What is Gambrel Roof

What is Gambrel Roof?

By definition, gambrel roof is two different sides of slope with two different steep. It is divided into two steep.

The lower one is rather way steeper than the upper one. Some people mistaken mansard roof with gambrel rood since the two of the roofs consist of two different slopes angle.

What makes the two different is the amount of sides. Mansard roof consist of four sides meanwhile gambrel roof two sides.

In US, and probably most of cowboy era movies, design gambrel roof for barn or sheds. It is because this roof type gives additional space in ceiling or in conclusion there is no ceiling cover like hip roof.

This additional space can be seen as advantage and disadvantage because it might have higher chances to wind damage or any other extreme climate.

what is gambrel roof

Even though it gives additional space, you will need to install window as source of light. This type of roof didn’t allow sun light to come through. This is why in every gambrel there is a window installed.

It is not only as main sun light source but also as versatility. Even though there are things to complete this roof, gambrel is easier to install rather than mansard roof.

Table of Contents

Pros and Cons of Gambrel Roof

Considering advantage and disadvantage of roof design is important matter since roof is the first defense towards outside damage or danger.

Since roof will have to confront wind, snow, rainfall and heat then considering the type of roof that will suitable for your home is necessary. Here are advantage and disadvantage of gambrel.


First of all, gambrel roof is advantageous in cost management. Not only because it will not require many materials to install, this roof type is not in need of huge or extra maintain like most of roofs.

Another plus point is it has good drainage so when rain falls they will not get stuck on your roof that will impact a tragic issue.

Besides, unlike hip roof gambrel allow you to maximize the space so it won’t get too short or too high and you still have additional space.


One of disadvantage is it is not snow resistant. It is true that it is steep slope however for snow, it might be not strong enough to hold long.

It is because there is no additional joint between slopes. It allows you to have additional space but it will impact the roof not snow resistant.

Due to the same problem, this roof design has higher chances to wind damage as well.

Gambrel Roof Framing

gambrel roof framing

To construct your roof first of all you need to find the best material. Metal is the best and cost saving option you can choose but it is noisy when rainfall.

Another material option you can choose is wood. But wood require higher maintenance and it will cost more budget.

After choosing your roof material, consider which direction you want to design your roof.

For best calculation you have to talk about this with professional. It is not only for esthetic purpose but also your own safety.

Type of Gambrel Roofs

The only option is not the classic style that usually seen in movies. There is also wall-supported style where it is rather longer than the wall so it gives more space to the roof.

The classic type is in line with the wall meanwhile the wall-supported one is longer than the wall so they are not in line. They almost look like two separate geometries.

Read also: Mansard Roof Detail

Gambrel Roof Ideas with Pictures

Gambrel roof has only one style but if you change the direction of the slopes then you can create a new look.

Now that you know all the basic information for gambrel roofing, here we collected 5+ best inspiring idea of gambrel type you can design according to your own style.

Gambrel Roof for Garage

Barn gambrel roof shed

For garage, you can create a classic gambrel. It might look like classical barn or shed but it will be a perfect place for your garage.

It will not require much maintenance and it is not too short and still spacious enough. Gambrel is ideal option for shed, barn and garage.

Gambrel Roof for Barn

Antique gambrel built

For barn, you can create a longer room space. But the gambrel is just the same. It will create enough additional roof space if you need to put more stuff.

For sheds and barns, this roof type is a great option since it emphasizes room.

Gambrel Roof with Porch

Bed house plan with gambrel roof

What if you want to make a porch for your house and still want to install gambrel roof? It is a great combination.

As for your porch roof, you can extend another type of roof since gambrel for porch is probably too much in your front house because you installed them for your house roof.

Gambrel Roof with Additional Space

Gambrel roof ideas

Everybody wants a home design that looks unique and according to their styles. If you want to combine the gambrel with additional room space in the front, then you can create another roof type that will suit the extended room.

Installing this roof type for your modern home decoration is also a good combination.

Gambrel Roof for Sheds

Gambrel sheds

The direction of the slope sides can create two different look. Like this gambrel for shed, it looks somehow different from the usual gambrel look design.

You can consider to what direction you roof but with consideration of wind damage and many others. You need to consult this with local professional.

Gambrel Roof Material

House with gambrel roof

This is a look for gambrel look made out of metal. Previously, we explained that metal material is the best material because it has lower cost, little maintenance and stronger than woods.

But if your living space is the rainy area then you might not going into this type of material because they are quite noisy. On the other hand wood is quitter but cost higher.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.