Why Using Gambrel Roof on Your Traditional House or Barn? Here’s Why

There are some types of roof that would create a traditional house style and a gambrel roof is one of them. A gambrel roof is a symmetrical two-sided roof that has two slopes on each side of the roof. The word Gambrel is actually referring to a rod or hook.

In the 18th century of England and North America, a house with gambrel roof is considered as a normal house. The top incline of this house is positioned at a superficial angle but the lower incline is steep.

In the US, this roof has some various shapes that attract people who love traditional style of a house. They are called as Dutch gambrel, Swedish gambrel, German gambrel, French gambrel, New England gambrel, and English gambrel. All of them have different shapes and style.

Origin and Use of The Term Gambrel

The word “Gambrel” is originated from England, it’s a Norman English word. There are some spellings available for this word such as Gambrling, Gambril, Gameral, Gamerel, Gamrel, etc. These words describe a wooden bar utilized by buthcers.

In early 1848, Gambrel was defined as a hipped roof of a home. It was referred from Thesaurus of Americanisms. Webster’s dictionary confusingly used the term hip as the interpretation of the gambrel roof.

Usually, this roof is used by a barn. Nowadays, you can find some houses that have gambrel roof which is not a barn before it’s a house. The gambrel roof layout for a home is perfect for you who loves traditional approach in home design.

What is Actually A Gambrel Roof?

gambrel roof diagram homestratosphere.com
gambrel roof diagram homestratosphere.com

It is a gable roof concept that has four sides rather, not just two. The top side of the roof is not as sloping as the lower side. This is the perfect example of Gambrel roof which is one of the types named Dutch Colonial Roof.

Gambrel Roof Application

You can apply the design of gambrel in plenty of means right into a rood layout like Dormer, Gable, or Valley gambrel. There are a bunch of inspiring ideas you can find in this page for gambrel roof application.

You can apply the roof based on your style of traditional design. It can also be based on the size of the house. There are some classic ideas, and also a combination of classic vintage and modern types of design.

House with A Complicated Roof Design That Includes A Gambrel Design and Also with Other Roof Styles Like Gable

Home with an intricate roof design that includes a gambrel design along with other roof styles such as gable
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

Take a look at this picture, it has a vintage traditional house that uses an intricate rood design. The gambrel roof is there on top of the garage. It adds to the mix in order to strengthen the traditional atmosphere of the house.

Classic Vacation Shingle-Style Home With Large Gambrel Roof

Classic vacation shingle-style home with large gambrel roofgambrel roof homestratosphere.comThis classic house has a large gambrel roof. From this view, this house looks like a fancy house that comes from the past. With a swimming pool in the backyard, people can enjoy the beautiful shape of the house right from the backyard.

Gambrel Shape Viewed From Front of The Home

Gambrel shape viewed from front of the home
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

Witnessing a beautiful shape of the gambrel roof right in front of the house could be something that could attract your heart. It looks perfect in shape, and well combined with the size of the house. There is quite a space on the head of the roof.

Interesting Gambrel Roof with One Side of The Roof Extending Much Further Down Than The Other Side

Interesting gambrel roof with one side of the roof extending much further down than the other side
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

The design of this house is quite unique. It’s got a really high wall which seems like it has three floors. That’s why from this view, it has three level of windows. The unique part of this building is that one side of the wall is high, while the other side is much lower.

A Picture of a House That Has a Gambrel Roof with Sloped Dormers. The Bottom of The Gambrel Has a Slight Bow with Flares Outward with

Picture of a home with a gambrel roof with sloped dormers. The bottom of the gambrel flares outward with a slight bow
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

A slight bow on the bottom of the gambrel roofs looks interestingly good. It formed one of the unique house with gambrel roof. It’s too bad that we don’t have its real image. But, this painting is surely based on the real house.

End of The Gambrel Roof Serves as Front of The Home. Dormers are Different Styles Including Sloped and Gable

End of the gambrel roof serves as front of the home. Dormers are different styles including sloped and gable
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

This traditional house looks so different than the ordinary ones. It has the gambrel roof end to be in front of the house. Even though, it’s not confusing for the guests because it’s the only front door available in this house.

Interesting Home with a Combo Gambrel and Gable Roof Over The Garage. The Gable Sits Atop The Gambrel

Interesting home with a combo gambrel and gable roof over the garage. The gable sits atop the gambrel
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

The design of this house is pretty impressive. At a glance, it looks like an ordinary house, but when you look it closely, you will see the detail and the concept that the designer eagerly applied. It’s actually a combination of the gable and the gambrel roof.

Magnificent Shingle-Style Home with Gambrel Roof Design

Magnificent shingle-style home with gambrel roof design
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

This is maybe the largest house that is featured in this article. It looks magnificent with that gambrel roof. This large shingle-style house looks amazing from this drone’s view. It’s located near the beach which makes it ideal to live in.

It doesn’t seem to be an ordinary house, it looks like a resort or a house that owns by a celebrity.

Photograph of a Quaint Red Gambrel Roof Style Cottage Home

Photograph of a quaint red gambrel roof style cottage home
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

This is a picture of a cottage home with its gambrel roof. What makes this home interesting is the quaint red color. Its shining color will catch everybody’s attention easily. Even though you have this building in the middle of nowhere, it still can be found easily.

Home with Front Facing Gambrel Roof Along with Matching Gambrel Shaped Dormer

Home with front facing gambrel roof along with matching gambrel shaped dormer
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

As you can see, this house has a matching roof with the dormer. It may look monotonous for some people. It actually plays a big part to get a comformable design of a house from the front side.

Gambrel Roof with No Overhang on Sides and No Overhang on Ends

Gambrel roof with no overhang on sides and no overhang on ends
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

Usually, a gambrel roof would have an overhang on sides and ends. This house is a bit different. The overhang is not there to maintain the shape. It doesn’t matter, as long as the roof looks good, the overhang is not needed.

Classic Gambrel Roof with Slight Overhang

Classic gambrel roof with slight overhang
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

Unlike the previous house, this one has got two overhangs on each side. The overhang can be very useful in order to handle the weather. It could offer a little bit shades in summer. In the picture, you can see the house colored in yellow.

The color yellow looks so shiny in the summer. Combining it with green plantation around it creates a great highlight to the house. It let people focus on the house design.

Three Story Brick Home With Gambrel Roof

Three story brick home with gambrel roof
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

I’m pretty sure that it’s not a house. This building looks like a mansion or a traditional motel or hotel. With a clean green grass and well-cut plantation around, the gambrel roof and bricked wall is a perfect combination to support that concept.

Main Home Has Gambrel Roof and Attached Garage Has a Gable Roof

Main home has gambrel roof and attached garage has gable roof
gambrel roof homestratosphere.com

Another combination of two type of roof in one house. There’s a gable roof on the garage, and gambrel roof on the main house, It may seem a weird combination at first, but as you can see, the result looks awesome.

Gambrel Roof Shed Vs Gable Roof Shed: What’s The Difference?

People often get confused about the difference between Gambrel and Gable roof, especially the beginners. They will get a little bit confusion between those terms. You should choose one of these roofs as the roof of your house.

Choosing one roof you like would really decide the whole look and concept of your house. The shed roof design will affect the door placement, window placement, budget, storage space, and head crackings. So, be smart to decide what’s best for your house.

Gambrel Shed Roof

gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb ylerbarns.com
gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb ylerbarns.com

This roof shed is also called as mini-barn. It’s got 2 main slopes per side. The sleep at the sidewall is steeper. It gives more headroom close to the wall. This rid shed is easy to build and it offers more storage space under it.

It’s used in houses and buildings that include dormer and double-hung windows allowing light come into space.

Gable Shed Roof

gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb ylerbarns.com
gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb ylerbarns.com

This is the most used shed roof in the whole world. It’s also called as A-frame roof or a cottage style roof. People use this ordinary roof because it looks more like a house, not a barn. It’s also flexible to any kind of house style.

People find this shed roof to be more attractive than gambrel because it can be used for any type and style of a house.

Shed Wall Height


hight gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb ylerbarns.com
The classic red barn with gambrel roof offers the most floor space per dollar @ylerbarns.com

One of the most important parts is the Roofline but, you need to pay attention to the sidewall height too. It will make a significant differences bot in the budget, and storage space. The height of both sheds is varied from four feet high to normally over 7 feet high.

The low-wall barn is the less expensive option for a gambrel shed roof. It uses a shorter wall that offers better value per square foot of the space on the floor. Low barns can accommodate doors and windows at the end of the whole construction. Also, having shorter walls mean fewer shelves.

low gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb ylerbarns.com
Our high-wall barn keeps the rustic gambrel roof, but gives more overhead and wall storage options. @ylerbarns.com

The high-wall barn worths more than a cottage of the same size. The good thing is you can get more overhead storage space. Also, the windows and doors will be on the sides too. You can be more creative in designing the doors and windows.

Cottage. This building comes somewhere in between both of those. On the price, This house design is much more expensive than the low-barn. Comparing to the high-wall barn, this house is less expensive, of course.

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Low-Wall Barn

This 12×20 Low-Wall Barn still gives good head room because of the roof design.

– The classic version of this low-wall barn will spend the least materials

– It’s the least expensive storage space.

– It’s got a class, rustic appearance

– The chance of bumping your head is pretty high

– You need to hand the long-handled tools like shovels on the back wall

– The existence of shelving space on the side and back wall is limited.

– The light and air movement will be less effective and less efficient

– The position of doors and windows need to be on the ends.

Advantages and Disadvantages of High-Wall Barn


gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb ylerbarns.com 2
A 12×20 Hi-Wall Barn gives maximum head room, but still has great loft space. @ylerbarns.com

– This barn gives the most storage space on the overhead.

– Rakes and shovel can be stored on the side walls

– There’s a great headroom, you won’t need a hard hat

– You can put the doors and windows on any sides.

– It’s got the most loft space, there is still more room for shelves

– It has a rustic barn look

– The cost is more expensive than any other barn types

Benefits and Drawback of Saddleback Roof Sheds

gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb ylerbarns.com 3
12×20 cottages with a gable roof give plenty of room for a loft at one or both ends. Gable lofts have slightly less storage space than a high-wall barn. @ylerbarns.com

– It’s got a high side wall that will give more options to put doors and windows in any wall.

– The cottage matched many home styles. It will be easy to customize to make it be conceivable

– This type of barn will give an all kinds of additional roof options such as hip roofs, dormers, nook porch, the roof pitch, and many more.

– It has a little much less storage space than the other

Gambrel Roof Sheds Vs Gable Roof Sheds: Odds and Ends to Consider

gambrel roof shed vs gable roof shedb
16×24-2 dormers medium ylerbarns.com

Footprint. The designs we offered is at 6×8 up to 14×36. The only limitation for the small high-wall barn is at 10×10. Just image a 6×8 high-wall barn, that wouldn’t be possible.

Covering. Choose between shingles or metal as the covering material. You may need to learn about the pros and cons of those two materials.

Weather. This is one important thing to consider in choosing the best roof design. Both gable roof sheds and gambrel rood sheds will handle the rand and wind well. You have to install it properly to make it works well.


Choosing the right roof for your traditional-styled house might be pretty challenging. The are two things you need to consider, the purpose and the size. You have to decide which roof you apply based on the those two. Whether it’s gambrel roof or any other types of roof, all of them are great.


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