Residential Design Guidelines

East Side Tour

Northwest Tour

Southwest Side Tour

East Park Tour

Historic Main Street Tour

Downtown Design Guidelines

The Commission Publications

Related Links

COA &  Instructions





Residential Design Guidelines


roofs and dormers

A sound roof is essential to protect the building from the weather. Each style of architecture has particular roof forms that are associated with it, including gable, hip, gambrel, mansard and shed. In Stoughton the most common roof forms are the gable and hip.

The shape, texture, and color of the roof are among important design features of any building. The shape and pitch of the roof are also among clues to the construction date and style of the building. Dormers and other additions to the roof should be carefully designed to be compatible with the existing form.

In Stoughton, wood shingles were used to roof the earliest houses, and asphalt shingles became standard in the early twentieth century. Some houses were originally clad in slate, metal, or tile; these long-lasting materials contribute to architectural character.

Repair and retain historic cornices and cresting, finials, and other decorative detail at the roofline.

Retain the shape of the original roofline, especially as its is visible from the public way.

Dormers and turrets should be retained. No portion of the roof should be removed to create decks.

Retain slate or tile roofs where possible. New asphalt shingle roofing should blend in with the house and surrounding houses.

Repair and retain existing dormers, maintaining the original roof slope and windows.

New dormers should be compatible with the architectural character of the building.

New skylights should be added in areas not visible from the public right of way. They should be flat and parallel with the roof line.


Roof Types

roof types

Details at Roofline

roofline details


If a dormer addition is planned, it is helpful to look at other houses of similar style (and also at old plan books, if available). Shown are two popular bungalow dormer styles which often work well even on the front roof slope.


Common Roof Terms

Eave: The edge of the roof that projects beyond the house wall

Fascia: Wood or other trim covering the ends of the rafters.

Frieze Board: A flat trim board running horizontally at the top of a wall.

Soffit: The underside of the rafters and roof at the eaves; usually a horizontal board between the fascia and the frieze board.

Deck: The structural nailing base for the roof surface, usually of wood or plywood and felt underlayment.

Exposure: The portion of each shingle exposed to the weather.

Flashing: Metal or other waterproof materials that connect roof shingles to chimneys, valleys, vents, walls, eaves, and rakes.

Rake: The edge of a pitched roof at the gable end.

Ridge: The top edge of the roof, where two roof slopes meet in a horizontal line.

Valley: The junction where two downward sloping roofs meet at an angle; a channel for runoff.


Residential Design Guidelines: Facade   Doors   Windows   Trim   Porches   Roof   Additions