gambrel roof barn roofing

What is a Gambrel Roof?

The gambrel roof is commonly used for barns and churches, but it is also a popular style for homes and log cabins. You see a lot of gambrel-style roofs on the east coast. Gambrel roofs have two vertical sides and two sloped sides, with the lower part of the sloped sides being almost vertical.


Construction of a gambrel roof is simple and can be built using fewer materials than other types of roofs.

They also allow for extra living or storage space without taking up extra yard space, which is perfect for additional bedrooms or even an in-law suite–or in the case of a barn–lots and lots of room for hay.


Gambrel roofs are not typically a great choice for regions that experience heavy snowfall, like in the rockies, because the weight of the snow could cause the roof to collapse.

When building a gambrel roof, it is essential to make it waterproof and maintain it well. A yearly inspection for damage from wind, rain, and snow is recommended.

Roofing Materials to Use

One of the best marerials to use for a gambrel style roof is metal roofing. It is lightweight and requires less maintenance than wood, asphalt, or slate shingles. Metal roofing also absorbs a third less heat than asphalt shingles.

Installation of metal roofing is quicker than most. It can be sold in large sheets, which is ideal when covering a large area.

Another pro of metal roofing is that when weather warms up, snow slides right off (although if your gambrel roof is on a barn, the snow sliding off could spook the horses!).

If your home has a gambrel roof, you may want to go with asphalt shingles because they will lessen the noise of the rain. Something to note is that when using asphalt shingles it is important that the top roof slope is within building guidelines. There are extra materials that need to be used on lower sloped asphalt roofs.

Roofing Materials Not to Use

Avoid using wooden shingles on a gambrel roof. Wood shingles are more expensive to purchase and install than asphalt shingles because they need to cover a large area. They are also not very sturdy against the elements. Too much moisture and they can rot; too much heat and dry shingles become a fire hazard. If you really must have a wooden gambrel roof, you’re going to be doing more maintenance work and more frequent re-roofing.

Gambrel roofs are classic and beautiful. They have the added benefits of giving you lots of extra space and lower construction costs. If you live in an area that doesn’t experience too much extreme weather, a gambrel roof is a great choice.

Looking to get your roofing questions answered? Give us a call at (780) 466-1601 or contact us today using our online form!