Perfect for anyone who dreams of a Dutch Colonial or Cape Cod-style home, gambrel roofs are most popular in the northeastern United States. However, after getting a glimpse of the 20 beautiful homes with gambrel roofs below, you may decide this is exactly the style of roof you want on your next home, regardless of where you live.
Before we look at the gorgeous homes below, here’s an in-depth look at gambrel roofs, including what they are, different ways to implement them, and the benefits they offer.
What is a Gambrel Roof?
Gambrel roofs are easily identified by their two slopes. (Gambrel is derived from the back part of a horse’s leg or a horse’s ankle.) While one slope is quite steep, the other is a bit shallower. Typically, the standard gambrel roof’s peak is built at a 30-degree angle, while the other slope sits at 60 degrees. However, this can be customized to the owner’s preference. A classic barn roof is often a gambrel style.
Gambrel roofs are often seen on Dutch Colonial houses, as well as farm houses and log cabins, and it is believed that early Dutch traders were the first to introduce this style to the United States.
Implementing a Gambrel Roof
When it comes to implementing a gambrel roof, you have several variations to choose from. In addition to considering a traditional gambrel roof, you can want to think about the following variations.
Gambrel combination: For a unique look that sets your home apart from others, you can combine a gambrel roof with another style of roof. There is really no end to how these two can be combined to create a one-of-a-kind look. For an even more intricate look, opt to include two more styles of roofing to your plans. Popular options include gable and hipped roofs. When combined, these three styles create a look that is an elegant blend of new and old roof design.
Dormer gambrel: There are several ways to add a dormer to your gambrel roof. You can choose to add one large dormer or multiple smaller dormers. At the same time, you may want to go with sloped dormers that allow the lower sides to slightly flare out, creating a slight curve that will give your home an elegant look.
Gambrel roof with a large overhang: Adding a large overhang to a gambrel roof does more than just add aesthetic value. It also helps protect the home’s siding from the elements and provides a covering or shade for your front porch. If you’ve always dreamed of a huge front porch complete with rocking chairs and a swing, this type of roof is almost certain give you exactly what you are looking for.
A combination of the three: There’s no rule that you can’t mix and match the three looks above to give your own a character and style that is all its own.
Benefits of Gambrel Roofs
There are several advantages associated with gambrel roofs. They include:
- Easy to build: A gambrel roof is simple to frame out, meaning that the builder can quickly construct individual trusses with identical measurements. A gusset plate (a triangular metal or wood plate) is screwed into place where the beams meet, reinforcing the joints. Once the trusses are complete, they are raised and secured to the top of the home. Then, the trusses are covered with the roofing material of choice, such as metal siding, slate, wood, or shingles.
- Cost effective: Due to only having two sides, the cost of building a gambrel roof tends to be pretty low, especially when compare to other types of roofs.
- Maximize space: Gambrel roofs allow for a greater living area, though this does take away from attic space. On the other hand, you can opt to use the upper level as an easily accessible attic. In some cases, dormer windows are added to the roof, which provides even more space. Many builders do recommend adding windows to allow natural light into the room.
- Great for drainage: The roof’s steep slope makes it easy for rain to roll right off of it, preventing mold and mildew from building up. However, it is important to make certain the roof is waterproofed at the ridges.
Now, it’s time to look at 20 beautiful homes with gambrel roofs.