Gable Roof vs Hip Roof: A Guide to Their Pros and Cons

Gable roof vs hip roof… these are two standard options that people in Denver CO go for when deciding on their roof shape. It’s interesting to know what these designs have to offer concerning durability and aesthetics. If you find yourself confused between the two, don’t worry. Roper Roofing has prepared this guide to enlighten you.

For today’s topic, we will tackle the following about hip and gable roofing styles:

  • Design basics of a gable roof and hip roof
  • Gable roof advantages and disadvantages
  • Hip roof advantages and disadvantages
  • Recommended materials for both roofing styles

Nailing the Basics of a Gable Roof vs Hip Roof

Before we explore deeper into the pros and cons of each roofing shape, we’ll get to know them first. Here are their basic details.

What is a Gable Roof?

gable roof of red house against blue background

As you can see, a gable roof is pretty basic. It has two slopes.

A gable roof is a pitched roof with two sloping sides that meet at the roof ridge. If you’re fond of drawing houses when you were little, pretty sure you’ve drawn a gable roof. As you could tell, this is a classic roofing style. Most homeowners in Denver CO and the rest of the US choose it. People call it a “tympanum” when talking about Greek and Roman architecture.

What is a Hip Roof?

dark orange hipped roof of one story house with orange walls

A hip roof has four sides.

Also called a “hipped roof,” this pitched roofing style is characterized by two triangular sides and two trapezoidal sides. We call the triangular sides as “hip ends.” If we look at multiple houses, we will notice that hip roofs are built on bungalows and cottages. Depending on the preference of a homeowner, a contractor can make a hip roof on a rectangular plan or square plan.

Comparison Between a Gable Roof vs Hip Roof (Pros and Cons)

How is one roofing style or shape better than the other? Here are some things to consider for each roof before you make a final decision.

A. Gable Roof


Simple to construct - First and foremost, roofing contractors find it easy to build a gable roof design. Some homeowners with basic carpentry skills attempt to construct gable roofs -- but we advise against it due to safety reasons. Because of its simplicity, labor costs will also be lower.

Opportunity for modifications - Another huge selling point of gable roofs is that one can add them to existing roofs. When people want to make their homes bigger, they think of gable roofs on top of the rooms to be constructed. Because again, gable roofs are easy to work with!

More attic space - A gable roof vs hip roof… Compared to hip roofs, gable roofs offer bigger attic spaces. A usable attic space would benefit people who prefer extra storage for unused yet valuable belongings. It can also be converted into a bedroom or office. Some homeowners also use their attic spaces for holding insulation. Doing this keeps the rooms below them cooler.

white and clean attic room with bed and fireplace

Here’s a spacious attic beneath a gable roof. It’s been used as a bedroom.

Proper water drainage - Gable roof designs promote fast and efficient water drainage. What this means for you as a homeowner is fewer roof leak problems to deal with. In fact, if you hire a good roofer, you’d avoid such issues because everything about your roof is built according to the best practices.


Vulnerable to high winds - Steeper roofs, such as gable roofs, are more likely to sustain damage when strong winds blow. Winds initially affect the roofing edges. However, remember that this “vulnerability” only applies to poorly constructed gable roofs. That said, consider investing in a sturdy roofing material. If you’re interested to know about impact-resistant roof shingles, check out this detailed guide.

Plain design - Some people like to boast of their beautiful homes. And it’s no secret that when it comes to appearance, roofs play a significant role. But if you choose a gable roof because of affordability, you can challenge simplicity. How? Learn to play with color schemes. Get an attractive siding material that matches your gable roof.

B. Hip Roof


Best for hurricane regions - Experts attest that hip roofs resist high winds and hurricanes better than gable roofs. The multiple slopes of a hip roof give it more capabilities of standing up against external forces. The more slopes a roof has, the strong the roof becomes. But again, at the end of the day, a quality installation counts.

No snow buildup - Imagine what happens if snow and ice stay on a flat roof for an extended period. You would easily guess that the roofing material weakens. Hip roofs excel in that they allow snow to slide off. This advantage gives you fewer structural problems to deal with, especially during harsh winter months.

Addition of dormer windows - Dormer windows make attractive modifications to hip roofs. Dormer windows extend from the triangular side of a hip roof. Not only do dormer windows look beautiful, but they also brighten up dark spaces with natural light.

three brown painted dormer windows against dark grey asphalt roof

These three dormer windows are the perfect match for this hip roof.


Complex building process - Between a gable roof vs hip roof, a hip roof entails more steps. You can also expect to utilize more roofing materials because of the four slopes. Clearly, the cost of gable roof vs hip roof varies. Consider planning your budget in advance to cover both labor and materials.

Less room for an attic - Unlike gable roofs, hip roofs offer smaller spaces for attics. This smaller attic may present issues with ventilation. It’s also harder to access a tiny attic for maintenance purposes.

Good Roofing Materials We Install for Gable and Hip Designs

Part of the process of planning your roof design is deciding what specific material to use. Earlier, we discussed gable roof vs hip roof in terms of their pros and cons.

The best part about both designs is that they accommodate many roofing materials which we, Roper Roofing, install. Below, we listed these materials for gable and hip roofs.

Roof Shingles - Shingles for hip and gable styles are sure to beautify your Denver property. We install shingles made from quality materials like asphalt and wood. Check out our trusted roof shingle service.

Metal Roofing - Metal is a superb option for gable and hip roofs alike. Metal roofs lower down your cooling costs by reflecting heat. They resist fires and come in a wide selection of colors to match your siding and other exterior home structures.

Slate Roofing - Nothing can compare to the timeless appeal of slate materials. Slate comes from natural rock, which makes it incredibly durable. We know that slate roofs are heavy and require expertise. That said, we guarantee to plan and implement your slate roofing installation project carefully.

Gable Roof Versus Hip Roof: Which Will You Choose?

Don’t worry if you haven’t made a decision yet. Roofing is a considerable investment, and with that, you need more time to think things through. But while you do, make sure that you work only with Denver CO's finest and greatly-experienced roofing contractor serving local homes.

Roper Roofing has served Denver Colorado for 15 years. This vast experience means that we installed roofs of various styles and shapes. And yes, that includes gable and hip roofs. If you hire us, we will exceed your satisfaction. Know that we partner with only the best manufacturers like CertainTeed, GAF, Owens Corning, and more.

Choose Roper Roofing today. Interested in more information? Call us at 720-307-7143!


795 McIntyre St. Suite 303
Golden, CO 80401

Phone: 720-809-7586



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