Which Barn Style is Right for You?


Kacey BradleyDo you own a homestead? If so, it might be time to upgrade or replace your barn. There are several styles to choose from, each with unique qualities. Before you choose, it's essential to determine your needs. Do you plan to raise chickens with an indoor coop? Maybe you want to fill the stalls with horses and pens with pigs?


Once you have a plan for your homestead, you can determine which barn style is right for you.

Gable Barns

A gable roof barn is a popular choice due to its reasonable cost, ideal for budget-conscious homesteaders. The roof includes two panels, both slanting down from a common edge, called a ridge. These panels are supported by rafters attached to a beam. Then, depending on your budget and design preferences, the roof is covered in materials like metal, shingles, tile or wood. A gable roof uses fewer materials compared to its fancy cousin, the gambrel roof, making it more affordable.

Gambrel Barns

A gambrel barn is defined by its roof, a design with a historical origin. It was originally developed in the 1600s, when taxes were assessed against Parisians based on the number of stories facing the street. A two-story home, for example, would be costlier than one story. To combat this tax, Francois Mansart created a new type of roof that used shingles to hide a home's second story.

In the United States, gambrel roofs came into fashion in the late 1800s because they increased the internal volume of the barn. The wider slopes allowed farmers more room to stack hay, increasing handling efficiency. If your barn has a gambrel roof, it might be hundreds of years old — built during or possibly before the 1800s.

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