mansard roof residential home

What is a Mansard Roof?

The mansard roof is also called a French roof and it is similar to a hip roof. Mansard roofs have four sloped sides where each side is divided in two with the lower sections having a steeper pitch.

This style of roof was common in during the French Renaissance in the 1600s and parts of the Louvre have mansard roofs. The look became popular again in the 1800s when Paris was rebuilt under Napoleon’s rule after a series of violent uprisings.

Now, mansard roofs can be seen on apartment buildings, restaurants, small businesses, hotels, and homes.


One of the reasons mansards have seen periods of popularity is they help to create extra storage or living space.

Dormers with windows can also easily be added to a mansard roof and add light, ventilation, and aesthetic appeal to the building.

Additionally, mansard roofs can be simple and easy to construct which may make them faster and less expensive than other types of roofs.


There are a couple of reasons why a mansard roof may not be ideal: First, the low slope of some of the sides can be prone to damage or leaks if they are not entirely waterproof or when the shingles are at the end of their lifespan.

Second, with such a simple-looking design, it can be tempting to add dormers, skylights, or other elements to the roof, but those elements can wind up costing you more money.

Roofing Materials to Use for a Mansard Roof

When choosing a roofing material for a mansard roof, you need to go with something that is very durable. Wood and slate shingles would really stand out and add to the classic look of a mansard roof, but metal sheets or shingles will last the longest.

For instance, copper roofing can last hundreds of years! Metal roofing can be expensive, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Roofing Materials Not to Use

The low pitch of some of the sides of a mansard roof can make some roofing materials unsuitable. Lightweight asphalt shingles can wear faster than normal, so they should be avoided.

If the classic beauty as well as the potential for extra storage or living space appeals to you, consider building a mansard roof.

Looking to get your roofing questions answered? Give us a call at (780) 466-1601 or contact us today using our online form!