What are the Gable Roofs? Everything You Need to Know

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By George Taylor

Updated: Jan 25, 2024

8 min read

Gable Roofs

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    Gable roofs serves the same purpose as a regular house roof; it’s all about the looks, tradition, cultural preferences and the popularity of certain styles of roofs in your region, all of which play a deciding factor in opting for a particular type of roof.

    Gable roofs are particularly popular in the Northeast region as it’s practical for the kind of climatic conditions in that region.

    The gable roof design includes two or more steep stones, making the surface resistant to rainwater and snow by allowing it to shed down instead of accumulating. This style is less prone to roof leakage and water damage over the period you’d need to spend less on its maintenance.

    Know about the 17 Types Of Roof Shapes To Add Curb Appeal.

    What is a Gable Roof

    A Gable roof is made up of two sides that meet at a sloped angle to form a ridge in the centre, making a triangle shaped roof. The angle of the ridge can be different as per the house. The ridge can either be parallel or perpendicular to the front of the house, it depends on the aesthetics you’re aiming for.

    The two panels form a tell-tale triangular shape under the ridge on either side of the home. These triangular shapes are under the ridge, also known as gable ends.

    Gable Roof Types

    Standard Gable

    Standard Gable

    Standard gable consists of two panels which rise at a slanted slope to make a ridge in the middle; it can either be steep or shallow. This slanted roof is the best option for shedding rainwater or accumulated snow.

    Standard gable roofs are usually parallel to the door with the shingled part facing front and the backside of a house. In contrast, a front gable is perpendicular to the door with the shingled planes facing sideways of the house.

    Box Gable

    Box Gable

    Box gable resembles the standard one, only it is an upgraded version of the classic gable roof. Its design eliminates excess precipitation falling directly at the home’s foundation. The box gable roof has extended gable ends, making it look like an overhang, making water or snowfall a bit of distance from the walls.

    Cross Gable

    Cross Gable

    When two gable roofs intersect at the right angle, resembling the alphabet T or L from the above known as cross gables, the two ridges meet at the highest point of the roof perpendicular to each other.

    Dutch Gable

    Dutch Gable

    In a Dutch gable roof, hip and gable roofs are present, making it unique. It looks like the gable roof is placed upon a hip roof. This design gives the loft extra space. People prefer Dutch gable due to its uniquely appealing, irregular shape yet aesthetically pleasing and for the additional space it provides.

    Gabled Dormers

    Gabled Dormers

    For extra sunlight and space, people usually add a gable with a dormer roof to their standard gable roof. These dormers peep out of the flat roofs, making more interior space. Also, these dormers’ huge windows allow a lot of extra sunlight in. These gabled dormers are also known as dog house dormers.


    Saltbox roof style

    Homes with saltbox roofs are usually one and a half or two-story buildings. Saltbox gable roofs also resemble standard gable roofs; the only difference is these roofs are not symmetrical and came into existence way before the standard ones. Some of the earliest Northeast settlers built homes with saltbox gable roofs.

    The saltbox gable roofs look pretty standard from the front side, whilst the back side extends downward, making the home look as if it is leaning backwards.

    Gable Overhangs

    Gable Overhangs

    Gable overhangs are the extended roof at the front porch or front steps to keep the shedded precipitation away from their steps while heading out of the front door; these overhangs make the snow and water fall onto the sides of the house instead of spilling them at the doorstep.

    Also, gable overhangs give a classic touch to the homes.

    Gable With Shed Roofs

    Gable with Shed Roofs

    Adding an extra plank like structure to extend the existing roof makes the shed for the front step or porch. This hybrid style allows people to extend their roof without disturbing the pre-existing structure.

    Materials for Gable Roofs

    People prefer different kinds of materials based on their budget and aesthetic demands. However, every type of roofing material can be used to construct a gable roof except roller rubber. It doesn’t work very well for this kind of roof due to its flexible properties. These flexible sheets would act as sails while the wind blows across the surface and eventually tear up, forcing you into repairing it.

    The joist and rafters are made up of lumber, and then there is a layer of plywood over the lumber frame and other material’s underlayment protecting your home from heat and roof leakage. The very last layer is known as shingles which is used to cover this whole underlayment.

    Here are some of the common materials used for gable roofs

    Asphalt- Asphalt shingles are the most common material used for slanted roofs because they are weather resistant and reduce the chances of roof leakage on rainy days.

    Metal Roofs- Metal roofs are more durable and endure extreme climatic conditions better than the asphalt shingles but they are also expensive and require a little more maintenance in order to last long.

    Tile Roofs- Tiles as a roofing material are durable and can easily last for 60-100 years. However, their installation process is a bit of work due to their heavy weight. Tiles are weather resistant and require significantly less maintenance but their estimated cost is much more than an asphalt shingle.

    Cedar Shake- Cedar woods are common material for the roof as it prevent leaks around the corners. Though they look attractive, they require a lot of care and maintenance as the cedar sustains damage due to water.

    Pros and Cons of Gable Roofs

    Every type of roof has its pros and cons. However, the credibility of these pros and cons can vary from region to region, climatic conditions and how you care for the structure.

    Pros of Gable Roofs

    Works Great in Snowy Areas: Gable roof is one of the best options when it comes to finding a roof that works great in regard to shedding snow and water. No debris will be collected on the roof hence preventing further damage and maintenance costs.

    Proper Ventilation in the Attic: Due to the vaulted ceiling provided by gable roof style, the attic has plenty of space and scope for proper ventilation. Hence, this is one of the major advantages that come with the installation of a gable roof.

    Cost Effective: Gable roofs are a significantly cheaper option when compared to hip roofs due to their simple design and quicker construction process. Hence, they are a good investment when it comes to roof styles.

    Extra Space for Solar Panels: Gable roofs provide a lot of surface area which can be used to install solar panels for clean energy.

    Cons of Gable Roofs

    Lower Wind Resistance: For homes in areas that have strong wind resistance, gable roofs are not a wise choice as they don’t perform well there. One of the most common features of gable roofs is the extended rafters positioned at sharp angles to the house’s base. Strong winds may catch below the roof and harm or altogether remove it.

    Less Durability: Gable roofs can be much less durable than hip roofs, especially if installed incorrectly. Hence, it is essential to know the dangers associated with incorrect roof installation. To maximize its endurance in the face of strong winds, you’ll want to choose a competent roofing business that utilizes the appropriate braces.

    Parts of Gable Roof

    The Gable roof may seem simple and an easy to understand structure, but it consists of several parts beside the slopes and ridges.

    Gable- The A shaped side wall underneath the roof, which serves as the peak for the roof, is known as gable.

    Ridge- The roof’s highest point where the two slopes meet to become a complete roof.

    Eaves- The lower portion of the roof which extends over the exterior walls to make the gable overhangs which prevent the precipitation from falling at the front door.

    Rake- The portion which extends over the gable roof end


    Does a Gable Roof Need Ceiling Joists?

    Yes, Ceiling joists are mandatory in order to have a durable and sturdy roof because the joist prevents the weight of rafter from pushing outside the walls and causing damage to the whole structure.

    What is the Minimum Pitch for a Gable Roof?

    The minimum pitch of a tradition gable roof should be 4/12 or above however for nowadays aesthetics and preferences it can be anywhere from 4/12 to 9/12 or 18.43° to 36.87°

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