Some features included on a gabled roof include two sloping sides that create a ridge, giving the side wall a triangular gable at its peak. Some gable roofs cover dormers, small room extensions that jut out at a 90 degree angle from the roof line. Usually dormers have windows that give the home architectural interest, both inside and out. If the two sloping sides form the main roof ridge, then gables on either end are larger and need ventilation vents.
Homes with their main gables facing the street are called "front-gabled," while those with the gables facing the sides are "side-gabled." A false-front gable is one created for curb appeal only. It is only a facade, but some are so well done, including the addition of a vent in the upper triangle, that they often fool those passing by.
Gabled roofs are eye-appealing, but if used in combination with soffit and ridge vents, they help to keep attics from overheating. Some gables have just the vents at the peak of the triangle, while others have enough room to install gable fans. The idea is to pull in cooler air from the outside via the soffit vents and force the hot air out of the gable and ridge vents. Gable fans may be set up so they pull air in or let it out.