gable roof

Gable Roof – Its Types, Components, Pros & Cons

Gable Roof – Its Types, Components, Pros & Cons

What is a gable roof?

Gables Roof House

A gable or gabled roof generally has two sides having slope starting from the ridge toward ends of the roof. The two sloping sides that meet create end walls that have a triangular extension, called the gable. It can also be referred to as the A-shaped section of the wall that occurs between the two intersecting sloping sides. It is important to note that these sides can be of different sizes depending on the property and larger residential buildings can sometimes have two or more gables to add more structure and depth.


History of Gable Roof:

Gable roofs date back to the early ancient Greek times where they were used in temples. It past gable roofs as considered as an architectural staple in northern Europe and America ever since. A building that faces the street with its gable is called a front-gabled building. On the other hand, a side-gabled building has its ridge parallel to the street and faces it with its cullis or gutter. In the medieval gothic period, front-gabled buildings were considered the norm in German city streets. In the Renaissance period, between the 14th and 17th centuries, side-gabled buildings became popular and were influenced by Italian architecture. Between the early 19th century and 1920, front-gabled houses became popular in America.

How are Gable Roofs Build?

A gable roof has two sections sloping on opposites of the roof ridge. These are placed in a way that the highest, horizontal edges come together to form the top point or roof ridge. The pitch and height of the gutters can vary depending on the size of the property. A ridge board runs along with the highest point or peak of the roof and is parallel to the outside walls. The ridge board has the top of the common rafters nailed to it, these rafters slope in a downwards direction where they are nailed to the ceiling joists and the outside walls.


Components of Gable Sytem Roof:

gable roof
Components of Roofs

While the concept of the gable roof may seem simple, it’s actually composed of a few different pieces. Imagine plucking that roof off of the house – what shape is it? It’s essentially a long, triangular prism, right? There are three vital components to this roof structure. The two sides of the roof are sloped at an angle. In architecture, we say that the roof is pitched. These pitched (sloped) sides meet along a central ridge that runs parallel to the length of the house. So what’s left? How about that vertical, triangular section of the wall exposed between the pitched sides on each end? Those are the gables themselves, the parts of the wall that extend from the bottom of the eaves to the peak of the ridge. The gables are what give this style of the roof its name.

Types of Gable Roofs:

1) Box Gable Roofs:

Box Gable Roof

Box gable roofs have a triangular extension at each end of the house, with the roof section boxed at the end. This design is extremely similar to the standard gable roof but distinguishes the triangular section of the design more.

2) Front Gables:

Front Gable Roof

Front gable roofs are simply placed at the front of the house, with the front door typically placed under the gable. This is a common feature amongst Colonial-style homes but is becoming increasingly popular as a design.

3) Cross Gable Roofs:

A cross gable roof consists of two or more gable rooflines that intersect at an angle, most often with the two ridges placed perpendicular to one another. Houses with this design will often have a more complex layout due to the change in shape a cross gable roof will have on the house’s structure. For example, homes with a cross gable roof may have separate wings, a larger porch, or an attached garage.

4) Gable roof with shed roof addition:

A typical alteration for an extension to an existing gable roofing system is to add a shed roof to the gable roof ridge. This hybrid design is a popular solution for property owners looking to extend, as it provides the opportunity for more headroom and space without having to completely alter the structure and aesthetics of the roof.

4) Dutch Gable Roofs:

Dutch gable roofs are the hybrid of a gable and hip roof. In types of a roof generally, the gable is placed on the hip roof, providing more space within the loft. This is a popular design with many property owners, adding an enhancing aesthetic appeal to a house as well as providing the practical function of added space.


How Long Gable Roof Last:

The life of a gable roofs depends on how well it has been installed and the materials that have been used. On average, a properly installed gable roof can last 40 years and even longer provided that it has an adequate supporting framework.

Advantages of a Gable Roof:

Water Drainage:

The sloped design of a gable roofs serves as a reliable water drainage system. The angled pitch means that water and snow can easily slide off the roof. This aspect of the roof minimizes the risk of leaks, which, in turn, ensures that the roof can remain damage-free and last longer.

Easy to Build:

Gable roofs are simple and easy to build. These roofs require very simple construction methods as compared to other roof alternatives.

Additional Space:

The sloped or triangular design of a gable roofing system provides more space for the homeowner. Homeowners can benefit from additional attic space as well as better ventilation in the property.

An Affordable Option:

A gable roofing system is an economical roofing option for those who have financial limitations. Since a gabled roof is far simpler to build than other complex roofing alternatives, the overall costs of building and installing gable roofs are lower.


One has the option to use a variety of materials when it comes to the construction of a gable roofs. Depending on the requirements, metal sheets, clay tiles and concrete tiles can all be used to construct the gable roofs and complement the home.


Drawbacks of a Gable Roof:

Prone to Wind Damage:

Gable roofs are not the most favorable option when it comes to hurricane regions. The gable roof design is more prone to wind damage since it is has a steeper pitch as compared to other roof types. The upper part of the roof can easily create a trap that can attract winds. Strong winds can exert a lot of pressure against the gable and can cause the roof to peel off.

Proper Installation:

While gable roofs are fairly simple to install, they should be installed by a professional. A good gable roof can last long if it has been installed using the right materials and has been supported adequately with its framing. If the framing has not been installed properly, the roof is at risk of collapsing.

Cost of Gable Roofing Construction

Generally, the cost of construction is around $8 to $16 per square foot. For a 1000 square foot roof, costs work out to be anywhere from $ 8000 to $16,000 on average. Additional gables and dormers can bring up the costs.

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