in Designing Your Screen Enclosure?

Your research online is no substitute for a consultation with screen enclosure designers. We can help you with the planning process, including the enclosure and roof design, and material selection. Contact us today for an appointment with our designers.

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