The Beauty of a Gambrel Roof Design

One of my most favorite roof designs is the Gambrel roof.  It typically refers to a sloped roof with two angles, very common in barns.  The word derives from the Medieval Latin word Gamba which literally means ‘Horses Hock’ or ‘Horses Leg’.  One can see this double angle influence in the roof slope.

Gambrel roof design with a porch.

Gambrel roof design with a porch.

When you research this design, it was first introduced to the Europeans when they first encountered the deign in Indonesia.   the double sloped design often had a window at the end to allow the smoke from cooking fires to more easily escape the house.  The design was brought to America through the colonialists, and it has become a popular traditional design all over the U.S.

The type of roof allows for the upper floors to remain roomy, including the attic, as well as allow water to flow off the roof.  Many variations of the Gambrel roof have been designed over the year, including this one pictured here in Nashville, Michigan which has the addition of a additional smaller roof edge to repel rain water and snow.

To me the design is classic, and can conjure  up so many memories of WWII era movies and other periods.  The rood design is also commonly associated with barns, as it allows the added space in the loft for hay.  It is perhaps the  roomiest style of design in two story home designs.  There are many of these style homes throughout Battle Creek, Michigan.  It is part of Americana.

Gambrel roof designs help to maximize space in the upper attic or floors.

Gambrel roof designs help to maximize space in the upper attic or floors.

Comment (1)

  1. roofing quotes online

    My aunt owns a home like this. The design is really conventional. Me and my cousins would cuddle up in the attic during winters and how it would serves as a playhouse during summer. I enjoy every moment that I visit there.

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