The gambrel roof style buildings are usually found throughout the country on agricultural buildings such as barns, but they can also be found on Dutch and Colonial style homes. The gambrel roof was designed to be similar to a basic gable roof, but one that allows for extra storage space within the rafters of the building. The gambrel roof is basically a cross between a gable and a hip roof, combining both different styles to form one, giving the roof the best of both.
What Is the Gambrel Roof?
The gambrel roof is basically a style of roof that has more than two runs per side of the eaves. The top run closest to the top of the roof has a steep slope, while the underlying one has a slope that is slightly less. It was designed in Indonesia in the 1800s and has spread in popularity throughout the ages in every country across the world.
Uses of Gambrel Roofs
These types of roofs also allow a person to have more hanging space, such as for butchered livestock and game, or pulley systems used to lift heavy items such as motors or machinery. They have been commonly used on outbuildings on farms that were solely used for butchering and processing livestock, as well as storage sheds that were designed for hunters to process the wild game that they bag throughout the year. There are three basic styles of gambrel roofs. All three of them allow for extra space while showing a stylish design that is usable for various roofing needs.
The classic style gambrel roof is the most common roof found upon barns and sheds because it maximizes the amount of usable space. These are the style of gambrel roofs that we are so familiar with, and that we think of when considering this type of roof for any home or outbuilding. The attic space in these buildings is increased by using a two-pitch design, which is basically a roof that is steeply angled on top. This not allows extra space for storage, but makes it possible to build lofts into them that can be used for storing smaller items, such as grain for livestock or spare tools in a shop.
The Mansard style roof is more commonly known as a French roof, and contains a roof that has varying pitches. It is built with two slope pitches, but the difference is that one of the pitches has a steeper angle than the preceding side. These angles are used for all sides of the building, forming a large area that can be used for storing large items, or for building lofts that can be used for anything else.
The wall-supported style gambrel roof does not allow for as much extra storage space as the other styles because it was designed to add a stylish look as well. These roofs do not have ridge boards installed, rather, the lowest point of the pitch overhangs the eaves of the house, which is why the storage space of these gambrel roofs are slightly lessened. The wall supported styles are very commonly used on storage sheds because they have no need for soffits to be installed.