December 1, 2022

What is a Mansard Roof and What Advantages/ Disadvantages It Carries

What is a Mansard Roof and What Advantages/ Disadvantages It Carries

Mansard Roof has been in existence since the 16th century. It was until the beginning of the 17th century that this style of roofing gained popularization. Since that time Mansard roofs have been in use for centuries. Mansard roof has been an integral element of French architecture and is often seen in the constructions in the region of the world.

What exactly is a Mansard roof? What are the benefits and disadvantages of this type of roofing? What brought it into existence? We’ll be able to answer all of these queries and much more within this post. Keep an eye out for us to learn everything you must be aware of concerning Mansard roofs. Mansard roof.

What Is The Mansard Roof?

Simply stated simply, you can say that the Mansard roofing, which is referred to in the form of the French roof as well as Curb roof is a cross between the gambrel roof as well as hip roof. If you’re not familiar with a gambrel roof then let us explain its structure in a brief manner.

It is possible to consider Gambrel roofs as a modified version of an Gable roof. Howdo you know? It’s because, unlike a typical Gable roofthat has one slope on both sides, a Gambrel roofing has two slopes on either side. The top slope is much smaller in comparison to the lower one and almost looks to be vertical.

While this type of roof isn’t commonly seen in traditional houses however, it is found in many barn homes. If you’re struggling to comprehend this style of roofing it is suggested that you take a to look at the drawing as well as the picture below.

After you’ve got an idea of the features of the Gambrel roof is we can look into what is a Mansard roof in greater detail. Like the gambrel roofing it is similar to the Mansard roof is characterized by the same slope pattern on two opposing sides. On the opposite side the Mansard roof has the same sloped design. If you look at the gambrel roof, there’s no slopes on the remaining sides.

Thus, our first statement which is ” Simply put the mansard roofing, often referred to as French roofing or the curb roof is a combination of the gambrel roof and the hip roof.” It makes sense isn’t it?

In addition to the steep slopes Mansard roofs have an unique design feature that is distinct from traditional roofs with gambrel. If you take a look at the picture below, you’ll notice dormer windows that run along the slope of the bottom that is steeply raked. These windows form an integral element of the roof’s gambrel structure.

What Are The Advantages Of Using A Mansard Roof?

Extra Attic Space

In comparison to a conventional Gable roofing or Hip roof Mansard roofs provide significantly more space in the attic because of their almost vertical slope at the bottom. The loft space of Mansard roofs is significantly larger. Mansard roof doesn’t have to sacrifice space and is able to easily accommodate the master bedroom, if required.

Additionally, the addition of dormer windows across all the lengths of slope lets more daylight to penetrate the structure and further enhances the feeling of space.

Easier Expandability

The almost vertical shape that the slope below is easy to construct additional floors over. The shape of the slope at the bottom allows more flexibility when compared to the more common roofing designs like Gable roofs and Hip roofs.

Therefore, if you don’t have the funds to build additional floors on your home, but you want or require the flexibility to grow your home in the future, then the Mansard roof is the best option.

Aesthetical Value

While looks can be subjective however, it is a fact it is true that Mansard roofs are elegant in style, mostly because they were an integral component of French architecture in the Renaissance period. Furthermore, in areas in which they are not often encountered, this type of roof will certainly look more elegant and may even attract attention If done properly.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using A Mansard Roof?

Weather Resistance

To be truthful, Mansard roofs are not the most efficient. In reality, they have many obvious drawbacks that make them unsuitable for areas that have extreme weather conditions. You might ask why? It is due to the lower pitch of the uppermost part of the roof.

The flat, almost horizontal slope indicates that it is unable to be able to withstand heavy rain and may cause leaks on the roof. In addition, in areas with massive snowfall, the outcome could be much more devastating. In reality the roof may be able to collapse due to the weight of snow.

High Installation Costs

When you look over some of the illustrations that show the Mansard roof the first thing you’ll notice evident is the difficulty in the structure. Naturally, that leads to a substantial installation price. In reality, you’ll be able to put up multiple Gable roofs , or Hip roofs for the price of one Mansard roof.

Furthermore, not all roofing experts are familiar with this type of roof. Therefore, the performance that is provided by the Mansard roof may not be in line with the best standards.

Maintenance and Repair Costs

An expensive installation price will typically indicate higher repairs and maintenance costs and this could be even more so for Mansard roofs. Today the majority of roofing professionals are knowledgeable about Mansard roofs. Mansard roof, so repairing it will not cost you a lot of money, but finding the best roofing specialist can also be a major difficulty.

Additionally the addition of dormer windows on the slope of the bottom that is steeply raked will increase repairs and maintenance costs up to new heights. Additionally it will result in plenty of debris that will accumulate in the flat part of the roof which can further make maintenance more expensive.

A History Lesson On Mansard Roofs

While the design of the Mansard roof is believed to be the work of Francois Mansart (1598 1698 – 1666) however, he was not the first to apply this style of roof. The honor of this design would be awarded to Pierre Lescot (1510 – 1578) who implemented this roof style for a portion that was part of the Louvre Museum in 1550.

But, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 17th century when the Mansard roof design became popular. Francois Mansart, who was an accomplished architect from in the French Baroque period, started using this style of roof in the structures he built on behalf of his patrons. So, the roof design was named the Mansard roof to honor him.

The interesting thing is that it is interesting to note that in Europe, Mansard can also be used to refer to the attic space and not only roofing structures.

Its popularity as a Mansard roof grew throughout France and it was made more popular during the time of Napoleon the 3rd (1852-1870). In this period, the Mansard roof style spread throughout the globe and was widely used for buildings across the United States, Canada, and a variety of other western nations.

While it is true that the Mansard roof wasn’t utilized more often than traditional houses, it was used in numerous high-rise residential homes particularly in the latter half of the 1960s and the 1970s. Later , numerous smaller commercial structures also adopted the Mansard type roof. In contrast to the traditional Mansard roof they had a flat top.


Before we say goodbye and say goodbye to this piece with a bit of advise. While Mansard roofs look elegant and often lavish, they aren’t ideal, particularly when you’re looking the installation of one in your home.

They’re a part of architecture that is a part of the past and, while it could be an attractive justification to have the roof on your house however, we advise you to choose your kind of roof carefully, keeping the climate of your area in your head.

Roofs are frequently overlooked however they’re a important aspect of our homes and shells, as well as our armour, and for that reason we suggest you explore the kinds of roofs that are to consider below.