Hipped roof design ideas, inspiration & pictures

What is a hipped roof?

A hipped roof or a tent roof is a type of roof in which all its sides are sloping. This is unlike the typical gable roof in which there are vertical sides or gables. A square plan hipped roof is similar to a pyramid while a rectangular house would have a hipped roof with two triangular and two trapezoidal sides.

What constitutes a hipped roof?

There are four main elements that make up this type of roof. These are the ridge board, common rafters, hip rafters, and jack rafters.

Ridge board- This is the uppermost part or edge of this type of roof and is used to nail the common and hip rafters in their place

Common rafters- These are used to centre the ridge board in the building, set the roof height, and locate the ends of the ridge. Commons run from the ridge and down to the top of the exterior walls. Common rafters are the largest components of such a roof assembly 

Hip rafters- These are nailed at a 45 degree angle to the ridge board and run down to the four outside corners of the building. Hip rafters are critical to give this type of roof its peculiar form and arrangement. These rafters are also used to nail the top of the jack rafters. 

Jack rafters- These are typically the shorter rafters and are nailed to the hip and slope down to the exterior walls.

Which type of roof tiles can you install on a hipped roof?

Similar to a gable roof, the hipped roof can be covered with multiple options. Prominent among-st them are wooden shingles or Asphalt shingles. When deciding to choose the best option for your home, don’t forget to consult with a roofer.

Wooden shingles

Pros- These are considered as a popular roofing option for their attractive design and natural appearance  and are typically known to increase the home's value. They also extremely durable and are known to last about 5 to 10 times longer than typical shingles. The average wood shingled roof can last 30 to 60 years if it is maintained properly.

Cons- They are expensive and can cost up to 5 times more than composite or asphalt shingles. Installation is not simple and often users have to pay substantially higher for professional assistance. They are also susceptible to infections and moulds that might develop due to factors such as high moisture. The roof will also need periodic chemical cleaning and preservative treatment to protect the structure from long term exposure to environmental hazards.

Asphalt shingles

Pros- Relatively affordable and provide a decent level of protection for anywhere between 12 to 17 years. They are easy to install and are available in a variety of styles and design. 

Cons- They can get damaged if installed at below freezing temperatures. Cheaper grade of shingles such as tab-3 are susceptible to wind uplift while they are also not resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations. They are not environmentally sustainable and demand regular maintenance and repairs.

What is the installation process of a hipped roof?

-The first step in framing a hipped roof is to find the run of a common rafter. Through this, you will be able to place the ceiling joists alongside the common and jack rafters. 

-After laying out all common rafters the ceiling joists can now be placed alongside where the rafters are to be located. Depending on the pitch of the roof you may want to leave the end ceiling joist out until the hip rafters are in place. 

-Setting the ridge board is the next critical step, this will enable us to know the exact location of the hips.

-To set the ridge you will require at least six common rafters cut and positioned around their final location. 

-You can begin by spiking one rafter to the top of the wall next to the ceiling joist then go to the opposite side of the building and repeat the process. The carpenters involved in the process can just let plumb cuts rest together to support the weight. 

-After this, the ridge board can be slipped into its place between the commons and nailing it in its position. 

-Now it will be possible to place the king common rafters in place on the ends of the ridge board. This way, the ridge can be locked in its final location and temporary braces can be taken out. 

-Now you can proceed with setting the hip rafters. It is recommended to nail the bottom in its place before fixing the top.

-Before starting with the jack rafters, straighten the hip rafter with a string line nailed on top and a temporary brace near the center to hold it straight. 

-It is recommended to nail the jack rafters on opposite sides of the hip rafter to help keep it straight. 

-The final step is installing the fascia prior to installing the sheathing.

Pros and Cons of Hipped roof and Gable roof

Gable roof

Pros These roofs are suitable for climate with heavy rains or snow, and owing to their design allow more storage space in the attic. Due to their geometry, they are relatively easier to construct and hence are also slightly cheaper than Hip roof.

Cons They are not suitable for places with high winds.

Hip roof

Pros Owing to their inherent design, they are more stable than gable roofs. Subsequently, they are are a better fit for windy and hurricane prone zones.

Cons Their design is fairly complex and demands expert craftsmen. As a result, their final cost is higher than gable roofs.