Hip vs Gable Roof

There are two most popular types of roofs that you can choose for your house: hip vs. gable roof. Each of them has its own unique characteristics. It depends on your preference to pick one or mix them as a hip and gable combination.

The hip roof is a type where every side slops downwards to the walls, and the gable roof is a more classic type where two sides are in the opposite direction. They have their own drawbacks and advantages, but before comparing hip vs gable roof, let’s find out some of gable roof designs: 

Hip vs Gable Roof
Hip vs. Gable Roof

Read also: Common Roof Pitch Angles

Gable roof design 

Gable roof is usually used in some parts of the world where the climate or the temperature is cold. The two sides of the roofs are placed in the highest, and horizontal edges meet to form the roof ridge. Various materials used in the type of roof are using rafters, purlins, or roof trusses.

Gable roof design
Gable roof design

A hip roof, with its simple design and four sloping sides, can withstand high wind better than other types of roofs, making it a suitable option for areas prone to strong winds.

According to the pitch of the height of the gutters and the pitch of the roof, there are various types of this roof. 

  • Side gable: it is the most basic design of a gable roof. It contains sides pitched and two equal panels. Both parts of the roof meet in the middle of the building, where they meet at the ridge. You can leave the triangle section open for an open gable roof, and for the boxed gable roof, you can make it closed. 
  • Crossed gable: it is usually used in Tudor and Cape Cod styles of houses. It’s a type of gable roof where you can put together the two sides at the right angle. Both sides are perpendicular to each other. Their pitches, lengths, and heights may be the same or different from each other. 
  • Front gable: this design is placed at the house entrance, and you can recognize this type in Colonial-style houses. It’s also a typical design for streets in German cities in the medieval gothic period. While in America, this type was widely used in the early 19th century. 

Hip roof advantages and disadvantages

The hip roof usually has a gentle slope that houses with no vertical sides or gables this type of roof. Its shape is similar to the pyramid, and it might have two triangular sides and two trapezoids. In rectangular design, you can plan for four faces. The center lines of the hip roof are symmetrical because of the same pitch or slope.  

If you live in a region where hurricanes are frequent, you’ll want to choose a hip roof. It is more stable than gables because hip roofs don’t have flat, large, and slab-sided ends that catch more wind. However, one thing to remember is that you have to make the roof at least thirty-five degrees from horizontal.

The steep slope works like airplane wings, and you want to have that to anticipate hurricanes. It is more likely for the roof to uplift if you make the slopes less than 35 degrees. 

Besides the advantage, you should consider the disadvantage because you’ll have less room inside the roof’s space. When it comes to maintenance, it’ll cause more effort because access to the roof is difficult.

Another drawback is that you’ll have trouble installing ventilation to the roof, and you might not get any natural light. 

Hip and gable roof combination

If you live in countries like Denmark or Germany, you might be familiar with this roof type. It is also a typical roof for traditional timber frame buildings in South East England.

Besides, you may pick this type because you don’t know what to choose between hip vs. gable roof. You can have this type by simply getting an extension of the hip roof that works well together with a gable roof. 

It is called half-hipped (clipped gable, Jerkin Head, or Dutch hip). It’s a perfect option for you who don’t know what some changes to the walls. The combination of hip and gable roof makes the hipped parts stay at the top, while the gable ones are lower. You can apply some changes and attachments to both roofs so that you’ll make your house looks incredible without even trying hard.  

Another combination you might want to pick is the Dutch gable roof. It is a type of roof where the gable part is placed at the top of the hip to give more space and give your house a more sense of appealing aesthetic. Don’t forget to make sure that you have estimated the cost of combining the two roofs.

With its amazing look, of course, it’s going to be worth it. But if you’re not ready for costly roofs, the regular hip or gable type might also serve your needs. Don’t take too much thought in comparing hip vs. gable roof because plenty of other parts of the house also need your consideration.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair