What is a Hip Roof?

A Hip Roof  is a type of roofing structure where all the sides gradually slope downwards to the walls

Hip roofs, which are also called “hipped roofs,” are a type of roof where all the sides gradually slope downwards to the walls. This type of roof has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof. In fact, a “square hip roof” is shaped like a pyramid.

Essentially, all the sides of the roof meet at the top to form a single peak or a single ridge. This gives the structure a more streamlined appearance that is much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In addition to their great look, they are also among the more popular roof styles in residential architecture because of their excellent ability to resist high winds and wind damage.

Their appearance provides a very elegant look that offers excellent durability. In the following sections, we will explore their various designs and unpack the “pros” and “cons” of hip roof designs.

Hip Roof Designs

As we explore the types of designs common to this style of roofing, it’s important to remember that hip roofs need a lot less support. They come in various designs, each adding their own unique benefits and features to the structures they support. The more common types of designs include the following:

Simple Hip Roof

This style has four sides of equal length, each sloping downwards towards the walls and eventually meeting at a single peak at the top. Because this design is both versatile and straightforward, it’s a very popular option.

Pavilion Roofs

This design is also called a “pyramid roof.” Pavilions have sides that slope downwards from a central point. This creates the pyramid-like shape that makes them distinguishable. This popular type of design is often used for smaller structures and/or extensions to the home. It brings both symmetry and elegance in addition to resilience to high winds and storms.

Jerkinhead Roof or Clipped Gable

This style combines the best of both worlds — the features of both hip and gable roofs. With this style, the gable ends are clipped or shortened, which transforms it into small hips. The jerkinhead design offers the benefits of both roof styles, as we noted, which includes wind resistance and additional attic space.

Dutch Gables

Dutch gables feature a combination of hip roofs and gable roofs as well. The design has a small gable section at the top of the roof, while the hips extend downwards from the gable ends to the edge of the roofline. This design provides the stability of a hip roof while allowing for extra space and ventilation in the attic.

Hips and Valleys

Last but not least, we will now look at hip and valley roofs. These roofs have a much more complex design. They combine hip roofs with valleys. Because the valleys are formed where two different roof slopes meet, this type of roof allows for additional architectural features. These features can include things like wings and dormers.

In short, this design provides extra visual interest, which can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the home or building in addition to the durability and resilience common to hips.

How Do Hip Roofs Benefit Homeowners?

The “pros” for this roofing design include everything from wind resistance, durability and stability to aesthetic appeal, ease of construction, and more.

Durability & Stability

As we have seen in more than 20 years of experience working on area rooftops throughout the Miami Valley Ohio area, hip roofs earn much renown for their durability and stability. With the inward slope of all their sides providing additional structural support, the weight of this type of roof is distributed evenly with much less stress across the roof as a whole. In the long run, this decreases the likelihood of sagging or collapsing. It also ensures the roof remains intact for years to come.

High Wind Resistance

In addition to longer lasting design, another one of the major benefits of a hip roof is its strong resistance to high winds and storms. This design’s sloping sides also deflect wind, which decreases the risk of damage during windstorms and other severe weather events seen throughout the Greater Dayton region.

Overall Aesthetic Appeal

Because of their sleek and elegant appearance, hip roofs improve the curb appeal of any home or building, offering added value. Their lack of vertical ends and their symmetrical design provide a visually pleasing look, which is a great complement to other types of architectural styles here in Ohio.

Very Efficient Water Drainage

Additionally, the hip roof’s sloping sides promote the most efficient water drainage. They can help prevent water from pooling on the roof’s surface. Over time, this decreases the risk of leaks and other types of water damage. In the long run, this goes a long way in maintaining the integrity of the roof as it ages and endures our harsh weather patterns here in Ohio.

Additional Attic Space

We feel we should also mention the added benefit of extra space. Many hip roof designs, such as the “Dutch gable roof,” offer extra space in the attic. This added space can be used for storage. Additionally, it can be converted into additional living space that brings a great deal of value to the home when finished properly.

When Not to Choose a Hip Roof

No type of roof is without its drawbacks. Below are some of the downsides, or “cons,” of this type of roof and the circumstances in which one should avoid choosing it for new construction or renovation.

Potentially Higher Maintenance

Because of their complexity, hip roofs can require more maintenance compared to other more basic roofing styles. Remember, they have multiple slopes and multiple valleys that can make them more challenging to inspect and repair. This can potentially result in the need for additional maintenance costs over time.


The complexity of their design and the additional materials necessary can make hip roofs more expensive to construct when compared to simpler roof styles like gable roofs. Nevertheless, you always get what you pay for.

Limited Design Flexibility

Although hip roofs offer a more elegant appearance, they’re not always suitable for all architectural styles. This is a case by case thing. Homes with more modern or contemporary designs could benefit from other roofing styles that offer greater design flexibility.

Limited Ventilation

Additionally, hip roofs can sometimes limit ventilation in attic spaces. Although certain types of designs – such as the “dutch gable roof” can mitigate this issue, it’s still worth noting here. In any case, it essential to consider your ventilation needs when choosing a hip roof.

Potential for Reduced Natural Light

Sometimes, the inward slope of a hip roof can decrease the amount of natural sun light that’s able to enter the attic or upper floors. Homeowners may need to install additional windows or skylights to compensate for this limitation. If this is the case, Van Martin Roofing is the company to call!

Still Need Help? Give us a call!

Hip roofs are an excellent roofing style that offers numerous benefits. Nevertheless, it’s always essential to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether it’s the ideal option for your home or your construction project.

If you’re considering a hip roof for your home or business here in the Greater Dayton, Ohio area, we urge you to give Van Martin Roofing a call right away. We offer hip roof repair, hip roof installation, hip roof maintenance and much more!

Moreover, we provide free expert advice, free roofing estimates, and professional installation services at competitive rates.

We have all your roofing needs covered under one roof. Call Van Martin today at (937) 222-7855. Click here to schedule an appointment now!