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barn roof styles

4 Most Popular Barn Roof Style

The roof is the most important part of any barn and has a huge impact on the overall structure and appearance. Wood makes up the majority of barn roofs. Nevertheless, various other materials are also suitable, including metal and concrete.

Barn Roof Styles

Barn roof styles names are as varied as the features of buildings they cover. Some feature a steep pitch; others are more shallow. Some are flat, while others are domed.

Still, others may be gabled or hipped facing a single direction. The style of your barn roof depends on the type of building you want and the amount of money you’re willing to spend.

The most common barn roof style is the hip roof. The hip design has two sloping sides that meet at a ridge in the center of the structure. A gable roof is another common choice, but small barns often use this style.

barn roof

Other popular choices include gambrel roofs, which have two sloping sides that meet at the top of the barn and are similar to a gable roof. A shed roof is simply flat or slightly angled across its entire surface, while a gambrel shed roof combines both elements into one design. Keep reading to find out more about different barn roof styles.

Table of Contents

Barn Roof Styles

Barn roof styles vary depending on the livestock you plan to keep. Cattle, for example, are heavy animals with large hooves; they require a sturdy roof that can bear the weight of their bodies. On the other hand, sheep and goats are more miniature and have smaller feet; a less sturdy roof will suffice for them.

sturdy roof

There’s no one-size-fits-all barn roof style; there are dozens of different styles to choose from depending on your location, needs, and preferences. Here are some of the most common types:

Gambrel Roof

It is a traditional American barn-style roof with two slopes on either side of the ridgepole. The lower slope is flat, while the upper slope is angled down. It’s generally used for housing cows or horses (although farmers began to use it for sheep and goats) since it has ample room under its overhang for additional storage space.

The gambrel roof is among old types of barn roofs styles that have been used in different kinds of open-air buildings throughout colonial times. Perhaps its most famous use was as a sign of wealth and status in England and France. Most barns today are built using this style because it combines strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal.

A gambrel roof has several advantages:

  • It provides good ventilation through its eaves.
  • It sheds snow easily in winter.
  • This roof awakens the memory of America’s colonial days.
  • It requires less timber than other types of roofs because it doesn’t have collar ties or struts running across its width as some other styles do.
  • This roof doesn’t require a bottom rafter spanning for construction, unlike hip and valley roofs.
  • If you have a two-storage barn, this gambrel roof allows you to optimize your additional space as per your essentials.
  • And because of its simple design, this roof is affordable compared to other roof styles.

The main disadvantage of this barn type roof is that if any part of your building catches fire, it can spread quickly to other parts.

Gable Roof

A gable roof is a simple, two-sided roof with two sloping sides and a triangular end. The ridge of the gable runs perpendicular to the front wall of the building. It can have one or more pitches. It depends on what material for construction and drainage.

Gable roofs are common in residential homes because they’re relatively easy to build and cost-effective.

Furthermore, if we talk about its benefits, then

  • One of the main advantages of a gable roof is its simplicity. 
  • You can build it using relatively fewer materials and without special skills in a short time. 
  • It makes it an affordable option for most homeowners.
  • Another edge is that they provide plenty of attic space for storage and allow air to flow through easily. 
  • If you have a minimal area for your house, a gable roof may be the best choice.
  • Gabled roofs also add charm to your home’s exterior design. 
  • Unlike other barn roof styles, the Gable roof maximises attic space by providing an ideal storage area through a 1/2-inch sheathing covering.
  • This barn roof types is preferable in colder regions like Alaska, North Dakota, and Maine.
  • It helps in draining rainwater quickly.
  • It makes them popular choices for many homeowners looking for something different from traditional designs.

Another advantage is that they provide plenty of attic space for storage and allow air to flow through easily. If you have a minimal area for your house, a gable roof may be the best choice because it does not require many materials and is easy to install.

Gabled roofs

Gabled roofs also add charm to your home’s exterior design. It makes them popular choices for many homeowners looking for something different than traditional designs.

One disadvantage of using these barn roof types is that they tend to collect water more easily than other roofs. It is because they do not have gutters or downspouts installed on them.

Another disadvantage of this type of barn roof style is that it doesn’t have as much headroom as other styles; however, if you’re building an addition onto an existing house, this shouldn’t be an issue. You’ll add more space to your home rather than taking away any attic space.

Hip Roof

A hip roof has four sides that meet at a central point at the top of the building, forming multiple right angles called hips. It’s similar to a pyramid shape because it rises from all sides to form a peaked roof, where all four sides meet.

Hip Roof

Barn styles hip roof does not have any walls running along its length; instead, there are eaves along the edges of each side. They extend beyond the walls below them and then slope back toward the floor level again at their ends.

The design creates an open area beneath the roof where rainwater can collect from gutters and drain away into downspouts through pipes at each side’s corner. Hip roofs are common on larger buildings such as barns, warehouses, and commercial steel buildings because they offer more headroom.

The hip roof has several advantages over other types of roofs.

  • It provides a large amount of headroom in your attic space, which can be used for storage or as an addition to your home.
  • Hip roofs have no ridge, so they have no valleys to collect water or snow and can be designed without eaves for maximum head room.
  • Hip roofs are suitable for homes in areas with high winds because there’s less surface area exposed to the elements compared with other types of roofs.
  • They’re also useful in areas where snow frequently falls because they’re less likely to cave under heavy snowfall than gabled or shed roofs.
  • This type of barn roof design also offers an unmatched visual appeal and gives homeowners the perk to integrate vaulted ceilings.
  • Moreover, if you’re looking for a sturdier, more stable, and durable barn roof design go for the hip barn roof.
Hip Roof

Shed Roof

Shed roofs are common types of roofs on barns. They consist of a gable end with two sides and a lengthwise ridgepole. Barn roof styles are easy to build, lightweight, and easy to repair.

Shed Roof

The shed roof is the simplest of all roofs. It has a low pitch and does not have a ridge or eave. Small structures, such as sheds, gazebos, and playhouses, are ideal for this kind of roof. The shed roof is easy to build and will cost less than other roofs.

There are several shed roof styles to choose from when building a quality shed. The most common is the gable roof, which has two sloping sides and is cut at an angle to create a triangular shape. It is best for sheds with a large door, like workshops or garages, since it provides more head room and allows for more natural light.

The shed roof style you choose will depend on what kind of design you want for your backyard shed. If you want ideas on something that looks like a barn, with a steep pitch and wide overhang, then go with a gambrel design.

The style has one side that is high and another lower, making it perfect for covering large areas. It could be garages or storage rooms where you might need extra room for equipment or supplies.


And if we talk about its perks, then:

  • This type of roof is that it’s easy to build.
  • However, it doesn’t provide good insulation, so you’ll need to install additional if you want to use it in colder climates.
  • The shed roof is famous among US citizens due to its cost-effective differentia.
  • If you already have a sloping condition in your mind but are confused regarding materials, then just relax because the beauty of this barn roof design is that any material can be used on it.
  • This barn-style roof perfectly aligns with modern architecture and maximizes water and snow drainage.
  • Lastly, if you’re fed up with your dreary space and want to soak in the sunshine or graze up at the stars, go for skylight installation because a shed roof won’t stand in your way.

Some of Other Favorite Types of Barns and Their Iconic Styles

Barns have been typically around since the beginning of time. They are an important part of farmers life, and they have evolved over the years.

Some of Other Favorite Types of Barns and Their Iconic Styles

Today there are different roof styles of barns, but some of my favorites include:

Round Barn Style

It is a popular style with a round shape, making it easy to add to as your needs grow. It also offers a unique look that can help give your property character and charm.

Gothic Barn Style

Gothic Barn Style

This style is popular in the Midwest and typically offers a unique look that can help give your property character and charm. The Gothic barn style is used for larger barns that need extra space for cattle or hay storage.

Dutch Barn Style

Dutch barns have posts on their sides connected to beams above them with braces. The roof gets support from trusses that help distribute the weight evenly across the structure. The roof is typically covered with metal shingles, although some Dutch barns use wooden shingles instead.

Dutch Barn Style

The main advantage of a Dutch barn is that it can accommodate almost any type of farm operation, from dairy farms to chicken coops and even greenhouses. The style works well with any building material, including brick, stone, or wood siding. It’s also suitable for barn roof styles of metal buildings. For more insight, you can search for metal buildings with living quarters floor plans.

Rustic Bank Barn

Bank barns got their name because they were built into shallow hillsides with the rear end higher than the front. It allowed gravity to pull hay down from the loft to feed livestock in the lower level. The design also made moving large amounts of hay easier without using a forklift or tractor.

They are made of wood with a siding painted or stained a dark color to give it an aged look.

Monitor Barns

These are other types of pole barns that are perfect for storing hay or other livestock feed. Monitor roof house styles are also great for displaying artwork and other decorations on walls and ceilings. The arched barn roof styles make it easy to install solar panels. Alternatively, you can opt for a solar carport that would serve the same purpose.

It will help power all your outdoor appliances like lighting and fans for those hot summer nights. It is incredibly awesome when you want to relax outside after dinner with friends or family members. An RV carport is another best place to spend time with loved ones. To protect it, you’ll need metal carport kits and steel RV carports cover, without which it’s still vulnerable.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Barn Roof Style

Undoubtedly roof style is one of the most integral components in a barn. Why? Because whenever you’re looking to build a new barn or renovate the existing one, it’s salient to keep certain factors in mind before erratically picking any style.

And you might be wondering what factors have a big yes in your decision-making process for selecting the right barn roof. Well, keep an eye on these points


Life always reminds us of the impermanence of things. And the climate is a prime example of this.

It’s not just only heated temperatures that we are going through; sometimes, it’s chilling snow storms, tornadoes, and other catastrophic climatic changes that (not only) affect our personal and professional life but also our barn-style roofs.

  • So if your region is more prone to high winds and extreme snowfall, then Gambrel roof isn’t the one you should go for.
  • Gable roof is an exemplary design for areas with cold climatic conditions.
  • Hip roofs are jack of all trades that work well in windy, rainy, and warm weather conditions.
  • Shed roof functions satisfactorily in tropical climates.

Purpose of The Barn

Talking about the purpose then:

  • Gambrel roof serves the drive if you need a unique architectural design with loft space in a more adorning look.
  • If you have a practical, minimalistic or simple design in mind which should be easy to build, then Gable roofs are your go-to option.
  • A hip roof has a self-bracing nature that acts as a shield to protect your barn’s design and the valuable items inside it against storms, snow, and high winds.
  • If you’re looking for a cost-effective and straighforward construction approach, go for a shed roof.


There are many factors that affluence the cost of barn roof styles; for instance, a Gambrel roof is considered as a middle-of-the-road price, but if we talk about Gable or Shed roof, then you may pay less for 2,500 square feet home but a high price for Hip roof due to its complex design.


You can spend a tremendous amount of time selecting the right barn-type roof, which is very important, as discussed above but still cannot get much out of it if your engineer hasn’t installed it precisely.

So it’s urged to take your time to decide your purposes and find a quality roofer who has the knowledge required to install any roof style. Experts at steelandstud have a decade of experience in installing any roof style. Contact Us Now!

FAQs Related to Barn Roof Style

How do I determine which barn roofs styles are best for my agricultural needs?
  • If you require a lot of functional space and a pleasant exterior appearance, then for gambrel roofs.
  • Gable roofs are perfect for shedding snow.
Can I use a barn roof style for a residential home?

Yes, you can use a barn roof style for a residential home.

What are some unique barn roof styles names that are not commonly used?
  • Flat Roof
  • Butterfly Roof
  • Dormer Roof
  • Skillion Roof
What is the difference between a gambrel roof and a gable roof?

A gambrel roof provides extra storage without taking up any additional space, whereas a gable roof provides some little space that can be used as a spare bedroom or an attic space.

How do I maintain my barn roof to ensure it lasts long?
  • Always keep an eye out for leaks
  • Observe your roof shingles closely
  • Keep your roof watertight
What is the best roofing material for a barn roof?

Metal is the best roofing material for a barn roof.

Can I install solar panels on a barn roof?

Yes, you can install solar panels on a barn roof.

What is the cost difference between different barn roof styles?

If we talk about cost difference, then:

  • Gambrel roofs cost around $15,000 – $30,000.
  • Gable roof costs around $9000 – $15,000.
  • Hip roofs cost around $23,000 – $36,000.
  • Shed roofs cost around $1000 – $8000.
What are the benefits of a metal barn roof over a traditional shingle roof?
  • Metal barn roofs have flexible finish options.
  • Have a lifespan of 50 years.
  • Provides excellent insulation and protection from hurricanes.