Gable Roof Shape
A gable roof shape fits into your most basic idea of a home – in fact, it’s the type of roof that most children would draw, when they start drawing houses. For most people, the ideal picture of home has a small yard with a dog, a little white fence, and a gable roof shape to crown it all.
The first thing you should know about it is that it’s not the roof that forms the shape, but the walls under it. It’s sort of intuitive when you realize it, but not immediately obvious when you’re looking at a house. The consequences of the chosen roof shape are felt in the entire construction style and features of any building, so think carefully before you add a wing to your home, or before you purchase a new house.
Pros of Using a Gable Roof Shape
As noted above, a lot depends on the structure of the house, and a gable roof shape typically adds more strength and solidity to the structure. In addition, it adds more room, ventilation, and light to the attic (or even creates an attic, which in flat-roofed structures may not exist at all), or to a quaint little room with vaulted ceilings that can be later used as nursery, workshop, or storage.
The main reason why gable roof shapes exist in the first place is that they’re practical in almost all weather conditions. They are excellent against rain and snow, preventing accumulations of water and allowing quick drainage. Because of this, the long-term maintenance costs are quite low. It may be counter-intuitive, as a flat roof appears easier to repair than a gable one, with all its corners and inaccessible areas, but, in fact, it’s the other way around, and over the years the difference really starts to pile up.
As for the materials involved, they can be pretty much anything, with very few restrictions: most notably, if a gable roof shape has several peaks and valleys in-between them, it will require the use of shingles or roofing with metal shingles (to make sure it’s properly sealed). Other than that, the only limits are your imagination and the aesthetic restrictions imposed by the local authorities, as you can make your roof as colorful and exotic as you’d like.
Cons of Using a Gable Roof Shape
The initial cost is definitely higher than that of a flat roof, typically by about 10-15%.
Of course, a lot depends on the effect you want to achieve with the entire building, and on the neighborhood and surrounding properties: flat roofs are more suitable for modern housing units, with their overall impression of neatness and tidiness.
Last but not least, flat roofs are recommended for those who live in hurricane-prone areas, or even areas that are frequently subjected to high-intensity winds. In fact, it’s probably one of the most iconic images of hurricanes, that of a gable roof peeled off, leaving the house behind like a cracked egg. Make sure you discuss these issues with your contractor, to insure the best long-term options for your family.
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