Gable vs. Dormer

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Gable and Dormer is that the Gable is a generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a dual-pitched roof and Dormer is a structural element of a building.

  • Gable

    A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system used, which reflects climate, material availability, and aesthetic concerns. A gable wall or gable end more commonly refers to the entire wall, including the gable and the wall below it.

    A parapet made of a series of curves (Dutch gable) or horizontal steps (crow-stepped gable) may hide the diagonal lines of the roof.

    Gable ends of more recent buildings are often treated in the same way as the Classic pediment form. But unlike Classical structures, which operate through trabeation, the gable ends of many buildings are actually bearing-wall structures. Thus, the detailing can be ambiguous or misleading.Gable style is also used in the design of fabric structures, with varying degree sloped roofs, dependent on how much snowfall is expected.

    Sharp gable roofs are a characteristic of the Gothic and classical Greek styles of architecture.The opposite or inverted form of a gable roof is a V-roof or butterfly roof.

  • Dormer

    A dormer is a roofed structure, often containing a window, that projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. A dormer window is a form of roof window.

    Dormers are commonly used to increase the usable space in a loft and to create window openings in a roof plane. The term “dormer” is commonly used to refer to a “dormer window” although a dormer does not necessarily contain a window. A dormer is often one of the primary elements of a loft conversion. As a prominent element of many buildings, different types of dormer have evolved to complement different styles of architecture. When the structure appears on the spires of churches and cathedrals, it is usually referred to as a lucarne.

  • Gable (noun)

    The terminating, two sloped roof surfaces (pitches).

  • Dormer (noun)

    a room-like, roofed projection from a sloping roof

  • Dormer (noun)


  • Dormer (noun)

    a resident of a dormitory

  • Gable (noun)

    the triangular upper part of a wall at the end of a ridged roof

    “a house with mock-Tudor gables”

  • Gable (noun)

    a wall topped with a gable.

  • Gable (noun)

    a gable-shaped canopy over a window or door.

Oxford Dictionary

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