A split-level style home has staggered floor levels that create one taller segment, often with a hipped-style roof, and one shorter wing or segment that usually has a gabled roof. A side split split-level is where the wings are side-by-side in a way that both segments are facing the same direction, which is usually the street or driveway. If you have a side split split-level home and are undergoing roof repairs or replacement, there are some factors inherent to this architectural style that can help determine the best roofing materials for the project.
Here are a couple of considerations to keep in mind while selecting your roofing materials with your roofing contractors.
Large, Highly-Visible Surface Area
The roof shapes and forward-facing directionality of the roofs mean that your home has a large surface area to cover with roofing materials and that it will look odd if the materials on both roofs don't match. If budget is one of your primary worries about the roofing project, you might want to steer clear of expensive materials like slate or clay in favor of the budget-friendly asphalt shingles.
Asphalt has become one of the more popular roofing materials in modern building due to its low cost, light weight, ease of installation, and decent durability. Asphalt shingles are available in a range of home-flattering colors and can be fabricated to have textures similar to wood shakes or shingles.
The one potential downside of asphalt is that the light weight can make the shingles vulnerable to wind damage on the steeper sloping sides of the gabled roof. But since the gable is typically on the shorter segment of the house, you likely have some type of windbreak in place that will make this concern mostly moot.
Gabled Roof Less Able to Support Heavy Materials
Budget concerns aren't the only reason to steer away from slate and clay on a side split split-level home. Gable roofs are designed to have an open shape to maximize the indoor living space. That open shape doesn't come with a lot of bracing, which can make certain roofing materials, such as slate, too heavy for the gable to safely support, especially if rains or snows might be added to the roof for extended periods of time.
If your heart is set on slate tiles or clay tiles, ask your roofing contractors to check your existing bracing and see if it might be adequate. Or see if the contractors could add the additional bracing required to support the weight of those materials.