What is a Gable?

A gable is a triangular portion of a wall between the edges of sloped roof pitches. Within the category of gabled roofs, the four most popular types are front gabled roof, Dutch gabled roof, cross gabled roof, and the regular gabled roof. Simple gabled roofs will primarily be discussed here: a simple style with two sides sloping up to form a ridge at the top. Cape Cod is a common place to observe this type of architecture, as well as on single storied cottage homes.

Choosing a gable — and with it the roofing style — to be a feature of your house or building can come with a couple of benefits. The first is a lower cost, both at the time of construction as well as in the future. Due to the gable roof’s relatively simple design and installation process, the initial cost of your roof will be lower than other choices. Gabled roofs also have a steeper slope than other roofing types, allowing for weather such as rain, snow, and hail, to slide off more easily. Leaks and water damage are less likely to cause damage with a gabled roof for this reason, saving you potential costs down the road. A gabled roof can also provide more space for an attic, additional bedrooms, or extra storage.

However, while there are benefits to having a gabled roof, it is inadvisable to instal one in an area commonly stricken with high winds or hurricanes. A common feature of a gabled roof is a slight overhang, giving winds the potential to bring the roofing up and away from the home’s walls. Regardless of location, take extra safety precautions and ensure that your roofing shingles meet wind-testing requirements. If not installed with the necessary amount of support, gabled roofs also carry a risk of caving in.

You can have a lot of choice in the design of your roof in the material types if you choose to move forward with the simple gabled design. These can be asphalt shingles, wood shingles, clay shingles, or slate shingles. Because the slope of the roof will allow for more visibility, some take the desired aesthetic into account more with this style than others. If you choose to move forward with one of the more complicated gable styles with valleys in the design, metal tiles have been recommended for their leak proof nature.

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