Saltbox roofs are gaining in popularity for their aesthetic appeal and many homeowners are choosing them for the secondary units in their homes. These roofs come from a type of colonial American architecture, named after the wooden salt containers of the era. It features one-sided designs and is notable for having a slope down to the rear of the home, creating a long and low profile. 

These were made to be practical and efficient, with simple and straightforward designs. Often accompanied by large windows due to the extra height it gives, it  allows for more natural light to enter the home. These sloping roofs were also designed to deflect strong winds and encourage snow melts – helping families weather harsh climates. They continued to be popular into the 1800s, and today, these roofs are prized for their historic charm and unique architectural style.

If you’re considering adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to your property, you’ll want to choose the right roof style. A saltbox roof is a great option for ADUs because it offers several advantages over other styles. Keep reading to learn more about why a saltbox roof might be the best choice for your ADU.

1. Reduces Building & Maintenance Cost

If you’re like most homeowners, you’re always looking for the best value option available for your home – making sure you get the most out of your investment.

Photo: Contractor Talk

A Saltbox style roof saves you from the weight of other types of roofs that are often constructed with metal or reinforced concrete. This design lacks the need for vertical support and all it requires are two straight beams to hold its weight – omitting the need for special tools or equipment for its construction. As a result, this allows you to have an easier structural set up, saving money both on the cost of the building and roof repair. 

In addition, Saltbox roofs are also much easier to maintain than other types of roofs as they are less likely to leak – making them an ideal choice for anyone who is looking for a low-maintenance roof option.

2. Strategic for Better Ventilation

Saltbox roofs offer excellent ventilation. They are designed with a gable end that is lower than the rest of the roof. This allows hot air to escape through the gable either through a fan or a window, while the cooler air is drawn in through the eaves. 

The result is a comfortable and well-ventilated space that is less likely to become overheated in summer. Saltbox roofs are also ideal for locations that experience high winds, as they are less likely to be damaged by strong gusts. In addition, the sloped design of saltbox roofs helps to shed snow and ice more effectively, making them a good choice for winter weather. 

Overall, saltbox roofs offer a unique combination of form and function that makes them an excellent choice for both home and business owners.

3. Optimized for Natural Light

When it comes to building an ADU, one of the most important considerations is the amount of natural light that your unit will receive. 

SaltBox Roofs are a roof style that complements well with large window designs – allowing them to maximize the amount of natural light that you can have in your ADU. This can help reduce the energy costs by negating the need for artificial lighting and create a more spacious and open feeling in a smaller unit. It also helps improve the overall productivity, mood, and health of the occupants by increasing the amount of vitamin D that they are exposed to.

4. Solar Panels Placement

Saltbox roofs are well-suited for solar panels, as the sloped surfaces provide an optimal angle for capturing the sun’s rays. Hence ADU.Works took advantage of this asymmetrical design in their ADU Models. Depending on where the sun is facing, the slope allows ADU.Works to identify which angle or side of the roof should the panels be placed for maximum energy efficiency.  

So far, we can observe these being implemented in all the three flagship ADU models of the California-based ADU builder. 


SaltBox Roofing is gaining in popularity for detached accessory dwelling units. So if you’re looking for a roof that is both attractive and functional, a SaltBox roof can be an excellent option. In addition, these roofs are also relatively easy to build, which makes them a popular choice for both contractors and DIY homeowners alike.

If you’re interested in a quick but comprehensive demo, please don’t hesitate to book a consultation with us or give us a quick call through our number +1 (650) 227-4810. Our team looks forward to hearing from you.

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