Choosing a Hip Roof or Gable Roof

If you’re in the process of designing or building a new house or extending your current property, you’ll need to think about the different roof types available and which will suit the building best. Here’s a short guide to hip roofs and gable roofs, complete with the advantages and disadvantages of each design.

Gable roof

Gable roofs are very popular and have a triangular shape with slopes on either side. The two equal panels meet at a ridge in the middle and the triangular section at each end can either be left open (an ‘open’ gable) or closed off (a ‘boxed’ gable).


  1. The simple design of gable roofs makes them relatively cheap to install and have a classy look that fits Tudor or Colonial style houses.
  2. These roof types provide more head space if the attic is being used as a room, and allow for better ventilation in the interior.
  3. They’re great for areas with heavy rainfall or snow: due to the angle of the slope, water and snow falls straight off rather than collecting on the top.


  1. A gable roof is less sturdy than a hip roof, meaning high winds and hurricanes can cause major problems. It is recommended to use proper braces and have regular inspections if you choose this style.
  2. If too great an overhang is left on the roof, windy weather can cause it to lift away from the house altogether.

Hip roof

A hip roof has four sloping sides descending from the ridge at the top, each of which has an equal length and height. The slopes are typically less pronounced than on gable roofs, and there are several types to suit the style of house – for example, a half hip, on which two sides are made shorter to create eaves.


  1. Hip roofs are very stable and secure thanks to the structural foundations used to build them and the way the four sides come together.
  2. They’re good for areas that are open to the elements, as the roof supports the centre of gravity adequately. Rain and snow will also shed from hip roofs, so there’s little chance of standing water.
  3. If a pitched dormer is added, houses with a hip roof can benefit from extra living space and increased light.


  1. Hip roofs require a greater upfront cost due to the extra planning, materials and labour needed to construct them.
  2. If you’re working on the project yourself, it’s worth bearing in mind that they are structurally challenging to build, as the design is complex and includes more seams, meaning care must be taken to prevent leaking.

Roof design services

Bluelime Projects provides a range of architectural services for domestic and commercial buildings, including extensions, hip to gable loft conversions and roof design. Contact us today on 01322 521026 for a consultation.

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