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What Is a Mansard Roof?

The mansard roof is a perfect example of how architectural design doesn’t just focus on functionality; it’s also an art form. Since its creation during the 16th century, and its rise in popularity in the 17th century, the mansard roof is now a fundamental part of classic French architecture.

While it’s hardly a typical roofing style for traditional American homes, you can find it used in many barn houses in the countryside. So, how do you identify a mansard roof?

This type of roofing has two slopes on each side, and the lower slope is considerably steeper than the upper. The cross-section of a classic mansard is similar to the more common gambrel roof, but the former differs by displaying the same profile on every side.

If you’re looking for cost-effective and reliable roofing services in Carnegie, PA, call Gotcha Covered Contracting at 724-581-8147!

Mansard Roof Design Variations

While each one follows the same basic mansard roof shape, these three variations can significantly affect your home’s aesthetic design:


This design has a slightly sloping upper panel, while the lower slope is almost entirely vertical. Most straight mansard roofs feature dormer windows to provide light, ventilation, and space.


Convex mansard roofs feature an outward curving lower slope, which gives them a bell or S-shape. The convex shape provides the owner with extra interior space. Any homeowner with this type of roof should consider removing overhead branches and trees growing within five feet of their house.


An exact opposite of the convex mansard roof, this design has an inward curve that occasionally flares, while the bottom slopes feature a steep angle. Concave mansard roofs are a common addition to mansions and large buildings constructed during the late 19th century.

The Advantages of Mansard Roofing

While mansard roofs are notorious for having high installation, maintenance, and repair costs because of their complex structures, the benefits they offer may well be worth it:

Easier Expansion

Thanks to the verticality of the mansard roof’s bottom slope, it’s much easier to build additional floors on top of it. This design is useful if you currently lack the budget for more floors, but you want the flexibility of making future expansions.

Keep in mind that mansard roofs with flatter tops are prone to accumulating water and snow. Ensure you add the appropriate drainage and keep it regularly maintained to retain its structural integrity.

Roomier Attics

Compared to your standard hip or gable roof, mansard roofs provide larger attic spaces because of their nearly vertical bottom slope. This roof type’s loft area doesn’t need compromises when it comes to space and can easily house a master bedroom or a more intimate family room.

Plus, adding dormer windows along the length of the bottom slopes lets in more natural light and increases the interior’s sense of space.

Aesthetic Value

Looks might be subjective, but there’s a reason why the mansard roof design has stood the test of time. This roof style will look elegant with proper execution and might even be a head-turner, especially in areas where it’s scarce.

A Quality Roof for Everyone

Whether you’re interested in getting mansard roofing or prefer to go with another type, Gotcha Covered Contracting will go above and beyond your expectations.

Our expert team of builders has helped countless Pennsylvania residents with all of their roofing needs over the years through maintenance, repairs, and installations.

If you want to start a new project for your home in Carnegie, PA, call us at 724-581-8147 to discuss your options today!

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