20 Examples of Homes with Gambrel Roofs (With Photo Examples)

Terrific photo gallery featuring 20 homes with Gambrel roofs. Diverse collection so you can see many gambrel roof options.

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I remember the first time I saw a home with a Gambrel roof. It was a gorgeous, large home down the road from a childhood friend’s home.

My first thought was that it was a barn turned into a home. As a kid I thought that was a pretty cool concept.

Later, of course, I learned that most homes with a gambrel roof were not converted barns, but instead the home was built with the gambrel roof design.

Related: DIY Roof Repair Options | Hip Roof Styles | Types of Roof Vents | Parts of a Roof Gutter

What is a gambrel roof?

A gambrel roof is a gable roof design with 4 sides instead of 2 sides. It has the appearance of a sloped roof, but the slope of the top sides are not as steeply sloping as the bottom sides. A gambrel roof is sometimes also known as a dutch colonial roof, and while the origins of the gambrel roof are unknown, it can be seen on barns and houses from the 1600s onwards in North America.

In short – if a building has a symmetrical, sloped roof with two slopes on either side – and the lower slope is the steeper of the two – then this is a gambrel roof.

Gambrel roofs fall under the category of multi-pitched roofs because they have multiple ‘peaks’ and consequently different angles. It can be confusing to research gambrel roofs because this style of roof goes by other names – and is often miscategorized as a gable, dual-pitched, or dutch roof.

It is similar to a mansard roof but is sloped in one direction (rather than both directions). The great thing about the gambrel style is the fact that it can be combined with other multi-pitched roofs to create an interesting facade. For example a gambrel style roof with a gable end, or a roof deck jutting outward to create a walkway.

The combinations are endless, but all come back to the standard gambrel roof style. If all of this information is a bit too difficult to conceptualize then take a look at the diagram below

Here’s a gambrel roof diagram:

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Gambrel Roof combinations

The gambrel style can be implemented in many ways into a pitched roof design such as:

  • Gable gambrel
  • Dormer gambrel
  • Valley gambrel (juts out)

Check out our pictures of homes with gambrel roofs below to get a sense of the many gambrel roof designs you can implement. We’ve taken a look at the most typical examples, but this is by no means the only style of roof you could go for.

As you will see from the pictures, you can incorporate a gambrel roof style in combination with just about any roof pitch

We’ve included buildings with an intricate roof design for inspiration, as well as a gambrel design along with other roof styles such as gable.

Home with an intricate roof design that includes a gambrel design along with other roof styles such as gable.

Home with an intricate roof design that includes a gambrel design along with other roof styles such as gable.

Source: Architectural Designs

Here's a home with 2 large gambrel dormers or valley roof sections.

Here’s a home with 2 large gambrel dormers or valley roof sections.

Source: Zillow DigsTM

Classic gambrel roof running full length of the home.

Classic gambrel roof running full length of the home.

Here's a gambrel roof with a large overhang in the front creating a covered porch.

Here’s a gambrel roof with a large overhang in the front creating a covered porch.

LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Gambrel roof with no overhang.

Gambrel roof with no overhang.

Source: Architectural Designs

Main home has gambrel roof and attached garage has gable roof.

Main home has gambrel roof and attached garage has gable roof.

Source: Architectural Designs

Three story brick home with gambrel roof.

Three story brick home with gambrel roof.

Large home with multiple gambrel sections including running the full length of the home as well as large gambrel shaped dormers.

Large home with multiple gambrel sections including running the full length of the home as well as large gambrel shaped dormers.

Source: Zillow DigsTM

Classic gambrel roof with slight overhang.

Classic gambrel roof with slight overhang.

LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Gambrel roof with no overhang on sides and no overhang on ends.

Gambrel roof with no overhang on sides and no overhang on ends.

Source: Architectural Designs

Home with front facing gambrel roof along with matching gambrel shaped dormer.

Home with front facing gambrel roof along with matching gambrel shaped dormer.

Source: Zillow DigsTM

Quaint red gambrel roof style cottage home.

Photograph of a quaint red gambrel roof style cottage home.

LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Magnificent shingle-style home with gambrel roof design.

Magnificent shingle-style home with gambrel roof design.

Source: Zillow

Interesting home with a combo gambrel and gable roof over the garage. The gable sits atop the gambrel.

Interesting home with a combo gambrel and gable roof over the garage. The gable sits atop the gambrel.

Source: Zillow

End of the gambrel roof serves as front of the home. Dormers are different styles including sloped and gable.

End of the gambrel roof serves as front of the home. Dormers are different styles including sloped and gable.

Source: Zillow

Gambrel roof with sloped dormers. The bottom of the gambrel flares outward with a slight bow.

Picture of a home with a gambrel roof with sloped dormers. The bottom of the gambrel flares outward with a slight bow.

Source: Architectural Designs

Interesting gambrel roof with one side of the roof extending much further down than the other side.

Interesting gambrel roof with one side of the roof extending much further down than the other side.

LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Gambrel shape viewed from front of the home.

Gambrel shape viewed from front of the home.

Source: Zillow

Classic vacation shingle-style home with large gambrel roof.

Classic vacation shingle-style home with large gambrel roof.

Related: Parts of a Roof Truss | Types of Roof Trusses

Gambrel roofs: FAQ

While you know by now that a gambrel roof is simply a roof type, it helps to have a bit of background knowledge to help you in terms of planning out home remodeling or even roof maintenance. For example, knowing your flat roof from your shed roof designs. It helps to have some terminology at hand, especially when working with an architect or designer, but more than anything it’d just cool to learn about a new topic!

Check out the most frequently asked and useful questions when it comes to gable roofs:

What is the difference between a gambrel roof and a mansard roof?

Explained basically, a mansard roof is that a mansard roof has four sides, while a gambrel roof only has two.

Is a gambrel roof a good choice for an attic?

In short, the answer is usually yes. Gambrel roofs are good for attics and additional floors because of the extra space they provide. They can provide an area for additional storage or attic space, or even a clever mezzanine, without taking up additional space.

What is a good material for a gambrel style roof?

This answer is complicated, but in general metal roofing does well in the gambrel style, because the upper slope section of the roof is at such an angle that heavy snowfall or rain can accumulate without running off as quickly s you might like.

Metal roofing provides a watertight material and allows for quick drainage. If you don’t like the sound of a metal roof, wood shakes are also a preferred material for gambrel roofs, as they play into the rustic theme of this style of roof.

What is the worst material for a gambrel roof?

In general, a shingle roof does not do well in the gambrel style. This is because gambrel roofs are susceptible to the buildup of debris and snow, and the angle of the roof means that high winds blow up the slope can take off lighter materials, such as asphalt shingles. Therefore it is better to avoid this roofing material.

What roof is similar to a gambrel roof

A mansard roof is similar to a gambrel roof as it is effectively a four-sided gambrel with a flat roof top. However, there are other similarly rustic style roofs that are comparable to the gambrel roof – such as the jerkinhead roof, which can often be seen on barn conversions.

Source: Zillow

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