Lyons Roofing

Form and Function of Roof Types: Gambrel Roofs

Form and Function of Roof Types: Gambrel Roof

The Gambrel roof is one that most people might recognize as being a stereotypical roof found on a barn, log cabin, or farm house. It is also commonly seen on Dutch Colonial style homes and, indeed, was referred to as a “Dutch roof” throughout the 18th century.

What Is a Gambrel Roof?

This style of roof is a close cousin to the Mansard roof, and both have two different slopes, but while the Mansard style is a four-sided roof, the Gambrel roof has only two sides. The lower slope is known for being a steep, almost vertical slope, while the upper slope is usually much less severe.

Gambrel Roof

Benefits of a Gambrel Roof

The benefits of Gambrel roofs are similar to that of the Mansard as well: the increased space allowed by the low-slope roof means more space for an attic, garret, or loft. This style is a good idea for outdoor storage buildings, as they can offer greater storage opportunities without taking up excessive space. Perhaps more relevant to barns and farmhouse-style structures, it is also a much simpler design to construct and requires fewer materials. This helps keep the overall cost of the roof to a minimum.

Challenges Posed by This Style

We do not recommend Gambrel roofs for those who live in regions that see heavy wind or snowfall. The simplicity of the design does not lend itself to withstanding the extreme pressures that such severe weather can provide. It is also important to be sure that the initial construction is handled with care, and that it sees routine maintenance to ensure that waterproofing at the ridges is intact.

Materials Used

Traditional roofing materials such as asphalt, wood, or slate shingles are all popular choices for Gambrel roofs. Metal, however, may be a reasonable option – though it is more costly upfront, the maintenance required is greatly reduced.

Ready to find out what style of roof may be best for your needs and design tastes? Call Lyons Roofing today at (520) 447-2522 to get started.