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What’s the Difference Between a Gambrel Roof & a Gable Roof?


What’s the difference between a Gable pitch roof VS a Gambrel (barn) roof?


With so many decisions surrounding the purchase of a new backyard shed. One of the most important is deciding which roof style to choose.

The Gable vs  Gambrel is the most common and is a question of  aesthetics, storage volume and price.  Let first look at aesthetics.

The Gable roof or A Frame is by far the most universal looking roof line with it matching a large percentage of home designs. Most people want to match their house not only in roof pitch but color, siding and overall appearance. The Gable roof allows you to design a shed that will most closely fit current and past home designs. Its steep pitch withstands rain, snow and wind very well so it’s ideal for areas with high snow fall.

The Gambrel or “Barn” style roof has a unique look to it with its steeper pitch and slope. The most notable feature of the Barn roof is it offers a little more storage volume per square foot than an A Frame roof. The steep roof lines also allow for storage “lofts” to be built inside providing extra overhead storage space.  The design does lend itself to more rustic settings and is limited in the number of home designs it can duplicate. Still, it’s a popular design used by many even if it’s just because they like the barn look.

Bear in mind, the size of the shed does have a bearing on the overhead storage capacity. The benefit of the barn style is that even a small size shed can accommodate an overhead storage loft, where the A Frame realistically requires a 10’ wide design to have practical overhead storage.

Due to the increased material and labor necessary for the barn style, you can expect to see approximately a 10-15% cost difference between the A Frame and Barn style roof a small price to pay when storage space is needed.

Take everything into consideration when choosing the roof style for your backyard shed and you’ll be happy with your purchase for years.