A hip roof has sides that angle toward the walls with a gentle slope, a uniform angle pitch, no vertical ends, and four rafters that meet in the middle of the roof on a ridge board. The area where one section of the roof meets another is the hip.
A hip roof is aerodynamic and reduces the risk of structural damage during windstorms. This style also drains well because all four sides of the roof are angled, which prevents the roof from collapsing due to snow buildup. Owners can install gutters on all four sides of the house, because the hip roof has consistent fascia, or bands of material underneath the edge of the roof, on all four sides. Its eaves protect the house's walls from the sun and other weather conditions and provide shade on all sides of the house.
A hip roof has extensive trusses and rafters, and it requires more labor and materials to build than a gabled roof. A gabled roof offers better ventilation than a hip roof and natural light from a window installed in the gable. A hip roof may be more prone to leaks than a gabled roof because it has more seams. It also has less room inside the roof space because of its angles, so an owner may have difficulty accessing the area for maintenance.