These are frequently found on barns or Dutch colonial styled homes. Please read the article in its entirety, or select one of the headings below and it will jump straight to where you want to go. Please leave a comment if you enjoyed the article.
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- What is a Gambrel Roof?
- Can you have a gambrel roof for a house?
- How much does a gambrel roof cost?
- What is the difference between a gambrel and a mansard style roof?
- What are the pros and cons of having a gambrel roof.
What is a Gambrel Roof?
A gambrel roof that, with clever use of gambrel roof trusses, is a roof with two different angled slopes, a shallower slope above a steeper slope. This setup is great as it gives more attic space than your conventional roof. The gambrel roof got its name from the hind leg of a horse as it resembles a similar shape and the hind leg of a horse use to be known, in Latin, as a gamba, and this is where the word gambrel is derived from.
The reason why many want this shape for their roof is there are a number of pros to choosing this style and we are going to discuss this later on in the article. One of them is their aesthetics, they look great and have a level of complexity that other roofing types do not have. Another would be their great drainage capabilities, The roof itself is very steep and assists greatly in this matter.
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Can you have a gambrel roof for a house?
Absolutely yes! The utilization of gambrel roof trusses can be extremely beneficial to your home, not only in style but in use as well.
These roofs are common not only on barns and farmhouses but this roof type can look great in modern homes as well as they are a big trend for Georgian or Dutch style homes.
The setup of a gambrel roof is also great for the space conscious, as your roof is usually very high and the bottom section of the gambrel roof is very steep you are able to have a large attic with the extra height. You are also afforded the offer of having extra living space or lofted bedrooms.
The design offers more storage without taking up more space, unlike a lot of the more typical roof designs.
How much does a gambrel roof cost?
What is great about this roofing setup is that because of its shape it often only needs two roof beams so your costs can often be quite low for materials.
Experts estimate that a gambrel roof could cost up to 15% less than a gable roof. That being if it would cost you $12,000 to install a gable roof for your home, a gambrel roof would be round about $10,200. Now that is a saving I would take any day of the week.
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What is the difference between a gambrel and a mansard style roof?
The only roof type that is similar to the gambrel roof is the mansard roof. You can see from the pictures above. (Left – Gambrel roof, Right – Mansard roof) The difference here being the mansard roof does not have an open gable section to the end of the roof. They both have the same gambrel roof trusses, however, the mansard roof looks as though it closes off in the front where the open gable would be on a gambrel roof.
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What are the pros and cons of having a gambrel roof.
Pro: As I said above, the gambrel roof provides extra living space or a larger attic, or both! Not only do they look great they are practical too. With the extra space above you can save the money you would have to spend to build out to get the same floor space without a gambrel roof.
Pro: The price of gambrel roofs are also phenomenal. When compared to many other roofing types you can save a lot of money when choosing to go with a gambrel roof, to the point of saving up to 15%!
Pro: Ease to install. With the simple design and simple to frame out style, the gambrel roof is often easy to install saving you money on labor, cutting down the price even further. With it only having two roof beams and employing simple gusset joints, it not only gets installed faster, but it also saves you money.
Con: When considering the orientation of your house and roof, if you plan on using a gambrel roof you must keep in mind that heavy winds and rains can risk damage to your roof. It is recommended that you consult a professional when using this style of roofing.
Con: This roof type is also not advisable to those living in areas that experience heavy snowfall as the structure does not support this type of pressure and could damage not only the roof but also your home.
Con: With the size of the roofing space there can be a challenge when trying to tackle the task of ventilation for your roof. It is recommended to install your ventilation during the installation of your roof as getting to this space to install ventilation later is extremely difficult and can be costly. Often the lower slope is treated as a wall to assist in sealing the venting.
In conclusion the gabrel roof is a great option for your house and one of my personal favorites. The intricate yet simple and modern look can make a house look and feel amazing. The extra space above that is afforded to you leaves a smaller footprint on the ground level and giving you way more space to work with when designing your home.
Although this roof is relatively simple to put in I would recommend consulting a professional beforehand as the elements can be a detriment to the health of your building if done incorrectly. But don’t let that scare you, this is still a great option for your home.
Jack French is the CEO of EZPZ Roofing. He has over 10 years of experience in the construction industry and has been with EZPZ since its inception. Jack is a hard worker and a natural leader. He takes great pride in his work and always puts the customer first.