Gable roof design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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What is a gable roof  and should I consider it?

When it comes to simplicity and a classic roof design, a gable roof comes second to none. It consists of two roof sections sloping in opposite directions and placed so that the highest, horizontal edges meet to form the roof ridge. A gable roof design is achieved by using rafters, roof trusses or purlins, and its pitch and height of the gutters varies according to its pitch and height. Here in America, gable roofs are as common as they are versatile, work well in temperate climates, and because of their simple design of the roof timbers and the rectangular shape of the roof sections. In regions with strong winds and heavy rain, gable roofs are built with a steep pitch to prevent the ingress of water, and in mountain and alpine regions, gable roofs have a more shallow pitch as it reduces the risk of an uncontrolled avalanche. An asymmetrical gable roof is when the pitch or the rafter lengths of the two roof sections are not the same. The answers as to why you should consider a gable roof design over a flat roof or hip roof are plenty;  gable roofs are inexpensive, simple, versatile and water-resistant. 

What are the different gable roof designs?

Variety is the spice of life, right? And this pertains to your roofing needs as well. Gable roofs are known for their versatility, and their different design styles are proof. Here are the most popular gable roof styles.

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

Front Gable Roof: A front gable roof is simply placed at the front of the house, with the front door placed under the gable. This is a common feature amongst Colonial-style homes, but is becoming increasingly popular as a design.

Cross Gable Roof: This roof design 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 often have a more complex layout due to the change in shape a cross gable roof will have on the house’s structure. Homes with a cross gable roof may have separate wings, a larger porch, or an attached garage.

Gable Roof with Shed Roof Addition: A typical alteration for an extension to an existing gable roof 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.

Dutch Gable Roof: This roof design is a hybrid of a gable and hip roof. The typical design composes of the gable roof being placed on top of 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.

What materials should I use for my gable roof?

Yes, a gable roof can be built with different materials. It all depends on the look you prefer for yours. Here's a list of the best materials to use for your gable roof.

Asphalt shingles are a type of wall or roof shingle that uses asphalt for waterproofing. They are one of the most widely used roofing covers in North America because they have a relatively inexpensive up-front cost and are fairly simple to install.

Cedar shakes are the most popular wood for shakes or shingles, but it is also possible to find shakes made from other woods. Cedar shakes are fairly easy to install and maintain, and durable and resistant to insect activity. 

Terra Cotta is a clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic where the fired body is porous. The term is the term normally used for sculpture made in earthenware, and also for various utilitarian uses including vessels (notably flower pots), water and wastewater pipes, roofing tiles, bricks, and surface embellishment in building construction. 

Metal is an environmentally friendly material that is durable and long lasting. Metal roofs can protect a building against the worst of weather, and they can even help to prevent ice from forming on the roof or around the eaves. Metal panels or tiles are often made from recycled materials, and when they do come to an end of their service life, they can generally be recycled again.

Clay and concrete tile roofs offer many great benefits, including durability, longevity, great curb appeal, low maintenance and safety. Traditional tiles are available in concrete or clay, and come in a multitude of shapes, profiles and colors. 

How much will a gable roof cost me?

After choosing the kind of gable roof you want, it all comes down to the dollars. These costs are based on roof installation during new home construction. If you're looking into changing your existing roof to a gable roof,  add $5,000 to $10,000 to the project cost.

Label for framing a gable roof costs $8 to $12 per square foot of roof surface. For an average 1,500 square foot roof this works out to $12,000 to $18,000. Multiple gables and dormers can be up to $25,000. Framing materials cost between $1 to $2 per square foot or $1,500 to $3,000 for a 1,500 square foot roof. Roof coverings (asphalt shingles, wood shakes, slate, etc.) cost approximately $4 to $20 per square foot installed depending on the materials selected. Pre-constructed gable trusses are available and significantly cut down up to 30% on labor costs. 

Roofs are an imperative part of your home, so before choosing one, do your homework and consult a professional. And for tons of inspiration, go through homify and you'll find more than you thought was available.