Hipped roof design ideas, inspiration & pictures l homify Hipped roof design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Hipped roof design ideas, inspiration & pictures

What is a hip roof?

Also called a hipped roof, this is a type of roof design with all sides sloping downwards towards the building’s walls, normally with a rather gentle slope. No gables or vertical sides are present in hip roofs.

A hip roof is constructed with four rafters that generally meet in the middle portion of the roof, on a ridge board. Considering that most buildings have rectangular shapes, a hip roof will be constructed with two triangular sides and two trapezoidal sides. For square buildings, however, hipped roofs are more commonly pointed towards the top portion while shaped like a pyramid.

Hip roofs are quite common in advanced architecture, especially when it comes to South African bungalows, cottages and rural homes.

The materials used for hipped roofs

Similar to the gable roof, a hip roof works quite well with most roofing materials, with the most popular being:

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are relatively affordable, provide a decent level of protection, are easy to install, and enjoy an average lifespan of 12 to 17 years. Then again, they are prone to damage regarding attic ventilation issues and cheaper grades are not entirely resistant to winds or extreme temperature fluctuations. Regular maintenance and repairs are also required, and remember that asphalt shingles are not an eco-friendly roofing material.


Wood is versatile as well as durable and is known to last approximately 10 times longer than typical roof shingles. If maintained properly, wood can last for up to 60 years. And don’t forget that wood is also biodegradable, making it an attractive option regarding the environment.   However, wood can be costly to purchase and will require regular maintenance because of insect infestations and moulding. A wooden roof will also need chemical cleaning solutions and preservatives.


Unlike wood, tiled roofing isn’t prone to rotting or burning, and won’t be harmed by insects. Requiring little maintenance and available in a multitude of colours and styles, it makes for quite the attractive roofing option. However, its costs can be higher than other options, and its weight and colour can fade with time. Some tiles are known to be fragile and the initial installation process can be trickier than other roofing materials.

Building a hip roof

Seeing as hip roofs are constructed with sloping sides, they need to be built with high prevision and safety in mind. The following steps can guide you towards the proper process of building a hipped roof:

1.    Measurements. Prior to installation, correct measurements need to be taken (by experienced professionals) with a hip roof calculator. The width and length of the building also need to be measured, which will be used for calculating the dimensions for ridge board and rafter lengths.

2.    The next phase involves cutting rafters as per specifications, which will be used for the construction of the roof.

3.    Ridge boards act as a frame resting around the roof; your installation process must start with fixing standard rafters onto the required side of the ridge boards. This process must be continued until the solidness/strength of all the ridge boards is increased and can be settled as per their weight.

4.    It is crucial to ensure proper alignment as per the angles at the corners. This type of calculation involves making use of a framing square that assists in easy measurements.

5.    Attaching the rafters. Experts suggest that you start from one side at a time and try to apply more pressure for each rafter adjustment on board, which will ensure greater results.

6.    Once the nailing of the rafters is complete, you can proceed with trimmings to ensure a superior linear layout.

7.    The corner rafters (known as hip rafters) need to be connected to adjacent ones that are already fixed.

8.    Now it becomes time to install the jack rafters between the hip- and standard rafters. Although it can take time to start from one position and move toward the end, it will ensure accurate results.

Keep in mind that the knowledge and experience of professionals is of the utmost importance, as it will not only save you time and money, but also ensure a safe structure at the end of the day.

Which is best: hip roofs or gable roofs?

Similar to other roof types, hip roof framing starts by figuring the length and cutting a common rafter. This common rafter will determine the ridge board’s height and length to help establish where the hip rafters are located.

But how does a hip roof compare to a gable roof?


·         A hipped roof slopes down on all sides, tying the exterior walls together and resulting in a sturdier structure than a gable roof.

·         Hip roofs are much better alternatives in areas prone to high winds.

·         A hip roof can enhance a home’s appearance, not to mention boost its value.

·         No tall gable walls are present in hip roofs, which can save on sheathing, siding or bricks.


·         Hip roofs are more difficult to construct than gable roofs.

·         Hip roofs are more costly than gable roofs.

How homify can help

Regardless of the type of roofing you require, homify is sure to provide ample inspiration in a multitude of different styles and designs. In addition, we also help to put you in contact with numerous professionals in the architecture- and design world (such as architects, carpenters, roofers and many others), ensuring you are one step closer to your dream roof design.