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HomeBuildHow To Build A Hip Roof

How To Build A Hip Roof

Two Videos Cover The Design Questions And Construction Process Of A Post And Beam Patio Roof Structure

How to frame a hip roof. Full demonstration of layout, cuts, and assembling

Video 1: Design a Roof extension over an existing patio

Existing patio is outside the dining room on the west side of the house. the patio is essentially unusable on a sunny afternoon in the summer.

This video looks at a couple of design options, including attaching the roof ledger below that of the existing eaves and setting the patio roof atop the existing roof.

The latter option was chosen because the low roof and roof beam would have blocked the view from the dining area. Did we say that the house is in Bozeman, MT, where the view is worth viewing?

Work from the view back, not from the house, out.

  • Calculate the sightline clearance height, about 6 feet, 2 inches, in this case.
  • Determine the beam size: 8 inches in this case.
  • Choose a roof pitch and roof structure

This places the new roof on top of the existing roof. The next question is what to do with the existing eave under the new roof: kick it or keep it?

To tie the design together, Peter chose to cut the rafter tails off the extend the exterior wall up to the underside of the new roof. As it turned out, the existing roof structure is a truss system, but they were able to contact the original truss manufacturer to verify that cutting the tails off would not jeopardize the structural integrity of the trusses.

From the we-hope-this-is-obvious desk: Never alter engineered trusses without the approval of a licensed professional engineer. Ever.

The next design decision: material selection

Video 2: Construction process

Where To Use A Hipped Roof

Hip roofing designs are popular among homeowners throughout the entire United States, but theyre most ideal for windy and snowy environments. The framing design offers unmatched structural durability. The inward slope of all four sides is the reason why this type of roof is so durable and sturdy, with a slant that allows snow and water to easily slide off.

Keep in mind: To protect against high winds or strong storms, the recommended pitch for a hipped roof is 4/12-6/12 .

If youre interested in installing a hipped roof on your home, get in touch with us today to see what our team can do for you. We provide roofing installation and replacement services for homeowners throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Well send out a technician who can provide you with a free consultation that will help you decide whether you want asphalt shingles, metal roofing, or another type altogether for your new roof.

In the next sections, well discuss the pros and cons of the hip roof shape. This will help you decide whether youd like to continue with the process or select another shape for your house, like gable.

Hip Vs Gable Roof In A Nutshell

A hip roof is a type of roof design where all roof sides slope downward toward the walls where the walls of the house sit under the eaves on each side of the roof.

A gable roof is a type of roof design where two sides slope downward toward the walls and the other two sides include walls that extend from the bottom of the eaves to the peak of the ridge.

The purpose of your homes roof is to protect the entire structure from weather.

Most residential roofs are sloped, so water runs down the slope into gutters or off the eaves.

Roof designs can range from very basic.

To very complex.

With lots of angles, valleys, varying pitches, dormers, etc.

And while many roofs are strictly hip roofs

Or strictly gable roofs.

Others use a combination of both roof types to create unique roof designs.


Lets look a little closer.

Read Also: How Many Screws Per Sheet Of Metal Roofing

Types Of Roofing Materials

In addition to the type or style of roof that you choose and your regions climate, youll want to consider what type of roofing material works best for your area, the type of roof that you desire, and your budget.

Asphalt shingles are one of the most commonly utilized roofing materials, and they will work with most roof designs.

However, keep in mind that asphalt isnt as durable or long-lasting as other roofing materials, and if you live in an area that deals with extreme weather like hailstorms, windstorms, heavy rain, or even earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, you may want to look into other types of roofing materials.

If you do live somewhere with these types of weather patterns or events, clay or concrete tile might be a good choice.

While they tend to be used in hot, dry climates, most clay or concrete tiles are rated for wind uplift of 125 MPH or higher.

Slate roofing systems are considered to be some of the most luxurious or high-end roofing options, and for good reason.

Not only is natural slate uniquely striking, it can last for 50 to 100 years or longer, making a slate roof an excellent long-term investment.

Wooden shingles such as cedar shingles or cedar shakes are another good choice for a long-term investment due to their longevity, durability, and high-end feel, and they will work with most of the aforementioned roof types or styles.

What Is A Gambrel Roof


Gambrel roofs also referred to as barn roofs or barn-style roofs are similar to mansard roofs in several ways.

However, unlike a mansard roof, gambrel roofs only have two sloped sides instead of four, resulting in a roof that is somewhat triangular as opposed to square or rectangular.

This type of roof has a steep lower slope that is almost vertical, a gentler upper slope, and they also offer some storage or extra living space in the form of an attic, loft, or garret.

While the name comes from the Latin gamba or the French gamberal, meaning a horses hock or leg, that name for this type of originated in the United States, with the European name for the style being curb or kerb roof.

Gambrel roofs are often used on Dutch Colonial or Georgian style homes, along with barns and barn style homes, log cabins, farmhouses, and even exterior buildings like sheds and separate garages.

They can have a rustic feel or a more elegant look, making them one of the more versatile styles of roof.

Windows or dormers are a common addition to a gambrel roof as they supply natural light to the garret or loft area under the roof as well as improving the general aesthetic appeal of the property, but they do also increase the chance of a roof leak repair, so it is important to get regular inspections and check the flashing around the windows if you have a gambrel roof with dormers or similar architectural details.

Recommended Reading: Briarwood Pro Shingles

Advantages Of Hip Roofs

  • Aesthetic appeal: Hip roofs are a visually appealing addition to a home and can even increase its value. Inside the house, the vaulted ceiling was naturally created by the hip roof design gives the homeowners many options for interior decor.
  • Durable: these types of roofs are more durable and stable than gable roofs because of their four sloping sides.
  • Excellent weather protection: in regions that face high winds and heavy snowfalls, hip roofs make a better option since their slant allows ice or snow to easily slide off. Hip roofs are also excellent for hurricane-prone areas.
  • Extra living space: hip roofs provide extra living space with the addition of a dormer or rooftop window in the attic.
  • Energy-efficient: hip roofs arent just ideal for cold and windy climates. Their ability to keep the house cool in the summer makes them perfect for warm climates. This is thanks to the four sides of the roof that shelter the house from excessive heat. These eaves keep the house adequately protected from extreme weather, thus making hip roofs one of the most energy-efficient design options.
  • Reliable drainage: the downward slopes of hip roofs provide excellent drainage during heavy storms and rainfalls.

Assembling The King And Hip Rafters

  • 1Attach 4-6 centering rafters and lift the ridge beam into place. The first step in the process of erecting the hip roof is to get the ridge beam into place at the top of the roof. Place the 4-6 common rafters in their designated positions along the 2 longest walls, and nail them firmly to the wall with a nail gun. Then, lift the ridge beam to the correct height.XResearch source
  • Centering rafters are common rafters that are used to steady the ridge beam.
  • 2Nail the ridge beam between the centering rafters. Set 5-6 more common rafters in place and nail them to the walls of the structure. These additional centering rafters will support the ridge beam and prevent it from collapsing. Once the extra common rafters are in place, use your nail gun to drive 1 nail through the top of each common rather and into the ridge beam.XResearch source
  • For the sake of safety and practicality, ask 2 or 3 friends or family members to help you when youre installing the ridge beam. These helpers can hand the rafters to you as you attach them.
  • 3Attach the 6 king common rafters at the end of the ridge board. King common rafters keep the ridge board steady in place. Nail one rafter on each side of the hip roof to brace the ridge board in place. Then, nail the king rafters in place against the ridge board.
  • King common rafters are the common rafters closest to the hip rafters. There are 6 of these rafters on every hip roof.
  • King common rafters are structurally identical to the other common rafters.
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    Double Check For A Better Freestanding Patio Cover

    Now you have the structure of a freestanding patio cover. You can begin to cover the patio with the materials of your choice such as lattice wood, translucent fiberglass, wood and shingles, metal panels , boards and netting, or canvas shade sails.

    The structure that you have just made is the simplest one. There are various kinds of structures available that suit your patio very well.

    But you have to remember to double-check the level of the whole patio before adding the roof. For more freestanding patio cover ideas, check out these ten fantastic patios.

    Hip Roof Framing Basics

    How To Frame A Hip Roof | Generation Next | This Old House

    Just like any other type of roof, hip roof framing starts by figuring the length and cutting a common rafter. The common rafter will determine the height and length of the ridge board which will establish where the hip rafters are located.


    • A simple hip roof slopes down on all four sides, tying the exterior walls together making for a sturdier building than a gable roof. Especially useful in high wind prone areas.
    • Increases overall value and appearance of the home.
    • No tall gable walls which saves on sheathing, siding, or brick.


    • More difficult to construct than a gable roof.
    • More expensive than a gable roof.

    Read Also: Exposed Fastener Metal Roof Screw Pattern

    Tiege Hanley Level : Covering Skin Care For Men Basics

    This provides a complete system for you to get started. The Level 1 version of the Tiege Hanley Skin Care System gets you going without feeling like youve left something out.

    Its got the daily cleanser we talked about to help clean and prep your skin, an exfoliating scrub to get rid of bacteria, and AM/PM moisturizers to keep your skin healthy and smooth.

    Measuring And Cutting Rafters

  • 1Measure the building to calculate the length of your rafters. For a quick and easy approach, measure the width and height of all 4 walls using a laser distance measuring device. To use the tool, simply point it at 1 end of a wall and click the button. Then point it at the far end of the same wall, and push the button again to see the measured distance. If you dont have a laser distance measuring device, you can use an ordinary tape measure to find the dimensions of your buildings walls.
  • You can purchase a laser distance measuring device at a large hardware store.
  • If you already know the measurements of the building , you can skip this step.
  • 2Calculate the length of each of your common rafters. Once youve measured the width of your building, divide that number by 2 . Subtract the width off the ridge board. Then, calculate the roof pitch by writing down the number of inches that the roof is elevated vertically over the height of the roof. Use these measurements to calculate the length of each rafter using an online roofing calculator.XResearch source
  • For rafters on the short ends of the building, youll need to subtract the length of the ridge board from the total length of the building. This will indicate how long each of the long, lengthwise common rafters should measure.
  • Find a roofing calculator online at: .
  • Common rafters are those which run from the top of the wall to the top of the roof and connect to the ridge beam.
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    Creating Waterproof Hip Roof Shed Junctions

    There are three alternatives to use on the hip junctions that I have tried:

  • PVC soaker tiles on the hip joint with cover tiles over
  • Hip roof joint waterproofed with ‘soaker’shingles

  • Tiles up to the joint with a 150mm wide strip of lead or lead replacement, with cedar tiles over
  • Hip roof joint waterproofed with strip of lead replacement

  • Just cedar tiles with ridge tiles
  • No additional waterproofing for this cedar shingle roof to a gazebo

    I have used each of these approaches and they all work. Your choice will depend on the degree of exposure to the elements and your need for the structure to be completely waterproof. Method 1 is the most weather resistant and Method 3 the least. Though having said that the top of a ridge is generally where there is least water.

    Is A Hip Roof Strong

    Alt. Build Blog: More On The Hip Roof

    Hip roofs are one of the strongest types of roofing structures simply because of the way theyre designed. Their four sloping sides make them more stable and durable than standard gable roofs, because theyre more resistant to high winds and heavy rain/snow.

    Not only are they strong, but if you choose to add a dormer or crows nest, these roofs can provide you with more room or storage space. Theyre also energy-efficient because the four sides of the roof shelter your home from excessive cold or heat.

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    Life Span Of Hip Roof

    According to the statistical reports, it has been found that the hip roof can last as long as 50 years if it is constructed with proper techniques and utmost care.

    Mostly, the life span of this roofing is dependent on the construction materials used as well as the quality of the maintenance provided.

    When the hip roof is constructed using stable materials such as steel shingles they can last for long periods.

    Some Steps On How To Attach A Patio Roof To An Existing House

    Attaching a patio roof to an existing house is not a doddle, but it does not mean that you cannot do it. You just need some assistances of experts if you are not really good at carpentry.

    Before attaching a patio roof to your home, you need to prepare some materials such as:

    • Nail gun
    • Ledger


    • Measure the sightline clearance height from the roof to the house, not the other way around.
    • Measure the size of the beam that you are going to use.
    • You can either remove the eave or just keep it.
    • Using lag bolts and a screwdriver, fasten the base of the posts to the ground. You have to make sure that they sit plumb.
    • Make a cutting on one of the sides of the horizontal roof beam on an angle. You have to do it thoroughly so that the rafters sit flush on it.
    • Attach the horizontal beam by using a nail gun. After that, to make it flush with the roof of the existing house, cut the two outer rafters.
    • Now you can begin assembling the outer rafters and attaching the rafter beam to the edge of the roof of the house.
    • Cut each of the house ends while continuing installing the rafters so that they fit the top of the rafter beam perfectly.
    • When all the rafters are installed correctly, form your patio roof by attaching the planks horizontally across the rafters.
    • If you are going to use shingles to cover the patio roof, do not forget to install black roofing felt along with a single layer of oriented strand board. When they are installed, you can begin attaching roofing shingles.

    Read Also: House Trusses Cost

    What Is A Sawtooth Roof

    If you picture a saw blade and how the edge is serrated, then you have a good idea of what a sawtooth roof looks like.

    Composed of multiple slopes set at the same angle so that the vertical and pitched surfaces alternate , sawtooth roofs are becoming a popular choice in modern home design.

    This is because sawtooth roofs allow for higher ceilings, larger windows, and lofted living space.

    However, sawtooth roofing systems are costly to install and maintain due to their complicated design they also pose a higher risk for leaks and water damage, making them inadvisable for areas that receive heavy snow or rainfall.

    Sawtooth roofs do allow for the installation of eco-friendly additions, like PV solar panels, geothermal lighting, and radiant heating systems.

    They can utilize most roofing materials, including wood shingles, metal shingles, or reinforced concrete.

    Hip Roof Vs Gable Roof: What To Consider & How To Choose

    How To Layout And Build Garage Hip Roof Using Engineered Trusses

    Metal roofing is a great option for both residential and commercial structures, but beyond just choosing panel type, roof shape options also come into play. Among the most common roof styles in the U.S are a gable and a hip style.

    Here well take a quick look at these two distinct styles, explaining key features and differences, and identifying reasons you might want to consider one over the other for a given metal roofing project, depending on your performance or structural needs as well as aesthetic preferences.

    Hip Roof

    A hip roof can easily be identified by the fact in most cases it has slopes of equal length on all four sides, which come together at the top to form the ridge. In many cases, two sides form a triangle shape and the other two sides form a trapezoid shape . A hip roof does not have any vertical ends.

    Among the key advantages of hip roofs are they: provide greater stability and are more durable than gable roofs due to the inward slope of all four sides. do well in areas prone to high wind and rain. are typically seen with lower roof slopes. allow for more appealing roof lines to be achieved.Note: For high wind or strong storm-prone areas, proper engineering design, construction and roof system maintenance are especially critical in order to prevent major problems.

    Gable Roof

    Breaking Down the Key Considerations

    Also, are you trying to cover up equipment on top of a roof? If so, height differences might play into your decision.

    In Summary

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