Mansard roofs are known mainly from the Baroque period but still inspire today. That’s why more and more home builders are opting for this roof shape because it looks noble and is extremely practical. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about the mansard roof and whether this roof shape is suitable for your project.

Everything at a glance:

  • The mansard roof dates back to the Baroque period and has its roots in Paris. 
  • Due to its special shape, this construction offers a lot of space under the roof.
  • The mansard roof is built on the basis of a gable roof, pent roof or hip roof.
  • The total price of a mansard roof is approximately between 55,000 and 65,000 euros.

Definition

A mansard roof is characterized by a sloping roof, which divides the roof into two areas. This roof shape gives your home a luxurious look and provides a spacious living area below the roof. On a mansard roof, install snow guards for metal roofs to stop snow on the roof.

What is a mansard roof?

Compared to other roof shapes, the mansard roof, which is also called “mansard roof”, consists of a roof surface divided into two parts. The upper part of the roof rises steeply, which creates a high ceiling height within the attic. Thus, this roof shape proves to be an ideal option if you want to use the attic as a full living space. Towards the top, it is joined by a distinct slope.

The lower steep roof surface has a slope between 65 and 75 degrees, while the upper part has a slope of only 30 degrees. In order to integrate high windows, this type of roof usually uses dormers. There is also the possibility of installing skylights, which allow another source of light. As a basis for a mansard roof can serve, for example, the gable roof or hipped roof.

How did the mansard roof come into being?

The architect Pierre Lescot is considered the inventor of the mansard roof. In Paris in the 16th century, he planned and built the first mansard roof for the building that now houses the Louvre Museum. Accordingly, Paris in particular is known for numerous buildings with mansard roofs.

The mansard roof was widely used in the Baroque period because even then it offered the possibility of using the top floor of the house as living space. As this trend continues, the demand for this type of roof does not decrease.

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Other features that speak for the continued popularity of a mansard roof:

  • luxurious and noble appearance
  • visual enhancement of a house
  • low roof slope with plenty of space in the attic
  • numerous design options, for example, additional projections and dormers
  • Advantages and disadvantages

A mansard roof is probably one of the most elegant roof forms and is practical at the same time. Namely, due to the special roof design, you gain additional living space. However, the implementation of this roof form is associated with high construction as well as planning costs.

What are the advantages of mansard roofs?

Among the greatest advantages of such a construction are certainly the noble appearance and the fact that the steep roof slopes allow the use of the attic as a living space. Hardly any space is lost as a result, so you can easily stand upright in the attic in most mansard-style roofed houses. If your roof is covered with a standing seam, we recommend installing snow guards for standing seam metal roofs.

Structurally, the mansard roof also offers some advantages. If you are building a new home where the building height is limited, you can use the mansard roof as an alternative. The divided roof surfaces also provide optimal weather protection.

Advantages at a glance:

  • noble appearance
  • optimal weather protection
  • use of the attic as a full living floor
  • structural advantages

What are the disadvantages of a mansard roof?

Since mansard roofs are significantly more complex in planning and construction, this roof construction is comparatively expensive. In contrast to other roof forms, significantly more roof tiles are required, which affects the construction costs and drives them up.

Likewise, you should consider whether you might want to equip your house roof with a solar system. If this is the case, we do not recommend a mansard roof. Due to its special construction, there is simply hardly any sensible place on which you could mount the solar cells.

Another disadvantage occurs directly during the construction of the mansard gable roof: The obvious bend and high slope can become a real problem in terms of tightness. A lot of rainwater can collect here over time. When it comes to insulation, experts have to be highly professional to avoid moisture damage later on.

Overview of disadvantages:

  • high planning and construction costs
  • not suitable if you want to install solar panels on the roof
  • moisture damage can occur

Cost and construction

The cost of a mansard roof is very high in comparison and is made up of various factors. Especially the size of the roof is crucial. You should put the planning and implementation in the hands of an expert.

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What does a mansard roof cost?

In terms of cost, the mansard roof is quite expensive. The planning alone costs several thousand euros. As a rule, you have to pay about 40 percent more than for a gable roof. You have to reckon with roofing costs of around 60 euros per square meter. If your roof is covered with a corrugated metal roof, we recommend installing snow guards for corrugated metal roofs.

In addition, there is usually more than 20,000 euros for the costly construction of the roof truss, as well as around 20,000 euros (depending on the size of the roof area) for the roof tiles. Furthermore, extensive heat and moisture insulation should be integrated, which again costs around 15,000 to 20,000 euros. Depending on the size, the total cost of a mansard roof is therefore between 55,000 and 65,000 euros.

Who can build the mansard roof?

Both the design and construction of a mansard roof are very extensive and difficult. It is also necessary to obtain the appropriate building permits, which you can obtain only if you provide construction drawings and data on statics. Therefore, it is not possible to build the mansard roof by yourself. You should rely on a professional in this regard.

Advantages of having the mansard roof built by a professional:

  • Individual and safe planning especially according to your wishes.
  • Preparation and submission of all important construction documents
  • The professional, fast quality construction of the roof
  • Professional insulation
  • Warranty by the professional company

Conclusion

The mansard roof, which has been built since the Baroque period, has by no means gone out of fashion to this day. On the contrary – due to its high construction, it allows standing upright in the attic, so that this can almost be considered a full floor. It is very convenient to wash the mansard roof with a petrol pressure washer. It can handle many cleaning tasks for your home. Especially for construction areas where high houses are not allowed to be built, the mansard roof can be a good solution. However, the high planning and construction costs, as well as the fact that mansard roofs are always subject to moisture damage if they are not professionally constructed, should be taken into consideration.

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