Gable roof

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Gable roof
A form of gable roof (Kasbissendach) on the tower of the church in Hopfen am See, Bavaria Hopfen Kirche.JPG
A form of gable roof (Käsbissendach) on the tower of the church in Hopfen am See, Bavaria

A gable roof [1] is a roof consisting of two sections whose upper horizontal edges meet to form its ridge. The most common roof shape in cold or temperate climates, it is constructed of rafters, roof trusses or purlins. The pitch of a gable roof can vary greatly.



The gable roof [2] is so common because of the simple design of the roof timbers and the rectangular shape of the roof sections. This avoids details which require a great deal of work or cost and which are prone to damage. If the pitch or the rafter lengths of the two roof sections are different, it is described as an 'asymmetrical gable roof'. A gable roof on a church tower (gable tower) is usually called a 'cheese wedge roof' (Käsbissendach) in Switzerland.

Its versatility means that the gable roof is used in many regions of the world. In regions with strong winds and heavy rain, gable roofs are built with a steep pitch in order to prevent the ingress of water. By comparison, in alpine regions, gable roofs have a shallower pitch which reduces wind exposure and supports snow better, reducing the risk of an uncontrolled avalanche and more easily retaining an insulating layer of snow.

Gable roofs are most common in cold climates. They are the traditional roof style of New England and the east coast of Canada. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables , the authors of which are from these respective regions, both reference this roof style in their titles. [3]

Pros and cons

Gable roofs have several advantages. [4] They are:


German terminology

In German-speaking countries the types of gable roof are referred to as:

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mansard roof</span> Four-sided gambrel-style hip roof

A mansard or mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof characterised by two slopes on each of its sides, with the lower slope, punctured by dormer windows, at a steeper angle than the upper. The steep roof with windows creates an additional floor of habitable space, and reduces the overall height of the roof for a given number of habitable storeys. The upper slope of the roof may not be visible from street level when viewed from close proximity to the building.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dormer</span> Structural element of a building

A dormer is a roofed structure, often containing a window, that projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. A dormer window is a form of roof window.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gable</span> Architectural feature

A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system used, which reflects climate, material availability, and aesthetic concerns. The term gable wall or gable end more commonly refers to the entire wall, including the gable and the wall below it. Some types of roof do not have a gable. One common type of roof with gables, the gable roof, is named after its prominent gables.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Steel square</span> Flat tool used in carpentry to mark right angles and calculate angles

The steel square is a tool used in carpentry. Carpenters use various tools to lay out structures that are square, many of which are made of steel, but the name steel square refers to a specific long-armed square that has additional uses for measurement, especially of various angles. It consists of a long, wider arm and a shorter, narrower arm, which meet at an angle of 90 degrees. Today the steel square is more commonly referred to as the framing square or carpenter's square, and such squares are no longer invariably made of steel ; they can also be made of aluminum or polymers, which are light and resistant to rust.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Flat roof</span> Type of roof

A flat roof is a roof which is almost level in contrast to the many types of sloped roofs. The slope of a roof is properly known as its pitch and flat roofs have up to approximately 10°. Flat roofs are an ancient form mostly used in arid climates and allow the roof space to be used as a living space or a living roof. Flat roofs, or "low-slope" roofs, are also commonly found on commercial buildings throughout the world. The National Roofing Contractors Association defines a low-slope roof as having a slope of 3 in 12 (1:4) or less.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rafter</span> Supporting structural member in roof construction

A rafter is one of a series of sloped structural members such as wooden beams that extend from the ridge or hip to the wall plate, downslope perimeter or eave, and that are designed to support the roof shingles, roof deck and its associated loads. A pair of rafters is called a couple. In home construction, rafters are normally made of wood. Exposed rafters are a feature of some traditional roof styles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tented roof</span> Type of polygonal hipped roof with steeply pitched slopes rising to a peak

A tented roof is a type of polygonal hipped roof with steeply pitched slopes rising to a peak. Tented roofs, a hallmark of medieval religious architecture, were widely used to cover churches with steep, conical roof structures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roof shingle</span> Overlapping plates for covering a roof

Roof shingles are a roof covering consisting of individual overlapping elements. These elements are typically flat, rectangular shapes laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof up, with each successive course overlapping the joints below. Shingles are held by the roof rafters and are made of various materials such as wood, slate, flagstone, metal, plastic, and composite materials such as fibre cement and asphalt shingles. Ceramic roof tiles, which still dominate in Europe and some parts of Asia, are still usually called tiles. Roof shingles may deteriorate faster and need to repel more water than wall shingles. They are a very common roofing material in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roof pitch</span> Measure of roof steepness

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Attic</span> Space or room below a pitched roof of house or other building.

An attic is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building; an attic may also be called a sky parlor or a garret. Because attics fill the space between the ceiling of the top floor of a building and the slanted roof, they are known for being awkwardly shaped spaces with exposed rafters and difficult-to-reach corners.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Portal frame</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Domestic roof construction</span>

Domestic roof construction is the framing and roof covering which is found on most detached houses in cold and temperate climates. Such roofs are built with mostly timber, take a number of different shapes, and are covered with a variety of materials.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dutch gable roof</span>

A Dutch gable roof or gablet roof is a roof with a small gable at the top of a hip roof. The term Dutch gable is also used to mean a gable with parapets. Some sources refer to this as a gable-on-hip roof.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hidden roof</span> Type of roof

The hidden roof is a type of roof widely used in Japan both at Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. It is composed of a true roof above and a second roof beneath, permitting an outer roof of steep pitch to have eaves of shallow pitch, jutting widely from the walls but without overhanging them. The second roof is visible only from under the eaves and is therefore called a "hidden roof" while the first roof is externally visible and is called an "exposed roof" in English and "cosmetic roof" in Japanese. Invented in Japan during the 10th century, its earliest extant example is Hōryū-ji's Daikō-dō, rebuilt after a fire in 990.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hip roof</span> Type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls

A hip roof, hip-roof or hipped roof, is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. Thus, a hipped roof has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bresse house</span> Timber-framed house, typical for the French region of Bresse

A Bresse house is a timber-framed house of post-and-beam construction, that is infilled with adobe bricks and is typical of the Bresse region of eastern France. A large hip roof protects the delicate masonry from rain and snow. The house is almost always oriented in a north–south direction, the roof on the north side often being lower. This configuration offers the optimum protection from the bise, a cold northerly wind typical of the region, which is deflected over the house by the low, sweeping roof on the northern gable end. The living rooms are on the south side, the main façade facing the morning sun. Usually each room has one or two outside doors, so that no space is sacrificed for passages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ice dam (roof)</span>

An ice dam is an ice build-up on the eaves of sloped roofs of heated buildings that results from melting snow under a snow pack reaching the eave and freezing there. Freezing at the eave impedes the drainage of meltwater, which adds to the ice dam and causes backup of the meltwater, which may cause water leakage into the roof and consequent damage to the building and its contents if the water leaks through the roof.


  1. Fritz Baumgart: DuMont’s kleines Sachlexikon der Architektur. Cologne, 1977.
  2. "Your Guide to Gable Roof – House Discreet" . Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  3. "Hip Roof vs. Gable Roof". IKO website. IKO Industries Ltd . Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  4. "Informationen rund ums Satteldach. Retrieved 20 June 2012". Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  5. "Satteldach: Die einfache Konstruktion hat sich bewährt. Retrieved 20 June 2012". Archived from the original on 30 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  6. Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant tornadoes, 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, Vermont: Environmental Films. p. 106. ISBN   1-879362-03-1.
  7. Willibald Mannes, Franz-Josef Lips-Ambs: Dachkonstruktionen in Holz, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1981, ISBN   3-421-03283-1.