Designing the roof for gambrel style homes

Part of the barn house plans is the pitched roof. Pole barn house plans also used the same ratio or pitch in the barn house roof calculation. If you have an open floor under the roof, you will need to have a 30/60 pitch on the roof trusses.

roof framing

If you have a supporting wall under the roof, you can get away with a different angle. The construction of these types of roofs has an important formula to use.

I have always preferred function over form and it has rewarded me well every single time. This style of house is just about as easy to build as a single floor house.

barn framing

Most gambrel houses have dormers to help improve the looks from the outside and to provide a view and sunlight on the inside. Dormers are really quite necessary for gambrel roofs, otherwise things get kind of dark on the inside and it might seem rather cramped and stuffy.

Dormers can be attached to either the side or the top of the roof. The angles can get a little tricky but with a carpenters square and maybe even an angle finder, the job goes quickly and makes a big difference in the overall appearance of the house.


Dormers can be framed in many different ways. I have seen some really creative dormers on some barn style homes. Here is an inside view of how I framed my dormers. The design is extremely simple, but as it often the case, simple is best.

dormer construction

You will need to close in the ends of the house. In the attic space, you will need to put a vent in so that there can be airflow to prevent moisture and mold, also to regulate temperatures directly under the roof.

The vent is placed above the insulation, but below the truss ridge. It will need to be framed in before the sheathing gets put up. Vent covers can be purchased where you get doors, windows, or siding and retailers will have rough opening measurements.

home dormer framing

Be sure to offset the sheets of sheathing to increase the overall strength of the house. The joints of the sheets should never line up, in other words.

sheathing a house

Sheath the entire roof and whatever parts of the house that didn’t get sheathed. Now we can move on to covering the home to make it look more attractive and to keep the weather out.

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