Top 5 Gable Roof Design Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind

A gabled roof, also known as a pitched or peaked roof, is one of the most popular designs in the US, but less common here in Australia. The design features two sloping sides that come together at a ridge, creating end walls with a triangular extension at the top. This triangular extension is the “gable” itself.

While you can have a roof as a single gabled structure, it’s more common to feature gabled window boxes and L bends to create the distinct look of the homes.

Due to their affinity with American homes, they’re usually made with asphalt roof shingles. The neat, parallel lines of the shingles add an aesthetic touch to the gabled shape that really can’t be replicated with other materials.

Here are the top 5 gabled roof design ideas you should consider when building or renovating your home:

Front Gabled Roofs

You can see a perfect example of a front gabled roof on this cottage makeover by Bennet Frank McCarthy.

Front gabled roofs are one of the most common styles, and give an instant colonial charm to the design of the home. The front gable is placed at the entrance of the house, and can either be a real roof or a decorative structure over a porch.

Because they can be applied cosmetically, front gabled roofs allow you to reshape and restyle a home fairly easily. The triangular gable structure allows a lot of room for customisation — maybe you want painted slats, as in the cottage design. You could put in a window, or even just a simple wooden wall. You can also design the wooden beams into patterns or shapes to draw the eye and add a touch of style to your home’s facade.

With a front gable roof, it’s easy to mix and match the style to suit your personal tastes and desires.

Dutch Gabled Roofs

Dutch gables are hybrids — part gabled roof, part hip roof. Hip roofs are roofs where the sides slope gently down towards the walls, and have four sloped sides rather than a gabled roofs two.

In a Dutch gable setup, the gabled roof is placed on top of the hip roof to offer both more vertical space, and create a distinct, appealing aesthetic.

This Design features an excellent example, where a hip roof covers a wrap-around porch with a gabled roof on top to create more space in the home.

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Dutch gabled roofs are a great match of American and Australian home styling particularly in rural areas. The hip roof covers a wide wrap-around veranda, while the gabled roof adds height for excellent climate control during the hotter months.

Gambrel Gable Roofs

Gambrel roofs divide their slopes into two sections. The first section, closest to the ridge, has a relatively gentle slope. The second section, closer to the eaves, drops down more steeply. This design makes maximum use of space under the roof.

The design is traditionally associated with Dutch buildings and barns, and they look very distinct and eye-catching on a home.

This home is an excellent example of a gambrel gable roof, showcasing how the the double-angled roof provides much more interior space than a traditional gamble. This design is also good for ensuring leaf litter and debris doesn’t pile up on the roof, keeping maintenance low and fire safety high.

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Crossed Gable Roofs

Cross-gabled roofs feature two gabled roof sections connected at right angles to each other. The heights of the ridges may or may not be the same; their lengths may or may not be the same.

The design is popular for accenting different sections of the house, such as dormer windows, porches, or garages. They’re also ideal for distinguishing different wings of a home. You can create L, T, and cross shapes using cross gabled roofs for truly flexible home design.

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This design features an asymmetrical cross-gable design. The house is made into a cross shape, but one section is used to extend a room and balcony past the edges of the roof. It showcases how intersecting gabled roofs can be used in interesting and dynamic ways to create visually appealing, and highly functional, homes.

Classic Gabled Roof

A classic, simple gabled roof is enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity with modern homes. As minimalism in home design makes a comeback, some architects and designers are taking the modest classic gable and turning it into a striking statement.

pasted image 0 3 features a great gallery of modern applications of the classic gable. From ultra-modern cottages to sleek, multi-storey designs, the basic pentagonal shape created by a classic gable provides an effortless but attractive minimalism to a home design.

Pros and Cons of Gabled Roofs

Hopefully the above designs have got your creativity flowing. You might be wondering, however — as nice as they look, what are the pros and cons of gabled roof designs?


  • Easily shed water and snow
  • Gambrel gable roofs easily shed leaf litter and other fire hazards in fire-prone areas
  • More space for vaulted ceilings
  • Better ventilation, perfect for Australia’s warmer climates
  • Easy to design and build


  • Not ideal for high-wind and hurricane-prone areas. The high design creates a lot of surface are for strong winds to push against, increasing the chance of damage.
  • Poorly installed gabled roofs can collapse if insufficient support beams are put in place.

Best Material for Gabled Roofs

A gabled roof can be made with any material, but nothing beats roof shingles. Most gable designs beyond the classic gable feature hips and valleys; these are best covered in shingles to provide adequate waterproofing. The distinct look of asphalt roof shingles also adds a layer of aesthetic appeal to the design, with the parallel lines of the shingles running smoothly across the straight lines of the roof.

When it comes to asphalt roof shingles in Australia, nothing beats GAF asphalt roof shingles.

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