How To Frame a Pyramid Hip Roof

A pyramid roof is one of the many variations of hip roofs. Hip roofs essentially lack gables or vertical sides. Just like the name suggests, a pyramid roof takes the shape of a pyramid and it is constructed on top of a square or a rectangular base. This kind of roof is suitable for small structures or small sections of the home, such as garages and pool houses.

In a pyramid roof, all the sides slope downwards towards the wall and they may have three or more rectangular faces depending on the size of the structure, as well as the design preferences of the owner of the structure. It is also a common occurrence to find the slope of such roofs to be slightly gentle as compared to the rest of the roof types.

In the United States, this kind of roofing was very popular in the construction of American Foursquare house styles during the years prior to 1930. American builders have known how to frame a pyramid hip roof with pride for many decades. Commonly known as box houses, the Foursquare houses were viewed as a migration from the more elaborate styles of the Victorian homes. The types of houses or homes that used and still use pyramid hip roofs are the classic American bungalows, log cabins and the modern Victoria-style homes.


There are a number of reasons that make pyramid hip roof construction appealing to some people. Generally, hip roofs are very efficient in places with high winds. Their rather conservative construction makes them less prone to wind damages hence you don’t have to worry about constant roof maintenance and repair following windy weather. Besides this, here are some benefits that pyramid roofs have-:

Pyramid hip roofs are wind resistant –This is perhaps the most admirable feature for those looking on how to build a pyramid roof. Since the roofs are shaped with equal pitch on both sides, the structures tend to have good aerodynamic features, giving them the ability to withstand strong winds compared to the normal gable roofs. They are therefore ideal for use in the coastal regions where tough winds and storms are common occurrences.

Pyramid hip roofs have natural insulation – insulation is an important aspect in all components of a building. This is simply because it will ultimately determine the energy bills, especially during the very cold or very hot seasons. The good insulation capabilities of these roof types come from the fact that they have eaves all around the structure, thus creating a natural insulation phenomenon. By learning how to frame a pyramid hip roof builders can leave ample room for insulation materials. With this design component, the interior temperatures of the room will always be low and this goes a long way in helping you save the cost of running your air conditioner.

Pyramid hip roofs have efficient drainage capabilities – Drainage is a bothersome problem that most roofs usually face, especially the flat ones or those with a very low pitch. With poor drainage, the roof will collect rain water and fail to direct it away. This causes deeper problems not only to the roof, but to other the sections of the structure. Pyramid hip roofs on the other hand never have any drainage issues. They have equal slopes with no flat surfaces, hence water will always drain away almost immediately. You therefore don’t expect to experience problems such as mold growth or leaks on a pyramid hip roof since it is very efficient in draining away rain water.


Even with all these rosy benefits, pyramid hip roofs have certain disadvantages that you need to know about before you consider constructing one. They as follows-:

Small internal space – this is  the main disadvantages with not just a pyramid hip roof, but almost all of the other variations of hip roofs. As we find out how to frame a pyramid hip roof we start to see how much internal space the framing takes up. A Pyramid hip roof is very limiting with regards to internal space hence this makes to be less attractive for construction where storage and living room can’t be compromised. The small space also means that accessing the attic area for repair and maintenances is also very difficult for the roofing experts.

Pyramid hip roofs are expensive to install – Compared to gable roofs, pyramid hip roofs are very expensive to construct and install. They require a lot of materials, long man hours, as well as a high cost of labor, hence many homeowners prefer to avoid them.

In addition to the high costs, whoever is looking forward to implementing a pyramid hip roof plan in his structures must be prepared to face a complex design process. These kinds of roofs demand a lot in terms of designing and this is also likely to further inflate the overall cost of implementing the roof.


The process of framing a pyramid hip roof may or may not be complicated depending on the size of the structure and the particular style you are interested in. Outlined below are the basic steps towards framing a pyramid hip roof. Kindly consult with your local roofing expert for more refined processes-:

  • You will need to have a circular saw, a measuring tape, a 2-by-6 lumber, nails and a hammer.
  • Decide on the pitch of the pyramid roof you want to construct. Remember, the pitch will ultimately determine the final length of the hip rafters you will use.
  • Section the four rafters in accordance with the pitch you chose. For instance, you can cut the rafters at 45 degrees if you are using a pitch of 12/12.
  • Install the initial two opposite rafters while positioning them to lean against each other and then extend them diagonally towards the opposite corners. Secure them safely by nailing them together.
  • Install the next pair of the rafters so that they can butt at the top joint of the initial pair of rafters.
  • Continue installing the remaining rafters as you allow them to extend downwards towards the walls.

Though pyramid hip roof construction can be demanding and time consuming, when done in the correct way, it leads to a structurally sound roof which is also less prone to wind damages. Invest in a pyramid hip roof if you want to enjoy the great external aesthetics and you are comfortable taking care of the relatively high construction costs.