What Is A Bonnet Roof?

A bonnet roof has four hipped sides, each with a slight slope at the bottom. The shape provides shade like a bonnet, which is where this roof gets its name.

Bonnet RoofView in gallery

Bonnet roofs are popular for homes with large wrap-around porches. While this type of roof can be complex and costly to build, it has a fair share of advantages.

If you’re considering building or buying a home with a bonnet roof, here’s what you should know.

What is a Bonnet Roof?

A bonnet roof is a type of hip roof. It has four sloped sides that meet at a ridge or peak on the top of the house. Typically, each side has a slight slope at the bottom.

While the style of a bonnet roof can vary, these roofs all have one thing in common: an overhang. The sides of a bonnet roof extend past the home’s wall providing shade and shelter.

Pros and Cons of a Bonnet Roof

A bonnet roof is an excellent choice if you live in a tropical environment or want shade over a wrap-around porch. The design does come at a cost, though – it’s expensive to build.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of a bonnet roof.


The advantages of a bonnet roof:

  • Shade – The overhang of a bonnet roof is ideal if you want a covered front porch or patio.
  • High-wind resistant – Since a bonnet roof is a variation of a hip roof, it’s one of the most structurally sound and can withstand high winds.
  • Siding protection – The roof overhang will help protect your siding from UV rays and water damage.
  • Attic Space – The high pitch of a hip roof allows for plenty of attic space.
  • Water drainage and gutter installation – The slope of a bonnet proof allows for easy water drainage. The design is also advantageous for a gutter system.
  • Aesthetics – Bonnet roofs add a unique style to a home and can boost curb appeal.

The disadvantages of a bonnet roof:

  • Costly to build – Compared to a standard hip roof, bonnet roofs require more trusses. They are more complex and expensive to build.
  • Potential for leaks – The more seams a roof has, the more potential for leaks. You’ll need to inspect your bonnet roof annually and after storms to check for damage.

Bonnet Roof Examples

There are variations of bonnet roofs. Here are a few examples.

Metal Bonnet Roof Over Wraparound Porch

Metal Bonnet Roof Over Wraparound PorchView in gallery
The Sustainable Design Group

A metal bonnet roof covers a traditional one-story white house for a timeless feel. The roof provides an overhang that covers a large wrap-around porch.

A bonnet roof is one to consider if you’re building a home and want a similar porch.

Wood Shingled Bonnet Roof on a Pool House

Wood Shingled Bonnet Roof on a Pool HouseView in gallery
E. B. Mahoney Builders, Inc.

You can use any material on a bonnet roof, including wood shingles. The bonnet roof on this pool house features an overhang on all four sides with a much larger one on the front.

Bonnet roofs are typical for pool houses since they provide shade.

Island Home with Bonnet Roof

Island Home with Bonnet RoofView in gallery

Bonnet roofs are ideal for tropical homes since they perform well in storms. On this house, a bonnet hip roof covers the main home and the guest house.

These roofs are versatile, suiting traditional, modern, and island-style homes.

Mediterranean Home with Tile Bonnet Roof

Mediterranean Home with Tile Bonnet RoofView in gallery

If you’ve thought of adding tiles to your roof, here’s an idea of how it might look. The Mediterranean-style home looks quaint with its blue shutters and orange tile roof.

Not all roof tiles will look the Mediterranean. The type and color you pick will drastically influence the look of your home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What kind of material can I use on a bonnet roof?

You can use any material on a bonnet roof. Two of the most popular materials are tiles and metal. Tiles work well for Mediterranean-style homes, while metal fits modern style.

Is a bonnet roof the same as a mansard roof?

While similar, a bonnet and mansard roof have different slopes. A mansard roof has two slopes on all sides. The top pitch is shallow, while the bottom slope is steep. A bonnet roof also has two slopes on each side, but in reverse – the top slope is steep, and the bottom is shallow.

Is a bonnet roof better than a gable roof?

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, a bonnet roof provides better high wind protection than a gable roof. Otherwise, both have their pros and cons. A gable roof is simple and less expensive but doesn’t provide shade like a bonnet roof.

Final Thoughts

A bonnet roof is a hip roof extending past a home’s walls on all sides. The overhang provides shade and is a top pick for homes with outdoor patio space or wrap-around porches.

Aside from providing shade, a bonnet roof has other advantages. It’s structurally sound, protects a home’s siding, and promotes optimal water drainage. The biggest downside to this roof style is the cost and potential for leaks.