Mansard Roof Cost and Homeowners Guide 2022

In this homeowners guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about replacing your mansard roof. We’ll answer: 

  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of a mansard roof? 
  • What cost factors should I know about when replacing my mansard roof? 
  • What roofing material is best to install on my mansard roof?
Ecowatch Author Faith Wakefield

By Faith Wakefield

Updated 11/21/2022

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What Is a Mansard Roof?

A mansard roof has an upper-roof section that is flat and a lower-roof section that is nearly vertical. This creates a box-like shape that encapsulates the upper level of a home. 

The first known mansard roof was designed by Pierre Lescot in 16th-century France. He designed the roof for the Southwest wing of the Louvre. 

However, the mansard roof did not gain popularity until the 17th century when the renowned architect Francois Mansart started implementing the style into his residential designs.1 

The mansard roof style has now been a staple of French architecture for centuries. The mansard roof is featured on structures around the world and has fluctuated in popularity in the United States, most recently reemerging in popularity through the 1960s and 70s.2 

If your home has a mansard roof, we can help connect you with roofing professionals to assist with your roof installation or repair. Select one of our top-recommended providers below to get started with a free, no-obligation quote. 

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Power Home

  • Pros icon Positive industry reputation
  • Pros icon Lifetime or lengthy warranty
  • Pros icon 10+ years of experience
  • Pros icon Positive customer reviews
  • Pros icon Uses eco-friendly materials
  • Pros icon Well-trained, certified installers
  • Pros icon Variety of roofing styles available
  • Con icon Limited variety of roofing materials
  • Con icon Short or nonexistent warranty
  • Con icon No financing information available
  • Con icon Expensive
  • Con icon Little information available on company website
Best for New Roofs
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Erie Metal Roofs

  • Pros icon Lifetime or lengthy warranty
  • Pros icon Widespread availability
  • Pros icon 10+ years of experience
  • Pros icon Positive customer reviews
  • Pros icon Uses eco-friendly materials
  • Pros icon Financing options available
  • Pros icon Well-trained, certified installers
  • Pros icon Uses durable materials meant to last
  • Pros icon Variety of roofing styles available
  • Con icon Limited variety of roofing materials
  • Con icon Expensive
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Aspen Contracting

  • Pros icon Positive industry reputation
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  • Pros icon Widespread availability
  • Pros icon 10+ years of experience
  • Pros icon Positive customer reviews
  • Pros icon Financing options available
  • Con icon Little information available on company website

Jump To: Cost of Replacing Your Mansard Roof | Factors That Go Into Mansard Roof Pricing | Pros and Cons of Mansard Roofs | Lifetime and Durability of Mansard Roofs | Types of Mansard Roofs | Are Mansard Roofs Energy-Efficient? | Financing your New Mansard Roof | Costs of Cleaning your Mansard Roof | Are Mansard Roofs Worth the Cost? | FAQ: Mansard Roof 

Cost of Replacing Your Mansard Roof 

The cost of replacing your mansard roof will depend on what roofing materials you choose for the installation. Cheaper asphalt shingles are not compatible with mansard roofs because the steep roof slope will cause this type of shingle to fall off. 

No matter what roofing material you choose, replacing the unconventional shape and large surface area of a mansard roof will be costlier than a standard roof installation. 

Factors That Go Into Mansard Roof Pricing 

The unique shape of a mansard roof all but guarantees that you will pay more for labor and installation costs during your roofing project. Here’s what you need to know if you are replacing your mansard roof: 

Material Pricing for Mansard Roofs

Some roofing materials like asphalt shingles are not suitable for mansard roofs because they will fall off the steep sides of the roof. 

Heavy materials like concrete or clay tiles also cannot be installed on a mansard roof due to the steep pitch of the mansard roof design. 

Lightweight metals (like aluminum) that interlock, composite shingles, cedar and other types of wood shake are all suitable for a mansard roof. The costs of these materials are: 

  • Aluminum: $3–$9 per square foot
  • Wood shake: $5–$25 per square foot
  • Composite (fiberglass) shingles: $3–$5 per square foot 

Basic Labor Cost and Time to Complete Mansard Roof Installation 

It’s typical for labor to account for 60% of your total roofing project cost. However, if your home has a mansard-style roof, you’ll likely pay even more. That’s because the bottom slope of a mansard roof is very steep and difficult to access during a roof installation. Your roofer will have to take more time and safety precautions to complete the project, increasing labor costs. 

Dormer windows on a mansard roof

Removing Your Current Roof and Dump Fees

If you are getting a new roof installed on your mansard roof, your roofers will need to remove and dispose of your old shingles. Most roofing materials can be recycled, so talk to your contractor and local recycling center to discuss what facilities exist in your area. 

The majority of roofing companies will dispose of your old roof materials for you (for an extra fee), but if you do need to dispose of the old roof yourself, it typically costs $30 to $50 to dispose of a truckload of old roofing shingles at your local solid waste management center. 

Size and Complexity of Your Roof 

Due to its box-like shape, a mansard roof covers more square footage than a common gable roof. This means that you’ll pay more for roofing materials than someone with a smaller roof. 

Dormers are a common feature on mansard roofs as well. If your mansard roof has dormers, you’ll likely pay more labor costs because your roofer has to take more time to install roofer around these features.

Other roof features like chimneys, skylight windows or multiple tiers of a mansard roof will lead to higher installation costs. 

Perhaps most importantly, the nearly vertical side of the bottom half of a mansard roof means that your roofer will need to take extensive safety precautions during your new roof installation. 

Your contractors cannot stand on the side of your mansard roof like they can stand on roofs with a lower slope, so it will take longer for your roofers to complete the installation. Talk with a local roofing expert before you start your roofing project so you know what to expect. 

To get a free quote for your mansard roof installation project, select one of our recommended roofing companies below. 

Pros and Cons of Mansard Roofs

Mansard roofs offer a very specific look that dates back to the 16th century. However, despite being a long-standing, traditional style that can create a spacious living area, mansard roofs can also be difficult to maintain. Here’s what you should know: 

Advantages of Mansard Roofs 

  • Classic appearance: The mansard roof structure is classic and elegant. Despite declining in popularity over the last several decades, many homeowners love the unique appearance that a mansard roof offers. 
  • More living space: One of the largest appeals of a mansard roof over the centuries has been the roof’s unique ability to convert an unusable attic space into a spacious living area without having to build additional floors. 
  • Increased natural light: Mansard roofs and dormer windows go hand in hand. Dormer windows allow for an abundance of natural light to enter the living area, making efficient use of what would otherwise be an attic. 

Disadvantages of Mansard Roofs

  • Not always compatible with gutters: Not all mansard roofs are compatible with gutters. Without a proper drainage system, water can easily damage your home’s foundation and landscaping.
  • Poor weather resistance: The flat top and steep sides of a mansard roof make it vulnerable to ice damming as well as snow, hail and rain damage. 
  • Difficult to install or repair: Roofers cannot walk on the side of a mansard roof, so they will need special safety equipment to complete repairs or an installation on your mansard roof. That means that you can expect installation and repair costs on your mansard roof to be higher than average. In fact, your roofer may not honor a warranty on work done to a mansard roof, as the steep pitch may not allow for the shingles to adhere properly. 

Lifetime and Durability of Mansard Roofs

The unique shape of a mansard roof lends to durability issues under harsh weather conditions, especially in colder climates. 

The upper slope of a mansard-style roof is almost flat, so snow can pile up, potentially causing roofing shingles or tiles to fall off the side. Heavy rainfall and hail can also cause roofing materials to detach from the roof. 

Mansard roofs are also vulnerable to ice dams. Warm air from the lower levels of the home rise up into the peak and sides of the mansard roof (the steep sides of the mansard roof also serve as the interior walls of the upper level). This uneven air flow leads to unwanted condensation on the interior and ice dams on the exterior of the roof.3

Lifetime of Mansard Roofing Materials 

The lifespan of your mansard roof will depend primarily on the type of shingles you have. Wood shake and aluminum (metal) roofing are two suitable materials for mansard roofs. Wood shake and cedar roofs tend to last between 35 and 40 years. Metal roofing lasts 40 to 75 years. 

Synthetic shingles are also a good option for mansard roofs since they will not fall off the steep side of a mansard roof the way asphalt shingles will. Synthetic shingles last 30 to 50 years. 

Types of Mansard Roofs 

There are three types of mansard roofs: 

    • Convex: A convex mansard roof has an outward sloping curve on the steep side section of the roof to create a “bell” shape. 

Convex Mansard Roof

    • Concave: On the other hand, a concave mansard roof has an inward curve on the steep section of the roof to create a “flare” shape. 

Concave Mansard Roof

    • Straight: Finally, a straight mansard roof has a linear slope on the steep side section of the roof.

Straight Mansard Roof

Mansard Vs. Gambrel Roofs

A mansard roof is very similar to a gambrel roof (also known as a curb roof). The structure of gambrel and mansard roofs are nearly identical, a gambrel roof just has less extreme slopes. 

On gambrel roofs, the top portion of the roof is slightly steeper and the bottom section of the roof is slightly less steep than on a mansard roof. This creates more of a transition between the upper and lower roofing sections.4

Are Mansard Roofs Energy-Efficient?

Mansard roofs that are installed or insulated poorly can cause your home to be less energy-efficient, causing you to use more electricity. To maintain the greatest energy efficiency, you should insulate the wall behind the mansard box (the shape the mansard roof creates by encapsulating the walls of the upper level of your home). 

Have an expert check that your roof has proper ventilation and insulation to maintain the energy efficiency of your home. Installing a metal roof can also lock in heat air in the winter and cool air in the summer, reducing your energy consumption. 

If you’re considering a new roof installation on your mansard roof, it’s best to get connected with a professional. Select one of our recommended providers below to get a free, no-obligation estimate. 

Financing your New Mansard Roof 

A new roof isn’t cheap. Luckily, you don’t have to pay for the entire cost of your roofing project upfront. You can finance a roofing installation on your mansard roof with home equity loans or home improvement loans. Depending on the circumstance, your home insurance or home warranty may cover the cost of your new roof installation. 

Talk with your roofing contractor about your financing options. Most roofing companies have connections with third-party lenders and banks to get you the best deal on your roofing financing. 

Costs of Cleaning your Mansard Roof 

The national average cost of a professional roof cleaning is $400. However, if you have a mansard roof, you will almost certainly pay more. The large surface area, as well as the steep sides of a mansard roof, means that your roof cleaner will have to take more time and precautions to complete the job. 

If you’d like to get connected with a professional to discuss your roofing project, select one of our top-recommended roofing companies below to receive a free, personalized estimate. 

Are Mansard Roofs Worth the Cost?

Although mansard roofs have their downsides, if your home has a mansard roof, you should consider yourself lucky. Mansard roofs have a unique and classic appearance, despite being more difficult for roofers to work on. 

Unfortunately, you will likely pay more for roofing repairs and installations on a mansard roof than other roofing types. However, it is still worth it to replace your roof when necessary. A new roof will increase the value and sustainability of your house, so don’t be hesitant to complete roofing work when necessary. 

FAQ: Mansard Roof

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Faith Wakefield

Faith is a writer based in North Carolina. She holds English and economics degrees from UNC Chapel Hill, and her background includes event management and technical publishing. Faith is passionate about the arts and loves exploring environmental issues through economic and artistic lenses. She also enjoys spending time in nature, collecting books and practicing her Spanish.