Sometimes the simplest architectural styles are the hardest for homeowners to identify by name. National homes are an example of this complicated simplicity but there are some guidelines that can help you identify a home of this style. Understanding the building materials and roof shape can guide you in choosing the best roofing materials for your repair or replacement project.

Here are some tips for identifying a National home and the best roofing materials to discuss in your next meeting with professional roofing services.

Identifying a National Home

National homes have an extremely simple layout that takes the form of either a basic square or rectangle. Limited ornamentation can include window shutters, though usually only on the front windows, and a couple of columns that flank the front door and hold up a small awning roof.

A rectangular National will likely have a side-facing gable roof. A gable has two sides that rise to meet at a peak to form an open-faced triangle. In a side-facing gable, those open triangles are on the sides of the house, which means the actual roof sides are on the front and back. A squared National will likely have a pyramid roof, which has two sets of parallel sides that slope gently downwards from the peak.

Knowing the style of your roof is the most important aspect of finding the best roofing material for a National since there is so little ornamentation.

Best Gable Roofing: Wood Shingles

The steeper sides of a gable roof require a heavier roofing material that can withstand winds going up those slopes and potentially catching under the roofing. Lightweight asphalt shingles can suffer wind damage so you don't want to go with anything that light. But you also shouldn't go as heavy as slate tiles since the open nature of the gable roof means the roof has minimal bracing.

Wood shingles are a great middle-ground option. The shingles have enough weight to avoid wind damage but are still light enough to not require additional bracing. Wood comes in a variety of stain colors that can match your shingles or give your home an extra pop of color if the colors are otherwise too neutral.

Best Pyramid Roofing: Asphalt Shingles

A pyramid roof doesn't have as many considerations as a gable roof. The sides are low sloped so that wind catching the shingles isn't a common problem. The four sides have a decent amount of bracing that can allow for heavier roofing materials though slate tiles might overwhelm the overall simplicity of the National.

Save money, installation time, and maintenance requirements by installing asphalt shingles. The lightweight and fabrication versatility, which allows for a variety of dye colors and textures, can give your National home a more customized, eye-catching look.