The Best Styles And Materials For Cottage Roofing Design


Cottage home styles began as smaller homes focused on a cozy and homey feel. Today’s cottage homes can be small, but they can also be much larger while still including elements that keep the focus on a cozy space.

Cottages can include a variety of design elements, but they often include low-pitched gable roofs, dormers for added light in the upper floor, stone walls or other stone features, chimneys, and one or one and a half stories.

Early cottages in the Middle Ages were constructed from local materials that included stone for the structure itself. The cottage roof was often thatched, made from dry fibers woven together to create a roof that protected the home from the elements as well as rodents and pests.

As time went on, the roof styles for a cottage home evolved to include cedar shake and slate tiles. These types of cottage roofing materials were also plentiful as they were made from natural materials and lent the cottage its signature quaint and cozy appearance.

While the original cottages were small, today’s cottages can be small and quaint or expansive depending on individual needs, but regardless of their individual features, cottages are, above all, cozy and intimate spaces.

Today’s cottage roofing takes advantage of a further evolution of available materials, using composite cedar shake and slate tiles that capture the look of a cottage roof, but without the downsides of using a natural material.

Cottage Roof Materials

There are a number of options for cottage roof materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Natural Cedar Shakes

Traditional cedar shake roofing is made from cedar logs split into shingles and often sawn on one or both sides to help them lay flat on the roof.


  • Captures the look of early cottages

  • Creates a rustic and cozy appearance

  • Impact and wind resistant

  • Insect resistant

  • Can last up to 30 years when properly maintained

  • Naturally weathers

  • Can be stained a desired color


  • Requires significant maintenance that includes regular cleaning and replacement of damaged shakes

  • Shakes can warp, rot, and split

  • Should be installed by a qualified contractor who specializes in cedar shakes

  • Must be treated to become more fire resistant

  • No control over the final color after weathering

  • Stains will fade and need to reapplied over time

Natural Slate

Slate roof tiles are manufactured by splitting large chunks of slate into thin tiles.


  • Captures the old world feel of an early cottage home

  • Durable and long-lasting when properly maintained

  • Naturally fire-resistant and insect-resistant

  • Can be recycled as roofing again

  • Weathers into a beautiful patina


  • Very heavy often requires structural reinforcement to support its weight

  • Requires a specialist for installation and repairs

  • Can become brittle and chip, break, or flake

  • Difficult to walk on for inspections

  • No control over the final color after weathering

Composite Roof Tiles

Composite roof tiles can mimic the look of natural cedar shake and slate roof tiles without the disadvantages and necessary maintenance.


  • Lightweight

  • Can be installed by nearly any qualified contractor

  • A do-it-yourself option for an experienced DIYer

  • More durable than natural materials without the maintenance

  • Stands up to freeze/thaw cycles that can damage natural materials

  • More control over the color because it won’t be subject to color changes due to weathering

  • Huge selection of colors to choose from

  • Lasts up to 50 years with no maintenance besides periodically removing debris


  • Can be more expensive than other materials like asphalt shingles

Cottage Roof Styles

Large But Cozy

Cedar Shake Aged

This large cottage maintains its cozy charm by incorporating stone elements and shutters. Its gable style roof includes dormers to allow light to enter the upstairs. Choosing Brava’s Cedar Shake in Aged creates the illusion of natural cedar shakes with light weathering, but without the maintenance that comes with traditional cedar shakes.

Stone Brings The Charm

Cedar Shake Aspen

Just like early cottages, this cottage is constructed from stone to create a one-of-a-kind look and feel. Unlike early cottages, however, it includes composite Cedar Shake tiles in Aspen that create the natural appearance of light cedar shakes.

A Scandinavian Touch

Old World Slate Arendale

This cottage evokes Old World Scandinavian charm with dark vertical wood siding, black window frames, and a stone foundation. The look is completed with Old World Slate in Arendale. The dark and brooding cottage roofing completes the look while also adding depth of character.

Choose Brava Roof Tile To Complete Your Cottage

A cozy cottage is a place to relax and unwind, where you shouldn’t have to worry about constant roof maintenance. Choosing Brava Roof Tiles allows you to relax and enjoy your space with the peace of mind that comes with a 50-year transferable warranty.

Our roof tiles are available with a Class A or Class C fire rating and Class 4 impact resistance. They are cast from authentic natural materials, and effortlessly achieve the look and feel of traditional cedar shake and slate tiles, but you won’t have to worry about maintaining them or watching as they weather into a color that doesn’t fit the look of your home.

Contact the experts at Brava today to discuss your cottage roofing needs and request a free sample.