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The advantages and disadvantages of a mansard roof

People believe the mansard roof was made in the 17th century, but it actually dates back to the 16th century. Anyway, it wasn’t until the middle of the 17th century that this roof style became famous. Already at that time, the mansard roof had become an important piece of French design and is usually seen in numerous structures in this piece of the world.

What exactly is the mansard roof? What are the favorable circumstances and obstacles to using this material style? How does it look like? This article tries to solve all questions regarding the use of this roofing material. Read below to learn all about the mansard roof.

What is the mansard roof?

3246094_a1fc095d The advantages and disadvantages of a mansard roof

The mansard roof, also known as the French roof or curb roof, is a hybrid between a gambrel roof and a hip roof. Now you must be curious about what a gambrel roof is? Let’s start by describing a Gambrel roof to you.

You can think of the gambrel roof as an adapted rendering of a gable roof. But how? Unlike a standard gable roof, which highlights a single slope on each side, a Gambrel roof has two slopes on each side. The upper slope is significantly complemented in contrast to the lower one, which appears to be almost vertical.

Although this material style is not used regularly in traditional houses, you will discover it in numerous barn houses.

Now that you know what a gambrel roof is, we can discuss in detail what a mansard roof is. Similar to the Gambrel roof, the mansard roof has a similar roof design on both sides. Anyway, on the other hand, the mansard roof has the same pitch style. In the case of the Gambrel roof, there are no slopes on the remaining surfaces.

So Legacy USA – Newtown roofer, created his own definition: “The mansard roof, also known as the French roof or curb roof, is one and a half between a gambrel roof and a hip roof.” Seems like an accurate description doesn’t it?

Aside from the additional slopes, mansard roofs also have a unique structural component that further sets them apart from traditional gambrel roofs. The only differences between the Gambrel roof and the mansard roof are the skylights along the steep slope. These windows are an integral part of the Gambrel roof design.

What are the advantages of a mansard roof?

Additional attic

Compared to a standard gable roof or a hip roof, mansard roofs offer more and more space in the upper room due to the practically vertical floor slope. The loft area of ​​a mansard roof doesn’t have to be limited to space and can create a master bedroom if necessary without a lot of stretch house.

The use of roof windows along the entire length of the lower slope also allows an increasing amount of light inside the building, which further increases the feeling of space.

Easier expandability

The practically vertical nature of the basic slope makes it easier to build additional floors. The design of the basic slope takes into account a more remarkable adaptability in contrast to increasingly well-known material styles such as gable roofs or hip roofs.

So, if you don’t have the extra money to add more floors to your home but need the adaptability to expand your home later, using a mansard roof is a good sign.

Aesthetic value

Even if the look is abstract, it cannot be denied that the roofs of Mansard have an elegant structure. In fact, they were a significant piece of French engineering during the Renaissance. In addition, this style of material is becoming more and more complex in regions where they are normally not discovered and can even be an eye-catcher if properly executed.

Mansard_Roof_Detail The advantages and disadvantages of a mansard roof

What are the disadvantages of using a mansard roof?

Weather resistance

Mansard roofs are not the most useful. To be honest, they have many obvious drawbacks that make them less than desirable in areas with extreme climates. Why? This is due to the slight slope of the top part of this roof.

The practically flat slope means that it does not adapt well to heavy rainfall and can lead to leaks on the roof. In addition, the result may be even worse in regions with heavy snowfall. To be honest, the entire roof could collapse under the weight of the snow.

High installation costs

Most of all, after looking at some representations of the mansard roof, the unpredictability of the plan becomes clear. Usually this leads to high set-up costs. To be honest, you’re most likely going to introduce different gable roofs or hip roofs at the expense of a single mansard roof.

In addition, very few roofers will be familiar with this structure.

Maintenance and repair costs

The high installation costs for mansard roofs would largely be increased by additional maintenance and repair costs. Nowadays, very few roofing experts know the mansard roof. So fixing them would be an expensive problem, but also finding the right material.

In addition, the use of roof windows along the steep slope will bring maintenance and fixed costs to new highs. In addition, a lot of dirt will accumulate on the compliment part of the roof, which will further increase maintenance costs.

A history lesson on mansard roofs

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Despite the fact that the creation of the mansard roof is attributed to François Mansart (1598 – 1666), he was not the first to perform this roof design. This respect should be given to Pierre Lescot (1510 – 1578), who used this material style in 1550 for a piece by the Louver Museum.


Before we say goodbye, let’s end this article with a few pieces of advice. While mansard roofs look by and large advanced, they aren’t particularly useful, especially if you’re thinking of adding one to your home.

They are a bit of an old design and keep in mind that this could be a tempting motivation to use this roof in your home. We recommend that you choose a roof type that takes into account the atmosphere of your community and the neighborhood.