Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeFactsWhat Is A Gambrel Roof

What Is A Gambrel Roof

Types Of Gambrel Roof Designs

How To Design And Calculate Gambrel Roof Measurements Using The Old Fashioned Half Circle Method

The design of the gambrel roof can be varied according to the choice and requirement of the user.

Some of the types of gambrel roof designs can be listed as follows:

a. Classic Gambrel Roof Design

It is the most commonly adopted design of the gambrel roof.

It is usually employed for the roofing of the barns and sheds.

The main advantage of this design is that the attic space can be maximized by using a two-pitch design.

b. Mansard Gambrel Roof Design

It is also commonly referred to as the French Roof design because it was widely used in France and is a little updated version of the old mansard roof.

This design of the gambrel roof offers ample flexibility in terms of pitch size.

c. Wall-Supported Gambrel Roof Design

It has high aesthetic properties and thus this design is employed for the roofing where an aesthetically pleasing appearance is required.

In this type, the ridge boards are not installed.

The lowest part of the pitch overhangs the eaves of the house thus limiting the storage space.

Hence, the wall-supported gambrel roof design is not desirable for users who wish to maximize the storage space.

Gambrel Roof What Are The Popular Types Of Gambrel Roofing

There are different types of gambrels roofing solutions available based on some factors. Now you can find the style based on your needs. Some usual type of roofing includes

  • Mansard gambrel roofing
  • Classic gambrel roofing
  • Well supported gambrel roofing

Overall, these kinds of roofing solutions will provide a more historical vibe to any kind of property this is highly common in Dutch, American as well as Georgian cultures.

People are interested in using these kinds of roofing structures to add some value and beauty to the old model home. This can be highly found in the colonial era of America.

Still, people believe that it is a culture-based solution so now it can be used by people across the world.

Apart from its outlook, it needs less effort you can install this roofing without using any high-end materials because the design of the roof is simple so it can be the recommended choice for any kind of building.

The life span of the gambrel roof is still surprising because it provides long time benefits.

Based on recent studies gambrel roofs are effective than any others because they have the ability to withstand any climatic conditions which means you no need to get any additional materials for protecting your buildings.

Usually, these roofs are protected with the help of metal sheets so it can last as long as others. Even these roofs are also covered with asphalt or wood but metal gambrel roofs are perfect to enjoy long-lasting benefits.

Easy Roofing That Adds Class Look:

Gambrels are highly preferred by many people because it is really easy to build but adds a more classic look to the property. However, there are no complex structures like valleys or joints so it is simple to fix and easy to maintain.

Usually, the underlying structure of the gambrel roof comes with wooden beams that add more strength.

Three story brick building with gambrel roof

Recommended Reading: Attic Trusses Cost

How Much Does Construction Of Gambrel Roof Costs


This rate is updated on 2021 September and may vary from place to place or country to country. This rate is taken average from the rate of American & European countries.

In general, the framing labor and the construction materials required per square foot area can range from $8 to $14. The cost estimate for a 2,000 square feet area can approximately vary from $16,000 to $28,000.

The cost of the coverings such as shingles, wood, asphalt, metal, etc can cost anywhere between $4 to $20 per square foot. Hence, the total construction material cost amounts to about $8,000 to $40,000.

Hence, the total approximate or the estimated cost of 2,000 square feet ranges from $24,000 to $68,000 which is inclusive of the labor and construction materials cost.

You should know that using higher quality materials leads to higher construction costs.


Due to the current scenario created by Covid-19 the rate of materials is hiked. So, if you are wanting to construct this roof then wait till December 2021. You may save 10 to 20% of the total cost if you construct it later.

Gambrel Roof Pros And Cons

Everything You Need to Know About a Gambrel Roof

Is a gambrel roof the right option for you? If you are thinking of replacing a roof, a gambrel roof might be top of mind. But there are many other options as well. Before committing to a gambrel roof, you should understand the pros and cons of having one, as well as other roof types.

Also Check: How To Repair Roof Trusses

How To Build A Gambrel Roof

This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 244,138 times.Learn more…

A gambrel roof is a popular roof style on many contemporary barns and sheds. Gambrel roofs are symmetrical, with two slopes on each side of the roof. If you plan on building and installing your own gambrel roof, youll have to draw out plans first to determine the proper dimensions. Once you have the plans, you can cut and construct the rafters before installing them on your structure.

How Long Does It Last

There are many factors that contribute to the lifespan of a gambrel roof, such as the installation, design, materials, maintenance, and climate. If your gambrel roof is installed properly, then it can last for a hundred years. On the other hand, it wont be as durable if its not installed properly by a professional.

Also Check: Rv Roof Repair Cost

Variations Of Gambrel Roofs

Gambrel roofs are available in a variety of styles. Three of the most popular variations include:

  • Classic style This is currently the most common style in the United States. Its typically seen on sheds and barns. You can also maximize the attic space using a two-pitch design.
  • Wall-supported style Although this design provides a stylish look, its not the best type for those who would like to maximize their storage space. Since the lowest part of the pitch overhangs the houses eaves, storage space is limited.
  • Mansard style This is also known as the French roof, since so many buildings in France use it. This style has pitches of different sizes.

Other types include gable, dormer, and valley gambrel.

Not a real zip code.

Symbol Of Colonial America:

FRAMING A GAMBREL ROOF for a Barn, Shed, or Workshop

Are you interested to add a classic look to your property?

Gambrel roofs are the smart option because still, it is a symbol of Colonial America even it is increasingly popular in North America.

Since these kinds of roofs are the main part of the historical heritage of America because it looks style and classic. Apart from that this will adds a clean structure.

You May Like: Skylight In Metal Roof

One: Cutting The Boards For The Rafters

Once youve developed a plan for your gambrel roof, youll need to buy some 2×4 boards to assemble your rafters. To determine how many boards you need, count your wall studs. You need one full rafter piece for each wall stud and each rafter piece is going to consist of 4 2×4 boards that are 4 feet long.

With that said, if you have 5 wall studs, youre going to need 5 full rafters. Since you need 4 boards per rafter, that means youll need to buy a total of 20 boards. However, youll want to get extra boards just in case!

Once you have your boards, mark both ends of each at a 22.5 angle and cut along those lines. You can use either a circular saw or a miter saw. When youre done cutting, all of the board ends should sit flush against each other.

How Are They Installed

Roofing professionals build these roofs by installing identical trusses across the roof. The number of trusses needed depends on the size of the roof. Trusses are usually spaced out every 16 inches from the center.

Once the trusses have been installed, plywood or OSBâan engineered wood panelâsheathing is placed on the outer face of the trusses. The roof system is installed on top of the sheeting, including an ice and water shield, underlayment, and shingles.

The roof style offers a historical look and is a key choice in the farmhouse architectural design. If you’re looking to install this type of roof, contact a GAF certified contractor*.

*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the Contractor Terms of Use.

Don’t Miss: Hydrostop Premium Coat System

It Provides Better Protection From Rain And Snow:

A gambrel roof provides excellent protection from rain, snow, and wind because it allows water to drip off at different levels as it falls from the higher sections of the roof to the lower ones.

The pitch gives this style of roof an advantage in keeping out cold air in wintertime by preventing it from getting under the shingles during heavy winds.

List Of The Advantages Of A Gambrel Roof

What is a Gambrel Roof?

1. It gives a structure a unique historical vibe that other designs canât offer.The gambrel roof is most commonly seen on large farm buildings and houses that date back to the colonial era of the United States. Using this design today can connect your property to the Georgian and Dutch styles that were so popular in the past. Even if your project involves new construction, the aesthetic association with the double-roof concept can provide more value to your structures. It can be an easy way to create something distinctive in your neighborhood.

There is a certain romanticism that develops around the idea of a gambrel roof. Although some people donât like this design, the traditional shape and structure speak to our sense of culture in ways that a flat roof or another modern design cannot provide.

2. Fewer materials are necessary for its construction.A gambrel roof requires fewer materials during the installation process. Thatâs because this design doesnât require the same number of columns or support beams as newer construction methods. That means homeowners can spend less on materials and labor when creating the protective top for their structure. It only uses two roof beams, along with gusset joints, to create the final design. Thatâs why the cost of a gambrel roof can be significantly less than one with steep gables.

Recommended Reading: How To Extend A Roof

This Roof Design Offers Poor Resistance To Snow Accumulation:

A gambrel roof offers poor resistance to snow accumulation because it has two different slopes on each side of the roof.

This means that snow tends to fall from the higher sections of the roof than the lower ones, so snow will naturally fall down onto all levels of the structure.

  • Weathering patterns on gambrel roofs can cause uneven wear.
  • This style of roof tends to show noticeable weathering patterns on the outer surfaces of the roof, especially on the lower sections of the roof. This can cause uneven wear and can lead to leaks or creaks.

    Not Resistant To Snow Accumulation

    Gambrel roofs are high for the rainfall season as water simply runs off the sides. However, the snowing season is not so efficiently dealt with. The problem occurs due to the top flat part of the roof design.

    This is where the snow accumulates and has no way of simply falling off. It can be challenging to clean the snow from this part of the roof, and snow accumulation over a long period can potentially cause the roof to collapse.

    Don’t Miss: How Much Is A Shingle Roof Per Square Foot

    History Of Gambrel Roofs

    The gambrel roof sometimes is referred to as a Dutch roof. Its origins are unknown. However, this classic look is similar to the early North American homes and barns dating back to the 1600s. The oldest surviving house with a gambrel roof was built in 1677 and is at Harvard University.

    The term gambrel is a Norman English word with a variety of historical spellings. Gambrel is also a word that refers to a butchers wooden tool used to hang meats. A butchers gambrel resembled the two-sloped appearance of this roof style.

    Pros Of Gambrel Roof:

    Gambrel Roof Simplified

    1. It gives a unique historical vibe

    Undeniably, gambrel roofs provide a gorgeous aesthetic that is so unique. Also, as you know, you can spot gambrel roofs on houses that date back to a historical era. So, using this design today can link your property to the Dutch and Georgian styles that were popular back then. Perhaps yours is a modern version of the original. However, the primary association to the double-roof concept will amplify the value of your house.

    It provides a beautiful nostalgic vibe that a flat roof or another modern design cannot.

    2. Fewer supplies are necessary to build it

    You are only going to need fewer materials when installing the roof. That is because this design does not need as many support beams or columns as modern construction methods. It only uses gusset joints along with two roof beams to make the final design. So you get to spend less on labor and materials when making the protective top for the structure. The cost of a gambrel roof is far less than one with steep gables.

    3. Easily buildable

    You may think the design of a gambrel roof would be a complex construction. However, it is relatively easy. Gambrel roof will work well in any situation where more space for an upper floor or higher ceiling is necessary. The simplicity of framing makes it convenient for any contractor to use. Not only is it cost-effective but also a solution that creates extra space. In contrast, other designs will require you to enclose the area.

    5. Durability

    You May Like: Cost Of New Roof California

    History Of The Gambrel Roof

    Although its exact origins in America are unknown, it is believed that the Dutch brought the design over with them. It was originally called a “Dutch roof” in America. The style was particularly popular from the 16th to 18th century, and was used on both commercial and residential buildings. The oldest known of this roof type is found on the second Harvard Hall at Harvard University, built in 1677.

    This roof style is currently seeing a resurgence with the popularity of the farmhouse building style. This style emphasizes rustic, country looks for building interiors. It is cozy and comfortable, but with a modern flair. Today’s farmhouse design includes all the modern conveniences with a rustic or historical look.

    Gambrel Roofs: Advantages And Disadvantages

    My husband is Swedish. Because of this, weve taken the big leap across the very big pond to visit family in Sweden. Im always taken by the beauty of the land, including the Scandinavian architecture. Just like in America, houses are built in all different styles and colors, but on your first visit to Sweden, youll notice many homes are painted yellow ochre or Falu red and have gambrel roofs.

    This traditional roof style has even made it to America and become a common architectural delight in older homes. If you are building or purchasing a home, you may come across the unique roof but have no idea what it is. A gambrel roof is one of the many styles found across the country, and like every roof type, it has both advantages and disadvantages.

    Being aware of the pros and cons of this type of roof may help you to make decisions regarding a house with a gambrel roof. Lets take a look at this very fun and historic roof style below. Well look at the reasons why it is often used in the applications that it is, what drawbacks may happen because of its shape, and the reasons you may want to consider it on your home.


  • Gambrel vs. Mansard
  • Also Check: How Often Should A Roof Be Replaced

    How Do You Measure A Gambrel Roof

    Using a gambrel calculator, you must enter the exact measurements of the following and in order.

    • Enter the exact length of the building followed by its width.
    • Enter the measurement of the eaves overhangs.
    • Enter the measurement of the gables overhangs.
    • Enter the upper roofs pitch followed by the lower roofs pitch.
    • Enter the lower pitchs length.

    History Of Gambrel Roof

    Gambrel Roofing Buing Guide: Pros, Cons, Installation Guide

    The origin of the gambrel roof in North America is not fully known. However, we have the oldest example of a gambrel roof. The oldest building with a gambler roof was built in 1677. It was in the second Harvard Hall at Harvard University in America. The oldest alive gambler house dates to 1677-78 in the U.S. This old house with a gambler roof belongs to Peter Tufts.

    Some historians say that early Dutch traders found the gambler style inspiring. They bought the gambler roofs with them while traveling to other parts of the globe. The gambrel design was soon taken by many builders.

    Read Also: How Much Roof Overhang On Shed


    Most Popular