Naman Singh
by on February 16, 2023

What Is a Hip Roof

A hip roof, hip-roof or hipped roof, is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. Thus, a hipped roof has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof. A square hip roof is shaped like a pyramid Its self-bracing nature makes your home safer from storms and any rough weather. Hip roofs need less support compared to the other types. Hip roofs are more complex than different roof types, which is why it's handy as a shield from storms, strong winds, and snow.

The main difference between a gable roof and a hip roof is that a gable roof has vertical sides and a hip roof has no vertical sides.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Hip Roof

A hip roof is self-bracing, requiring less diagonal bracing than a gable roof. Hip roofs are thus much more resistant to wind damage than gable roofs. Hip roofs have no large, flat, or slab-sided ends to catch wind and are inherently much more stable than gable roofs.

However, for a hurricane region, the roof also has to be steep-sloped; at least 35 degrees from horizontal or steeper in slope is preferred. When wind flows over a shallow sloped hip roof, the roof can behave like an airplane wing.

Lift is then created on the leeward side. The flatter the roof, the more likely this will happen. A steeper pitched hip roof tends to cause the wind to stall as it goes over the roof, breaking up the effect. If the roof slopes are less than 35 degrees from horizontal, the roof will be subject to uplift. Greater than 35 degrees, and not only does wind blowing over it encounter a stalling effect, but the roof is actually held down on the wall plate by the wind pressure.

Because hip roofs consist of four slopes instead of two, the construction cost for this roof style can be a bit higher than for gable roofs. This style of roof consists of a complex system of trusses and rafters, which may lead to a longer construction period. Hip roofs also require more building materials.

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Hip vs. Gable Roof In a Nutshell

A hip roof (or hipped roof) is a type of roof design where all roof sides slope downward toward the walls – where the walls of the house sit under the eaves on each side of the roof.

By comparison…

A gable roof is a type of roof design where two sides slope downward toward the walls – and the other two sides include walls that extend from the bottom of the eaves to the peak of the ridge.

The purpose of your home’s roof is to protect the entire structure (and you) from weather.

Like rain, snow, sleet, wind and hail. Check out our 51-point inspection guide for roof hail damage.

Most residential roofs are sloped, so water runs down the slope into gutters or off the eaves.

Variations of a Hip Roof

  • PAVILION ROOF – a hip roof on a square structure, where all sides join to form a single peak. (Also known as a pyramid roof)
  • MANSARD ROOF – a type of hip roof, where each side includes two different sloping angles with the lower angle much steeper than the upper angle.
  • TENTED ROOF – a multi-sided (polygonal) hip roof with steeply pitched slopes that rise to a peak, similar to what you’d see on a church steeple.
  • DUTCH GABLE ROOF – a variation of the hip roof, that includes a small gable section on the upper portion of the roof.
  • HALF-HIP ROOF – this is an add-on to a gable roof, where the end of the gable includes a small hip roof section that slopes toward the ridge. (Also known as a clipped-gable or jerkin head roof)

What Are Pros and Cons of a Hip Roof?

Advantages: The four-way slope makes it much more stable than other roofing types, and allows water and snow to run off with ease. There is also more ventilation and space for an attic.
Disadvantages: Hip roofs are more complex than flat or gable roofs, making the odds of failure a bit higher.

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Topics: angle, pitch, roof
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