Roofing is a significant investment for any homeowner. Among two of the most popular types are hip and gable roofs. Both offer a different aesthetic, purpose, and pros and cons. The only question is, which one is the perfect fit for you?
What is a Hip Roof?
Most would define hip roofs as complex and visually pleasing. High-end homes are commonly built with this roofing design. These roofs are slopped on all sides, making them easy to spot.
If the home is square-shaped, hip roofs will have all sloped meeting at the peak, much like a pyramid would. Rectangular-based homes have hip roof ends sloping inward toward a ridge.
What is a Gable Roof?
If you ask children to draw a house, they’ll most likely draw a gable roof—a two-sided roof design sloping down toward the walls.
It’s the most common roof type across North America, thanks to cheaper material and labor costs. To compensate, contractors add braces to strengthen these types of roofs.
Pros and Cons of Hip Roofs
Are you leaning toward a hip roof? Here are some essential pros and cons you need to consider before investing in one.
Pros of Hip Roofs
Choosing a hip roof offers you the following benefits:
- Hip roofs are designed to be self-bracing compared to gable roofs
- It provides better protection against heavy winds and snow
- The eave and gutters are consistent throughout the roof
- It offers better aesthetics and may improve curb appeal
- It can be used as a base for more stylish or complex roof designs
Pros of a Hip Roof
Here are the disadvantages of using a hip roof:
- Sloping on all sides equates to less overall attic room
- Designs are mostly complex
- Costs are much higher due to the complexity
Pros and Cons of Gable Roofs
Gables are the most common roof type there, partly due to cheaper cost. But is cost the only thing to factor in? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of gable roofs to consider:
Pros of Gable Roofs
In most scenarios, Gable roofs offer the following advantages:
- A simpler design
- Lower labor and material cost
- Attic spaces become more spacious
- It provides better overall airflow compared to hip roofs
- Gable roofs can be combined with several roofing styles
Cons of Gable Roofs
With simplicity at the forefront, Gable roofs need compromise in the following areas:
- Prone to damages from high winds
- Gable roofs look “basic” or “common” compared to hip roofs
- Risk of wall caving in if builders fail to construct frames using sturdy support
Hip Vs. Gable Roof? What Should You Go For?
Architects and contractors can make recommendations, but at the end of the day, you decide what type of roof you want for your home. Here’s a checklist you could refer to:
Go for a hip roof when:
- You have the budget to account for material and labor costs for hip roofs
- You’re looking to build an aesthetically pleasing home
- Living in an area prone to strong winds or storms
- Trying to increase the curb appeal of the property
- You want benefits such as insurance discounts, especially in storm-prone areas
Gable roofs are a solid option if:
- You’re looking to build a simple roof design
- You want a more spacious attic
- Solar panel installation is something you’re looking into in the future
- You want to save on roof replacement costs
Types of Hip Roofs
There are five main types or variations of hip roofs that are prevalent in most states: Pavilion, Mansard, Tented, Dutch, and Half-Hip. Here’s a brief look at all five:
Pavilion, also known as a pyramid roof, is a hip roof where all roof sides connect to a single peak. These are commonly built on top of a square base with equal hips.
Mansards are a type of hip roof with a slight slope at the top. Each side has two slopes, one being steeper than the other.
Tented roofs are widely used in churches and similar architecture. It’s similar to a pavilion roof. The difference is tented roofs are mainly built on top of an octagonal base and have steep sides.
Dutch Gable Roof
Dutch Gable roofs combine both a gable and a hip roof. The base of a Dutch gable roof is made with a hip roof with four sloping sides. Then, a Gable roof is placed on top.
The half-hip is an extension of a gable roof. Instead of an upper point, a small hip roof squares off the top gable. It’s common to have a gutter on the lower edge of the half-hip that extends to the remainder of at least one of the roof sides.
Types of Gable Roofs
There are several types of gable roofs. Here are the five most common types of gable roofs you’d see.
Open gables are the most prevalent type of roof in most homes. They have the standard two-sided roofing, with the gable being the property’s siding.
This type of roof has the gable enclosed and extended, covering the sidewall of the property. It’s similar to standard gables but emphasizes the triangular section of the design more.
Gambrell roofs are common across most barns. The sides of this gable roof are created with two different slopes, resulting in a more complex gable shape.
Cross-gable roofs include at least two gable rooflines with the ridges intersecting at a 90-degree angle. Each cross-gable roof varies in design. Length and height can be different for each roof.
Flying gables have a triangular overhang extending outward from a property’s sidewall. This can also serve as a cover for the entrances of a property from rain or snow.
The Final Verdict
Choosing between hip and gable roofs can be difficult. To help you decide, here’s a quick rundown of the main differences between a hip and a gable roof:
- Hip roofs are more aesthetic and complex, resulting in higher costs.
- Gable roofs are simple and only require at least two sides.
- Maintenance costs on gable roofs are easier.
- Hip roofs can improve a property’s curbside value.
- Gable roofs are great for installing solar panels.
No matter which roof you’re going for, you need vetted professionals to help you with installations. That’s where Fahey Roofing comes in! Get your free quote today!
Alex Valentino – Vice President
Leading the way for the company’s second generation of family and employee ownership, Alex’s mission is to create lasting relationships built on trust and respect by providing uncompromising workmanship and unparalleled customer service. With a focus on safety and consumer education, Trenton Roofing strives to set the bar for the advancement of the roofing industry and the betterment of our local communities. When he is not working, Alex can be found traveling with his fiancée, watching football or playing a relaxing round of golf with his friends.