The Complete Guide to Mansard Metal Roofs

A mansard roof, also known as a French roof, is a unique four-sided gambrel style roof with steep lower slopes and flatter upper slopes on each of its sides. The design is named after the 17th century French architect François Mansart, who popularized this iconic roof form in many of his builds.

Detail of a Victorian-style building with an ornate old-style mansard roof, showcasing intricate architectural details and Gothic elements against a muted sky

Mansard roofs maximize the amount of usable living space in a building by enabling a full story height attic space. The steeper lower slope minimizes the overall height of the roof, while the flatter upper slope allows for a full floor of habitable attic space. Mansard roofs can be constructed out of various materials like slate, wood shingles and clay tiles but metal mansard roofs have emerged as a durable and versatile option.

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Metal mansard roofs provide complete weather protection just like any other roofing system. Standing seam galvanized steel and aluminum are common metal roofing materials used for this application. Metal mansard roof systems are available in different profiles, finishes and colors to complement a home’s overall architectural style. These roofs are designed to seamlessly integrate with the existing trim details, dormers and decorative elements of the façade. Besides residential spaces, metal mansard roofs are widely employed in commercial projects like restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, warehouses and more to create a stately exterior.

Metal mansard roofs offer several advantages that make them a smart, long-lasting roofing choice. We will explore all the applications, designs, material choices, maintenance and cost considerations associated with mansard metal roofs in this comprehensive guide.

Modern newly built house with a mansard roof

Popular Uses for Mansard Metal Roofs

Mansard metal roofs are an extremely versatile design and are widely employed in both residential and commercial projects.

Residential Homes

Mansard roofs can enhance a home’s curb appeal and work with almost any architectural style including:

  • Victorian

  • Queen Anne

  • Second Empire

  • Gothic Revival

  • Colonial Revival

  • Neoclassical

  • Coastal Cottages

  • Farmhouse Style Homes

Specific applications on residential homes include:

  • Entire roofline

  • Accent roofs over additions

  • Covered porches

  • Pool cabanas

  • Garage and carriage houses

  • Dormers and turrets

Commercial and Industrial Buildings

The unique aesthetic and expansive space offered by mansard roofs make them ideal for many commercial building types:

  • Hotels and Resorts Styles – Alpine, Seaside, Boutique Hotels

  • Restaurants and Breweries Styles – Craft Beer Venues, Upscale Casual Dining

  • Retail Stores Types – Specialty Shops, Strip Malls, Outlet Centers

  • Automotive Businesses Types – Service Centers, Dealerships, Gas Stations

  • Warehouses and Self Storage

  • Mixed Use and Adaptive Reuse Developments Examples – Loft Apartments, Office Spaces

With their unique aesthetic properties and expansive interior space, mansard metal roofs have proven to be an extremely versatile design choice suitable for a wide range of residential settings and commercial building types. Their flexibility to complement various architectural styles makes them a timeless roofing option that adds beauty and functionality to any property.

Futuristic residential architecture featuring a mansard-style metal roof design, with curved lines and integrated green living walls, set in a serene neighborhood with lush greenery.

Design Inspiration

Mansard metal roofs provide immense design flexibility thanks to the multitude of available colors, finishes and customization possibilities.

Color Options

Mansard metal roofs are available in a vast range of standard and custom colors to complement any home design:

Common Color Choices:

  • Black

  • Gray

  • White

  • Silver

  • Copper

  • Bronze

  • Galvalume (Aluminum-Zinc Alloy)

Specialty Colors:

  • Bold Hues – Red, Green, Blue

  • Earth Tones – Terracotta, Brown, Beige

  • Dual Tone/Blends

Special Finishes

Unique visual textures can be achieved by specifying these specialty metal finishes:

  • Wood Grain – Simulates color/grain of shake roof

  • Slate, Tile or Cedar Profiles – For dimensional appearance

  • Rusted, Weathered or Wrinkled Finishes

  • Interlocking or Scalloped Panel Styles

Customization Possibilities

  • Monogrammed/Custom Signage

  • Crests and Accent Bands

  • Widow’s Walks/Decorative Railings

  • Custom Dormers and Turrets

  • Accent Elements – Finials, Lighting, Weathervanes

With limitless color and finish options and endless customization potential, mansard metal roofs can beautifully reflect the style of any building.

Elegant residence displaying a striking black mansard metal roof, with arched detailing and contrasting trim, complemented by an outdoor living space and surrounded by lush landscaping at dusk

Considerations for Choosing Colors

When selecting a color for your mansard metal roof, it’s essential to consider various factors beyond personal taste.

Climate is one crucial aspect to keep in mind; lighter colors reflect sunlight and help maintain cooler indoor temperatures during hot seasons. On the other hand, darker hues absorb heat and can contribute to warmer interiors in colder climates.

Another consideration is architectural style – certain color combinations work better with specific architectural designs. For example, earthy tones like brown or tan may harmonize well with rustic-style homes, while vibrant colors could be more suitable for contemporary residences.

Roof ColorHouse Exterior Walls Color
CharcoalLight Gray
Forest GreenBeige
Slate GrayWhite


Mansard roof with solar panels

Maintenance and Accessories

When properly installed, mansard metal roofs are designed to be low-maintenance. However, periodic inspections and care is key to maximize their longevity.

Addressing Common Issues

Some common issues and resolutions include:




Ensure proper installation with correct flashing and sealant. Identify entry points of any leaks. Reapply sealant/closure strips if needed or replace any damaged panels. Ensure proper drainage.

Rust spots

This is most common on galvanized steel roofs after 10+ years. Regularly inspect and maintain the roof to prevent rust formation. Have a professional roofing contractor perform rust treatment and paint touch ups.

Poor drainage

Clear gutters and downspouts regularly to avoid water accumulation

Fading color

Apply UV-protective coating to maintain the color and appearance

Dents and dings

Promptly replace any dented panels to prevent water intrusion. Consider installing rooftop walk pads for any maintenance access areas. Use a professional to repair any dents or dings to prevent further damage.

Loose fasteners / panels / connections

Tighten or replace loose fasteners to secure the roof properly. Have a professional re-secure any loose roof panels and check that all connections are properly sealed.


Important accessories include:

  • Rain diverters – Help control water runoff. Critical for lower roof edges.

  • Snow Guards – Prevents ice dams and slippage in heavy snow areas.

  • Gutter Extenders – Carry water well away from structure. Prevent soil erosion.

  • Roof Ventilation – Aid air circulation between attic spaces to minimize humidity and heat condensation issues.

Care and Inspections

A few general upkeep tips include:

Following best practices will help guarantee decades of peak performance.

A cozy suburban house with a dark mansard metal roof, featuring dormer windows and a forest backdrop, embodying a serene blend of modern design and natural surroundings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Homeowners often have additional queries around cost, durability, installation, and performance benefits of mansard metal roofs.

What are the typical costs for installing a mansard metal roof?

On average, expect to pay $6-$12 per sq.ft installed for metal mansard roofs. Cost varies based on:

  • Type of Metal – Copper and zinc are premium materials

  • Roof Pitch/Access Difficulty – Steeper pitches cost more

  • Customizations – Special finishes, colors, details add cost

Over its lifetime though, a metal roof costs far less than alternatives like asphalt shingles which need replacing every 15-20 years.

What is the lifespan of a properly installed metal mansard roof?

Properly installed metal roofs can last 50+ years. Key longevity factors include:

  • Metal Gauge/Thickness – Recommended 26 gauge minimum

  • Slope – Ideal pitch is at least 3:12

  • Height/Wind Exposure – Consider uplift resistance requirements

  • Coastal Environments – Galvalume finish adds salt spray resistance

What are some best practices to follow for installing these roofs?

Ideal installation practices involve:

  • Established local contractor with proven specialty experience

  • Tearing off old roof instead of installing over existing materials

  • Adding protective underlayments

  • Ensuring adequate attic ventilation

  • Flashing critical joints with water tight closures

  • Snow guard and rain diverter accessories in heavy precipitation areas

How can a metal mansard roof improve a home’s energy efficiency?

Metal roofs provide excellent insulation thanks to the air pockets between panels. This yields lower energy bills – savings range from 15-40% based on climate and building type.