Gambrel Roof Design Ideas

The Gambrel roof is a traditional kind of building roof, sometimes known as a barn roof because of its appearance and construction. If you want to install a gambrel roof in your home, then you will need to work out the best way of fitting it into your home, and ensuring that it lasts for a long period. The roof has many advantages, but there is also the problem of ventilating the roof properly, which can leave some kinds of gambrel roofs vulnerable to water damage and dry rot. When you are designing a gambrel roof, you need to take these facts into consideration before you can begin installing them.

Height of the Roof

The Gambrel roof often does not sit very high up from the lower parts of the brickwork, so you may find that without careful planning, you have very little room inside your attic or loft space. If you are not intending to use the attic, this can be a good thing, as it will prevent heating loss, but it can also be negative, in that you will not have much room to install insulation and ventilation products to protect the roof. You can design the gambrel roof to be a little higher than usual, but you will have to remember that the height can be affected by other buildings in the neighborhood.

Building Codes

As with any other part of a construction, you will have to make sure that your gambrel roof conforms to specific building codes in order to ensure that you can build the roof as you want to. Purchase or ask for a hard copy of the latest building codes for your area, and read them carefully. You could also ask the opinion of an expert, and see what they think about the way in which your roof will be placed. They may have specific rules which affect the Gambrel roof in particular, and you should take note of these.


By far one of the most important factors when designing the gambrel roof is to consider what ventilation you intend to use. The Gambrel roof is most often constructed from wood, and is also unable to rid itself of moisture and dirt in the way that other roofs can. This is due to its close proximity to the rest of the home, and also to the tight placing of the roof against the main bricks of the building. You should consider installing a ventilation system as part of the construction process in the roof.


Many states legislate about insulation in gambrel roofs, often obliging contractors to install proper foam insulation while they are building the home. Insulation is so important here because heat and moisture entering the roof find it difficult to leave, resulting in the build up of fungi which may include species which are toxic to human beings.