Degrees of pyramid and hip roof construction

Updated July 20, 2017

A hip roof traditionally has no gables or vertical sides. All sides of the roof slope downward toward the walls. The slope of the roof tends to be gentle, without a high pitch. The pitch of a hip roof usually starts from 35 degrees. A hip roof has strong internal bracing, making it ideal for areas with high winds or hurricanes. The downside is that they offer less internal storage areas. There are varying degrees of hip roofs, including a pyramid or square hip roof, mansard roof, dutch gable and a half-hip roof.

Pyramid Roof

A pyramid or square hip roof is shaped like a pyramid with four equal-sized triangles rising to meet in the centre. On a rectangular house, the roof will have two rectangular sides and two trapezoidal sides, all rising at the same pitch, typically at 45 degrees.

Mansard Roof

This roof style is named after the French architect Francois Mansart. The mansard roof has two different roof angles, with one steeper than the other. The upper roof slope is usually not visible from the ground. The degree of pitch on the mansard roof can be as little as 20 degrees and as much as 70 degrees. The advantage to this style of roof is the added internal space, which can be converted into living space.

Dutch Hip Roof

A Dutch gable is a combination of a hip roof and a gable roof with a pitch that can run from 15 degrees to 30 degrees. This is constructed as a hip roof with a full or partial gable set at the end of a ridge. This roof style has the benefits of both a gable and a hip roof.

Half-Hip and Gablet Roof

The half-hip style of roof is often seen in northern European architecture. It is a gabled roof with a small hip roof at the top. A gablet roof is the reverse of the half hip. It is a hip roof with a gabled roof above. This roof, like the dutch gable, can run anywhere from 15 to 35 degrees.

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About the Author

Maria Arnold started her writing career in 1988. She works in the Washington, D.C. bureau for NBC. She has worked on major motion pictures, magazine-format talk shows and news programs, with production experience in writing, producing, researching and unit managing. Arnold has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Maryland.