17 Top Gambrel Roof Advantages and Disadvantages| Gambrel Roof Vs. Mansard Roof Pros & Cons

17 Top Gambrel Roof Advantages and Disadvantages| Gambrel Roof Vs. Mansard Roof Pros & Cons

What is a Gambrel Roof? | Benefits of Gambrel Roof  | Gambrel Roof Advantages and Disadvantages  |Cost of Gambrel Roof  | Gambrel Roof  Pros & Cons

What is a Gambrel Roof?

A Gambrel roof is a roof that has two slopes on the roof and typically one slope is steeper than the other. The steeper side is called the lower slope and the other side is called the upper slope.

The slope of the lower slope is typically less steep than the upper slope, but the lower slope still has a significant slope. The upper slope is usually less than 45° whereas the lower slope can be anywhere from 40°-45°.

A gambrel roof is one of the most common roof geometry on a residential home. The roof is traditionally a pitched roof that is sloped downward on all four sides.

The roof slope of the gambrel roof is the same on all four sides, but the pitch may vary on different sections of the roof. The ends of the roof will have different pitches.

Gambrel Roof Advantages and Disadvantages

 Gambrel Roof History

A gambrel, also known as a gambrel roof, is a symmetrical two-sided roof with two slopes on each side. In eighteenth-century England and North America, the common architectural term was “Dutch roof.”

The upper slope has a slight angle, but the bottom slope is steep. This design gives the benefits of a slanted roof while increasing headroom on the upper level of the structure and shortening what would otherwise be a tall roof.

The term is derived from the Medieval Latin word gamba, which means “horse’s hock or leg.” The term gambrel is of American origin, as opposed to the earlier, European terminology of a curb (kerb, kirb) roof.

Historically, Europeans did not distinguish between a gambrel roof and a mansard roof, referring to both as a mansard.

In the United States, gambrel roofs of various shapes are frequently referred as as Dutch gambrel or Dutch Colonial gambrel with bell-cast eaves, Swedish, German, English, French, or New England gambrel.

A gambrel roof has a similar cross-section to a mansard roof, but it has vertical gable ends instead of being hipped at the four corners of the building. A gambrel roof typically overhangs the façade, whereas a mansard roof does not.

It is unknown where the gambrel roof type originated in North America.  The oldest known gambrel roof in America was completed in 1677 on the second Harvard Hall at Harvard University.

The Peter Tufts House, built around 1677–78, is possibly the earliest surviving house in the United States with a gambrel roof.

The Fairbanks House, North America’s oldest surviving framed house, features an ell with a gambrel roof, but this roof was added later.

 Gambrel Roof in Modern Day

A gambrel roof is a type of two-sided, sloping roof that has been popular for centuries. It was originally used on barns to allow for hay storage in the loft area.

Today, it is often seen as an attractive architectural feature and can be found on many types of buildings such as houses and churches.

Gambrel roofs are made up of four slopes with two steep sides and two shallow ones which intersect at right angles to form a ridge line or gable end. This design creates a distinctive shape that has become iconic in American architecture.

Gambrel roofs are built with a central valley, which is where the two roof slopes meet. Roof purlins or rafters that run from the bottom to the top ridge of the roof rest on a collar beam at each end of the valley.

The rafters and purlins are notched into the collar beam in order to give them support. The space beneath the gambrel roof, or in-between it and a wall, is called an attic.

Benefits of Gambrel Roofing System

The gambrel roof is a type of roofing system that has been around for centuries. It’s designed to be one of the most stable types of roofs, and it’s also a popular choice because it provides excellent protection from the elements.

The gambrel is best known as being used in barns on farms, but today people use them in any number of settings where they need an attractive, sturdy structure. Benefits to this type of roofing system.

  • A gambrel can easily accommodate two different pitches within one roof so that you can have more space on top.
  • They’re often made with materials such as clay tiles and slate which both look beautiful, and they’re durable which means you can count on them to keep your home protected for a long time.
  • They’re more stable because they have multiple slopes and, in some cases, purlins.
  • When you have a gambrel overhang, you can easily add gutters along the edges of the overhang to make sure that rainwater is properly directed away from the home. This helps to keep the home dry and prevents damage from occurring.
  • Since you have multiple slopes it’s easy to install flashing and flashing can help to reduce your chances of water leaks or other roofing-related problems.
  • A gambrel roof is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a roof that is going to protect your home from bad weather like heavy wind and snow, because the extra slope will help to deflect these types of elements.
  • You can easily add dormers and other windows to a gambrel roofing system in order to create more space inside the home.
  • A gambrel roof is not difficult to install.
  • The larger surface area that you get when you have a multi-slope roof means that you can install things like solar panels, which will help you save money and protect the environment.

Gambrel Roof Advantages and Disadvantages

Gambrel Roof Advantages

A gambrel roof is a type of double-sloped roof that has two slopes on each side. This design can be found in many buildings throughout North America, especially during colonial times.

There are many advantages to this type of roof, including the following:

1. It provides better protection from rain and snow:

A gambrel roof provides excellent protection from rain, snow, and wind because it allows water to drip off at different levels as it falls from the higher sections of the roof to the lower ones.

The pitch gives this style of roof an advantage in keeping out cold air in wintertime by preventing it from getting under the shingles during heavy winds.

2. A gambrel roof allows more space for storage and living quarters:

A gambrel roof is a type of two-sided, sloping roof that that was originally used on barns to allow for hay storage in the loft area.

A gambrel style therefore offers more attic space for storage than other conventional roofs do due to its slanted design which makes better use of vertical space.

In addition to this, when used in homes there can be more attic space and more room for living quarters.

As for living quarters, a gambrel style roof allows for the installation of dormers which provides additional support and more space inside of the home.

3. A gambrel roof has less weight than other styles of roof:

It is true that a gambrel style roof does not weigh as much as a hipped or hip style roof but it is still heavier than other types of sloped roofs. A gambrel roof is therefore not ideal for areas with high winds.

4. A gambrel roof provides easy access to the attic space:

A gambrel roof makes it easier to reach the attic space as compared to other types of roofs because of its design which has two different slopes which make it easy for a person to climb up on top.

5. It offers better ventilation than other types of roofs

The fact that a gambrel roof has two different slopes on each side of the house allows for better ventilation than in other types of roofs.

6. It provides more headroom space:

A gambrel roof offers a lot of headroom space because it is not as steep as other types of roofs. This is why it is used in many areas where tall people live and work, such as in barns and churches because they can easily stand up straight without hitting their heads against the ceiling.

7. It gives a structure a unique historical design:

A gambrel roof can give any structure a unique historical design which is why it is used in various styles of buildings such as barns, homes, churches, and other buildings.

8. It offers better space for the installation of solar panels:

A gambrel roof makes it easier to install solar panels since the bottom part of the roof has a large surface area compared to other types of roofs.

9. Gambrel roofs provide excellent drainage:

A gambrel roofing system provides excellent drainage since the water tends to fall off at different levels due to the orientation of the different slopes on each side of the structure.

10. It is easy to install/It is easy to build a gambrel roof.

A gambrel roof is a type of roofing system that does not require a lot of time and labor in order to be installed. This is because it doesn’t have a lot of parts, not does it usually have a complicated design.

11. You can add windows to a gambrel roof design:

A gambrel style roof makes it easier to add windows to the roof as compared to other types of roofs.

In addition to this, you can easily add dormers so that you get more light inside the home or you can place a skylight at the peak of the roof. This gives a unique look and will make your house stand out from others.

12.  A variety of materials can get used to create a gambrel roof:

The gambrel roof is a style of sloped roof that can be created using a variety of materials, such as tin, shingle, metal and other styles of material

You can use this design for your home or business and it will surely give you the look and feel you want.

13. It is an affordable type of material system:

A gambrel style roof is an affordable type of material system because it does not take a lot to install it and it uses the least number of materials in comparison to other types of roofs.

14. The lesser need of the construction materials

The lesser need of the construction materials for a gambrel roof makes it easier for you to save money when installing it because you won’t have to buy as many materials.

This is especially true when compared to other types of material systems such as metal and tile, which is why most people are opting for this system.

Gambrel Roof Disadvantages

1. Prone to wind damage:

A gambrel roof tends to be vulnerable to wind damage due to the fact that it is a two-sided roof. This means that the wind can travel left and right across the roof, which results in damage.

2. This roof design offers poor resistance to snow accumulation:

A gambrel roof offers poor resistance to snow accumulation because it has two different slopes on each side of the roof.

This means that snow tends to fall from the higher sections of the roof than the lower ones, so snow will naturally fall down onto all levels of the structure.

  1. Weathering patterns on gambrel roofs can cause uneven wear.

This style of roof tends to show noticeable weathering patterns on the outer surfaces of the roof, especially on the lower sections of the roof. This can cause uneven wear and can lead to leaks or creaks.

4. Not ideal for areas with high wind:

It is true that a gambrel roof is one of the most common styles in houses due to its easy installation and low maintenance.

But it has certain disadvantages such as its vulnerability to wind damage and moisture damage.

5. Difficulties in retrofitting:

A gambrel roof is difficult to retrofit, which is why it is not ideal for large building projects.

6.  Gambrel roofs demand frequent maintenance:

A gambrel roof requires more frequent maintenance than other types of roofs, which means that it will cost you more money in the long run.

7. Less Versatility in Style:

One of the main disadvantages of the gambrel roof is that it is less versatile in style. This is because it is only used in one style of building, like a church or barn, and can’t be used for many other styles such as commercial buildings and houses.

8. Little or No Attic Space:

A gambrel roof has little or no attic space which means that you will not be able to store a lot of items in your attic. This makes it difficult for you to use the area as storage space for any items that you may need.

9. Prone to water damage:

A gambrel roof tends to be more prone to water damage than other types of sloped roofs, which can create a lot of problems such as mold, mildew and other types of unhealthy materials growing inside the home or business.

Gambrel Roof FAQS

1.  What is Gambrel Roof?

A Gambrel Roof is a type of roof that has two slopes on each side, with the lower slope being twice as steep as the upper.

The slope of the gambrel roof is usually shallower than that of a gable or hip roof, and it’s often found on barns.

A gambrel roof may have an overhang or eaves at both ends and it can be found on many types of buildings including barns and houses.

The advantages for using this type of design are many, including:  More usable space inside the building because there is less need for walls; Easier access to haylofts;  Better ventilation; Increased daylighting opportunities with clerestory windows in upper-level loft spaces

2.  Where is the origin of Gambrel roof?

A Gambrel roof is a type of slanted roof with two slopes. This design allows for more headroom on one side and more storage space underneath the other.

The first known gambrel roofs were built in New England by Dutch colonists, but they are now often used on houses throughout North America.

Gambrel roofs can be seen in many traditional styles including Colonial, Cape Cod, and Tudor Revival homes.

3.  How does Gambrel Roof Look Like?

A gambrel roof is a type of roof that has two slopes on either side, with the lower slope being steeper than the upper.

This design usually provides more headroom in the attic space and also reduces weight by using lighter framing materials.

A gambrel roof can be found in many homes throughout America because it is easy to build and relatively inexpensive.

A gambrel roof has a simple geometry: two sloping sides (the most common angle for these slopes is 45 degrees), where one slope is longer than the other, providing extra headroom beneath a loft area at its peak or ridge line.

The difference between the height from eaves to ridge-line on each side determines how steep they are; this ratio will determine what shape your g

 4. What are the different Types of Gambrel Roof?

There are many different types of Gambrel roofs, but the most common type includes a roof that has two slopes on each side. The lower section will have a steeper slope than the upper section, which provides more headroom beneath the lean-to or attic space. These types of Gambrel Roof Designs include;

  1. Classic Gambrel
  2. Mansard
  3. Wall-Supported Gambrel

5. What is the advantage of a gambrel roof?

The main advantage of a gambrel roof is that it gives you more freedom in design while also being simple and easy to build. Most types of gambrel roofs cost less to build.

A gambrel roof can be built with materials found in most homes.

This means that it will not take a lot of time or money for you to install one.

Another advantage is it’s compatibility with other material systems such as tile, metal and wood shingles.

6. Is a gambrel roof more expensive?

According to The Nest, gambrel roofs cost between 10% and 20% more than gable roofs. As a result, gambrel roofs cost at least $11000-12000 more than gable roofs.

A gambrel roof is less expensive than some other types of roofs, such as hip roof. This type of roof generally costs between $1700 to $2000 for materials.

7. How long does it take to install a gambrel roof?

The installation time for a gambrel roof depends on the size of the structure and how many people are working on it. Unfortunately, gambrel roofs may not be ideal for large building projects due to their complexity and design restrictions.

8. How is a gambrel roof supported

A gambrel roof is supported by the rafters. Gambrel roofs are supported by 2×2 framing members within the walls. Two false trusses (if necessary) support the gable ends.

The supports for a gambrel style roof should be located at points where they will be most effective in supporting weight and keeping it from spreading sideways.

It’s important to make sure that your structure has a long ridge line in order to keep the weight of the roof off the supports on either end of each gable.

9. What are the pros and cons of a gambrel roof?

A gambrel roof has most of the pros and cons that are common with other types of roofs. The main pros include; it offers more storage space and a wider range of design options to a homeowner than other types.

It is also pretty easy to build, so some people prefer this type of roof over some of the other roofs that may be more complicated.

One main disadvantage of a gambrel roof is that it can be vulnerable to wind damage and moisture damage, which can make it difficult to live in the home or business.

10. What is the difference between a gambrel roof and a mansard roof?

A gambrel, or barn roof, is similar to a mansard in that it features two distinct slopes. The gambrel has two sides, whereas the mansard has four. Similar to the mansard, the gambrel roof’s lower side has a nearly vertical, steep slope, while the upper side has a considerably gentler slope.

A gambrel-style roof only includes 2 slopes on each side, and both roofs have dormers.

While both roofs may look similar, the designs are entirely different. Both mansard and gambrel roofs are classified as “curb roofs” (a pitched roof that slopes away from the ridge in two successive planes).

The mansard is a curb hip roof with slopes on all four sides, and on the other hand, the gambrel is a curb gable roof with slopes on only two sides.

11. Why do barns have gambrel roofs?

Barns were once covered with gambrel roofs to maximize the amount of space that could be stored underneath.

Now, modern barns typically have a traditional roof, but they sometimes still have gambrel roofs for aesthetic purposes.

12. Where are gambrel roofs most common?

Since their time of invention, the gambrel roof has been used in houses and other buildings throughout the United States and Canada. It is particularly popular in areas where there is more exposure to wind or high winds.

Although it is found on many farmhouses, barns and small houses throughout the United States are a popular place to put a gambrel roof, as there is usually plenty of headroom.

13. What are the angles of a gambrel roof?

The angles of a gambrel roof are the same for both sides. However, the slope is steeper on one side than it is on the other.

The majority of gambrel roofs have lower trusses at a 60-degree inclination and upper trusses at a 30-degree angle. Purchase your trusses and then arrange four on a level surface. Mark the angles of your two bottom trusses and two top trusses with a pencil or chalk.

14. What are dormers?

A dormer is an architectural structure that projects from a sloping roof surface onto an area that does not have sloped ceilings.

Dormers are typically used to add headroom in attic spaces, and they are most commonly seen in gambrel-roofed houses and buildings.

15. What does gambrel roof mean?

The term gambrel roof is a specific description of a roof that has two sides (one on each side) with different slopes (steeper and gentler on one side).

The term “Gambrel” comes from the Old English word “Gambril,” which means to bend or curve in two different directions.

16. What is the purpose of a gambrel roof?

The purpose of a gambrel roof is to provide more living space in the home for storage, while also maximizing the potential storage space. It does this by having the gable end walls extend further outwards compared to other types of roofs.

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