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The eaves and rakes (gable-end roof overhangs) of a house can be intensely expressive design features. But expressive of what? Answering such questions is the task of a lifetime. Two difficulties thwart easy answers. First, it is not possible to associate a particular feature with a particular expression. If you could, there would be plenty of "cookbooks" telling you, for example, the exact effect of various overhang designs. The meaning of a detail depends on its context. Look for example at Figure 1 (next page), a bungalow-style home near my house. It has a roof which is basically a folded plate set on top of the walls. The effect is clearly sober and earthbound, pressing the house down