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Hip Roof – Compare Cost, Pros & Cons of a Hip Roof Vs a Gable Roof

Welcome to the RenoCompare guide to hipped roofs just one aspect of our roofing section. Here are hip roof basics that allow you to compare this roof type to others you’re considering such as a gable roof. The terms hip and hipped are used interchangeably by architects and builders.

Hip Roof Defined – What is a Hip Roof House?

A hip roof slopes on all sides. There are no gables. Instead, the area is covered by a section of roof that slopes downward and outward from the peak. The hip of the roof is place adjoining sections of roof meet.

As with gable roofs, hipped roofs are built in a range of slopes from about 4/12 to about 20/12. The first number represent the rise in elevation of the roof for each 12” it runs toward the peak.

Hip Roof Vs Gable Roof

A hip roof is more prominent than a gable roof. There’s more roof, and this means higher costs. The hipped roof home has less wall to side, so there’s a higher total cost if the siding is vinyl, wood or fiber cement, but a lower total cost if the siding is brick or genuine stone.

Hip roofs have superior strength in high winds. There are standard hip roofs and gable roofs and variations of each that create architectural interest. A hipped roof is considered a modern style; gable roofs are traditional. Gable and hip roofs accommodate the same roofing materials.

Hipped Roof Pros and Cons

Here’s a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of a hip roof.

Hip Roof Benefits

Hipped roof advantages include modern aesthetics that accommodate any roofing material. The construction is stable, with no gable to catch high winds and lift the roof. Hip roofs shed rain and snow better than flat roofs, and wraparound gutters with downspouts effectively keep water away from your home.

Hip Roof Drawbacks

Hip roof disadvantages start with the higher cost of construction and maintenance than gable and flat roofs. A hip roof reduces living or attic space directly beneath it compared with a flat or gable roof. Proper venting of a hip roof is more difficult and costly. Lastly, a dormer in a hip roof that isn’t properly built will lead to damaging water leaks.

Compare hip roof pros and cons with those of gable roofs and flat roofs before choosing your roof type.

Hip Roof Cost

Here’s a summary of hip roof costs:

  • Trusses and sheathing materials:

$7-$12 per square foot of roof for framing materials including the trusses, whether framed onsite or in a factory. For a home with 2,000 square foot of roof, that’s $14,000-$24,000.

  • Framing labor costs:

$2-$4 per square foot of roofing, with specific costs based on the pitch of the roof, its complexity and whether the home is a single-story or multi-story dwelling. That’s $4,000-$8,000 for our example of a home with 2,000 square feet of roof area.

  • Roofing materials:

$3-$18 per square foot. For 2,000 square feet of roof, that’s $6,000-$36,000.

  • Crane rental (optional):

$400-$700 per day. A crane is typically used to raise very large trusses or trusses to an upper story of a dwelling.

The primary factor, other than the size of the roof, to affect hip roof costs is the material used. Here’s a summary of your options for the installed cost, in square feet, of today’s most popular roof materials:

  • Asphalt shingles: $3.00-$8.00
  • Wood shingles & shakes: $5.00-$8.00
  • Metal: $6.00-$12.00
  • Tiles: $10.00-$21.00
  • Vinyl slate: $8.00-$13
  • Genuine slate: $15.00-$18.00

The bottom line is that a complete hip roof cost for a home with 2,000 square feet of roof is $24,000 to $68,000.

You can learn more about the differences between a metal roof and shingles here.

Hip Roof Designs

There are six hip roof variations to consider.

  • Simple hip roof

Basic hipped roofs are found on homes with non-square, rectangular footprints.

  • Pyramid hip roof

This is a hip roof on a structure with a square footprint and four roof sections of equal width and pitch. Also called a pavilion roof.

  • Cross hipped roof

A cross hip roof is a hipped roof on a home with a non-rectangular footprint, such as an L-shaped or T-shaped home, with roof sections that intersect.

  • Half hipped roof

This style features a gable wall with the top of the triangle replaced with hipped portion of roof that is shorter, peak to eave, than the other portions of the roof. Also, clipped gable roof.

  • Dutch gable hipped roof

A Dutch gable roof is a partial hip roof that doesn’t extend upward to meet the ridge of the remaining roof, producing a small gable wall above it.

  • Mansard roof

This is a hipped roof with a pitch that becomes steeper, often vertical, partway down the slope.

Hip Roof Construction

Most hip roofs are constructed with factory-built truss packages rather than framed onsite to reduce labor cost and improve accuracy. The truss package consists of full trusses for the center of the home and partial or hip trusses for the hipped portions of the roof.

Constructing a hipped roof includes:

  • Lifting the trusses to the roof and nailing them into place
  • Sheathing the trusses to create the roof deck
  • Cutting vents into the deck (optional)
  • Installing the roofing material, fascia and soffit.

The best roofing materials for hip roofs are:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Metal
  • Clay or concrete tiles
  • Cedar shingles or shakes
  • Slate tiles

Hip Roof Vents

A major concern with hipped roofs is ventilation. While gables provide a natural location for attic vents, the lack of gables means ridge, hip and soffit venting are essential. On large homes with attics, vents are often cut into the roof deck and covered with metal hoods, sometimes including fans or turbines for improved venting.