There are dozens of different types of roofs used on homes today, but two continue to stand the test of time: hip vs. gable.

As a professional roof installer gouge has knowledge and expertise in both styles. Today we’re going to compare hip and gable roofs to determine which is suitable for your home. We’ll go over the pros, cons, and how to choose the type of roof that’s the best fit.

What is a Gable Roof?

A gable roof is probably the most recognizable style of roof on a home. A gable roof is also the first thing you draw when you doodle a house without even knowing it!

Also called a pitched roof, a gable is characterized by its triangular shape. Two vertical sides meet at a point in the center of the home. The ends can be open, called an open gable, or enclosed for a box gable roof. They work well for most home styles and construction and can even be combined with other roof types depending on the size and layout of the house.

Gable roofs continue to be one of the most standard options for homes built today, and for a good reason. They require little maintenance, can be installed using most roofing materials, and easily shed water and ice. They seem simple, but there’s much more to them, including the different types of gables available and weighing the pros and cons.

close up shot of gray and black gable roof

Various Types of Gable Roofs

A gable roof is a basic design, but homeowners can get more specific depending on how they want their gable roof to look or function. Here are some of the most common types of gable roofs.

Box Gable Roof: This gable roof has the basic vertical sides that meet at a point, but then the end of the gable is closed using a small hip roof or a cut-out.

Cross Gabled Roof: This type of roof is perfect for homes with an off-shoot area to the side. It’s where two gable roofs meet and intersect at a 90-degree angle.

 

cross gable roof icon

Dutch Gable: This type of roof is a hybrid of the standard gable and hip roof, where a gable roof is placed on top of a hip roof. This style provides more space and aesthetic appeal than a standard gable roof.

Flying Gable Roof: A flying gable roof looks like a standard gable roof, but the end juts out further, coming to a point—almost like the brim of a hat. You might find this type of gable roof on a mid-century modern home.

Gambrel Roof: A gambrel roof is, again, sort of a hybrid of a few types of roofs. But a gambrel is essentially what you think of when you imagine a barn roof. It has two gables, one on each side, but with multiple angles to wrap it around the structure, rather than one steep slope.

gambrel roofing icon

Open Gable: And last but not least, an open gable is your standard gable of two vertical sides that meet at a point and leave the ends open.

gable roof icon

Pros of Gable Roofs

  • Simple to design and install
  • More affordable than hip roofs
  • Easily combined with other roof styles for unique designs
  • Provides a lot of attic space
  • Gable vents provide excellent ventilation

Cons of Gable Roofs

  • Standard design is pretty plain compared to hips and other roof types
  • It can be damaged in high winds that lift the edges

What is a Hip Roof?

A hip roof also has straight sides that meet at a point, but instead of two sides, all four sides are sloped, meeting at a point in the middle. Hip roofs are generally a lower slope, but depending on the style of the house, they can be steeper when needed.

shot of sky and hip roof

Various Types of Hip Roofs

There aren’t as many types of hip roofs as there are gables, but there are a few for the homeowner who wants to stylize their hipped roof or have a larger home where they still want to incorporate hipped roofs on various parts of their home.

Cross Hipped: Like a crossed gable roof, a cross hipped roof will be two roofs meeting at a 90-degree angle, often in an L-shape.

Half Hipped: A half-hipped roof is a standard hip that has two shortened sides that create eaves, more than a standard length hip roof. This style will almost look like a closed gable roof.

Hip and Valley: This type of hip roof combines two hips meeting at a valley, which means it will have more than one point. There can be multiple points depending on the size of the home’s layout.

Simple Hip: And lastly, the standard hip has four sloped sides that meet in the middle to form a low-sloped roof.

hip roof icon

Pros of Hip Roofs

  • Better suited to withstand high winds and heavy snow
  • Allows for gutters on all sides
  • Boosts curb appeal and modernizes homes
  • Easily combines with other roof styles

Cons of Hip Roofs

  • More costly design and installation
  • Less attic space

Hip vs. Gable: Things to Consider When Choosing a Roof Style for Your Home

Doing your research and weighing the pros and cons of various roofing styles is definitely important when choosing a roof style for your home. But there are many other things to consider before making such an investment. Other things to think about before making your decision include:

Cost

You, of course, want to make sure you can afford your roof and get your money’s worth, but it’s also important to note how much future repairs or maintenance may cost you. For example, a gable roof’s basic design is relatively easy to repair and replace. In contrast, hip roofs (or other styles) may require more premium installation or maintenance over time.

Required Maintenance

How easy or difficult is it going to be for you to maintain your new roof? Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t think about their roofs until something terrible happens, like storm damage. But regular maintenance is essential to prolonging the life of your roof and making sure it protects you for years to come.

A gable roof is often steeper, and maintenance can be more difficult, but also it sheds water and ice better than other lower slope roofs. On the other hand, a hip roof with four sides of gutters will require more maintenance making sure they’re clear of debris and leaves. So consider the long-term maintenance commitment for each roofing style.

Man Cleaning Gutters on Ladder

Roofing Materials

The roof style is one thing, but roofing materials are quite another. Some roofing materials work well for different styles, and they also come with their own level of maintenance, added cost, and varying lifespans. Talk with your local contractor about what roofing material they think is best.

Style Longevity

When you make such an investment in your home, you want to make sure it’s worthwhile. And installing a roof style that will stand the test of time and remain in-style is something to consider. There’s a sweet spot between choosing a standard style and a trendy one—you’ll want to make sure the style of roof you get is one that you will love for decades to come.

Curb Appeal and Value Added

In addition to style longevity, you also want to be sure the roof you choose boosts curb appeal and can add value to your home. If you think you’ll sell your home down the road, make sure you think about whether the investment you put into your home will give you a great return when you sell it later on.

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing between a gable and a hip roof—or any other roofing investment.

If you want our opinion, we think that if you have a standard home with a standard layout, both roofs could work well, but a gable roof will give you more space on your upper floor, while a hip roof suits single-level ramblers perfectly. In addition, gable roofs are affordable and can be replaced or repaired easily. Meanwhile, hip roofs are more modern and are easier to maintain on your home with their low slope.

If you’ve read through this guide and still are unsure which type of roof to go with, simply give us a call! The pros at Gouge Roofing can take a look at your home, hear your needs, and come up with the best possible solution for you and your home.

We love getting people the roof they deserve with our seamless process and affordable options. To get started, reach out to us for a FREE quote!