steepled roofs

I'm frustrated with modern house construction.

Modern American houses were effectively designed hundreds of years ago by people in other countries with different tools, different requirements, and different constraints.* Land was cheap, material was expensive, labor was cheap, and everything had to be made by hand.

Just by rethinking some of those basic assumptions, we can start to make much better use of the space we have.

Steepled roofs are good for shedding water and snowfall, but in Southern California these things are just not concerns. Why not have a gently sloped, accessible roof with space for a garden, sunbathing, barbecuing, or stargazing? Land in California is amazingly expensive, even in the housing crunch, but when will we start using the space we have?

*Also people were shorter. What is the deal with 8 foot ceilings and 6 foot beds?


  1. Seriously, 8 foot ceilings are even worse when they are only 7 feet in some rooms, to accommodate air conditioning. I remember jamming my thumb hard on the 7 foot kitchen ceiling (talking with hands, stretching? I forget) and it took years to rehabilitate. What's up with that? (Why) isn't there something in the ADA legislation about 7 foot ceilings being inaccessible and discriminatory?


    P.S. There should also be a law that all beds and couches need to be at least 84 inches long (and 40 inches wide). Blessed California King.

  2. There's a restaurant in Wisconsin my family once went to whose roof is covered in grass and that keeps goats grazing up there.

  3. @Jared: srsly.
    @Sam: see, that is awesome.

  4. At least some people put solar power up there now. I would prefer a garden, personally.