What is a Pyramid Roof?

A pyramid roof is a type of hip roof with four sloping sides that meet at a peak in the center. These roofs get their name from their shape, resembling ancient pyramids. 

Pyramid Roof

Pyramid roofs are self-bracing and stand up to high winds. Since they have steep slopes, they allow for ample height on the top floor but reduce space with their sharp angles.

If you’re considering adding a pyramid roof to your home or outbuilding, here’s what you should know.

What is a Pyramid Roof Design?

A pyramid roof design looks like a 3-d triangle. It’s a type of hip roof with triangular sides that meet at a peak in the middle. The shape is different from a standard hip roof which forms a ridge in the center.

Pyramid roofs are popular for gazebos and sheds but also work well for homes.

The Pros and Cons of Pyramid Roofs

While pyramid roofs can give a home a distinct shape, they come with a strong set of pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Stands up to high winds – A pyramid-shaped roof is one of the most durable. It’s self-bracing and can withstand high winds.
  • Adds height – A pyramid roof can add height to a home’s top floor or attic space.
  • Promotes water and snow run-off – With a steep slope, water and snow have no problem draining.
  • Easy to add a gutter system – With the four sides of a pyramid roof, it’s easy to add a gutter system.

Cons:

  • Expensive – A pyramid roof is more labor intensive to construct and, therefore, more expensive.
  • More seams – Seams are where sections of roofing butt up to each other. The more seams a roof has, the more chances for leaks.
  • Create awkward angles – Since pyramid roofs have steep slopes, they can cut into the liveable space on the top floor or attic.

Examples and Images of a Pyramid Roof

If you’re thinking of designing a pyramid roof, here are some examples and images to draw inspiration from.

Rustic Lake Home with Multiple Pyramid Roofs

Rustic Lake Home with Multiple Pyramid RoofsView in gallery
GMK Architecture Inc

If you’re looking for intricate designs, this lake house features several roof types, including pyramid roofs. The pyramid roofs top several sections of this home, adding interest.

Even though pyramid-style hip roofs are more common for modern homes, they still work on this rustic style.

Gazebo with a Pyramid Roof

Gazebo with a Pyramid RoofView in gallery
Saint Dizier Design

Pyramid roofs are typical for gazebos for the height they add and the shade they provide. You can use a pyramid roof on garden and poolside gazebos.

The roofs can be asphalt shingle, tile, or metal, depending on the style of the home.

Garden Shed with a Pyramid Roof

Garden Shed with a Pyramid RoofView in gallery
MJ McCabe-Garden Design

The pyramid roof on this garden shed gives it a quaint look and makes it an asset to this space. Adding a pyramid roof to a standard shed or small outbuilding can change its aesthetic, making it look more upscale.

Contemporary Glass House with Pyramid Roofs

Contemporary Glass House with Pyramid RoofsView in gallery
Dan Forer, Photographer

Pyramid roofs are an asset to contemporary homes, giving them a unique look. The architects used a series of pyramid roofs on this glass house and topped the roofs with a glass cap.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What kind of roofing material can you use on pyramid roofs?

You can use any material on pyramid roofs, including metal, tiles, and asphalt shingles. If you live in a hot climate, consider a cool roofing material. The Department of Energy suggests using a material with solar reflectance.

What is a pyramid-shaped roof called?

A pyramid-shaped roof is called a pyramid roof. It’s a type of hip roof in which all sides slope and meet at a peak.

How long will a pyramid roof last?

The amount of time a roof lasts depends on the material, climate, and maintenance. For example, metal roofs can last as long as 80 years, while asphalt shingle lasts 20-50 years.

Do pyramid roofs need gutters?

Even though pyramid roofs have a steep pitch that promotes water run-off, they still need a gutter system. You’ll need to put gutters on all four sides.

Is a pyramid roof better than a hip roof?

A pyramid roof is a type of hip roof. Standard hip roofs have four sloping sides that meet at a ridge. A pyramid roof has four sloping sides that meet at a peak. Both offer the same advantages – high wind resistance, good water run-off, and four sides for gutters.

Final Thoughts

Pyramid roofs are a type of hip roof that have equal sides that form a peak. You can use a pyramid roof to add interest to a home, shed, or gazebo. These roofs are self-bracing and stand up well to high winds. They’re also versatile, coordinating with many home styles. 

The biggest downside to pyramid roofs is they’re more expensive to build than a standard gable or skillion roof. The high pitch can make construction more complex, and the extra seams increase the chance of roof leaks.