15 Top Jerkinhead Roof Advantages and Disadvantages | Uses & Function of a Jerkinhead Roof

15 Top Jerkinhead Roof Advantages and Disadvantages | Uses & Function of a Jerkinhead Roof

What is Jerkinhead Roof? | Jerkinhead Roof Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Jerkinhead Roof?

The jerkinhead roof is similar to a gable/hipped roof, but it has two ends that have been chopped short (also known as a clipped gable).

The jerkinhead roof is a popular roof design because it provides high wind resistance as well as architectural components.

Jerkinhead roofs have been around since the Middle Ages, but got appeal in the late 1800s. Gilbert Stanley Underwood, a park lodge designer for the Utah Parks Company, popularized the jerkinhead gable roof form in 1920s.

Jerkinhead Roof Advantages and Disadvantages

Herbert Maier later championed the roofing style, which was used in state park constructions. There are numerous instances of the jerkinhead roof type that are still in use today.

They are popular in Western Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Jerkinhead roofs styles are now a common style found on cottages and other Craftsman-style houses in US, as well as many cathedrals. Many places of worship that dated from the 1930s to the mid-1960s, was built to resemble the Jerkinhead roof.

Jerkinhead Roof Advantages and Disadvantages

Jerkinhead Roof Advantages

1. Improved Wind Resistance.

Jerkinhead roofs have a gradual slope with few bends and curves and the feature of the design allows jerkinhead roofs to perform better in high-wind settings, making them excellent for areas prone to extreme weather conditions.

2. Traditional Design

Jerkinhead roofs are traditionally found in areas where wooden material is used, such as barns. This performance well in aesthetic and in functional values.

3.  Jerkinhead Roofs Have More Attic Space

Because Jerkinhead roofs are taller, there is more attic space, which is perfect for installing a solar panel.This provides more space for the home or building to have electricity.

4. Enhanced Stability

Rafters and trusses used in the construction of a lifting roof boost the overall strength and stability of the structure. The flat roof pitch also improves stability as compared to other roofing systems, especially those with somewhat wide profiles.

5.  Offers Excellent Architectural View

Jerkinhead roofs contain unique characteristics that can be used as a break in the roof line. This provides the opportunity to have the roof line appear with a more interesting architectural feature.

6.  Combines Hipped and Gable Designs to Produce Classic Look

The jerkinhead roof style combines the hipped and gable designs and is a fusion of both. The result is a classic design that is great for homes with traditional architectural styles.

7. Leak Proof

A well designed jerkinhead roof has no leaks and water penetration problems, making it an excellent option to consider when looking for quality homes in which you can live or to purchase as investments.

8.  Preserves Historical Characteristics

It is not uncommon for a historical building to utilize a jerkinhead roof because it is an easy and effective way to retain the traditional architectural characteristics of the older buildings.

Jerkinhead Roof Disadvantages

1. Jerkinhead Roof is Complicated Than a Gable Roof or Hip Roof

A jerkinhead roof is more complicated than a gable roof or hip roof therefore demands more materials. To offer stability, jerkinhead roof designs must be structured with trusses and rafters. A jerkinhead roof is a time-consuming and difficult design that requires skilled roofers to create properly.

2. Jerkinhead Roof is Expensive to Build

Because it requires a lot of materials and time to build, this roof design is on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

Working with a roofing contractor that knows how to frame a jerkinhead roof and has experience with this design is essential. With this roof type, there is so much going on that any one mistake can lead to a future calamity.

3. Jerkinhead Roofs are Difficult to Maintain

The complicated design and the materials required make jerkinhead roofing systems more difficult to repair when compared to other forms of roofs.

Because of this, a homeowner must consider how much time and money he or she is willing to spend on repairs.

4. Build Difficulty

This roof system is complicated and will require experience and skill. The design is not something that someone can do on his or her own.

5.  Poor Ventilation

Jerkinhead roofs do not provide optimal ventilation because there is limited attic space and the sloping ridge does not allow for optimal airflow to reach the rafters.

With a jerkinhead roof, ventilation must be achieved through fresh air intake vents.

Jerkinhead roofs do not generally offer good insulation because they are typically made of wooden and metal materials.

This makes it important for homeowners to consider adding extra insulation or installing a solar panel if they plan on using jerkinhead roofs

6. Jerkinhead Roofs Can Be Difficult to Repair

Maintenance and repair are important considerations when choosing the right roofing system for your home or building.

Jerkinhead roofs tend to be more difficult to repair than other roofing systems, especially in extreme weather conditions.

7.  Jerkinhead Roofs are a Bit Confusing

This roof is not for all people because it is not easy to understand how to install and maintains. Since it has many components, it is tough to build and maintain properly.

Jerkinhead Roof FAQ

1.  What is the Jerkinhead roof?

Jerkinhead roof basically is a hipped roof with which is hipped only for a part of its height leaving a truncated gable

2.  What exactly is the function of a Jerkinhead roof?

Any seam in a roof, including ridges and valleys, exposes it to water, and the hipped roof has the most linear feet of seams of any form.

The jerkinhead roof solves these problems by covering the vulnerable ends of its gable-style roof with very small hips at each peak end.

3.  What are some pros and cons of Jerkinhead Roof?

Pros of Jerkinhead Roof

  • Stability – the clipped ends provide wind resistance
  • Attic and storage also included
  • Appealing design, not simple looking

Cons of Jerkinhead Roof

  • Again, complexity of construction raises cost


4. Why is it called a Jerkinhead?

Jerkinhead roof is a truncated gable at the end of a roof that is hipped or sloping for only a portion of its height. Also known as a half-hip.

Though the roots of this word are unknown, the OED suggests that it could be a variation of kirkin-head, in which we find kirk, an old Scots form of the word church.

Sloped gables may have initially emerged on the heads, or roofs, of churches, but there is no convincing proof of this.

Another theory is that the roof’s slope was thought to be “jerkily” interrupted.

Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who developed park lodges for the Utah Parks Company in the mid-1920s, is said to have commonly used the jerkinhead gable word.

5. How are Jerkinhead roofs categorized?

Jerkinhead roofs are categorized according to the slope of the hip. There are two types: steep and shallow. A steep jerkinhead roof has a slope of over or about 40°, while a shallow jerkinhead roof has a slope under 40°.

6. What is the difference between Jerkinhead roof with gable and hip roof?

Jerkinhead roof with gable

The jerkinhead roof with gable is a combination of the gable and the jerkinhead roof in which a triangular section of the main roof extends beyond the end wall.

Jerkinhead roof with hip

The jerkinhead roof with hip is also a combination of the gable and the jerkinhead in which two triangular sections of the main roof extend beyond both end walls. The two slopes are steep enough to be classified as hips.

Jerkinhead roofs combine parts of hipped and gable roof designs resulting in a   roof design similar to a gable roof in that it has two sloping sides that meet in the middle, but the main ridge is relatively flat and is more of a hipped roof style.

A jerkinhead roof, often known as a clipped gable, is another gable-hip hybrid.

Instead of a hip roof with smaller gables, this is a gable roof with mini hips. As a result, the final shape has distinct trapezoidal gables.

Architecturally, the jerkinhead roof evokes Old Colonial ideas, particularly when ornamented with traditional roofing materials such as roofing tiles. The jerkinhead is a terrific shout if you want to make a timeless statement on your street.

Note that jerkinhead design is more difficult and costly to construct than the ordinary hip or gable. However, the end result combines their main advantages – attic space, wind resistance, and a greater emphasis on the roofing material in the design.

Related Posts

error: Content is protected !!