13 Beautiful Barn Roof Styles With Pros and Cons

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By George Taylor

Updated: Jan 25, 2024

8 min read

Barn Roof Styles

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    Many homeowners dream of a beautiful exterior design that includes a long-lasting roofing system for a visual impression. The look and the durability of homes don’t merely depend on the outdoor decor design but on the types of roofs. Barn roof styles are one option for additional living space to serve functionality and aesthetics. Barn roofs should be made using the best possible materials for their sturdiness.

    The United States of America is known for its modern and advanced technologies; however, many states in the USA embrace farming and agriculture despite being a modern state. Barns are a basic necessity for farm owners, but it’s not limited to rural areas, rather it has spread its importance to urban areas as well because it creates extra space for special events, living and storage space for farm or lawn care supplies.

    Whether you are constructing a new barn or repairing the old one, choose the material and style for barn roof types that suit the weather conditions of the area. We’ll discuss all the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of barns in this article. 

    Read more: A Detailed Information About Black Metal Roofing

    What is a Barn?

    Barn is a farm building that serves multiple purposes of providing shelter for animals, storing grains, additional living space for farmer’s families during harvest season, and storing harvested crops. 

    Materials Used in Building a Barn Roof

    The most common materials used in making a barn style roofs are:

    1. Wood
    2. Steel parts
    3. Concrete blocks
    4. Plywood

    Read more: The Best 10 Ways To Build Various Types Of Shed Roofs

    The Different Types of Barn Roofs

    Gambrel Style Roof

    Gambrel types of roofs

    Gambrel roof barn is believed to have been introduced in North America and used in various buildings during colonial times. A Gambrel roof design is the best choice for a two-story barn that provides ample storage space and more headroom on the top floor in the loft area. It is mostly seen in large farmhouses with two slopes design, with one slope being steeper than the second one allowing proper drainage. 

    Pros Cons
    • Adds aesthetics
    • Can’t withstand heavy snow and wind
    • Easy to build
    • Not durable
    • Creates extra useable space
    • Difficult to frame
    • Less expensive
    • High maintenance

    Gable Barn Roof Styles

    Gable barn roof

    A Gable roof barn is the common choice of most Americans. It is easily recognized by its triangular shape with a peaked roof.

    Pros Cons
    • Easy to build
    • Not ideal for high-wind areas, especially in areas with hurricane
    • Smooth runoff from snow and rain
    • It is prone to humidity, which might lead to the growth of molds 
    • Less expensive
     
    • The slope allows a smooth drainage system
     
    • There are options for materials used to build it
     
    • Easy to add ventilation to the roof
     
    • Doesn’t require special skills to build it
     
    • Allows ample attic space for storage
     
    • Adds charm to the outdoor space
     

    Shed Roof Barn

    Shed roof barn

    Barn shed roof, or mono-pitched roof, is one of the easiest ones to install because it has a single slope, the front being higher than the back, allowing rainwater and snow to slide off easily. Make sure the ground behind the barn has a proper gutter system to redistribute water. 

    Pros Cons
    • It is easy to install
    • The possibility of leakage is higher because of the slight pitch to slide off rainwater. 
    • It provides extra space on the roof to add solar panels, heating or cooling units
    • Requires frequent repair and maintenance
    • It is durable and can withstand strong wind
    • Lack of gutter behind the barn may lead to water pooling, creating an area for mold and bacteria
    • Lightweight
    • No attic space
    • Better ventilation and airflow
    • Not suitable for large buildings
    • Less maintenance required
    • Doesn’t have a strong visual impression
    • Solar panels can be fitted easily
     
    • Environment friendly
     

    Hip Roof Barn

    Hip roof barn

    The hip barn roof design has four equal sides meeting at a single point. It is less common because it requires more building material, adding to the cost. If budget is not a constraint, it is a good choice as it is sturdy. 

    Pros Cons
    • It can resist heavy wind and snow
    • Expensive to build because more material is used
    • Allows better drainage
    • Less attic space
     
    • Possibility of leakage

    Arched Roof Barn

    Arched roof barn

    Arched barn roof types have gained popularity due to the extra loft space. It was first made in the West and gradually shifted to buildings in towns and farms. It is durable, easy to erect with ample storage capacity. As it needs less outside walls, less material is required. 

    Pros Cons
    • Durable
    • Apart from the above-mentioned barn roof styles, there are other styles also which you might like.
    • Easy to erect
     
    • Ample storage space
     
    • It requires fewer materials because it needs fewer outside walls
     

    Saltbox Roof

    Saltbox roof

    The saltbox roof style has one slope extended lower than the other slope done to connect the shed directly to the barn. It has very strong roots that the early English settlers built in Eastern North America. This barn roof styles can be considered exclusive to North America. 

    Conical Roof Barn

    Conical Roof Barn

    Conical barn roof styles are best suited for building with a circular base. The conical roof barn is circular in shape that rises to a point. It doesn’t go to a complete point which is detached from the rest of the roof and replaced with a dome for ventilation.

    Round Barn Design

    Round barn design

    It has a round shape with a unique look, adding charm and elements to your property.

    Gothic Barn Roof Style

    Gothic barn roof style

    This style is used for large barns where more storage is required for cattle or hay storage. It is mostly preferred in Midwest. It gives charm and character to the property adding to the sale value.

    Dutch Barn Roof House

    Dutch Barn Roof House

    This barn has posts on the sides connected with beams with braces. Trusses provide support to the roof for even distribution of the weight across the structure. The roof is either covered with metal shingles or wooden shingles. You can use any building material to build it, such as wood, brick, or stone, where many farm activities like dairy farms, chicken coops, and greenhouses can be carried out.

    Monitor Roof Barn

    Monitor roof barn

    It was mainly created to store hay. Over the period, it has evolved into a multi-use space. The pole barn roof style provides the perfect space to store livestock feed. It also gives you a platform to display your artistic creation on the walls and ceilings and easy installation of solar panels due to arched barn roof styles, which will power your outdoor appliances like lights and fans during the hot summer season. 

    Read more: How To Install A Metal Roof Shed In 9 Easy Steps!

    Bonnet Roof Barn

    Bonnet roof barn

    Bonnet barn roof styles are a good choice to store hay that looks like a reversed gambrel or mansard roof with a lower portion at a lower pitch than the upper portion. This is not a common preference. 

    Boxed Eave Roofs

    Boxed eave roofs

    It is one of the most cost-effective options due to its unique look of a box at the edge of the sloped roof. This roof provides extra protection from heavy rain as the roofs are closed with a right-angled structure which resembles a box covering the upper part wall and lower part roof. Apart from the functionality, it adds aesthetic appeal to the building. 

    Read more: The Best 17 Types Of Roofs: The Complete Information

    Points to Consider While Choosing the Barn Roof Materials

    By now, you must know about the various roof barn styles . It’s time to look at the different materials you can use to build roof barns. 

    Repels Water

    Leakage is the biggest problem, so choose a roofing material that can repel water from vulnerable areas along the seams and the nail holes. It’s better to go for material with adhesive rather than hardware.

    Longevity

    If you want a durable material to last years or more, the best option is metal, especially corrugated steel. Asphalt shingle is another option if you don’t like the look of the metal. 

    Regulations

    Check if there’s any particular material prohibited in your area. Prevention is better than cure. It’s good to cross-check the rules and regulations before installing the roof rather than changing it later on somebody’s complaint.

    Easy Installation and Maintenance

    While installing or repairing your roof, you would want to go for the material that’s easy to install and repair. Asphalt shingles are possibly the easiest material to install and maintain. 

    Budget

    Though it’s important to consider the budget, it’s always wise to choose a long-lasting material even if it costs more because, in the long run, due to its longevity, the cost will be balanced. 

    What is the Best Barn Roof Material?

    After knowing about the types and things to consider before selecting the roof, it’s time to know the best material for your barn roof styles.

    Corrugated Material

    It is a long-lasting material that can go up to years. It comes in large sections with fewer seams between panels minimizing the leakage and ruling out the chances of replacement. It is less expensive, but people still don’t prefer it because of its not-so-attractive look. It is used for barns which meant more for utility than aesthetics. 

    Asphalt Roof Shingles

    One of the popular barn roof styles choices because it is easy to install, less expensive, and durable. The disadvantage is it can blow off during heavy winds, though it can be easily patched. It does not have an appealing visual impression, but it’s more functional. It traps heat for longer, making the inner building warm.

    Cedars Shingles

    Though it’s an expensive option, it looks stylish. It’s durable, but it needs regular maintenance. It breaks down in the sunlight. Go for this material if you have a steep slope because this is not water-repellant. 

    Wood Shake Shingles

    It extends a beautiful appearance to the roof, but it’s costly. It can last up to years with proper maintenance.

    Read more: The Complete Guide To Houses With Metal Roofs: A Detailed Information

    Conclusion

    Building a barn is interesting; however, you need to be very careful regarding the roofing style and material. Considering all the possible aspects of the barn roof is vital, so spend a good amount of time selecting the right barn roof styles. Apart from aesthetics and functionality, the impact on the personal living space is equally important. If needed, hire a professional roofer with adequate knowledge to install the roof. 

    FAQs

    What is a Jerkinhead Roof?

    A Jerkinhead barn roof styles are a combination of gable and hipped roof design. It looks like a gable roof on the sides with two slopes meeting at a point and a hipped section at the back shorter than the sides, giving the roof an asymmetrical look. The advantages of having it are aesthetics, less prone to leak, and stability. The disadvantages are high maintenance and high building cost.

    Why Are Barn Roofs Round?

    The main reason for its round shape dates back to the past. It gives greater strength to the structure using fewer materials. An attempt was made using this style to maximize the loft space to store hay.

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