Everything You Need To Know About Mansard Roofs

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By George Taylor

Updated: Jan 25, 2024

8 min read

Mansard Roofs

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    Mansard roofs might be an early invention, but they still haven’t lost their popularity in the home designing and interior industry. Gaining the most popularity in England and France, this style of roof is now known all around the world.

    Mansard roofs are a very distinctive and intricate structure with French heritage. The roof’s attractive facade and efficient interior layout are created by the fusion of the hip and gambrel roofs.

    If you are curious about Mansard Roof and its styles, functions, and more, then you have landed at the right place. This is your detailed guide on everything you need to know about the designs, uses, benefits, and more about mansard roofs.

    What is a Mansard Roof Design

    In terms of design, a mansard roof, sometimes referred to as a French or curb roof, combines a hip and a gambrel roof. The gambrel-style roof is a remodeled but upgraded variant of the gable roof. Hence it is safe to say that they are interconnected.

    One of the slopes on a mansard roof is steeper than the other to ensure proper drainage. This roof style typically has lateral windows, and occasionally, the top is flat or almost flat. Its upper slope is rarely seen from the ground due to its flatter nature.

    Types of Mansard Roofs

    Types Of Mansard Roofs

    Mansard roof framing can be classified on the basis of multiple factors; one of the most important factors we will discuss here is the shape. Mansard roofs types come in four shapes that serve different purposes in different regions.

    Hence, you must know about the types of mansard roofs before installing them in your home to make sure that you pick the right one according to the architectural style of your house and your tastes and preferences. The detailed description of the four shapes of mansard roofs is mentioned below:

    Concave Mansard Roofs

    Concave Mansard Roofs

    A concave mansard roof has an inward curve that arches outside at the edge, and the lowest slope is steeper than the other two. The roof’s usable capacity is unavoidably reduced by the inward curve. Still, it more than makes up for it with an appearance that is arguably more elegant and reminiscent of historic French residences.

    Convex Mansard Roofs

    Convex Mansard Roofs

    Convex mansard roofs are curved outwards towards the bottom and usually have a bell shape. The attic rooms gain a lot of additional space as a result. All the trees surrounding the house must be cleared before construction if you want to install a convex-style mansard roof.

    Straight Mansard Roofs

    Straight Mansard Roofs

    Mansard roofs sport a very minimal incline in their upper slope. Dormer windows are often present on the lowest slope, which is almost vertical and adds some extra living space in addition to providing air and light.

    There are very high chances of snow getting accumulated on this style of mansard roofs, which can weigh it down and result in cracks and leaks. Hence, it is very important to ensure that you provide a straight mansard roof with the proper upkeep required to stay in mint condition throughout its lifespan.

    S-Shaped Mansard Roofs

    S-Shaped Mansard Roofs

    An s-shaped mansard roof combines both convex and concave designs to make it look like an s from the sides. The roof curves inward at the start and outward at the end.

    Read about 17 Types Of Roof Shapes To Add Curb Appeal.

    Pros & Cons of Mansard Architecture Roofing

    You might be fascinated with the concept of mansard roofs, but that does not necessarily mean that it will be a good idea to install this roof on your house. Which is why it is necessary that you pay attention to the advantages and disadvantages of mansard style roofs in order to make sure that it will be a good match for the architectural structure for your house and suit your tastes and preferences.

    To help you make this decision, we have listed below some of the most important pros and cons of mansard roofs.


    More Space In The House: It provides a practical technique to maximize the space available in the house. The additional room that this roof offers is sizable enough to house the master bedroom.

    More Ventilation: A mansard roof also gives you the opportunity to make the ventilation of your home much better. The roof chapels’ design increases the amount of light that can enter the structure and hastens the movement of fresh air inside it.

    Lesser Heating Costs: These roofs are good for homes in colder regions as it disperses the heat better due to the attic space in the house. Mansard roofs save heating expenses by dispersing heat uniformly across the space.

    Versatile Designs: Mansard roof homes are quite adaptable to different styles of architecture, including vintage and modern ones. Hence, it is easy to style them with almost all types of homes without worrying about the house’s appearance, as it suits most architectural structures.


    Poor Weather Resistance: It might not be the best roof style for your home if you live in a region with extreme weather conditions. Due to the extremely low pitch on mansard roofs, they become less resistant to harsh weather conditions like heavy rain or snow. The majority of these roofs have subpar drainage systems.

    Higher Installation And Maintenance Costs: These roofs are complex when it comes to their structure, which is why their installation costs are higher than the other roof styles. Mansard roofs have a complex structure and that requires regular maintenance in order to make sure that it looks just as good and serves its purpose throughout its lifespan. Frequent safety checks are also important of such roofs to avoid any hazard.

    Difference Between a Dormer & Mansard

    The most frequent location for mansard loft conversions is at the back of the structure, where windows provide views of the garden. The rear wall may slope down at an angle, as depicted above, or it may run parallel to the house’s original walls. The roof is flat. But a dormer loft conversion is typically built at the back of the house. The most common type of loft conversion allows you to maintain the appearance of your home’s sloped roof.

    Due to their complex structure, mansard roofs often require proper authorization before starting the construction. However, dormers do not have to face any such restrictions. A dormer offers sufficient space.

    Learn All About Dormers and Their Architecture.

    Should You Get a Mansard Style Roof?

    Choosing the right style of roof for your home is very important to make sure that not only your home looks good but is also protected. If you want to use your attic as additional living space, can afford the additional costs, and reside in a location with minimal upkeep and normal weather conditions then in such conditions, mansard roofs are a perfect option for you.

    Undoubtedly, mansard roofs are the most efficient option for your house. While these roofs may not be the best for places with extreme weather like heavy rains or snow falls, they are fantastic for maximizing your attic space. So, if you live in a place that has neutral weather throughout the year and wants to have a spacious attic, then a mansard roof would be ideal for you.


    The mansard roof style is unique, artistic, and versatile. It can transform the simplest of homes into something extraordinary, along with the numerous benefits it brings. There are different shapes of mansard roofs for you to choose from according to your tastes and preferences.

    However, it is important to remember that even though this roofing style carries multiple benefits, it might not be the right choice for some houses. Hence, always make sure that you have gone through all the pros and cons of the roof before its construction to ensure the safety of your home and family.

    We hope all of your queries and concerns regarding the mansard roof, its styles, uses, pros and cons got answered here.


    What Distinguishes a Mansard Roof From a Gambrel Roof?

    Mansard and gambrel roofs both have two distinct slopes. The mansard roof has four sides, but the gambrel roof only has two, which is the primary distinction between the two. However, even though the two roof styles are different in appearance, the advantages you get are almost the same.

    What is Another Name for the Mansard Roof?

    French or curb roofs are other names for a mansard or mansard roof. It has two slopes on each of its sides, with the lower slope sloping down at a greater angle than the top slope, and is a multi-sided gambrel-style hip roof that is frequently perforated by dormer windows.

    Are Mansard Roofs Durable?

    On average, mansard roofs can last for anywhere between 15 to 25 years. However, the longevity of roofs mainly depends on the maintenance and proper installation. Another major factor that will affect the longevity of a mansard roof is the material that it’s made of.

    How Are Mansard Roofs Constructed?

    Most of the mansard roofs are made of slate because of the numerous benefits of this material. Making any type of modifications in a mansard roof are not only possible but also an easy task as it can be done during the installation process. In keeping with its ancient roots, the natural slate’s dark tone also adds a dignified and elegant touch.

    What Materials is a Mansard Roof Made of?

    A mansard roof can be constructed from almost any material. However, to preserve their classic appearance, these roofs are usually covered in slate tiles or timber shingles. To reduce costs or increase the roof’s longevity, you can also use other kinds of shingles or tiles, including metal or asphalt shingles.

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