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Ultimate guide to your barndominium’s roofing

Selecting the right material and pattern and material for your barndominium’s roof is important.

Cost, sustainability, weather resistance, and overall resale value significantly affect the roofing strategy for a barndominium.

This article covers the key areas of roofing that aim to assist you comprehensively and analytically.

Straight to the point

Gable roofs are quite prevalent in barndominiums; their recognizable “A” frame—composed of two equally sized sloped sides that converge at a central peak—promotes both its economical price point and straightforward design.

Gable roof benifit

This style lends an air of simplicity to the barndominium, punctuating the classic and cost-effective appeal of such structures.

As homeowners embark on the journey of creating a barndominium, they are greeted with the promise of flexibility and the freedom to tailor the rooftop to their personal tastes and practical demands. This degree of customization enriches the building experience, making it a more intimate and satisfying endeavor.

When perusing the catalog of barn roofing options, soon-to-be barndominium residents will find a variety of shapes, each bringing its unique set of advantages and drawbacks. This mixture ensures that individuals can pinpoint the model that perfectly aligns with what they envision and require from their new living space.

The aesthetic and functional role of the roof in a barndominium is critical; it’s not merely a shelter but a defining element of the home’s character and skyline.

Among the favored selections are the gable, hip, clerestory, and the robust monitor A-frame roofs.

Learn how the color of your roof directly affects the temperature.

Understanding Roofing Basics

Before looking at the roofing pattern and material more constructively, let’s dig into the roofing terminology first.

The right roof is crucial for shelter and style. In simple terms, roofing is far more than just the material overhead; it’s the initial line of defense against the elements and a major contributor to your barndominium’s curb appeal.

Simplifying Jargon for Easy Understanding

Before jumping into materials and styles, let’s decode some common roofing terminology.

“Pitch” refers to the slope of the roof, often expressed in a ratio of vertical rise to horizontal span. High pitch means steeper, and low pitch, flatter.

“Eaves” are the overhanging edges of the roof, serving dual roles of aesthetics and rainwater redirection.

Skylights” are transparent roofs that bring fresh natural light inside the barndominium.

Gable Roofs: The Classic Choice for Barndominiums

Gable roofs offer a blend of tradition and economy, enhancing barndominium aesthetics.

Why gable roof stands out

Structurally, gable roofs form a triangle where the sides slope down from a central peak—a simple yet effective design. The “A” shape is visible from the building’s side and gives a timeless appeal.

In my own experience with building and renovating barndominiums, this particular roof style consistently emerges as one of the homeowners’ top picks.

Why Gable Roofs Stand Out

Homeowners favor gable roofs not just for their look but also for practical reasons: they easily shed water and snow.

Their construction is less complex, meaning your contractors can put them up faster and more cost-effectively. They’re not merely an economical choice; they also present an opportunity for additional attic space or vaulted ceilings, offering functional interior advantages.

Vaulted Ceiling

Costs and Considerations

When compared with more elaborate styles, a gable roof stands out as a financially sound choice. With lifespan estimates reaching up to 50 years or more, especially when made with metal or quality shingles, the initial savings coupled with longevity makes these roofs a fiscally smart pick.

For instance, I recall working on a barndominium in rural Ohio, where the homeowner opted for a gable roof with metal shingles, due to their robustness against heavy snowloads—in Ohio, it’s common to receive more than 30 inches of snow annually. The homeowner found this straightforward design striking yet sensibly fitted to their rural surroundings.

Exploring Popular Roof Shapes Beyond the Gable

Choices abound beyond gable roofs, offering varying aesthetics and functionality.

When considering alternate roofing designs for a rustic barndominium, the hip, clerestory, and monitor A-frame styles each bring unique benefits and striking visuals.

Hip Roofs: Stability Meets Style

Hip roof for barndominium

Among these, hip roofs are well-loved. Characterized by slopes on all sides that join at the top, they create a more pyramid-like appearance and deliver enhanced stability – especially against high winds.

During a project in coastal regions prone to hurricanes, such as Florida, I often recommended hip roofs for their resistant nature.

Illuminating Clerestory Roofs

Similarly enlightening is the clerestory roof. With its higher section of vertical windows, this choice fills your space with natural light, and I can’t help recalling the luminous serenity it introduced in a writer’s loft in sunny California.

Cherestory roof

The Monitor A-frame: Spacious and Serene

For those aiming higher, the monitor A-frame roofs incorporate a raised spine with vertical windows – a boon for my rural homeowners craving expansive interior heights and southern light exposure.

It’s notable that reports indicate a predictable 18%-30% return on investment for adding uniquely architectural roofs that transform the functionality of your living space.

A frame roof

Economic and Ecological Advantages

Considering cost-effectiveness and green living, these roof shapes allow for energy savings and highlight a homeowner’s stylistic and ecological consciousness. A study showcased how a properly selected roof design could lead to energy savings of up to 25%.

Comparison of roofs

Comparing Barndominium Roof Styles: Gable, Hip, Clerestory, and Monitor A-frame.

In a nutshell:

  • Gable Roofs: simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and added interior space.
  • Hip Roofs: stability, durability, and improved wind resistance, but with less interior room.
  • Clerestory Roofs: optimal natural lighting and potential for passive solar benefits, and indoor spaciousness.
  • Monitor A-frame Roofs: modern aesthetics, vertical spaciousness for artistic interiors, and window placements enhancing light and temperature control at a higher investment tier.

Choosing the right roof for a barndominium is about blending visuals, function, and budget. Let’s compare gable, hip, clerestory, and monitor A-frame roofs.

Gable versus Hip Roofs

Appearance and Cost
The simple two-sided slope of gable roofs offers timeless charm. In contrast, the four-sided hip roof provides a more uniform character.

Weather and Durability
While gable roofs can feature large overhangs that are great for rainy areas, they’re more susceptible to high-wind damage. Hip roofs have a sturdy design that performs better in windy conditions.

Space Considerations
Gable roofs may afford extra attic space, beneficial for storage. Hip roofs, due to their shape, often do not offer as much overhead space but can contribute to a more aerodynamic and snug structure.

Real-World Value
In hurricane-prone locales, I’ve seen homeowners reduce insurance costs with hip roofs – savings tied to their reduced risk profile.

Hip Roofs and Clerestory Roofs Compared

Light and Loftiness
Clerestory roofs excel by enhancing natural light, a stark difference from the more closed-off hip roof.

Climate Suitability
Hip roofs suit almost any climate, while clerestory roofs’ strategic windows can optimize light intake, capitalizing on solar warmth where it’s chilly, or progress an airy feel in warmer regions.

Interior Integration
Unlike the lower ceilings often configured with hip roofs, the clerestory affords vaulted spaces, vastly increasing the sense of openness.

Based on past projects, hip roofs top the charts for strong, all-around performers, but clerestory setups seize trumpet calls on brightness and warmth in regions soaking sunlight.

Need a Barndominium Floor Plan?

We filtered out the trending barndominiun design layouts in one place.

Clerestory Versus Monitor A-frame Roofs: Ascribing Aesthetics and Function

Design Philosophy
Filled with natural light, clerestory roofs invite brightness into the heart of your home, whereas monitor A-frames’ raised centers create grandeur and spaciousness.

Usage of space
Monitor A-frames provide high ceilings perfect for art studios or lofty lounges, mirroring alive clerestory attics splashed with sunbeams.

Returned Investment
In the eye of increasing property value, monitor A-frame roofs could bring unique stature to your barndominium, attaching distinctive charm that may reap greater returns. Their bespoke design commands attention and can differentiate a property in the market.

Energy Efficiency
Clerestory roofs leverage their elevated windows for passive solar heating, potentially chopping energy bills. Monitor A-frame roofs can also leverage strategic window placement for both light and temperature control – particularly when bolstered by eco-friendly materials.

Gable Roofs versus Monitor A-frame Roofs: Bridging Tradition and Modernity

Architectural Identity
Gable roofs offer a traditional look often associated with classic country living. On the other side of the spectrum, monitor A-frame roofs present a more modern edge with dramatic interior space to play with.

Customization Potential
The adaptability of gable roofs easily allows for custom features like dormers which can create additional aesthetic appeal. Meanwhile, the vertical space in monitor A-frames is primed for cottage-style skylights or unconventional upper-level window designs that spotlight the scenery.

Building Expenses and Longevity
While gable roofs are renowned for their low cost both in initial construction and maintenance, the elaborate design of Monitor A-frames might drive costs higher, though these costs can balance with long-term benefits like reduced artificial light use.

Concrete Comparisons
Practical experience confirms that standard gable roofs can be the most cost-friendly but don’t underrate the allure of a grand Monitor A-frame showing off your barndominium under star-lit skies.

Understanding the balance between these design choices allows you to craft a barndominium roof that not only looks great but meets your functional needs and capitalizes on environmental and economic advantages, delivering long-term satisfaction as a sterling centerpiece for your rural retreat or modern escape.

Design Consideration for Custom Roofing

When you contemplate having a custom roof over your home, choosing materials and design becomes key to ensuring cost-efficiency, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Before venturing into details, it’s essential to know that the considerations must balance practicality with the style of the dwelling.

Material Matters: Select with Care

Selecting the right materials is the primary step in custom roofing—affect parallels longevity. Traditional asphalt shingles offer affordability and a lifespan of roughly 20 years. Conversely, metal roofing, while more costly upfront, boasts longevity upwards of 50 years with minimal maintenance.

In a real-world comparison, consider the 2018 case in Syracuse where two homes side by side opted for different materials; the metal-roofed home face less wear over time, underlining investment-worthiness.

Architectural Aesthetics: Merge Style and Function

The architecture of your house should partner with your roofing choice. For a home with historical significance, slate tiles might best respect its integrity, though they require strong structural support being heavier than other options. Modern structures often benefit from the simplicity and clean lines of a metal slab roof, reflecting a contemporary aesthetic.

Climate Considerations: Build to Withstand

The right roof pays back by facing down the elements. Data showcase that in regions burdened by snow, like Buffalo, NY, a steep pitch helps prevent buildup that can cause damage. Cost analysis showed that post-winter repairs on flatter rooftops average higher expenses due to snow-related issues.

Green Roofing: Eco-Friendly and Cost-Saving

Sustainability isn’t just about the here-and-now. Eco-roofs with growing mediums and vegetation, seen on the Chicago City Hall, reduce heat buildup—data pointing to decreased cooling costs by 25%. It reminds us that roofs can go beyond just shelter, including environmental parameters in their design.

The U.S Department of Energy champions cool roofs, emphasizing light-colored and reflective materials that lower energy costs by 15% as experienced by a Florida study comparing roofs within the same community.

You might just be eligible for a tax credit that covers 10% of your costs, up to $500, thanks to the Energy Star Roof Products Program. It’s all about choosing materials that give the sun’s rays the cold shoulder, helping you save on cooling costs.

Maintenance: Plan for the Future

Roofs aren’t fit-it-and-forget features. Opting for materials like composite shingles—which resist algae and weathering—could, in the long term, offset higher initial spend. The value of low maintenance came into laser focus after a Maryland school district’s roof overhaul, reporting savings of several thousand in annual maintenance post-installation.

Economic Efficiency: Calculate Cost-Effectiveness

Budget often dictates final design choices in roofing. It’s not just the upfront costs—consider the lifespan and ongoing expenses. An Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association survey highlights that asphalt shingles, while less durable over time, have a low initial expenditure. Opting for more enduring materials like steel or copper, though initially taxing on budget, may prove thrifty over decades through minimal maintenance.

For example, Texas residential data reveals that homes with metal roofing had a 1.5% increase in resale value compared to those with traditional shingles, suggesting longer-term economic sense in the higher first cost.

An initial cost may not reflect the lifecycle saving. A metal roof could seem pricier upfront but beats out asphalt shingles in lifespan, generally lasting 40-70 years compared to shingles’ 15-30 years.

Taking Texas roofing as an example, homeowners prefer materials like clay and metal for their reflection of heat and durability in storms.

Asphalt shingles, been around since the 1900s, now cater to various climates with features like cooling granules or impact resistance, combining historical data with current technology for roofing solutions.

Customization Calling: Unique Solutions for Personal Taste

While data and numbers guide us, a custom approach treats roofing as an art as much as a science. Your vision for your home’s appearance is just as essential as structural considerations. Trends show a rising desire for blending multiple materials and colors; an Atlanta neighborhood witnessed increased local property values by introducing varied, custom-designed roofing among its homes.

Insulating the roof

 A barndominium’s roofing insulation should consider regional climate, roof style, and personal needs. The captivating element here is not merely the materials but how well-aligned they are with your living space’s demands—creating a fortified, energy-restrained habitat.

When factoring in installation methods, the more common ones include batting, rigid foam boards, and reflective barriers—each with its merits.

Spray foam is a versatile option that adapts to different roof types and provides high insulation value. With the roof playing a central role in a home’s energy efficiency, selecting appropriate insulation is essential.

Batting, which is composed of fiberglass or mineral wool, gives R-values from 3 to 4 per inch and corresponds well with numerous roof designs. It’s straightforward to install but may require special attire to prevent irritation from fibers.

In contrast, rigid foam boards excel in flat roof scenarios, readily cutting to fit assorted spaces while offering varying R-values up to 6 to 8 per inch.

Lastly, adding a reflective barrier can further enhance insulation efficiency when cleverly positioned to deflect radiant heat. Up in North Dakota, applying these methods in a composite barred not only reduced temperature swings but significantly cut utility costs historically tallied over long winters. Moreover, applying leakage-fix strategies can complement insulation, promoting both cost savings and comfort.


In summary, Gable metal roof stands out for the barndominium roofing. However, you are open to considering other styles and materials depending on your plan, location, budget, and sustainability of the barndo.

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper

I'm Brian, an architectural engineer from the University of Texas

Writing about barndominium is my passion. I try to bring informative and technical contents on barndominium so that the entire sourcing and construction process seems easy.

As an architectural engineer, I do have expertise of designing and building using prefabricated steel structures. Moreover, I am connected with 500+ prefabricated steel structure experts that helps me to gather and prepare the relevant information for your help.

I have experience of 250+ barndominium contrustion of which 75% are built with metal structure. Moreover, I am a trained energy audit professional, and with that specialization I can help you to bring your barndo's energy consumption at minimum level.

I hope you like my write-ups which is my greatest inspiration.

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