Saddle roof - structure and shapes

The pitched roof is the most common and oldest roof form used. Almost all modern saddle roofs are constructed as purlins or rafter roof. Which other design variants are there for saddleback roof, the following short overview reveals.

Design variants for saddle roof

  • Rafter roof, Kehlbalkendach or Pfettendach
  • Warm roof or cold roof or also:
    single or double skin roof, ventilated or non ventilated roof construction
  • different roof pitches

Rafter roof, Kehlbalkendach or Pfettendach

rafter roof

When rafter roof the rafters are at an acute angle to each other and stiff against each other. The load is removed directly into the building walls.

Collar beam roof

The rafters can also be stiffened in the transverse direction by throat bars. The load is removed directly into the outer walls. This form is rarely used today.

Saddle roof - structure and shapes: roof


The rafters are carried by purlins, which in turn are supported by stems. The load is removed here in the top floor ceiling.

Warm roof or cold roof

warm roof

In the case of the warm roof - the single-skinned roof construction - the vapor barrier, insulation and roof cladding are directly adjacent to each other.

cold roof

In the cold roof - the double-skin roof construction - there is an air gap between the insulation and the roof skin. The roof is protected by a membrane, the insulation with a vapor barrier. This allows the air to circulate and prevents condensation.

Single and double skin roof, ventilated and non ventilated roof construction

These terms are merely synonyms for the hot and the cold roof. They are most commonly used when describing a particular design style.

The term inverted roof designates a roof construction with overhead insulation.

Different roof pitches

Saddle roofs can be set up at different angles of inclination. A pitched roof with 30° roof pitch or less is called flat pitched roof.

Other common default values ​​for the roof pitch are 45° (angle roof or new German roof), 60° (Old-Franconian) and 62° (Old German or Gothic roof).

Deviating roof pitches are of course possible.

Tips & Tricks

Hot and cold roofs each have their advantages and disadvantages. Before planning you should fundamentally deal with these advantages and disadvantages. Also Aufdachdämmungen can sometimes be useful.

Video Board: Saddle shape roof design