November 4, 2021

What is the Small Roof Over a Door Called?

What is the Small Roof Over a Door Called?

Have you ever wondered what those small roofs that you see over a door are called? Typically, these structures are small but useful, made from different materials such as concrete, wood, plastic, or steel, and come in different shapes, designs, and motif.

Well, the truth is that these small roofs have a variety of accepted names or terminologies that are used to describe it which includes awning or overhang, canopy, porch roof, portico, and eave. What it is called really depends upon the structural design, location, and intended purpose of the owner, explains The Rhode Island Roofers, professional and experienced roofers in Rhode Island.

However, if you want a more accurate name to call that specific structure then we need to define and differentiate each of the accepted terminologies used to describe these roofs in order to determine which of the names or terminologies above are more appropriate to use.

Definition of Awning or Overhang, Canopy, Porch Roof, Portico, and Eaves

The best way to determine which particular term or name to use to describe a specific structure, we need to define each of the terms mentioned above to get a better understanding of what they mean in order to determine which of them provides a more accurate description of the structure that we wish to describe.

Awning or Overhang

According to the definition provided by Wikipedia, an awning or overhang is usually composed of durable materials that are stretched over a light structure made of wood, iron, aluminum, or steel. It serves as a secondary covering that provides shade from the sun and protection from wind, rain, and snow.

Awnings or overhangs are usually attached to the exterior walls of a house or building, typically above a door or window area. These roof structures are usually permanent but some may have the ability to be retracted when needed.


Canopies are commonly free-standing structures that provide shelter to an area outside your house or building. It is most often used outside a door or entrance, but unlike awnings or overheads which are permanent structures, these roofs are generally assembled when needed and stored after use.

Porch Roof

Based on the article published by The Spruce, a porch roof is the roof of a porch that is located at the entrance of a building or house. This structure normally doesn’t have windows but can be screened or enclosed to provide protection from extreme weather or insects.

A porch roof is usually a low structure that provides shelter to the extended area of a house or building. These structures are common among houses that were built in the early 1900s.


Based on the information provided by Conservation Wiki, a portico is a type of porch or roof that features rows of regularly spaced tall columns that are used to support the structure. These structures are generally used to lead people to an entrance or walkway and were widely used in temples in Ancient Greece.

Most people describe a portico as an awning or overhang that features tall columns. They serve a similar purpose but vary in terms of the structural design. It is more similar to a porch area in design but instead of being used as an extension of the house where you can entertain guests, it is just a spot between the indoor and outdoor areas.


Unlike the other structures mentioned above, an eave is not an individual or separate structure but is the part of the roof that hangs or sticks out from the house or building. They are designed to extend outside the walls of a house or building to provide additional cover or protection from the sun, rain, wind, and snow.

Which One is Better: Awning or Overhang, Canopy, Porch Roof, Portico, or Eave?

The reality is that each of these structures serves a purpose. It can either be for added space, protection, or aesthetics. Choosing the best one for your homes or properties really depends upon your preference, available space, and the overall design of your house or building.

Final Words

A small roof over a door can be described using various terminologies and names. If that roof serves as a covering for an extension of the house that is used to entertain guest then it is more likely a porch roof. If it is just a spot that connects the interior area to the exterior area and the roof is connected to the exterior walls then it is an awning or overhang.

If that roof that connects the interior to the exterior area of the house has columns that support it then it is a portico. If it is free-standing and can be stored when not in use then it is a canopy. And lastly, if it is just an extension of the roof that hangs out from the walls of the house then it is probably just an eave.

Whatever it is, the reality is that it doesn’t matter what you call it. What matters most is that it serves its function effectively and it adds to the beauty, attractiveness, and value of the property.

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