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Gable Roof

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Where two roof surfaces slope down from the ridge of the structure to the eaves. This forms two triangular shaped ends called gables. Because of their simple design and low cost, gabled roofs are most often used for homes.

A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system used, which reflects climate, material availability, ventilation, and aesthetic concerns. A gable wall, or gable end wall, more commonly refers to the entire wall, including the gable end wall and the full floor wall below it; the gable ends of many buildings are actually load bearing-wall structures. Sharp gable roofs are a characteristic of the Gothic and classical Greek styles of architecture. In Colorado and snow country, a steep gable (or pitch) is desirable for both appearance and for the rapid shedding of snow load, but can be difficult to work on. Extra steep roofs will often have additional costs involved when reroofing compared to a lower slope.

The opposite or inverted form of a gable roof is often referred to as a "butterfly roof." There are a number of older structures in Denver, (for some reason fabricated of ferrous concrete, a old restaurant along Colfax comes to mind) that sports multiple gables on a building that is formed in a circle, which are perfect examples of this design.

While a front-gabled building faces the street with its gable, a side-gabled building faces it with its cullis, meaning the ridge is parallel to the street. The terms are used in architecture and city planning to determine a building in its urban situation.

Front-gabled buildings are considered typical for German city streets in the medieval Gothic period, while later Renaissance buildings, influenced by Italian architecture are often side-gabled. In America, front-gabled houses were popular primarily between the early 19th century and 1920. Vast Denver neighborhoods demonstrate countless examples of this classic design.

The gable end roof is a poor design for hurricane regions, as it easily peels off in strong winds. The part of the roof that overhangs the triangular wall very often creates a trap that can catch wind like an umbrella. Winds blowing against the gable end can then exert tremendous pressure on the structure, both on the triangular wall and on the roof edges where they overhang the triangular wall, causing the roof to peel off and even the triangular wall to cave in. There has been considerable difficulty with large windows collapsing and failing from wind when mounted on a gable end wall, due to the increased air pressure with the wind blowing on the large exposure walls.