Barndominiums are often defined by their roof style. Let’s discuss the 4 most popular Barndo roof styles.
As much as we love Barndos, they are not the most creatively shaped homes. Usually they’re a big, long box and maybe they have a lean-to added on. But the real defining features of any Barndo exterior are the metal siding and roof.
Barndo roofs typically come in one of 4 styles: gable, monitor, gambrel, or shed. Each one has a different aesthetic and can provide various advantages and disadvantages.
By far the most common roof type is the gable roof. It features two sides of equal pitch that meet in the middle and have an ‘A’ shape when viewed from the front. For anyone living far enough north that snow is a concern, a steeply pitched gable roof is a great option. It will naturally shed snow better than some of the other roof types.
Credit: Annette Bell
One of the reasons gable roofs are so popular is that they have a timeless look and are relatively simple to construct. Since the roof is so simple, it is often the least expensive option for a Barndo roof design. This is the roof style we selected. I think it’s classic.
One especially popular Barndo roof is a monitor style. A monitor roof is usually a gable roof with the center cut out and raised up. This gives it the appearance of a small second story. One of the greatest advantages of this type of roof is that the walls of the cut out can be lined almost entirely with window. This lets more natural light into the center of your Barndo. For this reason, the cut out portion itself is sometimes known as a roof lantern.
While we love the look of this style, we do recommend considering the climate where you live. If you live somewhere that is always hot and sunny, a monitor roof may be undesirable. In that climate, large windows could really make it difficult to maintain a cool comfortable temperature in your Barndo. That being said, with the right design, you can make the temperature maintenance more manageable and still get the monitor look. If you really love this style like I do, for a few dollars more your electrician can install motorized shades. You can get them just about anywhere these days such as Lowes, Home Depot, Blinds.com, or the TheShadeStore.com.
The Orleans II – Monitor Roof Style – Back Porch Elevation – Designed Stacee Lynn – The Barndominium Lady
The Orleans II – Monitor Roof Style – Left Side Elevation – Designed by Stacee Lynn – The Barndominium Lady
Iconic – no other way to put it. When you picture a traditional red American barn, you probably see a gambrel roof. They look a lot like gable roofs but with a joint on each side instead of a single continuous line. The lower leg of this joint is usually quite steeply pitched, while the smaller upper leg has a shallower pitch.
One of the greatest advantages of gambrel roofs is that they can provide more head room or storage area on the second floor of a Barndo. If you want a two story Barndo but it’s important to you that the roof not cut into your living space on the second story, this is the roof for you. The roof design is more difficult to construct than the gable or monitor style roof, but they definitely make a Barndo statement.
A shed roof consists of a single plane sloping down from one side of the Barndominium to another. These are usually more popular in smaller Barndominiums or in Barndos with some limited functional purpose like a workshop. Alternatively, shed roofs may be used to cover the porch of a Barndominium while the rest of the building has a different roof style.
Photo Credit: Canadian Timber Frames
One notable point about shed roofs is that we would not recommend them for Barndo projects in areas where there is heavy snowfall in the winter unless you are considering installing heated roof cables. Shed roofs do not, well… “shed” snow very well. 😊
In addition to roof styles, we should make one more note on roof construction from a purely functional perspective. A contiguous roof has the benefit of being more leak resistant, and it can provide added strength. We would recommend considering a contiguous roof, especially if you live in an area with a lot of or heavy precipitation. Although Texas is not known for a lot of precipitation, a company called Texas Barndominiums is known for their contiguous roof designs.
Credit: Texas Barndominiums
There you have it—the 4 most popular Barndo roof styles. The roof of your Barndo is one of its defining features both stylistically and functionally, so make sure you take the time to choose the best roof for you.