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What Are Roof Gables?

What Are Roof Gables?

Believe it or not, porches can feature roof gables too, along with dormers.

Has your roof recently suffered catastrophic wind damage? If high wind advisories are a concern, then you should have your roof repaired or even replaced as soon as possible. However, during the process, your roofing contractor might mention to you the possibility of adding roof gables that weren’t there before. Let’s learn more about them.

What Distinguishes Them?

The term gable is used to identify the triangle-shaped wall found on a sloped roof. However, it’s important to note that the roof itself is not the gable. Along with a sloped roof, you need to have a gabled roof on your home. It’s also easy to confuse the triangular part of a gambrel roof as a roof gable.

Where Did the Name Come From?

Without the Greeks and Germans, we wouldn’t have the word for roof gables. It’s believed that the word gable itself first came from the Greeks, who had a word (kephale) that means head. But the Germans have another word that not only sounds similar, but it’s also almost spelled identically as well: gabel. The German gabel means fork. So now that we have some more background and context to help us understand what roof gables are and what purpose they serve let’s discuss some of the most common types that you will find.

What Are Some Common Types?

Location: Roof gables aren’t exclusive to homes. Any building can be designed to have such a roof. You might see a gable on the front of the roof, or on the side. Sometimes, a roof will be cross-gabled as well. A cross-gabled roof means that instead of one or the other, the gable rests on both the front and the side. These two gables are connected by what is known as a valley roof.

Porches: Believe it or not, porches can feature roof gables too, along with dormers. Although the term dormer might be unfamiliar to you, just think of it this way: gable dormers are windows for the gables themselves.

Pediment: While most gables help support the roof, pediment roof gables are mainly decorative.It’s also possible, and sometimes desirable, to make your roof gables more elaborate as part of enhancing your home’s aesthetic. In this case, the results are parapets or corbiesteps.

Contact Topper Construction Today!

If you’re interested in having a roof system, siding, or water drainage system installed in your new home, or would like a free estimate, contact Topper Construction. With Topper Construction, you’ll see the benefit of nearly three decades of experience. Contact Topper Construction at 301-874-0220 or email us at if you are interested in learning more. We can help you with projects in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Northern Virginia.


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