Saltbox Roofs

A saltbox roof can be made of metal sheets, clay shingles or a flat asphalt shingle roof. Whether purchasing roofing for new construction or a replacement for an existing home, finding the right style, color, and material can be both frustrating but rewarding.

“A saltbox roof can really make a home stand out. While it’s a very old style of roof, it isn’t a style seen very often today.”

Basics Of A Saltbox Roof

A saltbox roof can make a home get noticed. Usually found on a wooden frame house, a saltbox has a single story in the back and two in the front. The result is a flat-fronted home with a long, low roof line. Asymmetric sides and a central chimney combine to create a distinctive look reminiscent of the wooden lidded box that people used to store salt in. They are often seen on 17th century Colonial style homes.

Costs Of A Saltbox Roof

Price Range: $4.25 to $9.00 psf

Asphalt shingles are more common and less expensive. Wood shakes are another material that is often used, but can cost double. Installation of a saltbox roof is more expensive than more conventional styles. The steep slope makes it a more dangerous job that demands a contractor with skill and experience.

Advantages Of A Saltbox Roof

The saltbox roof has a unique and memorable look that can lend visual interest to your home. The asymmetrical lines work well on both rustic country designs and sleek modern styles.

Ease Of Construction
When replacing an existing roof, the saltbox design can be built onto the current structure. While the steep incline does require skilled contractors, the work itself is less demanding than some styles that need large amounts of material to be removed before installation.

Weather Resistance
Saltbox roofs are especially suited to areas with frequent rains. The steep slope prevents water from pooling and causing roof damage. Rain and snow are shed quickly to minimize the risk of mildew, rot, and warping. Fewer leaks mean less frequent repairs, which can make up for any additional costs.

Energy Savings
A saltbox roof can bring significant energy savings. Easier to insulate than many roof shapes, they also provide excellent thermal insulation naturally. Lower heating and cooling expenses and a greener home attract many to this roof style.


Attic Inadequacy
This isn’t the best design for an attic. The slope require an interior ceiling to be sloped as well. The space for storage is extremely limited. If attic space is important it might be a problem.

The sloped design of a saltbox roof demands adequate ventilation. Heat and moisture can build up in the high peak even more than in more conventional roof shapes. Roof vents and fans are necessary and should be inspected regularly.