Gable roofs or gabled roofs are the hallmarks of fairy tale cottages. Even if you don’t have one, you’re sure to have seen one before. These are the roofs that children often sketch when drawing houses. They’re peaked roofs that have two sloping sides of equal length that form a ridge. Typically found in areas where heavy snow loads, substantial rainfall, or ice formation are the norm, gabled roofs shed water and other forms of precipitation efficiently due to their considerable slopes. If you have a gable roof on your Brandon, Florida, home, or if you’re thinking about buying a home with one, the discussion here covers everything you need to know about this popular roofing style.
A Brief Overview of Gabled Roofs
Gable roofs were introduced by the ancient Greeks. Valued for being both practical and sturdy, these roofs continue to be a popular choice today and are included in many craftsman, ranch, and colonial-style homes. Most frequently seen in the northwest portion of the United States, gabled roofs form a triangle on the side of the house. The apex is where their two slopes meet. These roofs have a far steeper slope than other roofing styles, which allows for efficient drainage. They can be constructed using almost any type of material, including metal, concrete or clay tiles, cedar shakes, and asphalt shingles. Although comparatively inexpensive, with the right materials, gabled roofs can add a touch of luxury. For instance, homeowners who want to give their properties massive amounts of both aesthetic appeal and intrinsic value may choose to install all-copper gable roofs.
There Are Multiple Types of Gable Roofs
There’s more than just one gable roof style. This two-sided, single-peaked roof can be installed in multiple configurations to suit almost any type of home. Styles of gable roofs include the following:
- Side gable roofs
- Front gable roofs
- Dutch gable roofs
- Cross gable roofs
The basic pitched or peaked roof is known as a side gable roof. In this design, two roof panels meet at the building’s middle to form a ridge. If the triangular section that the roof’s pitched sides form is left open, this is known as an open gabled roof. If they’re closed, this is referred to as a boxed gabled roof.
Front gable roofs are common on colonial homes., These are typically placed just at the front entrance of houses. Cross gable roofs are common on larger homes with multiple wings. With these, two separate sections of gabled roofs are connected perpendicularly. The two sections of a cross gable roof can have equal heights and lengths, or they can differ significantly in these dimensions.
Dutch gable roofs combine elements of traditional gable roofs and a roofing style known as a hip roof. Hip roofs are considered a suitable alternative to gable roofs in high-wind and hurricane-prone regions. Hip roofs have four sides of equal length that are equally sloped. All four sides come together to form a pitch or peak. This design provides a far greater level of stability while still offering much of the same appeal that a gabled roof does. With Dutch roofs, a smaller gabled roof can be installed directly on top of a hip roof. This increases the stability of the overall roofing system while providing the same aesthetic appeal that a basic gable offers.
The Benefits of Gable Roofs
Gabled roofs are aesthetically pleasing. For consumers who want a cozy, cottage-like feel for their homes, gable roofs deliver. As one of the most noticeable features of a home, a gable roof sets the overall tone for building aesthetics, especially when these roofs have a significant amount of overhang.
Functionally, gable roofs make the best sense in regions with large amounts of precipitation. In areas where heavy snow loads increase the likelihood of collapsed roofs, gable roofs tend to be the norm. They’re also easy to design and install and often come at a reasonable cost. Moreover, gable roofs create a generous amount of attic space for homeowners who want to use their attics for storage, as alternative bedrooms or game rooms, or for other purposes.
As an added bonus, having a sufficient amount of attic space can also make it easier to control the temperature of a home. Gabled roofs can include specially designed ridge vents that help moderate indoor humidity and temperature without the use of any outside power or fuel source. Ridge vents limit the amount of work that HVAC systems have to do, extend the lifespan of home heating and cooling equipment, and help consumers maintain modest carbon footprints.
The Drawbacks of Gable Roofs
Given their charming aesthetics and easy-to-maintain designs, gable roofs are popular in many areas. However, they aren’t well-suited to all regions and climates. When these roofs are installed in areas with high winds or in hurricane-prone locations, they must be specially designed. These peaked roofs require adequate support for withstanding strong wind forces. If they lack these features, they have a relatively high risk of collapsing.
Another drawback of having a poorly designed gable roof in a high-wind area is the risk of having outer materials peel away. The sloped design of these roofs makes tiles, shingles, and other elements subject to greater wind forces. Finally, if gabled roofs have an excessive amount of overhang, strong winds and hurricanes can result in an uplift beneath them that may cause them to detach entirely.
Several Important Things to Consider Before Choosing a Gable Roof
Whether you’re intrigued by their looks, their cost, or their ability to create livable attic spaces, there are several things worth considering before having a gabled roof installed. For instance, basic pitched roofs or basic gable roofs will indeed create more attic space, but depending upon the layout of your home, this extra space could have a cavernous feel. Unless you intend to use this extra area solely for the purpose of storage, you’ll have to anticipate the challenges that come with having sloped walls and an incredibly low ceiling height in certain areas.
When it comes to the cost-saving benefits of gabled roofs and their ease of installation, it’s vital to remember that the related savings may not be as generous as you expect if you happen to live in a high-wind or hurricane-prone area. Special modifications that must be made to ensure lasting integrity during extreme weather events will likely increase the cost of this project. Moreover, if your choice is all about aesthetics, you may not be able to get the excessive overhang that you want. Gabled roofs with substantial overhang simply aren’t common in hurricane-prone regions, and with good reason.
Is a Gable Roof Right for Your Florida Home?
With the right architect and roofer, you can experience all of the benefits that a gable roof provides and virtually none of the drawbacks. With a smart, region-specific design, you won’t have to worry about loose or missing roofing materials, collapse, or separation. If you discuss your intentions for your attic space, you can also get a design that doesn’t leave you with a cave-like, unusable area with uncomfortable dimensions. Although gabled roofs aren’t as popular in high-wind areas as they are in the Northwest region, they’re still a top choice among consumers who appreciate both the aesthetic and functional benefits they supply.
At ProTek Roofing, Heating & Air, we’ve been providing quality roofing services to residents of the Greater Tampa area for quite some time. We also offer GAF products, storm damage repair services, and indoor air quality services. Besides this, we provide a complete line of heating and cooling services. If you want to know more about gabled roofing or need help choosing the right roofing style for your home, call us today.
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