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What is a Gable Roof?

A gable roof, also known as a pitched roof, is a common roof shape with two sloping sides that meet at the highest point. The triangular shape that the outside wall forms at either end of the roof is the actual gable.

Not all sloped roofs have gables. A hippped roof has a similar sloped shape to a gabled roof, but it lacks the signature triangular end wall. So what is a hip roof? A hip roof comes slopes down each side of your house.

Both of these roof types might be made with traditional asphalt shingles or cedar shake, or they may be made of metal roofing material. Some people even utilize gable roofs for their green roof. If you’re wondering, ‘What is a green roof?” It’s a roof that is partially or completely covered in plants and growing medium. 

So what makes the Gable roof a good choice for your home? 

Simple by design

Gable roofs are the most common roof type in the US, and that’s partially because they are the cheapest and easiest style of roof to build. The construction is very straightforward. The roof framing is made up of pairs of common rafters attached to ceiling joists that give the roof it’s triangular shape and provide support. 

Besides the price, it offers other advantages as well. Because of the steep slope, a gable style roof is more resistant to damage from rain and snow accumulation. Water and snow tend to roll right off of them, which can prevent roof leaks and damage to asphalt shingles. 

It also allows for attic space. The steeper the gable, the more attic space a home will have. And along with the attic space, your roof will have much better ventilation because of the slope of the roof.  As wind passes over your roof, it sucks air from your attic through vents installed on the top of your roof. This can make your home much more energy-efficient during cold winters and hot summers. Gable roofs are also the most popular style for garages as well. A gable garage provides attic space, allowing for more storage options. Plus, the sturdiness of the gable roof design protects from water and snow damage.

With thoughtful design, you can add a lot of character to a simple gable roof. Some designs will use windows and install dormer roofs to add more headroom on the second story of a home. Here are a couple variations of a gabled roof:

  • Dutch gable roof – uses curved gables with a pediment on top, commonly seen in Renaissance style architecture.
  • Crossed gable roof – a design where two or more gables intersect, can be used In homes with a more complex layout than a rectangular home.
  • Gambrel Roof – a two sided, symmetrical roof that has two slopes on each side commonly associated with Dutch building traditions and barns. The top slope on each side is relatively shallow while the bottom slopes are steep.

Gable roofs can also make the installation of solar panels easier. On a flat roof or one with a very low slope, your solar panels will need to be installed on brackets so they can be tilted for optimum sun exposure. As long as you don’t have a steep pitch (more than 40°), a roofer can install solar panels on a gable roof without adding brackets. What is a roof pitch? Roof pitch is the angle of the slope of your roof. 

There are some drawbacks to this roof design. If a gable roof isn’t properly supported, or built with cheap materials, there is a risk of collapse in high winds or under heavy snowfall. Additionally, the high profile of a gable roof is more prone to wind damage. Extended overhangs make them especially vulnerable, and some storms may lift roofing material off your roof. In areas that frequently have heavy winds and storms, you may consider a different roof type, or add braces to keep the wind from lifting the roof off of your home. 

Maintaining a gable roof 

Like any roof, your gable roof will need periodic roof maintenance to maximize it’s lifespan before it needs to be replaced. Your roof should be inspected twice a year, preferably by a professional roofer.

Regardless of your roof type, the gutters need to be cleaned twice a year, and they should be repaired or replaced if they are damaged. Remove any debris that piles up on your roof. If there is moss or mold growing on your roof, it should be taken care of before your roof degrades and starts to leak.

However, you should never walk on a sloped roof without the proper safety equipment, and it’s always best to hire a roofing pro. They have the skills and experience to inspect your roof and spot problems before they get worse, and whether or not it’s time to replace your roof before your house suffers from serious structural damage. 

How to build a gable porch roof

Because of their simplicity, a gabled roof is the most affordable option to cover your porch or deck. It will give you shade in the sun and protect your porch from rain and snowfall, so you can enjoy your outside space rain or shine. 

In order to build a roof over your deck, you’ll need to determine where to add the roof support posts into your deck. Once you’ve measured them out, you can cut into the deck, dig a hole, and use concrete and a metal post anchor to the support beams. The concrete will need at least 24 hours to cure before you can complete the job.

Once the support poles are secure, you can install trusses and braces onto your roof. Next, you will need to attach plywood sheathing for the roof decking. Once the decking is complete, it will need a drip edge before you start to shingle it. 

If the trusses and support beams aren’t spaced properly, your roof won’t have the proper support it needs to stay upright, especially during high wind. A professional roofer will make this job much easier.

Premium Roofing Services with guaranteed prices

At Preman Roofing Solar, we offer high-class service for all your residential roofing needs. Whether you want to install a roof on your deck, upgrade your current roof, or install solar panels, we can help. If you want to upgrade your commercial roofing services to keep your corporate building protected, we can help. We have done thousands of San Diego roofing projects since 1998, and we are committed to providing prompt, high-quality roof for all of our customers. 

Contact us today for a free estimate.