There are many types of roofs that top our homes, and the popularity of each varies from region to region. Here in the Northeast, we’re big fans of the modest gable roof. It’s practical and offers a classic design that’s easy to work with. Read this guide on what they are, how they work and some popular variations.





What Is a Gable Roof?

A gable roof has two sides that meet and form a ridge in the middle. The angle or slopes of the two planes can vary from house to house, with the ridge running parallel or perpendicular to the front of the house. They form a tell-tale triangle shape under the ridge on either end of the home. These triangle sections are commonly referred to as gable ends.



Gable roofs feature a wide range of materials. The joists and rafters are almost always made of dimensional lumber. The framing is sheathed with plywood, with underlayment material protecting it from leakage and the sun’s heat. The finished layer, commonly known as shingles, goes over the top of the underlayment.

Almost any roofing material will work for a gabled roof except rolled rubber. Asphalt shingles, slate shingles, metal roofing, stone-coated steel and solar tiles are all suitable. These materials overlap each other. Since gable roofs feature significant slopes, water runs down each shingle and onto the next, where it ultimately falls off the eave or into the gutter.

Rolled rubber roofing doesn’t work because it comes in wide, flexible sheets that act as sails in wind blowing across the surface. This will eventually tear off the rubber completely.


Pros and Cons of Gable Roofs

The gable roof is popular in some parts of the world and less appealing in others, because there are pros and cons to this design.



Gable roofs shed snow and rain well. This prevents leaks but also lessens the weight the roof must bear. In some areas of the country (like the snowy Northeast), shedding the weight of snow is the primary reason for its popularity.





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