Hip Roof vs Gable Roof and Its Advantages & Disadvantages

Hip Roof vs Gable Roof – If you need to build a house from the foundations, or if you want to renovate your home, you should never make the mistake of neglecting the roof design.

Often the roof is very undervalued during the design and construction of a house, but in reality, it is a fundamental part of the home, which protects against wind, rain, and snow.

For these reasons, it is vital to choose the type of roof suitable for the home, to make the most of its benefits.

To date, in the United States, two types of roofs are trendy, Hip and Gable. But which is the best of these two types of the roof?

In this article, you will find all the tips necessary to choose the right type of roof for your home.
You will discover the pro and cons of hip roof and gable roof, to be able to choose the kind of roof that is suitable for your home in the best way

What is a Hip Roof?

In America, more and more people are choosing a hip roof thanks to their modern and simple design, and to their excellent durability.

These roofs are indeed very resistant and can withstand significant stresses, such as tornadoes, snowstorms, and floods.

This type of roof has slopes on each side, which are the same length and form a ridge on the top of the roof.

The “Hip” is the roof area where one section of the roof meets another. The particular shape of these roofs is perfect for areas with frequent gusts of wind or for areas in the mountains where it often snows.

The particular shape of the roof allows the snow to slide down and prevents snow from staying on top of the roof, with the risk of collapsing. In this way, it is possible to avoid collapses.

In the case of high winds, however, the shape of the roof pushes it upwards, canceling its power and minimizing damage.

During the construction phase, this type o, f roof allows the designers to insert characteristic elements, such as ceilings in the house, increasing the ventilation of the house and subsequently it will be possible to add other decorations on top of the roof.

Furthermore, the other significant advantage of these roofs is the possibility to install gutters on each side, to allow better water flow and to avoid possible infiltrations in case of floods or heavy rain.

This roof may have several shapes; you can choose a square base and a pyramidal tip, or a rectangular base and a pyramidal tip.

They can be built with different materials, and more and more designers choose them for their designs, and they are suitable for cottages, bungalows, and ranches.

Cost of Hip Roof

Because of their particular shape, this type of roof is much more expensive than a gable roof. The reason is straightforward: it has a much more complicated design, which requires more time to be designed in the best way and more materials to be built, with a complex system of trusses or rafters.

But the good news is that by choosing this type of roof you can save money on building the walls, because the walls must be at the same height and this makes the construction of the wall easier and faster, without any additional work, since this type of roof is self-bracing.

Installing a hip roof on a new home is much cheaper than replacing an old type of roof with a hip roof because you first have to demolish the old roof, remove it (spending a lot of money) and then design the new roof and install it.

Energy Efficiency

They are great for winter places with lots of snow, thanks to their shape that prevents the accumulation of snow on the roof, but they are also useful in warmer climates because they allow air to circulate freely in the house, keeping it fresh even in summer. The eaves of the hip roof protect the wall from sunlight.


If the roof is constructed correctly, together with the correct design, the maintenance to be carried out will be minimal. One thing to keep in mind is the seams of the hip roof.

These seams must be made correctly, and the roof must be assembled respecting all the rules. Otherwise, the seams will not be able to waterproof the roof, with the consequence of having many water infiltrations and wet stains.

However, this problem can be avoided thanks to the correct installation.

Common Concerns with Hip Roof

Many people do not appreciate this type of roof since it leaves very little space for an attic. However, the area that is lost can be compensated by more excellent ventilation of the house and with a lot of vertical space that can be used for the installation of ceilings, crow’s nest and other accessories that can make the home unique and special.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hip Roof

In conclusion, here are described the advantages and disadvantages of this particular type of roof



  • They are more stable than a gable roof thanks to the slopes. A hip roof is more durable and sturdy.
  • They are suitable for wind and snowy locations. The particular shape of the roof allows the snow to slide off easily and the roof can minimize the action of the wind.
  • They can offer an excellent ventilation and the vertical space can be used to customize the home.



  • They are very expensive. They have a sophisticated design, and they need a lot of building materials.
  • The roof must be installed correctly with waterproof seams. Otherwise, you will find a lot of water leaks.

Types of Hip Roof

There are three types of Hip Roof.

Simple Hip:

The most common and used type. A polygon on two sides and a triangle on the other two. The sides are joined together with the top to create a simple ridge.

Cross Hipped:

This type is similar to a cross gable roof. It uses separate hip roofs with different wings. The line where the two roofs meet each other is called the valley and must be waterproofed very well because it will be the point where the water will enter more.

Half Hipped:

A standard hip roof that has two shorter sides to create eaves.

Gable Roof; What is a Gable Roof?

The Gable Roof is the other type of roof that is popular in America. This is a type of roof very different from the Hypo Roof, and that has pros and cons that we will examine in this article where you will have all the information to choose in the best way the type of roof that is most suitable for your home.

The origin of the name.

“Gable” does not refer to the type of roof but to the two external walls that support the roof. They are called “Gabel Ends.”


This roof has two opposing and sloped sides, which join at the top of the roofline, forming a sort of inverted “V.” The peak of the roof is perpendicular to the end of the gable.

These roofs are classified as a series of numbers (for example 8 in 12, 12 in 12).

The first number represents the rise of the roof; the second is the run. The first number must be considered vertically, the second number horizontally.

They are not limited by a particular orientation and can be placed anywhere in the house. A positive aspect is the possibility of uniting more gables together.

This type of roof was already used centuries ago and is described in several books by Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of “The Scarlet Letter.”

Some people call this roof “pitched, ” or “peaked” and Gable roofs are very popular in the USA, where you can find a lot of homes with their familiar triangular shape.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gable Roof



  • They protect against water and snow.
  • You will have a lot of space for an attic.
  • They allow a high ventilation.
  • Easy to build and cheaper than a Hip Roof.



  • They are not suitable for wind and hurricane-prone areas because the roof can collapse if it’s not constructed properly. The wind can peel away some materials from the gable with a great danger and can detach the roof from the wall. In the case of a Gable roof in a windy area be careful and use proper braces and do regular inspections after every single storm to prevent further damages in the future. Materials These roofs can be covered with all the most common building materials, such as asphalt or terra cotta. However, we recommend using metal shingles or standing seam to prevent water infiltration. Also for regions with a lot of snow, it is better to use a roof classified 10/12.

Types of Gable Roof

Side Gable:

It’s a based pitched roof with two sides pitched at an angle. Both sides meet in the middle of a building. The section can be left open (open gable roof) or enclosed (boxed gable roof).

Crossed Gable:

Two gable roof sections put together. The ridges are perpendicular to each other, and the length, pitches, and height may be different from each other.

This design is fantastic for homes that have separate wings because a designer can use the cross gable roof to accent the different areas of the home. It’s used in “Cape Cod” and “Tudor” houses.

Front Gable:

The front gable roof is placed at the entrance of the home. It’s used in “Colonial” style houses.

Dutch Gable Roof:

This style is a hybrid between the hip roof and a gable roof. You can do that placing the gable roof at the top of the hip roof to gain more space and to turn the house more stylishly.

Cost of Gable Roof

This type of roof is cheaper than the hip roof; this is a simulation-based on data collected during the construction of new homes. Turning a roof into a gable roof can result in an increase of $ 5000 / 10000 spending depending on the size of the project.

In any case, this is just a simulation to get a general picture of the costs.

  • The labor for framing the gable roof costs 8/12$ for a square foot of the surface. For 1500 square foot roof the price will be between 12000 and 18000$. Working on multiple gables and dormers can increase this amount to 25000$.
  • The framing materials cost 1 or 2$ for square foot. In our 1500 square foot roof, the cost will be up to 1500/3000$.
  • The roof covering (essential to avoid water leaks) can be done with different materials, like asphalt, wood shakes, slate costs around 4/20$ for square foot. This price depends on the stuff that is chosen to cover the roof. In our 1500 square foot roof, the price will be in the 6000/30000$ frame.
  • On the market, pre-assembled gable trusses are available which can allow a considerable saving in this process, around 30%, since the roof must not be built from scratch. Present this option to the contractor to find out exactly how much money you can save.

Hip roof vs gable roof conclusion

The main difference between a hip roof vs a gable roof will be the overall design and functionality of each. Hipped roofs have a style where all roof sides slope downward over the walls of your home. Gable roofs have two sides or peaks that slope downward towards your home.

Choosing types of the roof instead of another is not easy because it is an operation that requires you to examine various factors, such as the aesthetics of the house, the location, the weathering and much more.

Furthermore, the costs involved in building a roof are a variant that can influence your decision.

The article information is intended to help you to choose the best roof, but you need to consult an architect or bricklayer to have the best advice and can make the right choice.

Do not try to save money on the roof, because it is an essential part of the house and protects it from wind, rain, and snow. Shoddy work will be dangerous for the whole family and could lead to problems like humidity and water leaks.

Choose a quality roof for complete safety and protection.

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