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Shed Roof Styles 8x10 Painted Barn Gambrel Roof

Gambrel Roof Shed vs. Gable Roof Shed: the Best Shed Design for You

Gambrel Roof Shed vs. Gable Roof Shed: What’s the Difference?

The decision between a gambrel roof shed and a gable roof shed is one of the most significant decisions you will make. And it’s not just a matter of taste, either. Your decision of a shed roof may affect …

  • cost
  • usable storage space (think shelving and lofts)
  • door and window placement
  • how often you might crack your head against a 2×4 (if you’re tall)

Gambrel Shed Roof

The gambrel roof shed, or mini-barn, has two main slopes per side. The steeper slope, at the sidewall, gives you a bit more headroom close to the wall.

12x20 Classic Red Barn Gambrel Roof Shed
This classic red barn features the gambrel roof and low side walls. The roof line is essentially a half-octagon.

Gable Shed Roof

The gable roof shed is also known as an A-frame roof, or “cottage” style. This one looks more like a house, which is something many people find attractive.

10x14 Vinyl Cottage Shingles 3 Doors Gable Roof Shed
This cottage has an A-frame roof. It most nearly matches most homes.

Shed Wall Height

Roof line is important. But the side wall height of your shed makes a significant difference both in storage space, and in cost. The wall height of cottages and mini-barns varies from 4 ft high (for our low-wall barn) to normally about 7 ft high for cottages and hi-wall barns. (Of course, if you’re willing to pay the price you can go as high with your wall as you want.)

The low-wall barn with the shorter wall is usually less expensive. It offers better value per square foot of floor space. Low barns can only accommodate windows and doors in the ends of the buildings, for obvious reasons. Also, shorter walls = fewer shelves.

Shed Roof Styles 8x10 Painted Barn Gambrel Roof Shed
The classic red barn with gambrel roof offers the most floor space per dollar.
The high-wall barn costs more than a cottage of the same size. But you get more overhead storage space. And, high wall barns can have windows and doors on the sides, not just on the ends.

Hi-Wall Barn - Gambrel Roof Shed
Our high-wall barn keeps the rustic gambrel roof, but gives more overhead and wall storage options.
Cottage. Cottages come somewhere in between. They are more expensive than the low-wall barn, but less expensive than the high-wall. The higher side walls give better head room than the low-wall barns, but less loft storage than the high wall barns.

Let’s summarize this information …

Pros and Cons of a Low-Wall Barn

  1. The classic mini-barn uses the least materials, and is the least expensive storage space we offer.
  2. The small low-wall barn has a classic, rustic look.
  3. You’ll be more likely to bump your head.
  4. Shovels and other long-handled tools will have to be hung on the back wall.
  5. The low wall limits shelving space on side walls and back wall.
  6. You’ll have less light and air movement.
  7. Doors and windows have to be in the ends, not the sides.

12x20 Low-Wall Barn - Gambrel Roof Shed
This 12×20 Low-Wall Barn still gives good head room because of the roof design.

12x20 Hi-Wall Barn Loft Interior - Gambrel Roof Shed
A 12×20 Hi-Wall Barn gives maximum head room, but still has great loft space.

Pros and Cons of High-Wall Barns

  1. Gives the most overhead storage space.
  2. Shovels and rakes can be stored against the side walls.
  3. Doors and windows can be in any of the four walls.
  4. Great head room — no hard hat needed.
  5. Has the most loft space possible–and still gives lots of room for shelves.
  6. Still has a bit of that rustic barn look.
  7. The hi-wall barn is more expensive than the low-wall barn, or the standard A-frame cottage.

Pros and Cons of Gable Roof Sheds

  • High side walls also give you the options of doors and windows in any wall.
  • The gable roofed cottage matches many homes, and can easily be customized to match your home in almost any way conceivable.
  • The cottage gives you all kinds of additional roof options: dormers, hip roofs, changing the roof pitch, nook porch (yes, you can actually put a little porch on your shed).

12x20 Loft Gable Roof Shed
12×20 cottages with a gable roof give plenty of room for a loft at one or both ends. Gable lofts have slightly less storage space than a high-wall barn.

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16x24 Deluxe Custom 2 dormers
A-frame cottages are highly customizable. This one was designed to exactly match the house.

Gambrel Roof Sheds vs. Gable Roof Sheds: Odds and Ends to Consider

  • Weather. Both Gambrel Roof Sheds and Gable Roof Sheds withstand wind and rain just fine, as long as they are installed properly.
  • Covering. You can choose metal or shingles on either one. Learn the Pros & Cons of Metal Roofing, and the Pros and Cons of Shingle Shed Roofs.
  • Footprint. We offer these models at 6×8 all the way up to 14×36. (The only limitation is that the smallest high-wall barn is 10×10. Imagine a 6×8 high-wall barn, and you’ll understand why.)
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