All You Need to Know About Gable Roofs

The roof is a very functional and essential part of any building. While so much focus is usually on the foundation and other parts of the house, the roof sometimes is not given enough attention until there needs to be a repair or replacement. Sometimes homeowners are not aware or can not tell the kind of roofing their property has and this is quite common.

Proper roofing is very important. It is way beyond a type of covering and an aesthetic component. It has a great influence on the value of the entire property. That being noted, it is important to know that the type or style of roofing a building also affects its ability to resist certain harsh weather conditions, and its energy efficiency. The extra storage or living space some roofing options offer in the form of an attic is also a plus.

Beautiful Staircase lit house

Gabled Roof or Gable Roof

The typical structure of this roof is pitched to the center to form a sharp triangle. The standard apex roof lines are common with houses in suburban areas. Homes in the United States, especially, are familiar with this type of roofing. 

A gable roof usually, is priced inexpensively or fairly and the basic nature of the shape makes it relatively easy to construct or build. This structure is very functional in a way that the structure does not support the accumulation of snow, ice, or rain. This triangular shape permits everything to slip off the roof and this is why it is one of the best options especially for certain regions. 


In areas with lots of snow, the recommended pitch angle for a gabled roof is ten, twelve, and forty degrees.

Advantages of gable roofs

  • Gable roofs are easy to design and therefore it is quite affordable.
  • They are very versatile and allow the use of various roofing materials to achieve structure. 
  • The structure of gable roofs provides a slope through which water and snow can easily drain off instead of accumulating. This makes them an ideal option for buildings in climates that experience a lot of precipitation.
  • They allow proper ventilation and make provision for more attic space.
  • Gable roofs are a great choice for vaulted ceilings 

Disadvantages of gable roofs

  • Poor construction can make them prone to damages caused by high winds. In cases of excessive overhang, the entire roof could be uplifted and detached.
  • The design of a gable roof is not suitable for use in areas that are at risk of hurricanes.
Contemporary home design ideas with gable roof

Types of Gable Roof

Gable roofs are of four major types;

  1. Dutch Gable Roof
  2. Front Gable Roof
  3. Side Gable Roof
  4. Crossed Gable Roof

Dutch Gable Roof

This type is the right blend of a gable roof and a hip roof. This roofing style involves the addition of both to improve the architectural structure of the home and create extra space for an attic. The right placement of both is one on top of the other and the gabled roof is placed on top of the hip roof, this makes room for more space in the enclosure of the loft. 

The Dutch gable is popular for its ability to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a house and its practical function in the addition of space. It is commonly used as a bridge or middle point between hip roof and gable roof because it has a resemblance to both at the top. If not constructed properly it becomes prone to leaks.


Front Gable Roof

This gable roof type is usually used in houses with colonial style. It covers and highlights the entryway of the home or the porch. It dates back to the precolonial era and it is also called a front porch gable. The downside of this type is its vulnerability to high winds.

Side Gable Roof

A side gable roof is more or less the most common. This roof has two pitched sides that connect to form a sleek triangle. Styles of side-gable roofs include the closed in gable roof and open gable roof. The gable structure does not face the main street like other types, instead, it faces the side of the house. The essence of this structure is to improve the look of the building from particular angles, unlike the other types that focus on the front or rear. 

Additionally, this gable roof instances the point where the wind blows in through the front or the rear, thereby enhancing safety.

Crossed Gable Roof

The perpendicular combination of two sections of gable roofing forms the crossed gable roof (i.e at a right angle). This roofing style is common in Tudor-style homes or cape cod. Crossed gable roofs may have the same dimensions, especially in height and length but they can also have differences that would result in unsymmetrical styles. These styles can be extended in use to accent dormers, garages, porches, or different wings.


Houses with crossed gable roofs usually have a more intricate layout. This is due to the transformation in shape it would have on the structure of the house. For instance, houses with crossed gable roofs could have an attached garage, larger porches, or separate wings.

Dutch gable roof

15 Design Ideas For Gable Roofs


1. L-shaped House Roof Designs

This roof design extends the spot where the triangular shape is formed(i.e where the two pitched areas of the roof meet). This extension results in an L shape and is one of the best and most preferred roof designs for gable roofs. It encourages the easy build, drainage, and ventilation that are common with gable roofs.


2. Farmhouse roof design

This roofing design is familiar on agricultural lands. Construction is simple and elegant. The roofing of the window is protruded and stands out compared to the rest of the pitched roofing across the house. The design gives the feel of a farmhouse. 


3. Villa roof design

This design is gradually gaining popularity and is no longer only found in upper-class areas. It is a combination of triangular roofs and flat slopes. Usually, the color of the roof and the color of the house combine to form a contrast and the design of the roof stands out against the color palette of the house. The result gives your home a modern and elegant look.



4. Multiple triangle roof design

The A shape or pitched design of gable roofs has become very familiar with homeowners and it is arguably one of the most preferred which is why some people adopt this unique design for their property. 

This features four sloping sides against four sides. The color grey tends to bring out this design.


5. Mixed roof design

One way to absolutely level up the look of your home is by adapting to this design which requires you to mix a gable roof with other roofing options. As suggested in the name, every part of the building is made to have different roofing patterns. You can decide to combine a gable roof with a semi-circle roof, flat roof, etc.


6. Cottage-style roof design

This roof design lacks vertical sides. Wood is used to construct a drop-down arrow design nailed to the front of the roof giving it the look of a cottage. The cottage-style roof has a gentle slope down to the walls. 



7. Front porch gable design

This is a decorative and functional addition to an already built home. This structure is like a false front roof and it serves as a good way to give your building a finishing touch after proper roofing. For this structure, you can afford to switch between different shapes of brick and wood to create an extra aesthetic. 


8. Touch of Color

Choose a gorgeous bright color for your front porch gable design if you want some extra attention. The use of beautiful colors on the windows would bring out the design of your porch.



9. Boxed gable roof design

This is just like the standard gable roof but it has its triangular part more detailed and outlined which extends at every end. This design creates an illusion of length and makes the house appear longer than it is. When properly planned and constructed, the result is an aesthetic masterpiece that completely transforms the look of the building while adding functionality by creating much more space on the inside. It is the perfect center of attention that provides your home with an admirable appeal.


11. Steeply pitched gable roof design

This design has the gable roof slanted to one side. The length of the ends on one side is longer than the ends on the opposing side. The design looks complicated but it is appealing and unique.



11. Sloped gable roof design

The roofline is angled to make it look like the landscape of a mountain and the edges are contemporary. On the inside, there is a clear view of the outside through the full and wide windows.


12. Ranch-style gable roof design

The gentle sloping gable roof design is barely noticeable from the street, the ing material used has color and texture that blends with the siding of the building. A rough-textured material combined with a muted color. 


13. Dutch colonial roof design

All sides of this roof are steeply sloped. The roof covers most of both exterior sides of the building’s second floor. This design makes the roofing material and the color on it very noticeable from the sidewalk. You can make use of wood shingles or something synthetic, an example is laminated composition shingles possessing a profile similar to a shake.


14. Mixed roof materials design

Remember the design idea where you get to mix different kinds of roofing styles?


Here, you get to use different roofing materials. Take white PVC roofing and metal roofing for example. The upper level could comprise the white PVC and the lower section or level with metal roofing. This is barely only decorative, the PVC saves energy and the metal roofing gives the exterior of your home an original character making both combinations practical as well.


15. Dormer roof design

Dormers are window extensions that stand out from the sloped side of a roof. They are capped with their roof to achieve various shapes. The incorporation of dormer windows on your gable roof allows great in-flow of natural light and improves ventilation, also it increases the dimension of your roofline, and adds interest.

Gorgeous home facade

Gable Roofing Materials

A gable roof is so basic that all types of roofing materials can be used to construct it. However, more complex designs that include the front gable roof, dutch gable roof, and crossed gable roof which have valleys and hips require some special materials like the standing seams to make them leak-proof. Examples of these roofing materials include;

Slate, Clay, Asphalt shingles, wooden shakes, Cedar shingles, Concrete tiles, Metal roofing or standing seam, etc.


Whether you are considering changing the roof of your property, or you are building one, or even moving into a new place, it is only right that you understand the specific features, advantages, and disadvantages of various roofing options and materials from different companies. 


Metal Roofing Materials

Popular metal roofing materials include; Zinc, lead, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. Most metal roofing materials allow easy customization based on durability, style, and the budget you are willing to work with. They are so flexible that residential buildings, and businesses, are offered different applications while making use of them.

  • Stainless steel roofing material: amongst all metal roofing materials, this is the most popular type. It is most commonly used because of its strength, affordability, long life span, and high environmental sustainability. These special qualities result in a very low long-term cost which is an added advantage. The sole downside or drawback of steel is its susceptibility to corrosion. To manage this disadvantage, manufacturers cover steel materials with zinc-aluminum anti-corrosive coating or zinc itself. 
  • Zinc roofing material: zinc has an outstanding level of excellence that enhances the qualities of any building design and compared to other roofing materials, its level of energy consumption is quite low. The lifespan of zinc is impressively long and maintenance required is easy since there is less need for repair replacement. Furthermore, the lightweight of zinc is another important advantage because it does not add any kind of structural stress to the building where it is used. The natural soft texture makes construction with hand tools quick and easy. Durability, strength, cost-effectiveness, and DIY-friendliness are highlighted pros of the use of zinc. Just like steel, zinc is capable of rusting. This is most likely to happen when unfavorable conditions inhibit the formation of the patina.
  • Copper roofing material: this metal building material is known for its great malleability and natural corrosion resistance. In other words, no form of extra coating is required for this resistance. This feature makes it the ideal material for areas that experience regular and heavy snowfall. Although in regards to gauge used, it is slightly heavier than stainless steel, nonetheless, it is relatively lightweight. Regular maintenance and repair can lengthen the lifespan of copper up to fifty years. The high resistance of copper extends to mildew, hailstone, and fire. Its high energy efficiency is a plus. The downsides of the use of copper include the fact that it is highly penetrable and has low resistance to dents and scratches due to its extremely soft nature. Also, the high scrap value of copper can make it easily subjected to theft. 
  • Lead roofing material: the ability of lead to expand and contract with various temperature levels makes it one of the most energy-efficient metal building materials. This allows it to be easily adaptable, hence improving its durability. Lead can be molded into different shapes depending on the design of the building. It is incapable of catching fire even during conditions like intense lightning storms and is highly resistant to atmospheric corrosion. A major drawback is its low resistance to heat, it can melt under extremely hot conditions. 


Concrete Roofing Tiles

Mixtures of sand, water, and cement were put to use as roofing materials in the middle of the nineteenth century for the first time. Later on, color pigments were added to give it an appearance similar to that of clay. With innovations over the past century, the manufacture of concrete tiles has transitioned from the use of hand and semi-automated machines to the application of automatic production. This transition has made clay a more economical roofing material than other available options. 

When installed according to standards of building code, concrete tiles have been tested and found to be capable of exceeding current seismic building materials load requirements.



Advantages of concrete roof tiles

  • Concrete tiles are timeless and are capable of lasting the entire lifetime of the building.
  • Warranty is transferable
  • It is non-pro-rated 
  • They are class A fire rated
  •  Concrete tiles are resistant to the damaging effects of high winds and hail (minimal rating of Class 3 hail resistance). 
  • The sustainability of concrete tiles against the wind is excessive. It is about a hundred and twenty-five miles per hour which is capable of stripping off or destroying most roofing materials.
  • Availability of various colors options and styles
  • It appeals to the look of the building and gives it a certain uniqueness.
  • They do not attract so much heat
  • They are affordable


Disadvantages of concrete roof tiles

  • Sheer weight is one of the major downsides of concrete tiles. In comparison to other roofing materials, concrete tiles have a significant heavyweight. They weigh about eight hundred and twenty pounds to over eleven thousand pounds per square foot which is too much weight put on the top of a building. Properties with concrete roof tiles require structural support so they stay unaffected by the weight. In some other cases, some properties cannot or are not allowed to use concrete roof tiles.
  • While color options are an admirable feature, the beauty tends to wash away as concrete tiles are very prone to fading, and sometimes this doesn’t happen uniformly, thereby giving your roof a worn-out and unpleasant look. They can be repainted but it only contributes to high maintenance and cost.
  • Concrete tiles require a relatively high level of maintenance despite the Class A rating they offer. This is due to the impact of certain harsh conditions especially fallen branches and hail. Additionally, this maintenance required can be difficult to achieve due to faded color differences and weight. 
  • Concrete tiles have a high tendency of absorbing moisture due to their porosity. They require proper treatment and weatherproofing to gain a certain level of resistance. Unsealed and untreated concrete tiles are so porous that even air can easily seep through and this could cause mildews, molds, and deterioration. Excessive absorption of water can contribute to the already weighty concrete tiles.
  • The underlayment of concrete tiles is not durable and requires replacement within certain periods.
  • Here comes the contrast, while concrete roof tiles are not expensive, the extra cost of Installation and materials could result in an unreasonably high overall cost.


Wooden Shakes roofing material

Wooden logs like western red cedar or California redwood are typically used to make wooden shakes. What is a shake?

This is a wooden hand-split shingle that is applied individually to create a roof. This roofing style was popular in the United States during the Colonial period. 


Advantages of wooden shake roofing materials

  • Wooden shakes are completely aesthetic and have a fair level of durability. 
  • Over time, wooden shakes tend to transform from bright brown tones and warm red to an eminent gray color.
  • They have high energy efficiency
  • They are easily recyclable into chips and mulch.


Disadvantages of wooden shake roofing materials

  • A major drawback when it relates to the use of wooden shakes is the high maintenance they require. 
  • Wear and tear are very conspicuous.
  • Poor maintenance or lack of it could cause wooden shakes to curl and split and this sabotages the roof’s overall integrity.
  • They have a low resistance to fire
  • When exposed to rain, poor ventilation, sun, rot, fungus growth, mildew, molds, etc it would cause severe deterioration.
One story modern house with gable roof

Asphalt shingles roofing material

This roofing product became popular in the twentieth century when the demand for economical fire-resistant roofing became high. The fine combination of value, aesthetics, attractiveness, durability, and permanence has made it increasingly recognized over the years. It is made of cellulose fibers (organic material) or base mat, or glass fibers (inorganic material). 

Fiberglass-based asphalt or glass fibers require a coating asphalt, while the organic mat has to undergo saturation before it is coated with asphalt and finished with granules that have ceramic-coated opaque minerals. The essence of this coating is to keep the asphalt shingles weatherproof.


The use of asphalt shingles in residential roofing is so common in the United States that an estimate of eighty percent of American homes makes use of it.


Advantages of asphalt shingles roofing material

  • High-volume production, efficiency, and low application cost make asphalt shingles a top economical roofing option.
  • Flexibility and adaptability make it an available option for all roofing styles. 
  • They are low maintenance and damages can easily be repaired.
  • They can resist the damaging or wearing effects of rain, sunlight, cold, ice, and water. 
  • Amongst all standard roofing materials, it is arguably the easiest to install or apply.
  • Asphalt shingles are highly sustainable to different architectural styles. It doesn’t matter whether the building is classic, traditional or modern.


Disadvantages of asphalt shingles roofing material

  • Asphalt shingles are prone to damage by wind due to their lightweight and relative fragility.
  • The lifespan of asphalt shingles can be shortened by excessive levels of heat and moisture.
  • High moisture levels can cause the growth of vegetation and molds on the roof and this causes the roof to retain water instead of runoff.


Slate roofing material

This is a superior roofing system made of natural slate tiles. It is long-lasting and aesthetic. The slate is mined and cut into square tiles before it is installed individually. 


Advantages of slate roofing material

  • They have great aesthetics which easily draw the attention of homeowners. It has clean and classic lines which contribute to its gorgeous nature.
  • They are durable because they are made out of naturally occurring stones. This makes it relatively resistant to weather extremes which includes hail, high temperatures, and high winds. 
  • They are available in a variety of colors and dimensions
  • The timeless appeal of slate is so great that it can last for more than forty years compared to some other roofing materials that may last between twenty to thirty years. If properly sourced, it can have a lifespan that stretches to about seventy-five years or even more. 
  • The premium durability of slate tiles and their low susceptibility to damaging factors make them easy and cheap to maintain. 
  • Slate tiles have an extremely dense nature which does not permit the absorption of water.
  • They enhance and increase the value of the property where they are being installed. 


Disadvantages of slate roofing material

  • Slate roofs are to a great extent, very heavy. Properties or houses using this slate tile roof have to be framed or built to be able to sustain and carry the weight. The support ensures that the roof does not cave in or fall out.
  • Before Installation, a structural engineer has to approve retrofitting.
  • New framing or retrofitting comes with additional cost.
  • Amongst all roofing materials, slate tiles are on the list of the most expensive ones. You might have to pay about four times more than you would pay for affordable options.
  • Requires installation by professionals only
  • Unlike some other roof options that have two warranties(manufacturer’s warranty and contractor’s workmanship), slate tiles only have a contractor’s warranty. The lack of material warranty is because it is naturally made.


Clay roofing material

These roof tiles are made by molding and baking clay. The density of this material is determined by how long it was heated and what temperature it was heated at. Although color change occurs a lot ranging from yellow, brown, and orange to white, terra-cotta is the most common. Some homeowners prefer this roofing material for their pitched roof and it is widely regarded as aesthetic and stylish. It is also highly eco-friendly which gives it an edge over other roofing material options. 


Advantages of clay roofing material

  • They are very customizable and come in a wide variety of colors. They can be mixed on the site of construction or by the manufacturer to produce specific colors as requested by customers.
  • Roof style options are available to choose from ranging from flat, waved, to profile. This gives you extra scope to create a one-of-a-kind design.
  • They are durable, long-lasting, and strong. They are capable of maintaining their strength for a century if properly installed and taken care of.
  • Clay tiles are resistant to fire
  • They are very eco-friendly
  • They can withstand the damaging effects of certain weather conditions
  • Clay tiles are low-maintenance materials
  • They are considered an investment as they add to the value of properties.


Disadvantages of clay roofing material

  • They are heavyweight and therefore not suitable for all kinds of buildings. This is because they are capable of compromising the structural integrity of weak buildings.
  • While they may be resistant to harsh weather conditions, they are particularly vulnerable to strong winds which could cause the tiles to become loose and eventually fall off. 
  • It shares characteristic fragility with other slates and other roof tiles.
  • It requires a professional finish due to difficulty in cutting in particular angles and maintaining a pattern of Installation to achieve the desired layout.
  • They are highly-priced


Gable Roof Cost

  • The cost of gable roofs per truss ranges from $100 to $200. 
  • Gable walls extension ranges from $14 to $22 per square foot
  • Gable walls extension finishing cost range starts from $5.50 to $16 per square foot
  • For renovations, new roof structures, labor, and materials could cost $16 to $22 per square foot.
  • Roofing and siding installation cost ranges from $15 to $18 per square foot.

The biggest selling point of a gable roof is its ability to accommodate the use of different roofing materials. In ancient Greek times, they were mainly used in temples. However, their use has largely extended to homes in many urban areas because of how customizable and aesthetic the roofing styles have turned out. 


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