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Gable Roofing: Know Your Roof Types

17th June 2016 by in category blog tagged as , , , , with 0 and 9

A beginner’s guide to gable roofing and its subtypes

In our time, Cumbria Roofing has fitted many a roof with hardwearing slate. If you’re out in the car or walking to the shop, among the things you take for granted are roofing types. You might at a loss with some of the least obvious types. For our first article in the series of Know Your Roof Types, we focus on gable roofing, one of the most common roofing types we see in Cumbria.

Great gables

A gable roof is the most common roofing type you see around the world. The span of each gable roofing installation is shaped like an equilateral triangle or an isosceles triangle. Each angle meets up in the middle at the apex of the roof. The section of wall inside or outside the roof is the gable itself.

There is also a number of subtypes and hybrids that are worthy of elaboration.

Gable and Shed Roof

A shed roof has a single pitch at an acute angle (around 20 to 30 degrees for example). Conjoined with gable roofing, the shed roof could go from the top of the gable roof down to ground floor level. For example, to the height of a garage door.

Cross gable

Cross gable roofing

A cross gable roof.

Cross gable roofing is a form of roofing where one gable roof merges into another one, typically at right angles. For example, they could form part of a bay window as seen in inter-war semi-detached houses.

Dutch gable

Dutch gable roofing

A thatched cottage using dutch gable roofing.

Dutch gable roofing is seen in many a cottage like this one seen above. With the top part of the gable seen at a lower pitch, you may have come across Dutch gable roofs at a drive-thru McDonalds or a branch of Pizza Hut at the edge of town.

Box gable

The Fancis Saltus House (c.1820s), 6 Water Street, Charleston, SC

Captain Francis W. Saltus house, seen with box gable roofing, and a sneaky little dormer roof.

You often see box gable roofing used on houses, railway station canopies, and hay sheds. Before cantilever stands rose in popularity, box gables were used for grandstands.


Comfort Starr House.

Comfort Starr House, using the saltbox style of gable roofing.

The saltbox roof has its origins in New England. Saltbox gable roofing came about when American households wanted to make extra space. As the saltbox style creates a low rise roof tapering to a single storey, this was designed to avoid paying extra tax for a second floor.

Cumbria Roofing, 17 June 2016.

Image Credits
  • Cross Gable roof by KDS444Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,;
  • Dutch Roof: CC BY-SA 3.0,;
  • Captain Francis W. Saltus house, Charleston SC: by Spencer Means, 2012. (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Share Alike);
  • Saltbox roof: Comfort Starr House, Guilford, Connecticut (Public Domain).
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