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Is there a specific name for this feature:

Gable end with thin shingle roof underneath

I think this is purely for aesthetics, generally a horizontal mini-roof that connects the lowest points of a gable end. I believe it's to visually break up the otherwise large expanse of side wall, although without a term to look up I'm finding it hard to research.

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  • "Eave return" and similar terms have yielded plenty of information for me - if any of you would like to add an answer to that effect I'll accept it. Otherwise I can add one myself. Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 0:41

5 Answers 5

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Full cornice return is a fairly correct description (although it is more than just a return). We have used the term closed gable.

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As answered in the comments, it looks like this feature has a few names:

  • Just an "eave", like any other eave on the house
  • "eave return", or "full eave return"
  • "cornice return" or "full cornice return"
  • "closed gable"
  • The whole gable end makes up a "triangular pediment", of which the circled section is a horizontal cornice

There are a handful of colloquial terms for specific types of "eave returns" - "pork chop returns", "mutton chop returns", "bird boxes", "catwalks".

Sources:

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Its a "pent" roof that forms the bottom of triangular pediment. Its all derived from classical Greek and Roman temples. It does allow the cornice to return and creates a roof eave.

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Gable cornice. I call them catwalks. Eyebrows are generally separated left and right. When both sides of the gable are individually done. Eyebrow returns are when those individual eyebrows get wrapped the short distance back to the house siding.

Hopefully I was instructed correctly lol

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  • It seems there is a lot of regionalism involved in the naming. Would you care to indicate where you're from? That may help resolve some of the differences.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 12:55
  • Good point. I’m in MD. But most of my knowledge came from guys on-site lol. So take that for what it is!
    – JeffD
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 22:23
  • Pretty sure region does have a lot to do with names. Just as it does with install methods and materials on a lot of different builds. Most of which are animal derived, for example: Bull head, bird box, duck foot, catwalk, dog leg… crappie job! Lol
    – JeffD
    Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 14:22
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My guys always called them eyebrows. The builders called them gable returns in Georgia

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  • Huh... I've only heard of "eyebrow" dormers. Guess that's why they call them "regionalisms".
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 11:29

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