These traditional post and beam barn kits are inspired by the old high gable barns found near the Grand River in Michigan. High pitched barns are one of the oldest barn designs. Farmers of old needed a very steep pitched roof on their barns for a few reasons.
Rain Water tends to run off faster.
Many of the oldest gable barns had a thatched roof. Thatched roofs are basically a tight bundle of stiff straw. If rain water was allowed to sit on the roof it would eventually leak through. Therefore these barns needed to have a very high pitched roof so that rainwater would not sit and soak through.
The same is true today. Even though we have more advanced roofing products, they are still effected by the pitch of the roof. The longer water snow and ice can sit on a roof the faster the roofing material deteriorates. You don’t have to worry about that if you get a steep pitched roof like the barns in these kits have.
Your roof will last much longer.
Twice the storage space.
High gable barn roofs allow more space than what is found in your typical pole barn kits. Most pole barns come with a 4/12 pitch. Which simply means you have 4 feet of rise in 12 feet of width. For example if you have a 24’ wide barn with a 4/12 pitch you will have 4’ in height from the top of the wall to the peak in the roof.
Let me explain.
The peak (high point) of the gable roof is 12’ from the sidewall, and located at the center of the building. (half of 24’) Lets say your sidewall is 10’ then your peak would be 14’. If you have a 10/12 pitch on that same building then you have 10’ of height from the top of the sidewall to the peak on the same 24’ wide barn.
As a result you have more usable storage space. You can have the same size gable barn and have double the square footage of floor space. That 10’ of space coupled with our open timber truss design can be utilized by adding a full loft. Add a few dormers and you have an attractive usable living space.
The more upright your rafter timbers are the more strength they have.
Try this simple experiment to see for yourself.
You will need a popsicle stick, a table top or other stable flat surface, and some books. Place one book on the table. Now set the popsicle stick with one end on the edge of the book and the other end on the surface of the table. Now push down on the center of the popsicle stick and notice how hard you need to push on the stick to make it bend. Now stack another book on top or the first book. Move your popsicle stick end on that book and try it again. Then a another book.
Did you notice that it takes more force to bend the popsicle stick when you add more books?
This is because the flatter, or more horizontal the stick is, the more gravity is pulling the stick down therefore the less energy it takes to bend the stick.
It works the same way in a gable barn. The more vertical the timbers are, the less gravitational stress they are under. What this means for you is a stronger longer lasting roof support system.
I higher pitched gable roof allows more space for natural ventilation. Warm air rises to the peak of the barn and escapes through cupolas. This pulls cooler air into the barn. This cycle allows for a continuous fresh air supply. This is healthier for you and your animals. See our barn ventilation page for more information.
As you can see there are many advantages to a high pitched roof.
So why then are so many modern buildings built with a 4/12 pitch? There is only one reason. It is cheaper. The lower the roof pitch, the less material it takes to build it. After World War Two their was a sharp increase in the demand for cheap animal shelters and housing. Builders and truss manufacturers needed to find the cheapest methods they could get away with to build more houses and barns quickly. The 4/12 pitch was ideal for this. It was the minimum pitch they could use, just steep enough to prevent any big short term problems.
Of course that won’t work for you. You are not willing to sacrifice quality for a few dollars worth of materials. You want a barn that you can truly feel good about. You want a barn with real value.
Mar 20, 18 11:22 AM
This barn has four bents. All the post are 8x8 with 8x8 beams. The top tie beam is 40’ long all southern yellow pine. This barn is dismantled and ready
Mar 20, 18 10:54 AM
Barn was originally built in 1800's and added on, with the most recent from 1935. It is L Shaped 75x78 4400 sf 2 stories. The construction is post and
Mar 16, 18 10:53 AM
I noticed on one of the pictures for a Gable Barn you show dormers. Can they be added to plans? I don’t see any plans with dormers. I want to build an
Mar 14, 18 01:45 PM
For sale is a 1917 post and beam barn completely dismantled and ready for re-erection as a barn home. The barn is labeled and blue printed and treated
Mar 14, 18 01:37 PM
Style: Early New England/Yankee Dairy Barn Year Built: 1800-1825 Location: Farmington, Maine area Dimensions: approximately 72x40 ft Details: from the
Feb 28, 18 09:24 AM
This late 1850’s barn measuring 38’x76’ is the small sister to the New Washington frame. Built in the same time period and about 8 miles from the larger
Feb 28, 18 09:22 AM
This late 1860’s barn frame measures 26’x50’ with an attached 18’ x40’ storage area. Both frames are handhewn and are original. This master barn builder
Feb 28, 18 09:21 AM
This early 1860’s measures 30’wide x 46’ long. The bent layout 16’-16’-14’. This frame is just the right size for a retirement home. Uprights measure 9”x10”
Feb 28, 18 09:20 AM
This late 1850’s frame measures 30’x50’. It has all handhewn timbers measuring a full 9”x9”. The bent layout is 20’-15’-15’. The roof design is queen post.
Feb 28, 18 09:19 AM
This late 1840’s frame measures 46’x70’ with NO CENTER SUPPORTS. Located in the Dayton area this barn was constructed by a master timber frame builder
Feb 28, 18 09:15 AM
This late 1880’s frame measures 36’x52’. The barn has beautiful full size 9”x9” circle sawn beams thru out. The frame is all oak. The bent layout is 16’-18’-18’.
Feb 19, 18 09:16 AM
This early 1850’s frame measures 45’x80’. The bent layout is 24’-16’-16’-24’. Large handhewn timbers thru out. Exterior upright are a full size 10”x11”
Feb 19, 18 09:12 AM
This massive barn frame measures a full 46’ wide by 100’ in length. This is an original build (no additions). The bent lay out is 24’-16’-16’-18’-12’-14’.
Feb 19, 18 09:10 AM
This late 1850’s all handhewn barn frame measures 30’x50’. The bent layout is 20’-15’-15’. The frame has nice fullsize 10”x10” handhewn beams. It also
Feb 19, 18 09:09 AM
This barn built in the early 1840’s measures 40’x60’. All the timbers in this barn are a fullsize 12”x12”. On one end is a double stack beam with the lower