Mansard Roof: Pros And Cons Explained

The Mansard roof started in the 16th century. But it started gaining popularity in the 17th century because of its French Architecture built and design. Perhaps you also want to have this kind of roofing in your home. Lucky for you, as you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you will know exactly what the mansard roof is and the pros and cons. So without further ado, let’s get started. 

Mansard Roof

What Is The Purpose Of A Mansard Roof?

Ever wonder why buildings look different? Yes, they come with the same function: to protect us from different elements and create internal and livable space. Perhaps you heard about the Mansard roof. It’s also known to many as a curb roof or French roof that gives a house a cottage look and Tudor. 

A mansard is a hipped and Gambrel roof. The appearance may not be the common ones you see in the nearby homes. A mansard roof comes with four sloping sides that bend at the same point each. It has other identifying traits like they tend to have windows or dormers that will show off from the roof. Thereby giving light into the attic to give architects the chance to turn the spaces into a bedroom or other types of interior. 

Therefore, a mansard roof is not just a roof alone; it works as the house’s outer walls too. It means that the top story comes with a roof or shingles around, other than just the top.

The roof may not look exactly vertical, but it’s close to it. It’s about 2 feet from the bottom, then has a slant to the ridge to give enough angle for water to run into the roof’s gutters. 

So why make a roof with such a unique shape? Well, it sure is not boring and will give your home the total elegance that everyone wants. Mansard roofing gives your home an interesting look and serves the same purpose as with other roofings. 

What Are The 3 Advantages Of A Mansard Roof?

Now that you have an idea about the mansard roof and its purposes, here are the top 3 advantages of mansard roofing that you might want to consider. 

It provides extra attic space

Unlike a standard Hip roof or Gable roof, Mansard roofs can give more spaces in the attic because of their vertical bottom slope. Also, the loft part of your Mansard roof does not need to compromise the space, as it can easily give a space for a bedroom if needed.

Furthermore, if you’re using dormer windows along the length of the entire bottom slope, then it allows you to allow more natural light inside your house. That way, you’re increasing the space of your attic.

Easy to Expand 

Since the Mansard roof has that vertical nature of the bottom slope, it would be easier to construct additional floors on the top. In addition, the bottom slope design gives great flexibility, unlike other known roofing styles like Hip roofs and Gable roofs. 

Therefore, if you still have the budget to expand new floors to your house but might need a flexible set-up for the expansion, it makes much sense to opt for the Mansard roof. 

Gives aesthetic value 

Even if appearance and looks can be subjective, we can’t deny that the Mansard roof got that elegant design because of its French Architecture, even during the historic period. 

Furthermore, in places where the Mansard roof is not usually found, this style would probably be the first and raising standards to look sophisticated. It would become a head-turner if it were executed the right way. 

Drawbacks Of Mansard Roofing 

When you decide whether you will consider a Mansard Roof or not, you should also note the drawbacks. Because for some reason, what works for others, may not always work for you. So here are the possible drawbacks you should consider.

  • A bit pricey 

You should know that opting for the Mansard roof can get high installation costs. After going through some inspection, the very first thing you will notice is the complex design. A more complex design will lead you to high installation costs. However, you may be able to install lots of Gable or Hip roofs for a respective Mansard roof cost.

Furthermore, you should also know that not all roofing experts are familiar with the design. Therefore, you will need a professional who knows exactly how it’s done. And with that, the rate could get high as well. 

  • Weak Weather Resistance 

Just so you know, a Mansard roof is not always functional. They can’t always withstand extreme weather conditions in unsuitable areas. This is mainly because of the low pitch of the top parts of the roof.

The flat slope also means that it will not always be resistant to heavy rainfall; thus, it results in leakages in the roof. Furthermore, the results would be more disastrous in places with heavy snowfall. Your entire roof could collapse if too much snow gets in. 

  • High-maintenance 

Since the Mansard roof requires high installation costs, it could also increase the repair cost and maintenance. This is true with the Mansard roof since not all roofing contractors are familiar with the Mansard roof. Hence, repairs and maintenance could get costly. Not only that, as finding a mansard roofing expert can also be a hassle on your part. 

On top of that, using dormer windows together with the steeply raked slope at the bottom will push the repairs and maintenance costs to new highs. Furthermore, you will need to collect lots of debris on the flat portion of your roof, which may increase the maintenance bill. 

  • Challenging to get a permit

Obtaining a permit can be quite hard if you want to construct mansard roofs. It depends on your area, and you will need to research the laws locally that apply to this kind of roofing. There must be proper research before you start with the process. 

What Is The Difference Between A Gambrel And A Mansard Roof?

  • Mansard Roof

The Mansard roof is known to many as French Roof. It’s a four-sided roof with double slopes on each side to form low-pitched roofing. It comes with a lower slope that is steeper than the upper portion. The sides can be curved or flat, which may also vary the style. 

Because of its double-pitch style and steep sides shared with any other kinds of roofs, sometimes Mansard is mistaken for another type. It would be hard to see the upper pitch when you are standing. This could cause others to be wrong for a single-plane roof with a steep side or the other way round. 

In addition, the mansard roof is ideal for people who want a flexible home addition. Furthermore, when designing a home or a building, mansard roofs start design can help you save money. You can add dormers or garret later, and it allows homeowners to make additions when they need changes. 

Materials used for mansard roofs are unique; that’s why it’s making the roof special. It uses metal, like zinc or copper, for the steep parts of the roof. It also gets expensive, but it’s all worth it in the long run. 

  • Gambrel Roof

A gambrel roof is also known to many as the barn roof that is much like the Mansard roof in a sense. However, it also comes with two different slopes, and the difference from the Mansard is that it comes in two sides, while the Mansard roof has four. 

Like the Mansard roof, the Gambrel’s lower side has an almost vertical and steep slope, while the upper portion is lower. Furthermore, Gambrel roofing isn’t only built on top of barns, log cabins, and farmhouses. They are also used in Georgian Style and Dutch Colonial homes, as well. 

Unlike Mansard, the Gambrels use only two roof beams with gusset joints. Construction is simple with Gambrels, and you only need a few materials, making the cost go lower than the Mansard. The materials used will vary depending on the style of the house, and slate shingles, asphalt, or wood are commonly used. 

Furthermore, Gambrel roofs are also great to use for outdoor sheds, as well as storage buildings. This is because the shape of the Gambrel can always provide more storage without even taking up more space. 


These days, we all want something new and pleasing to the eyes of many. With the Mansard roof, you will achieve that elegance in your home like the ones you saw in history books about the building designs centuries ago. Think about the beauty and vibe it could give to your roofing that will catch the attention of anyone passing by.

With that, make sure that you’ve prepared enough for the cost, as mansard roofing is a bit pricey. However, it’s all going to be worth it when you’ve seen the outcome of your roofing. I hope this blog helped you know more about Mansard roofing and help you know which type of roofing fits your needs. 

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