Originating from 17th-century France, mansard roofs remain one of today’s most popular styles, thanks to their unique look and benefits. Harmony Home Improvement takes a closer look at this enduring residential roof replacement style.
What Is a Mansard Roof?
A mansard roof, also known as a French roof or curb roof, is a four-sided roofing style that features two slopes with four sides. It’s a combination of a hip roof, with its four sides and ridged peak, and a gambrel roof, with its two-slope design. The bottom slopes are very steep, almost vertical, while the upper slope is nearly flat and often not visible from the ground. The lower slope often has dormers, which are either functional or decorative.
Slate and wood shakes are traditionally used as outer roofing materials, as these are well-suited for steep-sloped roofing. For newer roofs, asphalt shingles are perfectly compatible with such steep slopes. If you are looking for shingles that look close to traditional roofing, residential roofing contractors like us offer products from CertainTeed® and GAF designed to look like slate and wood shakes. Membrane roofing like TPO can be installed on the upper slope, but they have to be installed by a roofer who knows commercial roofing systems in addition to residential ones.
Unique Features and Benefits
Mansard roofs typically feature dormer windows on the steep slope, as they allow more natural light and adds aesthetic value that boosts curb appeal. The timeless design works in single and multi-story structures and works in both urban and rural settings. It should be noted that dormers require flashing, so it is important to choose a capable roofer with workmanship warranties. Erroneously installed flashing can lead to major roofing leaks.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a mansard roof is the allowance for future extension. The square-ish roof area is ideal for extension rooms and can better accommodate furniture compared to converted attic spaces. Blind dormers can be easily replaced with real ones, and won’t require punching holes in the roof. If you are expecting one or two kids in the next ten years or so, a mansard roof is a great investment.
To learn more about mansard roofs or our other roofing options such as metal roofing systems, call Harmony Home Improvement today at (860) 516-9103. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation estimate. We serve New Haven, CT and surrounding areas.