Any ideas with Gambrel type roof?
lindy10479July 11, 2012
We are in the process of renovating a home built in the 60's. To me, the house looks like 2 giant mushrooms joined in the middle...doesn't help that its all brown. It's difficult to find homes with this style and roof (probably because they look stupid!) to get ideas. As you can tell by the picture, the left side of the house is being upgraded, the right side is what it looked like in its original state.

Our idea was to have a stone overlay going from the ground up to where the second floor starts on the left side (it juts out further than the right side of the home), and have siding on the right side going up to the second floor. We would also use the same color siding for the dormers upstairs. We had someone suggest that we go with siding all the way up to the actual "real" roof, but think that it might look silly. I have not been able to find any pictures or see homes of this style that did something like that.

Any ideas or photos of similar homes that had this problem would be much appreciated.
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
When I go to the search bar in Houzz and type in Gambrel Roof and select photos, there seemed to be a number of pictures. You may find some inspiration in some of the pictures on this site.
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:35AM
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S. Thomas Kutch
Actually Lindy, appears what you have is a common Mansard roof style. Gambrels are related to Mansards , except that the ends are gabled. Yours appear to be hipped at the ends as well.

You can do a search for Mansart Roofs in the photo sections and see very similar examples of your exact roof. Taking the "Mansard" off and taking siding up to the actual roof would look silly as you said. Sort of like two boxes with beenie caps for roofs. Short of redoing the entire roof, it will be difficult to change the overall shape to eliminate the "mushroom" look as you called it. Of course this would be the expensive solution.

You might try the more cosmetic route instead. It looks like you have architectural shingle on the roof.......have you thought of wood shakes?

I would look at something along the lines of going with a horziontal siding insteadof the vertical that you have now. If you want to use a stone on the most front portion, I would suggest something like a stacked stone up to just under the window sills with a wood drip ledge and then horizontal siding above up to the underside fo the Mansard. Add appropriate trim at the corners, around the windows (including the dormers) will pull it all together.

A gray / white color scheme would give you a England costal look.....where as a earth tone schme would blend it nicely in you wooded site. Either, I think would look great.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:24AM
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HI -- This is a very exspensive house to change the look of. What was said by S. Thomas Kutch is right for your house if your not going to do a major exterior remodel. I have seen this type of house remodeled to a Prairie Stye with stone or brick or siding done on the first 2/3 level with a large trim band around with a stucco 1/3 upper level. And a wide soffit roof . Or you could go very modern and rip everything off the exterior and go with a shed or flat roof. I would guess that you don't see a lot of this style house arouund ,is because they have all had a total exterior remodel. One good thing is the setting is great. I never cared for this style of architecture. So either way , you have a lot of work ahead of you. Good Luck! NOTE:- Find a good Architect
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Grumpy Kitty
Don't go for the traditional or rustic look. A simple and clean modern look on the exterior would work wonders in this case. Good luck!
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Dana Veach
Why not make the most of the style you already have? This is a traditional French styling, so you might think of stone or brick exterior siding with the existing roof lines (if the roof is in otherwise good condition) and shutters at the windows for a softly rustic but elegant feel which would complement your wooded site nicely, I think...perhaps in creamy stone with grayed-aqua tones for the shutters and white trim. Also, an outwardly curving balcony with a wrought iron railing could soften the lines of this if coupled with the mentioned cosmetic upgrades. Then concentrate on landscaping for impact.
2 Likes    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:02PM
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I agree with above. I like the left side and see that big upper window as a feature to highlight. Are you doing the same to the other side?

I'd brighten up the siding so it contrasts more with the roof (to avoid it getting "lost" in all that roof and really help bring out those nice upper windows with a pop of colour).
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Here's a photo of a gambrel roof design (renovations in progress...)
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:34PM
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This house reminds me of the old French and English thatched cottages. A Google image search of 'thatched cottages' will bring up lots of pics and may help give you some ideas on how you can move forward with your exterior renovations. Good luck!
2 Likes    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Have you thought about a steel roof? I'm not sure if it is possible in this style roof, but I think it would look fabulous. Perhaps a steel roof (which has vertical lines) and horizontal siding (or the stone you mentioned) in complementing colors to break up the boxy look.
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Grumpy Kitty
I am with itsjustme2. I was going to suggest the same but I thought a steel roof would be too radical a concept for the home owner. Most people would take the obvious traditional/rustic route which is safe but unlikely to make a strong visual statement.
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Susan Glenn
I don't despise Mansard roofs, although I'll admit that they're a pain to contend with (I assume). I think that you need to really highlight the window gable on the right with a much lighter color, and do the same with the railing on the upstairs patio on the right. A lighter color overall on the bottom portion of the house would give it more of an Edwardian "thing", and the shingles are such a color that you could get away with a LOT of different shades...Imagine doing a totally different siding on the gable on the left...shake siding? Let it weather to gray, and I think it would be gorgeous. Why look like a big mushroom on a hill when you can look like a funky Edwardian manor? Color is the biggest issue, I think...that, and landscaping! The right plants can make that house look pretty incredible!!
1 Like    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:10PM
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Susan Glenn
And I meant "on the left" in regard to the window...I obviously need to right "R" and "L" on my hands. My shoes are on the right feet!!
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Cozy Casita
Totally agree, Dana. It's a fabulous looking house which, in my opinion, lacks nothing more than traditional shutters and country-garden landscaping to make it shine !
2 Likes    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:17PM
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Dana Veach
I think you've nailed it, Cozy! That is certainly the simplest and least expensive option.
    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:41PM
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HI -- I am hoping that now you have had so many comments that you have decided not to turn this house into something else. With the wooded setting and the earthy look of this house , i think it's unique , kind of Artsy - Fartsy. i hope you can find a way of restoring it . Don't put shutters on it , they don't suit. If you could make the roof look like shackes or redo in shakes and fix the windows so there not so white and more modern and change the other top window so it looks more like it would go with the patio door on the other side. I still think you need the advice of a good Architect. Too many of these houses are being distroyed to look like something else .
1 Like    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:58PM
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What is your budget. I am thinking all Hanzel & Gretel here. Going large river stones up to the roof line. Windows that swing out and then nuke the majority of that barren yard and put in a nice gently winding path to the door and landscape it up. Then grow a vine on the house to give it that home in the woods feel. Very cute. have fun
1 Like    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 4:02PM
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Comparing with natural thatch, artificial thatch is long life span up to 20 years. It is highly authentic and free from maintenance and woodwarm.Price less than USD25 per squre meter, not square feet.Good quality,providing sample for checking(; skype: eieen.chen1234)
    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:49AM
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