How to Construct Hip Roofs in SketchUp

By Aidan Chopra

Believe it or not, building a hip roof is easier than building a gabled one in SketchUp. Hip roofs don’t have rakes, which makes them a lot less complicated to model. Follow these steps:

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  1. Create a roof overhang.

    Most gabled roofs have eaves, so you probably need to create them for your building.

  2. 2.Use the Protractor tool to create an angled guide at the corner of your roof.

    Architects and builders often express angles as rise over run ratios. For example, a 4:12 (pronounced 4 in 12) roof slope rises 4 feet for every 12 feet it runs — a 1:12 slope is very shallow, and a 12:12 slope is very steep. When using the Protractor tool, SketchUp’s Measurements box understands angles expressed as ratios as well as those expressed in degrees. Typing 6:12 yields a slope of 6 in 12.

  3. Use the Line tool to draw a vertical edge from the midpoint of your roof to the angled guide you created in Step 2.

    The point at which your edge and your guide meet is the height of your roof ridge.

  4. Draw two edges from the top of your vertical line to the corners of your roof.

    This creates two triangular faces.

  5. Erase the vertical edge you drew in Step 3 and the guide you drew in Step 2.

  6. Measure the distance from the midpoint of the gable to the corner of the roof.

    Because hip roofs have pitches that are the same on all sides, you can use a simple trick to figure out where to locate the hip in your roof. It’s a lot easier than using the Protractor.

  7. With the Tape Measure, create a guide the distance you just measured from the end of the gable.

  8. Draw edges from the point on the ridge you just located to the corners of your roof.

    This does two things: It splits the sides of your roof into two faces each and creates a new face (which you can’t see yet) under the gabled end of your roof.

  9. Erase the three edges that form the gabled end of your roof, revealing the “hipped” pitch underneath.

    Neat, huh? Now all three faces of your roof are the same pitch — just the way they should be.

  10. If appropriate, repeat the process on the other end of your roof.