Mid-century modern homes tend to be sprawling ranches with low-profile, minimally sloped roofs. Clean lines, brickwork, and sharp angles are what makes this home style stand out. Choosing a roof for your mid-century modern home means working with some of the challenges of this style while playing up the appearance. The following guide can help you choose.
By far one of the most common roofing materials for a mid-century home (or any home, for that matter, asphalt doesn't look bad. Most mid-century homes have darker, earthy colors, so dark charcoal and chocolate brown shingles are the default option.
Shingles do have their drawbacks. The low slope on a mid-century roof means that ice and snow doesn't slide off relatively. This can lead to an increase of ice dams or water damage on the actual roof. Leaves and debris also tends to collect on the shingled low-slope roof, which in shaded areas makes them more prone to mildew and moss growth.
Clay or slate tiles
This is rarely seen on mid-century homes for many reasons. First and foremost, clay and slate don't look quite right – they are too ornate for the simple, clean lines of the mid-century design.
Another, more important reason to skip clay and tile is because of basic engineering. Clay and tile are heavy, and most low-profile roofs simply don't have the infrastructure to support the extra weight. You would need to have the rafters, and possibly the main roof supports, majorly reinforced before you could install such a heavy roof option.
Metal is perhaps the best option on low-profile roofs, and it can also work well with the angular lines of the mid-century home. Benefits include the fact that metal is lightweight, durable, mildew and leak resistant, and snow tends to slide right off of it even with the minimal slope.
You also have many design options that will work with the mid-century home style. The simplest option is a narrow panel vertical standing seam design. The understated vertical lines from the standing seams will complement the horizontal angles of the main house. If you prefer a shingled appearance, you can get metal shingles that look just as nice, if not nicer, than asphalt. There are even metal shingles that resemble Spanish tile, which looks nice on mid—century homes with stucco exteriors. A rich dark brown or even a darker terracotta or rust Spanish tile-style metal roof can be quite striking.
Talk to a metal roofing contractor for more help.