What Are the Advantages of a Gambrel Roof?

Written by bonnie conrad
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What Are the Advantages of a Gambrel Roof?
Choose the right roof for your home. (David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images)

A gambrel roof uses a symmetrical two-sided design like a traditional roof, but with two slopes on each side instead of just one. The top slope of the gambrel roof is set at a shallow angle, while the lower slope uses a steeper grade. This design combines the advantages of a sloped roof while maximising the amount of space available on the top floor of the home.

Good Use of Space

The design of a gambrel roof allows homeowners to make more efficient use of space. The gambrel roof provides plenty of space on the top level of the home for a full-access attic or even a guest bedroom. The steeper slope on the lower side of the gambrel roof means more headspace inside the house and less wasted space. That allows homeowners to alter their floor plans and change the design of their homes to meet the needs of their growing families.

Wind Resistence

While early gambrel roofs were not well-suited to areas prone to high winds, the newer and more-durable materials used in their construction has helped solve that problem. Gambrel roofs are now quite wind-resistant, making them a suitable choice for many more parts of the country. The newer-style tab shingles used on gambrel roofs are more durable than those used in the past. In addition to shingles, homeowners can build their gambrel roofs with durable materials like genuine and artificial slate.


Many people find the gambrel roof style visually appealing. This style of roof has a long history in American design, with roots in both the Georgian and Dutch Colonial building styles. Builders of new homes can give their houses a historical and classic look by including a gambrel roof in their designs.

Simple Framing

Home builders appreciate that gambrel roofs are among the easiest to frame. These roofs allow builders to use two rafter systems which are then attached with a horizontal nailer at the centre. Other gambrel roof designs also employ gusset joints to make framing even simpler.

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