ABC Sheds Blog

Gable versus skillion roof sheds

What's the difference between gable and skillion roofs?

When designing a shed an important consideration that shouldn’t be overlooked is the roof. The type of roof that you use on your shed can not only dramatically change the look of your shed but could influence the practicality, as well as the budget!

Advances in technology and construction have meant that we now have lots of options when it comes to the design of a shed, and the type of roof that we choose. Often we get asked about the differences between a traditional gable roof and something more modern, like a skillion roof. Each roof has its own practical benefits, and design appeal.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at gable versus skillion roofs, outlining the benefits of each. We’ll also let you know what we recommend for a shed. Read on for more information!

What is a gable roof?

A gable roof is what we would call your traditional style of roof not just for sheds, but for houses too. A gable roof follows a triangular design and is formed when two sloping sides are joined together at an apex ridge. This creates the triangular look of a classic gable roof.

Gable roofs are often considered the easiest to manufacture due to their equal sides; they can also be made out of cost-effective materials like steel. Sheds that feature a gable roof often appear bigger and more grand as the pitched roof adds more height to the shed. With a gable shed roof, the pitch or degree of slope can be adjusted from a relatively low pitch to a higher pitch, depending on environmental factors. Many people avoid a lower-pitched roof as this may not hold up so well in severe weather storms like heavy rain or under snow loading (where relevant). When building a new shed most people will opt for a medium pitch for their gable roof however, steeper pitches can be used when extra airflow through your shed is desired. 

A big benefit to choosing a gable roof for a shed, particularly in Australia where we’re prone to droughts and very hot summers, is that a gable roof can help to keep your shed cooler. Hot air will naturally rise to the peak in the middle of the roof meaning the hot air will stay at the top of the shed, leaving you and your stock, nice and cool. This can be further managed with ventilation slots for warm air to escape through.

ABC Sheds farm shed with gable roof
A gable roof follows a triangular design where two sloping sides are joined together. 

What is a skillion roof?

In comparison to a traditional gable roof, a skillion roof is a more modern alternative. Skillion roofs, which are often referred to as half-pitched or mono-pitched roofs, are growing in popularity not just for sheds but also for houses. A skillion roof has a very sleek and unique design which can set a shed apart from the rest.

As opposed to having two sloping sides meeting in the centre, like a gable roof does, a skillion roof simply has one single sloping side. This type of roof is often very high-pitched on one side with the highest angle attached to the tallest wall. This makes for quite an eye-catching feature on a shed as this type of roof adds extra volume and a sharp angle that traditionally designed sheds could lack.

An advantage of a skillion roof for a shed is that the harsh slope of the roof will ensure optimum sun exposure. If you’re going to be installing solar panels on your shed this will make collecting solar energy that much easier, as your roof is already at an optimum angle – the pitch doesn’t need to match the other side of the roof allowing for maximum sun capture. Another benefit of a skillion roof is the ability to collect rainwater. The slope of the roof means that water can easily flow from the roof into something like a rainwater catchment tank. It's important to note however that if it does rain or snow heavily, a skillion roof takes the entire weight, whereas a gable roof would split the weight equally between either side of the gable.

One other important consideration to bear in mind is that in order for a skillion to span the same distance as a gable roof, the roof members could be increased. This can lead to a big increase in the cost of building a shed.

ABC Sheds shed with skillion roof
A skillion roof has one single, sloping, high-pitched side. 

Gable roof or skillion roof shed?

Wondering which type of roof will work best for your shed? This choice often comes down to your requirements, what you will be using the shed for, and your budget. A skillion roof will prove beneficial if you’re wanting to harvest solar energy or collect rainwater from your roof. The slope of a skillion roof will make this a lot easier to achieve and could end up saving you money in utility costs down the track.

If you’re wanting a more traditional look for your shed, or need more shelter from the elements then a gable roof is the logical choice. Gable roofs can offer this type of look while still being very functional. They’ll be a lot better suited if your shed will be in a location that gets very hot weather as your shed will be a lot cooler inside. It's also important to note that when building a shed larger than 12 metres, a gable roof could be a more economical choice too. Commercial and industrial buildings, in particular, could benefit from this design resulting in a cheaper overall build.

Talk to the shed experts

Still not sure which type of roof will work best for your new shed? It’s time to talk to the experts! At ABC Sheds we manufacture all types of farm sheds as well as rural and industrial buildings. Our wealth of expertise on all things sheds will ensure that you get a shed that’s designed for your requirements and location and will last you for many years to come.

To see a range of different sheds that we’ve completed you can download a free copy of our brochure here. Already know the type of roof you would like to use? See what it will look like on a shed by trying out our online shed builder here.

Design your perfect shed here