13 Top Bonnet Roof Design Advantages and Disadvantages | Bonnet Roof Design Considerations

13 Top Bonnet Roof Design Advantages and Disadvantages | Bonnet Roof Design Considerations

Bonnet Roof Design Advantages and Disadvantages | Bonnet Roof Design Considerations |Pros and Cons of Bonnet Roof |Bonnet Roof Cost

What Are Bonnet Roofs?

Bonnet roofs are essentially a reversed mansard roof. A bonnet roof, also known as kicked eaves, has four sides with a steep upper slope and a more gradual lower slope, providing shade around the house’s borders for a porch.

This style is more frequent in 1700s homes; however, it is sometimes considered out of date by modern builders.

The lower slopes that overhang create a cover for an open porch. Bonnet roof can be constructed with any type of roofing including natural stone.

Bonnet roofs are a traditional roof design that is typically used on houses that sit on a very steep or flat slope.

If you live on a steep slope, the roof is often designed in this way to protect the home from debris, water or other types of pollutants that may flow down the slope.

The roof’s design may also include rocks or bricks that keep the roof from slipping or sliding down the slope.

Different types of roofs with pictures

Bonnet Roof Design Advantages and Disadvantages

Bonnet Roof Design Advantages

1. Good drainage/water run-off design option

The main advantage of a bonnet roof is its drainage design.  The design of a bonnet roof allows the roof to shed water effectively.  This results in less potential damage and a lower chance that there will be water leaks in the home.

Basically, if you live on a steep slope, your house faces the risk of overflowing with water or rain threatening to cause massive damage to your house.  But if you have this type of design in place, the likelihood of such problems occurring are reduced dramatically.

2. Better Protection from Sun and Rain

This particular design is a great option for people who live on high mountains or around rivers and lakes.

It provides extra protection from the sun and rain thus reducing the potential damage due to sun and rain.

3. Better insulation

This design allows the roof to seal more effectively, keeping your home warmer in comparison with other roof designs.

4. Additional living space

This roof generally extends beyond the building’s walls, creating covered regions that are often used as patios. The extra space on the roof is a great addition to the home, especially for people that live in smaller homes.

5. Bonnet roofs are durable

Bonnet roofs are often made with very solid and durable materials. So they can easily last for a couple of decades or more.

6. Easy gutter installation

Bonnet roofs can be easily installed due to their shape and design.

7. Bonnet roofs are stylish

The design of a bonnet roof looks great, allowing you to get more value out of your hard-earned money.

8. Suitable for wind prone areas

Bonnet roofs are perfect for installation in areas prone to high winds and hurricanes. Bonnet roofs are less prone to be damaged or blown off owing to wind pressure than gable roofs.

Disadvantages of a Bonnet Roof Design

1. Expensive to install

The cost of installing a bonnet roof is higher than that of installing other types of designs.  However, this might not be an issue if you need to install the roof in order to protect your home from heavy rainfall or other potential damage.

If you live on a steep slope and do not have the budget for spending extra money on installation or materials, this design is probably not an option for you.

2.  More maintenance

Bonnet roofs also sometimes have more maintenance involved compared to other roof designs.

They need regular cleaning in order to maintain their performance and protect your home from water damage due to heavy rainfalls or extreme sun rays.

3. Not for everyone

Bonnet roofs are made for narrow, steep, and flat buildings. This design is not suitable for houses that are wider and flatter than other variations used on other roof designs.

If you have a wider house with a less steep slope, you might need to go for a different type of design instead of this one.

4. Extra precaution is needed to waterproof the valley

Bonnet roofs are difficult to waterproof, especially in areas that receive less rainfall.

If you live in an area where the weather is hot and dry, you might have to take extra precautions in order to keep your roof safe from deterioration due to water migration through it.

5. Vulnerable to water damage

Water can easily build up in the valleys (join between two roof portions) and lead to leakage/damage


Bonnet Roof Design Considerations

1.Roofing Materials

The materials used for bonnet roof designs are often expensive and require special attention because they are not as common as other materials used in roof designs.

2.Roof Height

If the roof is too high, there will be less room for the porch and it will be harder to sit comfortably on your porch.

3.Roof Shape

The shape of your roof may make a difference in how effective it is. A “V”-shaped design causes the roof to shed water more effectively than a “U”-shaped design.

4.Roof Pitch

The roof pitch is the steepness of your roof. A higher pitch will allow the construction of a porch with less space between the floor and the bottom of the roof, which in turn would make it easier to build a second floor on top.

5.Roof Eave Spread

Roof overhang or “eave spread” is particularly important when it comes to rain or water damage. A smaller spread means that the risk of rainwater affecting your house directly from underneath is much higher than on a larger spread.


If you’re looking for a cheap bonnet roof, you’ve probably need to find another. However, if the cost of such a design is high for you, there are other options that are available.

7.Roof Style

Bonnet roofs can be made from different materials such as copper or asphalt shingles as well as brick and natural stone.

8.Roof Length

Roof length will largely depend on the type of construction you have in your home. If you’re building a new home, the roof length is often decided by the builder and architect.

However, if you already have a home and want to build a new roof design, make sure that it is long enough for your needs.

9.Roof Slope

The slope of your roof can greatly affect how effective it is at shedding water or sun rays.

Bonnet Roof FAQs

1. What are the Pros and Cons of Bonnet Roof?

Pros of Bonnet Roof

  • Bonnet roofs allow extra living space for a small attic or vaulted ceilings
  • They also allow dormers
  • Overhanging eaves provides wall protection from water damage
  • Durable

Cons of Bonnet Roof

  • Difficult to construct
  • They need complex materials
  • More expensive
  • Extra precaution is needed to waterproof the valley

2. How long does Bonnet Roof last?

Bonnet roofs can be constructed from shingles, metal, or natural stone. The durability of bonnet roofs is determined by the materials used, as well as the quality of labor and the customer’s requirements.

Asphalt shingles cover the bulk of residential buildings with bonnet roofs. However, when it comes to longevity and low maintenance, asphalt shingles are not the ideal option.

Covering the roof with metal is highly suggested for individuals who want to get the most out of their bonnet roofs and can endure the lifespan of the structure.

Metal roofing is more expensive than wood shakes and asphalt shingles, but it pays off in the long run.

3. How much does Bonnet Roof Cost?

The cost of a bonnet roof is dependent on the materials used in its construction, labor, and the size of the roof.

If you want to build a bonnet roof with shingles or metal, it will cost more than $5,000 for installation and if you want to build one with brick or natural stone, it will cost even more than that.

4. Is the Bonnet Roof Style the Right Choice for You?

In order to determine whether you need a bonnet roof or not, consider the following questions:

  • Are you living in an area that receives a lot of rain?
  • Do you want to build an attic?
  • Is there enough space room on the building for a patio?

If you answered ‘yes’ to all three questions, then this roof design will be ideal for you.

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