Barn Roof Styles

How To Choose Your Barn Roof Type

When you are building a barndominium, you get to choose every element of the style of your dream home. Among those is the style for your barn home roof. In this post, we will go over some popular shapes for barn roofs and tell you a bit about their pros and cons. That way, you will be able to choose the barn roof style that is right for you.

9 Top Barn Roof Shapes to Consider

There are many different shapes for barn roofs that can fit nicely with the barndo aesthetic.

When you are choosing what type of barn roof to build, consider factors like weather, appearance, interior layout, maintenance, installation, and cost.

1. Gable Roof Barn

Open Gable

The gable roof is the classic roof shape that looks like a triangle. It also goes by the name “pitched roof” or “peaked roof.” You are no doubt familiar with this roof shape since it is almost ubiquitous in US suburbs.

The pitched angles of gabled roofs do a great job shedding precipitation. You also can have a vaulted ceiling in your barndo with this roof shape. It is possible to add windows on either side as well to enable a cross-breeze.

Although gable roofs are ideal in climates that receive rain and snow, however, they are not the most suitable choice in windy locations. They do not offer the best stability.

2. Gambrel Roof Barn

Traditional Barn Gambrel Roof

Perhaps the most iconic barn roof style is the gambrel shape. This is the style of roof that features two steep slopes on either side, and then two shallower slopes meeting at the top.

Choosing this roof shape allows you to capture the colonial agrarian look, really emphasizing the “barn” in “barndominium.”

As with a gable roof shape, you can have a vaulted ceiling with this design, ideal for an open layout. Alternately, you could turn the attic into additional rooms. The shape of the roof will help them feel spacious.

A gambrel roof can shed rainwater well, but snow does not slide off of it as easily as it would a gabled roof with steeper angles.

3. Saltbox Roof Barn

Classic Saltbox

The saltbox roof style is prevalent in North America, and consists of a peaked roof similar to a gable shape, but with one side extending extra low to the ground.

The slope of this style of barn roof does a great job shedding precipitation, while the shape may help to accommodate a lean-to or other structure.

That said, on the side of the barndominium which features the longer incline toward the ground, the slope of the roof will cut into the interior space. Working with that angle may be a challenge when it comes to your interior layout.

4. Conical Roof Barn

Hexagonal / Conical Roof

This roof style has a cone shape, as the name suggests. At the top of the cone, there is generally a cupola, which helps to ventilate the structure.

You might consider a conical roof if you are building a barndominium with a round profile.

5. Shed Roof Barn

Modern Shed Roof

A shed roof is a simple shape that consists of a single plane that is at its highest at the front of a building and slopes downward to the rear of the building.

It is an economical barn roof style to construct. It may also be one of the easier styles from a DIY perspective.

Usually, the slope of this roof shape is fairly shallow. So, it may not be the best in terms of precipitation, but it is still preferable to a flat roof.

6. Hip Roof Barn

Hip Roof

A hip roof is similar to a gable roof. But whereas only two sides of a gable roof slope to form the peak, all four sides of a hip roof slope.

While this can be an inexpensive roof style from a construction standpoint, it does limit how much room you will have available in your attic.

7. Bonnet Roof Barn

Vintage Bonnet

You can think of a bonnet roof as being a bit like a gambrel roof, but with the angles switched around. As we mentioned before, gambrel roofs feature shallower angles closer to the walls and steeper angles at the top. Bonnet roofs instead feature shallower angles closer to the eaves and steeper angles near the top.

It can be costly to install a bonnet roof. But they do a good job of shedding precipitation while also providing wide overhangs for shelter around the perimeter of the home.

8. Monitor Roof Barn

Monitor Roof Under Construction

With a monitor roof, you essentially have a gabled roof, on top of which there is a smaller structure called a “monitor.” That structure is also capped with a smaller gable roof of its own.

Installation for this roof shape can be more complex than for others. But it does offer a classic rural look and feel. Plus, by installing windows in the monitor itself, you can bring in natural light from above.

9. Arched Roof Barn

Arched Roof with dormer

Another option with a similar profile to a gambrel roof is an arched roof. The difference is that you have a smooth curve rather than slanted angles. Going with an arched roof rather than a gambrel roof can open up space in the attic a bit.

Aesthetically and practically, arched roofs are largely advantageous. Sometimes, however installation can be expensive. It also can be difficult to repair them if necessary since the curved surface makes outside access a challenge.

Additional Considerations

  • Roofing materials: Our main focus in this post has been on choosing a shape for your barn roof. But you will also need to pick a roofing material. Standing seam roofs are popular, but you can also consider corrugated metal, metal shingles or tiles, traditional shingles or tiles, or other materials.
  • Preventing leaks: Whatever roofing material and shape you choose, you will need to make sure your roof design helps prevent leaks. For example, if you go with metal roofing panels, you can pick between a hydrokinetic and hydrostatic roof design. Each uses a different approach to leak prevention.

Certain materials and leak prevention designs may be more suitable for some roof shapes and styles than others.

Plus, just as you must consider a range of factors when selecting a roof shape, the same is true when it comes to picking your roofing materials and approach to leak prevention.

We hope you found this guide to different barn roof styles informative, and that it has given you some ideas for your own barn roof shape.