What Is a Hip Roof: Exploring the Advantages and Features

Apr 9, 2023


Moises V.




April 9, 2023


October 11, 2023

Got Questions?

Are you considering installing a hip roof in a house you’re building? This roof type stands out as one of the top structurally sound designs, but that isn’t all you should know about it. So, what is a hip roof? How does it differ from a gable roof? And what are its types, pros, and cons? We’ll give you the rundown you need.

When it comes to installing hip roofs and other structural parts of the house, it’s crucial to get the help of roof repair experts like Viking Contractors LLC. They can ensure your home is up to industry standards and above your expectations.

What Is a Hip Roof?

According to Britannica, a hip roof “slopes upward from all sides of a structure, having no vertical ends. The hip is the external angle at which adjacent sloping sides of a roof meet.”

With hip roofs, all four roof sides slope upward. In rectangular houses, the planes create a ridge with an external angle known as the hip, which is the most common design. There are other types of hip roofs, which we’ll get into.

what is a Hip roof. Elevations, roof plan and 3d view.

You should be familiar with the hip bevel, which is the degree of the angle at which sloping planes intersect. The hip end is the triangular slope that hips create; these hips meet at the roof’s ridge. 

Hip roofs are common choices in church steeples, giving them a high pitch. Also, people in the suburbs often prefer hip roofs because they’re easy to construct.

What Are the Types of Hip Roofs?

There are numerous hip roof types, but these are the most common:

  • Standard: The traditional hip roof type is where four sides peak, forming a ridge. You’ll find it in rectangular houses.
  • Pyramid: Also known as a square hip roof, the pyramid hip roof has four equal sides that peak at a single point, forming a pyramid shape. We can build pyramid hips on a square structure. If it’s a gazebo or garden structure, we call it a pavilion roof.
  • Hip and Valley Roof: If you have a T or L-shaped house, you can top it with a hip and valley roof. Each two roof sides meet and project downwards, creating a valley. This hip roof subtype has become popular lately.
  • Dutch Gable: This hip roof has a gable. If you don’t know what a gable roof is, it’s when two even planes form a horizontal line or ridge at the top.
  • Half Hip: Half hip or jerkin head roofs are a combination of gable styles and hipped roofs. So, they start with a gable structure and become hipped towards the top.

Hip Roofs vs. Gable Roofs

You’re probably interested to know how hip roofs differ from gable roofs, so let’s review their differences.


A hipped roof has four sloping planes that create a ridge with no vertical sides. However, a gable roof has two sloping planes creating a ridge and two triangular or A-shaped vertical sides between the intersecting roof planes (gables).


Water resistance and the truss play into the durability of a roof type. Hip roofs have lower pitches than gable roofs, which are less water and rain-resistant than gable roofs. 

That’s because gravity urges rain, snow, and water to slide down to the downspouts and gutters faster in a high-pitched roof.

You’ll find gable roofs common in cold climates. Still, hip roofs shield your home with a unified cap, which means they shed water well enough.

what is a Hip roof. Panorama Exterior of homes with hip roofs and wooden fences against fresh snow in winter

Meanwhile, a truss is a supportive structure or framework holding up the roof. A hip roof’s trusses are laterally braced, which makes them highly supportive. 

As for gable roofs, trusses are parallel to each other, which renders the gable end the only brace against truss failure.


If you want the roof to have limited wind pressure, you should opt for a hip roof. Their sloping sides direct the wind away from the house. 

Otherwise, gable roofs have two vertical gables, so the wind may blow against them and undermine the house structure.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hip Roofs

Understanding the draws and drawbacks of hip roofs will help you make the right choice for your dream home.


Hip roofs offer you the following perks.

  • Curb Appeal: Because hip roofs only show slopes from all directions, they have a smooth, sleek, and aesthetically pleasing design. You can enjoy their enhanced curb appeal regardless of your hip roof subset.
  • Solid Structure: The self-bracing design of hip roofs (with laterally braced trusses) creates more trust in their structures, which gives them a longer lifespan.
  • Wind Resistance: Hip roofs feature four sloping sides. Their inclination directs wind away from the structure, so they’re ideal for areas with high winds and hurricanes.
  • Water Resistance: The slanted roofs allow rain, snow, and water to slide off the surface for good drainage.


Some concerns you might have about hip roofs are:

  • Leakage Risks: Hip roofs may be prone to leakage because they feature many seams.
  • Maintenance: Hip roofs require some maintenance, and the seams are part of the reason. When professional roofers take care of these roofing services, hip roofs become impressively durable.

Final Thoughts

You can contact Viking Contractors LLC if you want to install a hip roof. We’ll use our experience and high-quality materials to ensure the longevity of your roof.

With the help of our skilled team, you’ll learn which hip roof works for your project. They’ll take care of the installation from start to finish and ensure you’re satisfied with their tailored roofing service. 

This way, you can enjoy your home roof’s curb appeal, high durability, and wind and water resistance!

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