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Hip Roof Buying Guide

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What is a Hip Roof? 

When deciding on the frame and structure for a new roof installation, you will most likely be deciding between a new hip roof or gable roof style for your home. Hip roofs are some of the most popular in the United States because of their clean, modern, design lines and incredible durability. A hip roof has slopes on all four sides. The sides are all equal length and come together at the top to form a ridge. The “hip” is the area where one section of the roof meets another. Hipped roofs are ideal in windy and snowy areas, as the slant of the roof allows snow to easily slide off and prevents standing water that could cause the roof to collapse.

Hip Roof vs. Gable Roofs

The main difference between a hip roof and a gable roof will be the overall design and functionality of each. Hipped roofs have a style where all roof sides slope downward over the walls of your home. Gable roofs have two sides or peaks that slope downward towards your home.

gable roof vs hip roofing

Hip Roof Costs

The average roofing installation price for a hipped roof costs anywhere between $20,00 to $50,000 depending on the slope, pitch, and size of your roof, as well as roofing material used. You can expect to pay $8 to $12 per sq. foot or $80 to $120 per square installed on a standard sized single story home. Hipped roofs are more expensive to frame than gable roofs. Get cost estimates on roofing from local contractors below.

Hip roofs are more expensive to build than gable roof because it’s a more complex design that requires more building materials including a complex system of trusses or rafters. That said, you will experience some savings as framing for a hip-roofed home is much simpler due to the fact that exterior walls are all the exact same height.

Hipped Roof Advantages

In high winds, the slope of the hip roof stalls wind as it has to go up and over the roof, lessening its effect. Hip roofs provide homebuilders with the opportunity to incorporate premium design elements like vaulted ceilings into your home. They provide great ventilation throughout the home and give homeowners the flexibility to make simple additions such as a crow’s nest or a dormer. Another benefit of hip roofs s is that they have a consistent fascia on all four sides, so gutters can easily be installed all around your home. With wraparound gutters, siding is thoroughly shielded from water damage and your basement and property are well-protected from flooding.

You can recognize a hip roof for its lack of any vertical sides or “gables.” Hip roofs are almost always at the same pitch or slope, which makes them symmetrical about the centerlines. The degree of the pitch or slope is referred to as the hip “bevel”. Hip roofs come in a variety of styles. If the top of your house looks like a pyramid, it probably has a square hip roof. If it looks kind of like a pyramid with a long ridge on the top, it’s probably a rectangular hip roof. Tented roofs and Mansard roofs are also variants of hip roofs. Hip roofs can be built with almost any type of roofing material, such as shingles, metal, or tiles. They are frequently used in modern architecture, especially for bungalows, ranch homes, and cottage-style homes. Hip roofs are among the most structurally sound of all roof designs.

hipped vs gable roof styles


Gable Roofs

Gable roofs are peaked roofs that have a triangular roof frame, they are simple to construct, and usually cheaper than more intricate roofing frame styles. Gable roofs are more prone to incurring damage in very windy areas or climates that experience hurricanes often such as Florida or other coastal areas. Gable roofs easily ward off inclement weather such as rain or snow, offer you room for vaulted ceilings, extra attic space, and home ventilation.

Types of Gable Roofs

There are a few types of gable roofs to choose from as seen in the chart below. Gable roofs come in 5 frame styles which are the box gable, cross gabled, dutch gable roof, flying gable, gambrel roof style, and the open gable roof (one of the most common gable roof types).

different roof top frame styles

Hipped Roof Construction

Proper construction and maintenance is a must to prevent minor issues from turning into major problems. For instance, hip roofs have more seams than gable roofs, making it easier for water leaks to form if the roof is not properly installed.

One complaint about hip roofs is that they leave little attic space. It’s important to note though, what you may lose in attic space, you gain in increased ventilation for your home, as well as the vertical space for premium design features like vaulted ceilings, or simple additions like a crow’s nest, which could give your home yet another unique design feature.

Diagram detailing what a hip roof is shaped like.

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