What is the Hip of a Roof?

If you are unfamiliar with hipped roofs, you are not alone. But, if you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are looking to add a roof or replace one and you want to learn more about this design.

You’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to learn more about this roofing style, along with the pros and cons of a hip roof.

What are Hipped Roofs?

Hipped roofs have four sides that slope upwards from the walls. Compare this style to gable roofs with their two sloping sides and two vertical sides. In a hipped roof, the four sides are usually equal in pitch. Where the external angles meet is called the “hip”, the degree of the angle is called the “hip bevel”, and where the slopes meet at the ridge is called a “hip edge”.

Hipped roofs gained popularity in the 1700s because of their beauty and simplicity. They were especially favored in United States Southern plantation homes designed in French Colonial style. They have also continued to be the preferred roofing style of cottages, bungalows, and American Foursquare houses.

Other Terminology to Know

For a better understanding of different roof styles, it helps to know some basic roofing terms.

Gable – the section of wall on the ends of the building. They are generally a triangle shape and extend from the eaves to the roof’s peak.

Ridge – the peak of the roof where the roof sides meet.

Valley – the section where two roofs come together and form a V-shape, sloping towards the ground.

Eaves – the part of the roof that overhangs the side of the building 

Hipped Roof Styles

There are plenty of choices when it comes to hipped roof design. We’ve listed some of the more common types.

Standard Hip Roof

The standard hip roof style typically sits on top of a rectangular building. All four sides of the roof come together and meet at the top. The end pieces have a triangle shape, while the long sides are shaped like a trapezoid. It is the most popular style of a hipped roof, thanks to its simplicity and aesthetic design.

Half Hip Roof

The half-hip roof is also known as a jerkinhead or clipped gable roof. Rather than have a full gable or full hip at the ends, this roof style has gable ends that, instead of coming to a point, are cut off and replaced by a small hip.  This style is quite common in Eastern Europe in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Slovenia. 

Cross Hip Roof

The cross-hip roof is popular in ranch-style and L-shaped houses. The ridges of one section are perpendicular to the ridge of the other section. The edges where they meet form a valley. 

A benefit of both half hip roofs and cross hip roofs is the ability to install a gutter section.

Dutch Gable Hip Roof

This roof style is a hybrid that combines hip and gable designs. The slope of the roof has a gable rising up near the top of the roof. This design offers more internal living space and allows for better ventilation in the attic. The addition of the gable also breaks up the line from the roof edge to the ridge, creating an appealing design.

Pyramid Hip Roof

The pyramid hip roof (or pavilion roof) has a square base, and all four sides are of equal size and triangle-shaped. The sides all slope upwards to meet at a point in the middle of the roof. Looking at the building, the roof has an unmistakable pyramid shape. The pyramid hip roof can usually be found on gazebos.

When it comes to roofing materials, there are plenty of options to choose from. Hipped roofs work well with asphalt shingles, metal, ceramic tiles, or slate. 

What are the Advantages of a Hip Roof?

  • Hip roofs are more streamlined and aerodynamic so that they can stand high winds. This style is particularly suited to areas that experience hurricanes regularly.
  • Hip roofs are better suited for areas prone to snow and ice. Having a slope on all four sides allows them to slide off. The same situation applies to rain.
  • All four sides of the roof slanting towards each other make a hip roof more stable.
  • Since hipped roofs perform better in high winds, some insurance companies may offer a discount on homeowner’s insurance.
  • Homes with hip roofs may enjoy lower cooling bills. Eaves on all four sides protect the sides of the house from the hot sun and better ventilation. In addition, the vaulted area inside the roof allows for better air circulation.

What are the Disadvantages of a Hip Roof?

  • Hip roofs are more expensive than gable roofs to build. They have a more complicated design, use more building materials, and increase labour costs.
  • The diagonal bracing support needed for hipped roofs leaves less attic space.
  • Roofs with hips and valleys are more likely to leak if not installed correctly or without waterproof seams.
  • Houses with hipped roofs offer less living space. Homeowners can overcome this with the addition of dormers. However, dormers increase the chance of roof leaks due to valleys or improperly installed flashing.


Deciding on the right roof for your home can be a difficult decision. Hipped roofs come in various designs, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. If you have a roofing project and don’t know where to start, call Roofing Costs. They have a comprehensive directory of qualified contractors and are trusted by homeowners throughout the UK.  Browse their website for guides on different types of roofing projects, along with an estimate of cost and time.

The process is simple. Let them know where you live and the type of service you are looking for. They will come back with quotes from up to four roofers in your area—all at no cost and no obligation to you. Calling Roofing Costs can save you time, and ££££’s on your roofing project.

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