Mansard roofs are a type of roof that has a double slope on each of its four sides. The lower slope is significantly steeper than the upper slope, and the overall effect is reminiscent of a mansard window. Mansard roofs were popularized in the early 19th century by French architect Francois Mansart, and they soon became a common feature of Victorian-style architecture. Today, mansard roofs are still used in a variety of building styles, from historic homes to modern apartment complexes. Thanks to their unique shape, mansard roofs provide several benefits, including improved attic space, enhanced curb appeal, and increased solar gain.
- 1 Pros of Mansard Roof
- 2 Drawbacks of Mansard Roof
Pros of Mansard Roof
1. More Attic Space
A mansard roof is a great way to add extra space to your home. The double slope of the roof creates a large, open area that can be used for storage, a home office, or even an extra bedroom. Because the attic space is so open, it’s also easy to add windows and skylights, which can help bring natural light into the space.
2. Increased Curb Appeal
Mansard roofs are visually interesting, and they can give your home an air of sophistication and elegance. The unique shape of the roof also makes your home more noticeable from the street, which can be a plus if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of similar-looking houses.
3. Improved Solar Gain
Mansard roofs are excellent at capturing solar heat, which can be a major benefit in colder climates. The steeper lower slope of the roof helps to maximize the amount of sunlight that hits the surface, and the added attic space provides an ideal location for solar panels or other solar-powered equipment.
4. Expansion is Easy
If you ever need to expand your home, a mansard roof can make it easier and less expensive. Because the roof is already designed to support additional weight, you won’t need to make any structural changes when adding an extra room or two.
5. Works Well in Both Rural and Urban Areas
Mansard roofs can be adapted to a variety of different building styles, which makes them a good choice for both rural and urban areas. In rural areas, mansard roofs can give a barn or farmhouse a more elegant look. In urban areas, mansard roofs can add a touch of charm to an otherwise plain-looking apartment building.
Drawbacks of Mansard Roof
While mansard roofs offer many advantages, there are also a few potential drawbacks to consider.
1. More Expensive than Other Roofs
Mansard roofs are typically more expensive than other types of roofs because they require more materials and labor to build. The unique shape of the roof also means that it’s not always easy to find contractors who are experienced in working with mansard roofs.
2. Not Suitable for All Climates
If you live in a region that gets a lot of rain or snow throughout the year, a mansard roof may not be suitable for you. The double slope of the roof can cause rain and snow to collect on the surface, which can lead to leaks and other damage.
3. Requires Regular Maintenance
Like any other type of roof, a mansard roof will require regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. The steeper slopes of the roof can make it difficult to clean, and the added attic space can make it challenging to access the roof for repairs.
4. Tough to Get Permit
Mansard roofs can be difficult to get permits for because they don’t conform to standard building codes. If you’re planning to build a home with a mansard roof, make sure you check with your local building department to see if there are any special requirements or restrictions that you need to be aware of.
5. Not Suitable for All Homes
Because of their unique shape, mansard roofs are not always suitable for all types of homes. If you have a traditional-style home, for example, a mansard roof may not fit in with the overall design. Similarly, if your home is on a tight lot, the added height of a mansard roof may not be practical.