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FALL 2004

Details: Combining Roof Types

Different types of roof have different slopes within the same building Many traditional buildings incorporate different types of roof within a single composition. For example, a building with the primary mass under a hip may have a central projecting bay with a gable end and a front portico with a pediment. Don't use the same pitch for each roof! Each type has its own characteristics and should have different slopes:

The hip roof should have the steepest slope of all of the types. Because of its nature, this type of roof is never seen in true elevation and will always appear lower than it actually is.

Unlike a hip roof, the gable is seen in true elevation and its actual height is visible. Set the pitch lower to accommodate for this. For a formal classical pedimented gable, a good pitch would be 26.5°.

The pediment has the lowest slope of the three types. It is a formal motif relating to the Orders. The most common pitch is or 22.5° (1/5), but as pediments get wider or narrower the pitch increases or decreases slightly (typically, from 21° to 26.5°).

By contrast, where you are using similar types of roof -- a large hipped roof at the main building, with smaller hipped wings or gable porch on the gable end of a house, for example -- the roof pitch should be common throughout. The overall structure will be unified and each part will tie in with the next.

Similar roof types: Avoid

Similar roof types: Use