A Mansard Roof is an attractive and unique kind of roof that was popular in the late 1800's. It consists of two parts: a lower, near-vertical section that is adjoined to a higher, often near horizontal, section.
The name comes from the French Baroque architect Francois Mansart (1598-1666) who first popularised the construction technique.
The style came into vogue across Europe and eventually America when Napoleon III ordered the Haussmann renovation of Paris.
What is a Mansard Roof?
The lower section of a Mansard Roof often includes window spaces - the steepness of this part of the roof means that it effectively functions an extra piece of wall. Indeed, the attic space beneath a Mansard Roof is so great that it is frequently used as a living-space called a 'garret'.
The higher part of the roof must be sloped a little so that rain water can run-off. Importantly, Mansard Roofs should not be constructed in areas that experience high snowfall because snow will collect on the top of the roof - it may become too heavy and strain or break the structure.
You may be looking for a home with a Mansard Roof - they make for beautiful, stylish residences. Just make sure you instruct a RICS Chartered Surveyor to take a look at it, and make sure its condition is faultless.