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Sacramento Roofing: Article About Shapely Hips: Varieties Of Hipped Roof

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A hip, or hipped, roof is one where all sides slope downward to the walls. There are no gables or triangular portions of wall between the edges of the roof. Because the fascia on all four edges of a hip roof are at the same level, this means that a hip roof can have gutters fitted around all four sides. On a gabled roof, which has only two slopes, gutters may be fitted only on the roofed sides. The overhangs of a hip roof provide ample shading, a distinct bonus in the hot summers experienced in Sacramento roofing.

A hip roof sitting on a square structure will be shaped like a pyramid and all four slopes will be uniformly triangular in shape. If the underlying building is a rectangle, then two slopes will be triangular and two will be trapezoidal in shape. Here, the two trapezoids meet to form a ridge along the top, while the adjacent triangles come to a point where they meet the ridge.

When two hip-roofed buildings are joined together, like a house with an extension that is perpendicular to the existing section, the roofs of the two buildings meet to form a valley. This is called a cross-hipped roof.

A variation on the hipped roof, with an amusing and somewhat checkered history, is the mansard roof.

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The defining feature of this style is that it has two slopes, the lower slope being steeper than the upper. The earliest documented use of this style appears on part of the Louvre and dates back to the mid-16th century. The lower slope of a mansard roof is often dotted with dormer windows.

The mansard design was rumored to have been popular in 17th-century France as a means of avoiding the window tax, although this is in dispute. More likely, it was used to bypass Parisian zoning laws restricting buildings to 65 feet in height, measured to the cornice line, exempting any living space contained within the mansard roof. A revision of this law in 1902 permitted the existence of up to four storeys within a mansard roof.

A hipped roof is considered to be the safest form of roof. Water, snow and ice flow off efficiently. In areas that are prone to hurricane-strength winds, a hip roof offers no exposed edges for the wind to catch onto, unlike a gabled roof. Hipped roofs do have disadvantages. They are trickier to construct than gabled roofs and they offer less usable attic space.

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