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    Home | Our Blog | Your Guide to Gable Roofs

    Your Guide to Gable Roofs

    Reviewed by Tomas Kalkys. President.
    Qualifications: More than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial exterior remodeling.
    Founding farther of Legacy Service.
    Written by LegacyUSA Team

    posted on Aug 23,2019

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    If you’re in the process of designing a new house or framing a roof, then you’re probably looking into various types of roofs to determine which one would be best for you. Two types of roof shapes are the most popular for houses in the United States; they include gable roofs and hip roofs. Today, we’re going to focus on gable. If you’re considering this type of design for your home, here’s your guide to everything you need to know about it.

    Gable roof

    Where Are Gable Roofs Used?

    They can be found all over the United States. In fact, they’re the most common shape used for residential architecture in climates that are cold, rainy, or temperate. They’re also found in all parts of the world that experience rain or snow (especially northern Europe), because the pitch (which can vary) will ensure that it sheds water more easily to help prevent leaks and damage from water puddling. In Pennsylvania, they can be found almost everywhere because they are the most popular type of style. However, hip is a close second.

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    What Does a Gable Roof Look Like?

    They probably look exactly like you’d imagine if you picture a traditional American home. They have two sloping sides that meet at a ridge, and the two sloping sides that meet create end walls which have a triangular extension, which is called the gable. This is also referred to as the A-shaped section of the wall that’s between the two sloping sides. These sides can be different sizes depending on the property; some larger buildings can sometimes have two or more gables to add depth, which is called a double gable roof as opposed to a single gable roof. There are various gable roof designs, which we’ll touch upon later in this article.

    How Long Does a Gable Roof Last?

    Although there are a variety of factors that help determine how long the lifespan will be, one that’s properly installed can typically last about 40 years on average. They can sometimes last even longer if they have an adequate supporting framework. Factors that affect the lifespan include how well it was originally installed, the quality of the gable roof materials that were used, and whether it’s been damaged in the past from fallen trees, storms, or anything else.

    Different Types of Gable Roof Designs

    Along with the classic structure, there’s a variety of designs that you can choose from. If you need help determining which roof type would be right for you, our team at Legacy Service will be happy to help!

    1. Cross gable – This type has two or more gable roof lines that end up intersecting because the two ridges of the roof are perpendicular to each other. Houses with this type tend to have a complex layout due to their structure.
    2. Box gable – This type has a similar design to a classic structure. This design is characterized by the triangular extensions at each end of the house and the fact that the roof section is boxed at the end.
    3. Dutch gable – This type is a hybrid of a hip and a gable roof. With this design, a gable roof is placed on top of a hip roof to add more space to the attic. If you’re looking for a gable roof in addition to a hip roof, this type may be the way to go.
    4. Front gable – This type is when the front door of the house is placed underneath the gable. They tend to be popular in places where the front of the house faces the street.
    5. Side gable – This type is when the front door of the house is placed underneath the side of a gable roof. The roof will have two panels of the same size that are pitched at an angle.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of a Gable Roof

    Gable Roof

    Everything has its advantages and disadvantages, and gable roofs are no exception. Whether one would be right for your home or not depends on a variety of factors, one of them being where you live and the type of climate in your area. Here are the pros and cons of choosing this type:


    • They’re easy to build – Compared to other alternatives, this type is considered the simplest and easiest to build.
    • They provide more space – Since they have a sloped or triangular design, gable can typically provide more space for a homeowner. Many people benefit from additional attic space along and even better ventilation throughout the property.
    • They’re affordable – Those with a tight budget will find that gable is a more affordable option. The overall cost of building and installing one will be lower because it’s simpler to build than other types.
    • They have reliable water drainage – This type has a reliable water drainage system because of its sloped design. Rain and snow can easily slide off, which minimizes the risk of leaks and ensures that the roof will last longer.
    • You’ll have a variety of material options – When it comes to the construction you’ll have plenty of material options. Concrete tiles, clay tiles, and metal sheets can all be used for construction and to complement the roof, depending on your requirements.


    • Needs to be properly installed – This may not be a disadvantage because it’s a no-brainer, but if the roof is not properly installed, it can just cause more problems. However, one that has been installed with the right materials and supported with adequate framing can last for many years.
    • Prone to damage from the wind – If you live in an area that faces hurricanes during any time of the year, this type might not be your best option. Strong winds can exert tons of pressure and even cause parts of the roof to peel off.

    What is the Difference Between a Gable Roof and a Hip Roof?

    Gable roofs are most often compared to hip roofs, which is another one of the most popular types in the United States. So, what’s the difference between the two? Well, let’s first look at what a hip roof is:

    A hip roof is one that has slopes on all four sides. The sides all have an equal length, and they converge at the top to form a ridge.

    Why do people choose hip roofs?

    People choose hip over gable because they tend to be more stable, especially in areas dealing with strong storms and high winds. Hip roofs are also perfect for windy and snowy areas because the slant allows the snow and water to easily slide off.

    What are the disadvantages of hip roofs?

    One disadvantage of hip is the fact that it tends to be more expensive because its complex design can require more building materials. Also, proper installation and regular maintenance is essential when it comes to preventing minor issues from becoming major problems down the line.

    At Legacy Service, we’d like to help you choose which type is right for you, whether it’s gable, hip, or something else entirely. If you have any other questions regarding anything from open style to curved or even winged, please feel free to visit our website. Schedule a consultation for a roof replacement by giving us a call at 215-798-9790. We look forward to hearing from you!

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    Posted on Aug 23,2019 in Roof

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