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Hip Roof vs Gable Roof: The Key Differences

Both hip roofs and gable roofs are roof design types that serve as the cover of the building, protect the structure against elements and harsh conditions, and add aesthetic appeal to the exterior of a building. 

If you’re looking to build or remodel your house, you’re probably wondering which roof type, a hip roof or a gable roof, is best for your project.

Source: iko.com

Let’s take a look at these two roof design styles and the key features you have to consider, including their types, components, costs, warranty, and durability. Read on to explore these essential aspects in detail.

What Is Hip Roof?

Back in the early 18th century, hip roofs were popularized during the Georgian period in the U.S as many homes during that time used hip roofs due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. They were commonly seen in cottages and bungalows and became a common feature, especially in the French Colonial Style.

Hip Roof, also known as Hipped Roof, has four sloping sides with no vertical ends pointed towards the side walls at a consistent angle. The hip end is referred to as the triangular sloping surface or the external angle where the adjacent slanting sides of the roof sides meet.

Source: houstonroofingonline.com

Hip roofs come in five available hip roof designs, including Regular Hip Roof, Half-Hip Roof, Cross-Hip Roof, Pyramid Hip Roof, and Hip and Valley Roof.

A regular hip roof has two slope symmetrical sides, and it sits on a rectangular design, while a half-hip roof is comprised of both the elements of a hip roof and a gable roof.

The half-hip roof is also referred to as a clipped gable roof or jerkinhead, which is characterized by having a hip above a gable.

The cross-hip roof can be characterized by having the cross hips placed in a perpendicular form and sections of roof or two hip roof buildings connected, meeting at their corresponding ends. The space where they meet forms a seam, which is referred to as the valley. 

A pyramid hip roof is constructed on a square or rectangle building with four triangle sides meeting at a centralized point, taking the shape of a pyramid. It only has a point, which means a pyramid hip roof has no ridge beam. 

This type of hip roof is usually featured in gazebos, garages, pool houses, and other pavilion structures. A hip and valley roof, also called broken-back hip-and-valley roof, has four hips or sloping sides that are joined together. The sections or the inside corners of the four hips are divided by valleys. 

What Is Gable Roof?

Gable roofs became an architectural staple during ancient Greek times and were commonly used in temples. During the early nineteenth century, front-gabled houses or houses with gables facing the street became popular in America and became a standard type of roof in Germany.   

A gable roof, also known as the pitched roof, has two sloping sides in opposite directions, with the horizontal edges meeting to form a roof ridge or top point. This type of roof is characterized by its triangular shape at each end. 

Gable roofs can be categorized into four main gable roof types: Front Gable Roof, Side Gable Roof, Crossed Gable Roof, and Dutch Gable Roof.

A front gable roof is popular in Colonial homes, and it is usually placed at the front, facing the street to highlight the entrance of the house. It also adds protection to the entryway or porch. 

A side gable roof is referred to as a standard pitched roof and has two equal sides pitched at an angle that meets at the ridge, which can be found in the middle of the structure. This type of gable roof is constructed to face the side of the house, hence the name side gable roof. 

Moreover, a crossed gable roof has two gable sections merged at a perpendicular junction with a right angle. This type of gable roof is typically seen on Tudor-style or Cape Cod homes and is one of the most complex gable roof designs. 

Houses with crossed gable roofs usually have a large porch, separate wings, or attached garage. A dutch gable roof, on the other hand, is a combination of a hip roof and a gable roof. This type of gable roof is characterized by a gable roof placed on top of a hip roof. 

Hip Roof vs Gable Roof: Cost Comparison

In general, the cost of a hip roof typically ranges from $8 to $12 per square foot or $80 to $120 per square. With the installation fee included and the framing materials, a hip roof may cost about $20,000 to $60,000.

The average cost of a gable roof, on the other hand, typically ranges from $4 to $6 per square foot or $40 to $60 per square. It costs around $13,000 to $48,000 if the installation fee and framing materials are included.

A hip roof is more expensive than a gable roof due to its complexity in design and structure. It’s also because it requires more building materials, such as trusses or rafters. 

Moreover, the average pricing of the hip roof and gable roof may also vary, depending on the size, slope, and pitch of your roof, along with the specific pricing provided by the roofing manufacturer.

Hip Roof vs Gable Roof: Warranty Comparison

Warranty coverage for both hip roof and gable roof may vary, depending on the manufacture of the brand.

In general, both roofs come with a standard lifetime limited warranty, meaning you have warranty coverage as long as you’re the owner of the house. The degree of security will be limited and may also vary, depending on the manufacturer’s specified rules.

The lifetime limited warranty has coverage for defective materials, replacement costs of defective roofing products, labor costs, but it only applies for the first few years and will be prorated after. 

Hip Roof vs Gable Roof: Durability Comparison

Hip roofs have four inward sloping sides that make them durable and sturdy. These sloping sides allow the hip roofs to be strong and stable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions or elements, such as heavy winds, hurricanes, or snowstorms.

Hip roofs are also more resistant to damages caused by high winds as they have no large, slab-sided ends that catch the wind due to their self-bracing properties.

Gable roofs are typically made of traditional asphalt, metal shingles, tile shingles, or cedar shake, which makes them durable and sturdy. 

Compared to hip roofs, gable roofs are less durable due to their design or structure. They are also more likely to need additional support than hip roofs to prevent damages caused by strong weather conditions. Gable roofs are also less resistant to wind damage.

Hip Roof vs Gable Roof: Components Comparison

A hip roof also has four structural components, including common rafters, ridge boards, hip rafters, and jack rafters. 

A common rafter is used to secure the height, center the ridge board, locate the ridge ends and help construct the sloped roof, which makes up the framing system of the roof. The ridge board or the topmost part of the hip roof, where the common rafters and hip rafters are nailed in place.

Hip rafters are nailed to the ridge board and at the top of the jack rafters. They are nailed at a 45-degree angle on the four corners of the structure. Hip rafters are also used to connect the shorter rafters to the wallplate.

The jack rafters, referred to as shorter rafters, are components of the hip roof that are used in the hip and valley roofs.

A gable roof has 10 architectural components: roof plane, ridge, valley, dormer, abutment, hip, gable, hipped end, gable end, and eave.

A roof plane is the roof’s flat surface at an angled or pitched that is the most prominent part of the roof, while a ridge is a peak or the top part of the roof where the two roof planes meet.

The valley is the part where the two sloping sides meet, while the dormer is the roof feature that usually contains a window projected vertically out from the face of the roof. 

An abutment is another component of a gable roof where the face of the roof meets the wall, while the hip is where the sloping sides meet. 

Hip Roof vs Gable Roof: Final Showdown

Choosing the roof design is crucial since it will play a big role in protecting the house against harsh elements or heavy weather conditions, adding value, and enhancing the aesthetic and modern appeal to the structure of the house. 

Both hip roofs and gable roofs make a good roof choice for homeowners due to their durability and strength, but if you prefer a more durable and wind damage resistant, then a hip roof is the ideal type for you. 

If you want a more affordable roof choice that can still provide good quality for your home improvement project, then a gable roof is the type of roof more suitable for you.

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