How to Construct Gabled Roofs in SketchUp

By Aidan Chopra

You can approach the construction of a gabled roof in SketchUp in a bunch of ways (every SketchUp expert has her favorite), but one method in particular works well consistently.

Follow these steps to build a gabled roof:

1Create a roof overhang.

Most gabled roofs have eaves, so you probably need to create them for your building.

2Use the Protractor tool to create an angled guide at the corner of your roof.

Architects and builders often express angles as rise over run ratios. For example, a 4:12 (pronounced 4 in 12) roof slope rises 4 feet for every 12 feet it runs — a 1:12 slope is very shallow, and a 12:12 slope is very steep. When using the Protractor tool, SketchUp’s Measurements box understands angles expressed as ratios as well as those expressed in degrees. Typing 6:12 yields a slope of 6 in 12.

3Use the Line tool to draw a vertical edge from the midpoint of your roof to the angled guide you created in Step 2.

The point at which your edge and your guide meet is the height of your roof ridge.

4Draw two edges from the top of your vertical line to the corners of your roof.

This creates two triangular faces.

Erase the vertical edge you drew in Step 3 and the guide you drew in Step 2.

5Push/pull back your triangular gable.

If your gabled roof extends all the way to the other end of your building, push/pull it back that far. If your roof runs into another section of roof, extrude it back until it’s completely “buried.”

6Finish your eaves, fascia, soffit, and rake(s) however you want.

You find lots of kinds of gabled roof details, and the figure shows a few common ones.