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Gable Roof | Designs, Pros & Cons, Maintenance and More  

September 2, 2021

Deciding what kind of roof you want for your house involves many different factors. You have to weigh the pros and cons of gable roof designs vs. hip roofs and consider their uses. Even if you prefer gable roofs, style comes into play. For example, does a cross gable roof suit your house better, or would a front gable look more appealing?

Before you make your decision, here is Diversified Roofing’s guide to gable roofs, their uses, advantages and how they stack up against hip roofs.

What Is a Gable Roof?

Also called “pitched roofs,” gable roof designs are a classic style of roof found in several parts of the world. It’s particularly popular in cold and temperate climates, like the northern United States. The name refers to the triangular space created by its two planes sloped in opposite directions, which meet at the highest point to form the roof ridge.

The simple, effective design is created using rafters, trusses and purlins. Every region has its own way of decorating gable roofs, and the materials used depend on availability and stylistic preferences. If you’re looking into building or reroofing with a gable roof design, here are the important aspects you should know.

Materials and Designs of Gable Roofs

Gable roofs can be made with your preference of materials. Traditional asphalt, cedar shake and metal shingles, as well as clay or concrete tiles, all work for gable roofs. They also come in a variety of styles. Here’s a guide to the basic styles of gable roofs:

  • Front gable roofs: The gable — the triangular space created by the slopes — is on the front of the house, often over the entrance.
  • Side gable roofs: The gables are situated on the sides of the house.
  • Cross gable roofs: A cross gable roof combines two gable roof sections, with ridges perpendicular to each other. This attractive design offers more interior space.
  • Boxed gable roofs: The enclosed gable wall is a triangular extension of the building structure.
  • Dutch gable roofs: This design uses the base of a hip roof with four side slopes and places a gable roof on top.

Gable vs. Hip Roofs

When people think about types of roofing, they often compare the pros and cons of gable vs. hip roofs. Hip roofs have four sides that slope downwards to the exterior walls. The steepness of the slope varies, though often roofs have a gentle slope, and the gutter fits all the way around the edge. Hip roofs come in different styles, just like gable roofs, though they’re often more difficult to construct.

Hip Roof Advantages

Diversified Roofing considers wind resistance to be the most significant advantage that hip roofs have over gable roofs. Self-bracing in structure with fewer diagonal braces, hip roofs prove more stable against strong winds. This makes it ideal for regions that suffer from severe weather, such as tornadoes and hurricanes. Steep-sloped hip roofs, in particular, won’t experience lift because of wind.

Hip Roof Disadvantages

Choosing a hip roof for your house does come with certain downsides compared to gable roofs. Hip roofs require more effort to design and build because of their more complicated structure, which results in a higher equipment cost and more labor hours. The design with slopes on all sides limits attic space within the roof, meaning people find it harder to make use of the space. Hip roofs also don’t invite natural light without dormers, and the space is harder to ventilate.

Gable Roof — Pros and Cons

For people who prefer the style of gable roofs, never fear. Gable roofs also have several advantages that make them an appealing choice when building or reroofing your house. The cons that come with gable roofs will give you things to consider as you move forward.

Gable Roof Advantages

Gable roofs work well for people on a budget. The simplicity of gable roof designs means they don’t require the same amount of materials as other roof designs, and their styles vary while staying affordable. You also have more space, especially with cross gable roofs, to use for an attic, storage or a room, thanks to only two sloped sides instead of four.

While gable roofs need additional support against wind, they provide excellent drainage for rain and snow and are more weather resistant than flat roofs. They also allow for better ventilation in your house. The wind that moves through vents in your gable roof will help your house be more energy-efficient in winter and summer. In addition, gable windows bring in natural sunlight to your interior spaces.

Gable Roof Disadvantages

If you plan to use a gable design, it’s important to understand the higher risk of wind damage gable roofs experience. Simply due to its design, a gable roof will suffer more under the stress of strong winds. At Diversified Roofing, we ensure that our gable roofs have proper support and quality materials that help your roof withstand weather conditions. The right planning and bracing will compensate for the disadvantage of the gable roof’s design.

Roof Maintenance

In order to optimize the lifespan of your gable roof, you need to perform consistent maintenance on it. Damaged, displaced or worn shingles can cause leaks to the interior of your house. To prevent a larger problem from developing, you can periodically check on the state of your roof and address any concerns.

Gutters also need cleaning, especially after storms and during particular seasons. With gable roofs, gutters are vital for proper drainage. You should clean any debris that builds up in your gutters and repair or replace any areas that show signs of damage.

If you want a guide to roof maintenance, you can reach out to roofing specialists. Whether you want to know how to handle the maintenance yourself or you need assistance, roofers have the skills and experience to spot and address problems before they get worse.

The Right Partner for the Right Project

Diversified Roofing has provided its customers with the highest quality service to homeowners, residential builders and commercial contractors for decades. We aim to nurture positive relationships with everyone we work with, so you can rest assured that we will work efficiently and communicate clearly. Our experienced, reliable team will do anything in their power to ease your mind and fulfill your vision. If you’re looking to reroof your house, reach out to us through our website today.

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