Gable roof design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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What is a gable roof?

Gable roof is one of the most common types of roofing systems seen in Canada. It is designed with slopes on either side of the roof. The two planes meet at a right angle to each other in the middle which is reinforced by a rafter. For this reason it is also known as pitched roof. Gable roof is preferred for its beauty and practical design. Contemporary architects find it as interesting as their classical counterparts. Gable roofs have become a style statement for contemporary residential buildings like Rabbit Snare Gorge in Cape Breton and Fahouse in Quebec.

It is very useful for homes in the hilly regions of Canada which experience very cold winter months. The design of the roof does not allow building up of the snow on the rooftop. A gable roof is also useful for houses in those parts of the country that experience greater than normal rainfall. Cities on the Atlantic and Pacific coastline like Halifax, Saint John, Moncton, Vancouver, Quebec and Abbotsford fall into this category.

What are the different types of gable roof designs?

Gable roof comes in a range of different designs. Following are some of the most common ones:

Box gable roof – Box gable roofs have a triangular attachment on either side of the building. It gives the entire structure a solid and boxy appearance.

Front gable – Houses with front gable or open gable roofing have the main door built directly underneath the gable. This style is very popular across the country and is considered to be a legacy of the colonial era buildings of Canada.

Cross gable roofing – When two or more than two gable roof lines meet each other at a given point and create a complex roofing system it is known as cross gable roofing. It is particularly suited for villas with a large expanse. Green Gables House in Prince Edward Island, renowned for its association with Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, boasts of a cross gable roofing system.

Gable roof with shed roof addition – When an extension, designed as shed roof, is added to the gable roofing system, it becomes a gable roof with a shed roof addition. This kind of hybrid structure creates more space in the interior of the house.

Dutch gable roof – Dutch gable roof combines the design principles of the hipped roof with a gable roof. A gable roof, also known as gablet in British Columbia, is built on top of the existing hipped roof. It increases the interior space and improves the look of the façade.

What materials are needed to build a gable roof?

The following materials will help you build a gable roof:

* Aluminium or lumber to build the roof trusses or the framework. 

* Tar paper which acts as a barrier to snow and ice. 

* Asphalt or wood shingles can be used to cover the truss. Asphalt shingles are more cost effective, but less durable than wood. Opt for the algae resistant shingles for greater durability of the roofing system. 

* Roof tiles made of terracotta are very popular for pitched roofs. For metal roofing, consider using corrugated metal sheets.

The actual cost depends on the complexity of the design, materials in use and the cost of installation. To install a gable roofing system in your house, you will have to spend between $ 550 CAD and $ 750 CAD per square meter.

How to install gable roof? 

You may choose one of the reputed roofing companies in your area and hand over the project to them. You may also speak with the professional roofers on homify and choose one of them for the task. The DIY option is another way of completing the task all by yourself. Unless, you boast of some experience in installing gable roof don’t try to do it yourself and compromise the durability of the structure and safety of your family members.

* Choose the right pitch for your roofing system. A low pitch roof is generally designed with a ratio of 2:12. Which means the roof rises 2 cm over the span of 12 cm. The steepest roofs are built with 12:12 ratio. 

* Mount the trusses 30 or 60 cms apart. You may use pre-made roof trusses to build the frame.   

* Fix the trusses with the help of braces and nails. 

* Don’t forget to install the drip edges which will flush water to the gutter.   

* Attach the sheathing to the roof. 

* Use roofing felt, tar paper or asphalt to water and show proof the structure. 

* Install the roof tiles or corrugated metal sheets above this layer.

What are the pros and cons of gable roof and hipped roof?

Gable roofs do not encourage snow or water deposits on the roof. Its sloped design quickly sheds them off. It is easy to install and cheaper than many complicated roofing systems like concrete flat roof. Gable roof allows maximum space in your attic. It boasts of a versatility of design.

A gable roof may create problem in the windy places of the country like Hamilton, Regina, Calgary and Windsor. You will need greater amount of support by installing braces and wood or aluminium frames to avoid damages from the stormy weather.   

For the windy areas of the country, a hipped roof would be an ideal choice. It is more durable and encourages snow or water to slide off the slopes. Hipped roofs have a more complex design, so it needs more time and investment to install a hipped roof.