Bring Back French Style with a Mansard Roof
French Renaissance architecture is often characterized by mansard roofs. In fact, you can walk into the Louvre today and see portions of this roof style on grand display. In the U.S., many Victorian homes built in the mid to late 1800s use this French design. Unfortunately, today it is often seen at fast food restaurants, but when used in larger homes it creates a strikingly elegant appeal.
What Is a Mansard Roof?
A mansard roof is comprised of four sides with two slopes on each of the sides. The lower slope is steeper than the one above it and often includes dormers, while the upper slope is rarely visible from the ground. Many homeowners with this roof style are able to use their attics as living quarters. If you know someone whose attic is tall enough to comfortably reside in, there's a good chance the home has a Mansard roof.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Mansard Roof
The practical design of a mansard roof offers many advantages:
- Space: This roof style provides enough interior space for the attic to be used as living quarters.
- Easy expansion: The practical design enables builders to add on more stories to an existing building with less effort and expense than other roofs would allow.
- Aesthetic appeal: If constructed correctly, the mansard roof style conveys a sophisticated and timeless look.
- Easy framing: Because this design doesn't involve complex framing, you may be able to save both time and money by building a new roof in the mansard style. Contact a roofing contractor to discuss the cost of a new roof.
Although there are many advantages to mansard roofs, there is one main disadvantage. Because the roof is flat, ice and snow can easily accumulate and weigh it down. During winter months, homeowners need to perform the necessary maintenance to prolong the life and safety of a mansard roof.
The cost of building a mansard roof varies depending on the size of the home, but this is generally one of the most economical roof styles due to the use of lightweight, easily installed shingles.
If you're replacing a roof and want to aim for a French-inspired look, a mansard roof may be a cost-effective and visually appealing option.
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