When you’re building a house, it’s important to choose the right type of roof for your needs. We’re taking a look at the benefits and drawbacks of a Pyramid Hip roof to help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you.
A Pyramid Hip roof does as it says, it’s a Hip roof in the shape of a pyramid – that is a square base with four triangular sides that meet at a common point.
The main difference between a Hip roof and other types of roofs, such as a Gable roof, is the lack of flat surfaces and vertical sides. The side of the hip has a fairly gentle slope, meaning there are no extreme pitches.
The Pyramid Hip is commonly used for smaller buildings such as bungalows, cabins and garages. That being said, a Pyramid Hip can be used on larger buildings as long as adequate support is added during roof construction.
Much like other styles of Hip roofs, the Pyramid Hip is a timeless design that can still be seen throughout USA and Europe today.
Its roots can be traced back to the 1930s in the US. During this time, houses with a Pyramid Hip roof were known as “Foursquare” houses and were seen as a simplistic movement away from the elaborate Victorian houses that were so popular.
Benefits of a Pyramid Hip Roof
Wind Resistant – the conservative structure and self-bracing properties of Pyramid Hip makes them a great option for those in coastal or storm-prone areas. The low pitch of the slope is aerodynamic, so high winds are less likely to damage a Pyramid Hip than a Gable roof, for example.
Natural Insulation – the low pitch and eaves all around the square roof create a natural insulation to keep in the heat and reduce energy bills. There is also plenty of room to add physical insulation to further keep in the heat.
Efficient drainage – the sloping sides and a lack of flat surfaces on a Pyramid Hip means there is nowhere for water to build up, creating a great drainage system. This not only reduces the risk of leaks but also prevents the build-up of debris which can cause more severe structural damage.
Low maintenance – a sturdy structure and sloped triangular sides makes the Pyramid Hip cheap and easy to maintain.
Drawbacks of a Pyramid Hip Roof
Small internal space – while the low pitch is great for drainage and aerodynamics, the downside is a small roof space. The low ceilings and lack of vertical walls means it can’t be used for a loft conversion and only has limited storage space. Furthermore, when maintenance is required, it can be difficult to reach the area that needs repairing.
Complex design – the unique square roof shape can pose challenges in the design phase, especially when planning the materials needed and execution.
Expensive – a combination of complex design, lots of building materials and long man hours results in an expensive build for a Pyramid Hip roof.
Structure of a Pyramid Hip Roof
The basic structure of a Pyramid Hip roof is four equal triangular sides sloping downwards towards a square base to mimic a pyramid shape.
To build a Pyramid Hip roof, you need to start with 4 equal sized common rafters and place them halfway across each side of the square structure to meet at a central point. The size of your building and desired slope pitch will influence what rafter length you will need.
Next, you will need to attach hip rafters from each corner of the square base to the same central point as the common rafters. The hip rafters should be supported by hip jack rafters at equal intervals to ensure the roof is secure. The larger the roof, the more hip jack rafters you will need for support.
In conclusion, Pyramid Hip roofs are best suited for small buildings in areas prone to high winds. However, the same low pitch that protects against high winds causes a small internal space, making the Pyramid Hip unsuitable for loft conversions.
While the initial installation costs are high, the long-term maintenance required is low compared to other types of roof due to a resilient structure and superior drainage.