Gable Wall Construction

Hip Roof to Gable Wall Construction

What is a hipped roof?

A hipped roof slopes upward from the corners of a structure and has no vertical ends, typically found on semi-detached and detached houses. The hip is the external angle where opposing sloping sides meet at the ridge. A hip roof slopes on all sides, the side wall is square shape and finishes at eaves height. Hip roofs can be more difficult to construct than a gable roof because they require more complex angled saw cuts to the rafters.


What is a gable wall?

A gable end wall is the triangular section of wall supporting the end of a sloping roof, typically found on semi-detached and detached houses. A roof with a gable wall construction will slope on two sides, the side wall is triangle shape and finishes at ridge height. Because gable end walls are at a higher level of the main walls, they are more susceptible to damage from high winds, if not properly constructed. A timber ladder attached to the roof is constructed directly above the gable wall. The gable wall is then constructed so that the timber ladder ties into the wall.

A gable wall example drawing for a loft conversion.

If you have an existing gable wall but it is not properly constructed with braced lateral supporting restraints, the following problems can arise:

  • Outward bowing of the walls due to weight of the structure.
  • High level horizontal cracking due to movement.
  • In extreme cases, the wall can subside or collapse.
  • Failure of the verge end waterproofing at the junction between the roof and the wall.
  • Leaks.

When carrying out a hip roof to gable wall construction to a loft conversion, if the gable end wall rises above the roof line, the top of the wall should be finished in such a way that rainwater cannot penetrate the wall. A coping stone/slab or a specially designed brick detail will be sufficient to prevent this. This method of gable wall construction is not common. A closed verge system is typically used at the junction of the gable wall/roof.

A loft conversion with an existing gable wall will require less work than a hipped roof conversion.  This will effect the overall cost of your loft conversion making a saving.  Typically there are four main methods of construction to match the existing character of the property.

Gable Wall Construction

Constructing a hip to gable wall

Constructing a hip to gable wall for a loft conversion in the Portsmouth area requires careful consideration of permitted development rights, building regulations, and planning permission from the local council. Here’s an overview of the process and the different materials that can be used:

  1. Planning permission: The first step is to determine whether planning permission is required for the proposed loft conversion. In most cases, hip to gable conversions fall within permitted development rights, which means they can be carried out without the need for planning permission. However, it’s important to check with the local council to ensure the project complies with all relevant regulations.
  2. Building regulations: A building regulations application will be required for the proposed loft conversion. This will involve submitting detailed plans and specifications for the project to ensure compliance with building regulations, including structural integrity, fire safety, insulation, and ventilation.
  3. Assess the existing roof structure: The next step is to assess the existing roof structure to determine the extent of the work required. This will involve examining the hip end of the roof and deciding how much of it needs to be removed to create a gable wall.
  4. Remove the existing hip: Once the assessment is complete, the next step is to remove the existing hip end of the roof. This will involve removing the roof tiles and cutting away the rafters to create a flat surface.
  5. Construct the new gable wall: Once the hip end has been removed, the new gable wall can be constructed using a variety of materials such as face brickwork, render, smooth, or other materials that match the existing structure. The wall will be built to the same height as the existing roof and will typically include a new window or dormer to provide natural light to the converted space.
  6. Install new roofing structure: The new gable wall will require a new roofing structure to be constructed. This will involve installing new rafters, joists, and purlins to create a new roof structure that matches the existing roof.
  7. Install insulation and finish: Once the new roofing structure is in place, insulation can be installed to ensure the converted space is energy-efficient. The interior can then be finished with plasterboard, flooring, and any necessary fixtures and fittings.

Overall, constructing a hip to gable wall for a loft conversion in the Portsmouth area requires careful consideration of local regulations and expert knowledge of the building process. It’s important to work with a specialist who can guide you through the process and ensure a successful outcome.

The Four Main Types of Gable Wall

Face Brick Finish

Cavity wall construction with thermalite blocks to interior and face brick to exterior. Insulation in wall cavity. Matching the existing brick exactly or as close as possible.

Rendered Finish

Cavity wall construction with thermalite blocks to interior and semi-concrete blocks to exterior. Insulation in wall cavity. Render finish to exterior. Rendering can be applied with numerous finished coverings, i.e. Sand/ cement smooth finish and painted, K-Rend colour coating, pebble dash, Tyrolean render.

Timber Frame Wall Tile Hang

Timber frame construction with plain tile hang finish. Insulation inside timber stud-work. Felt, batten and tile exterior to match existing small plain tiles.

Glass Gable Loft Conversion

Glass Gable Wall

Give your loft conversion the wow factor by adding a glass gable end.  Views can be amazing.  These types of conversions are ideal for beach front or hillside locations.

Gable Wall with Juliet Balcony Loft Conversion-min

Examples of Gable Wall Construction

For Your FREE Feasibility Survey Call 023 9270 6150