Types of Hip Roofs

The roof is unquestionably one of the most critical parts of a house; it protects you and defines its overall appearance. Whether you are looking to replace your home's roof or install a new one, you should know your options. Hip roofs are one style among many and can be the ideal choice in many cases.

Hip roofs, also known as hipped roofs, have been around for centuries. This roof style is popular for its modern looks and highly durable design. It offers a variety of benefits that other roof types don't and can improve your home's curb appeal. If you are longing for something a little different in your roof and want to learn more about hip roofs, we've got you covered.

What is a Hip Roof?

A hip roof is a roofing style with four downward sloping sides to the walls. All the sides slant downwards at a consistent angle, meeting at a ridge in the center of the roof. They are usually rectangular, and you won't find any vertical sides or gable ends.

Most commonly found in North America, hip roofs are considered the second most popular roof style after gable roofs. People often confuse the two roof styles, but there is a key difference. Hip roofs slope down towards all four sides of the building, while gable roofs only slope towards two sides.

Hip roofs are often seen on modern homes and are popular for new builds. They deliver a sleek, minimalist look that is popular with many homeowners. Since they slope down towards all four sides, hip roofs are highly durable and can withstand a lot of weathering. There are five main types of hip roofs, which we will detail below.

Before that, let's look at the history of hip roofs.

A Brief History of Hip Roofs

Hip roofs have a fascinating history that spans centuries. Their initial popularity in America can be dated back to the 18th century during the early Georgian period. This roof style was a common occurrence in many Georgian-style houses in the mid-Atlantic and Southern areas of the US. It was a key design element in many French Colonial or Creole-style homes.

In the northern regions, hip roofs were used for their ornamental appeal, while in the southern areas, it was for practical reasons. People relied on the roof to get protection from the sun and cover their poaches or open galleries. Hip roofs are still popular today and can be found in various homes. They are more aerodynamic and are primarily favored in regions with strong winds and hurricanes.

5 Types of Hip Roofs

Now that you have some background on hip roofs let's look at the five main types. There are slight variations in the hip roof style that these types reflect, and each offers a unique set of benefits.

Regular Hip Roof

You'll probably encounter this roof style often.

This is the most common hip roof type and is rectangular in shape. The longer sides have a polygon-shaped slope, while the remaining sides at the front and back have a triangular-shaped slope. All four sides have a uniform slope, and the ridge is in the center of the roof.

It's also called "simple hip roof" as it provides a sleek, minimalist look. This hip roof type is often seen in traditional homes and has a simple, elegant appearance. It is perfect for those looking for a simple design that doesn't stand out too much. The regular hip roof type is primarily preferred because it's highly durable and can withstand all kinds of weathering.

Key features:

  • Rectangular shape
  • Polygonal shaped slope on the longer sides
  • Triangular shaped slope on the front and back sides
  • Uniform slope on all four sides
  • Ridge in the center of the roof

Half-Hip Roof

A new riff on a well-liked design.

The half-hip roof type features two short sides that form eaves. This style is known by several names, such as jerkinhead, clipped gables, and half-hipped roofs. They are recognized by the gable; however, they have a slight hip in place of the upper points of the gable.

Essentially, they reflect elements of both a gable and a hip roof. One of the most underlying features of the half-hip roof is that it can facilitate the ease of drainage from the gutters. These roofs are popular in Europe and commonly found in many old buildings.

Key features:

  • Gabled roof with a slight hip in place of the upper points
  • Shorter sides form eaves
  • Can accommodate gutters in the lower edge

Cross-Hip Roof

Hip roofs can be altered to accommodate houses of various shapes, not just your standard rectangle.

The cross-hip roof is another popular variation of the hip roof, and it has a unique appearance. These roofs are used for L-shaped buildings and are laid out perpendicularly. The two sections join the roof buildings together at the ends, creating a valley, and the seam forms the cross-hipped roof.

In the 19th century, this style was popular in Italy, and in the 20th century, it was found in North America's most ranch-style homes. They indeed provide a distinctive look but are also preferred for their practical abilities. Cross-hip roofs are also suitable for installing a gutter like half-hip roofs. The cross-hip roof is a popular choice for those who want an attractive design for their home.

Key features:

  • L-shaped
  • Roof sections join perpendicularly
  • Valley in the center of the roof
  • Suitable for installing a gutter

Pyramid Hip Roof

Not quite as impressive as real pyramids, but definitely inspired.

Pyramid hip roofs are placed on a square structure and create a pyramidical shape. They are made with four equally-sized triangular-shaped sides that slope inward to meet at the top. The pyramid hip roof is similar to the regular hip roof style, but it has a more triangular shape.

These roofs have a much steeper slope, with the ridge at the center of the roof forming a centralized peak. It's also known as a pavilion roof, and you can commonly find their lower variants topping gazebos and pavilion buildings. In the contemporary world, this type of hip roof is often seen in modern homes with a sleek, minimalist look.

Key features:

  • Four triangular-shaped sides
  • Joins at the top to form a pyramid
  • Steeper slope
  • Single centralized peak

Hip and Valley Roof

This approach gives architects more room for customization.

The hip and valley roof has the most complex yet interesting design. It's made up of two intersecting hips and valleys; hence, it's also called the intersecting hip roof. They form valleys at the inside corners and hips at the ridges, and you may find more than four hips on these roofs.

They are also called broken-back hip-and-valley roofs as the main set of hips are connected by the rafter of the valley and gables. This style has a more rugged and uneven look when compared to other hip roof types. The roof style is often used on larger commercial buildings or luxurious homes with complex rooflines.

Key features:

  • Two intersecting hips and valleys
  • Forms valleys and hips at the inside corners
  • More than four hips
  • Rugged and uneven look

Bottom Line

There you go, with the hip roof and its five types explained! As you can see, this roof style is quite popular among different house designs, and there's a good reason for that. It's not just about the looks; they also have great functionality. If you want to build or design a house with hip roofs, you have sufficient knowledge to get started. Happy roofing!

Posted by Pavneet Lobana

Pavneet is a home and lifestyle blogger with a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces. A self-taught chef, she also loves to cook and share her recipes with others. Whether you're looking to create a cozy reading nook or upgrade your kitchen, she has advice that will help you get the most out of your space.