What is a Roof Barge? - Owner Builder Club

What is a Roof Barge?

What is a Roof Barge

Ever taken a good look at your house and wondered about those boards that cap off the ends of your roof? Those are what we call roof barges. Now, you might be thinking, “What's so special about them?” Well, let me tell you, they're more than just a pretty face in your home.

A roof barge, technically known as a barge board or rake fascia, is a board fastened to each projecting gable of a roof. Roof barges extend beyond the wall of a house, typically found on the overhang of a gable. They run from the eave, diagonally up the gable to the top of the roof, known as the ridge. 

Ready to learn more about these unsung heroes of Australian homes? Let's dive in!

The Importance of Roof Barges

Why should you care about them?

Well, in the grand scheme of things, these roof barges play a crucial role in protecting your home from the sometimes harsh Australian weather. They shield your home from wind and rain, keeping those nasty elements at bay. But that's not all.

In addition to being practical, they also add a touch of style to our Aussie homes. Have you ever noticed how they often match the design and colour of your house? That's no coincidence! They're like the perfect accessory that ties the whole look together.

So, next time you're enjoying a Barbie in your backyard, take a moment to appreciate your roof barge. It's not just a piece of wood or metal—it's a silent hero, standing guard over your home. 

The Roof Barge Lingo

Alright, let's get a bit more familiar with our mates up on the roof. When we talk about roof barges, we're often dealing with three main characters: Bargeboards, Barge Capping, and Barge Rafters. A bit of a mouthful, right? But don't fret, we'll get through this together.


First off, Bargeboards.

These guys are the decorative boards that you see hanging out on the edges of your gable roof. They're not just there for a good time; they're there to protect your roof from water damage and give your home some extra pizzazz.


Next in line, Barge Capping. Imagine this as a protective hat for your Bargeboards. It's usually made from metal and its job is to cover the top of the Bargeboards, keeping them safe and sound from the elements.

Barge Rafters

Last but not least, Barge Rafters.

These are the structural bones of the roof edge. They're the framework that supports the Bargeboards and gives shape to your roof.

What's the Difference?

Now you might be thinking, “They all seem to be doing the same thing?” Well, not quite. While they all work together in harmony, each one has its own special role.

Think of it this way: Barge Rafters are like the skeleton, providing the structure and support. The Bargeboards are the skin, adding an aesthetic touch and some protection. And the Barge Capping? That's like the hat, providing an additional layer of protection against rain and sun.

So, although they might seem similar at first glance, each component of the roof barge plays its own vital part in keeping your home safe and stylish. Who knew there was so much going on up there, right?

The Aussie Connection

If you've ever taken a stroll around your neighbourhood, you might have noticed that roof barges are quite the star of Australian architecture. They're not just a random add-on; they're an integral part of our homes' design and functionality.

From Queensland to Western Australia, roof barges add a distinctive touch to our local architecture. In coastal areas, for example, you might see more barge cappings made from steel. Why? Well, these bad boys are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, making them perfect for beachside living.

In suburban areas, you might notice a variety of barge board designs. Some are simple and minimalist, while others are more ornate and detailed. It's all about matching the style and vibe of the house.

Planning Your Roof

So let’s say you're planning to build your dream home or maybe give your current one a facelift. That's exciting! But where do roof barges come into play?

First, think about the design. Most contractors would agree that the design and choice of barge boards and capping are essential to the overall aesthetic of your home. Some prefer going for more traditional designs, while others love the sleekness of modern styles. It all depends on the vibe you're aiming for.

Second, consider the material. One tip from the pros: always consider the durability of the materials. As we mentioned earlier, some are a popular choice for barge cappings due to their durability and range of colours. But there are other options too, so pick what suits your needs and budget best.

Lastly, don't forget about the installation process. It's fundamental to guarantee that your barge capping is properly installed to prevent any water leakage. Whether it’s a DIY or hiring a pro, make sure it's done right!

Roof Barges Maintenance Tips

So, you've got your roof barges sorted, but how do you keep them looking spick and span?

Regular maintenance is key. Keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear, such as chipped paint or rust on the barge capping. And remember, water leakage can be a sign of improper installation, so make sure to address that immediately if it happens.

Cleaning your roof barges is also important. A good scrub now and then can help maintain their look and prolong their lifespan.

And don't forget, if you're unsure about anything, it's always best to call in a professional. They can help ensure your roof barges stay in top shape for years to come.

Taking care of your roof barges might seem like a small task, but it can make a big difference in maintaining the beauty and functionality of your home.

After all, a well-kept home is a happy home!


Well, there you have it! We've had quite a journey exploring the world of roof barges. From understanding what they are to appreciating their unique roles in our homes, we've covered a fair bit of ground.

Remember, these features aren't just about aesthetics; they're about protection and functionality too. So next time you're planning a roofing project or simply admiring your home, give a nod to your roof barges. They might be up high, but they certainly shouldn't be out of mind.

Here's to keeping our homes safe, stylish, and quintessentially Aussie.

Cheers to that!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a roof barge?

Technically named a barge board or rake fascia, a roof barge is attached to each roof gable. It extends beyond the house wall, running diagonally from the eave up the gable to the roof's ridge.

How often should I maintain my roof barges?

It's recommended to inspect your roof barges at least once a year for any signs of wear and tear. Regular cleaning can also help maintain their appearance and longevity.

What materials are commonly used for roof barges?

Materials can vary, but COLORBOND® steel is a popular choice for barge cappings in Australia due to its durability and range of colours.

Are there different styles of roof barges?

Yes, roof barges come in a variety of styles from simple and minimalist to ornate and detailed. The style you choose can greatly impact the overall look of your home.


Check out our resource – Nail Your Build. A complete building guide broken down by Stage of Build – click here.

If you're super keen to learn more about roofing, check out Lysaght's 40 page Architectural Guide to Flashing – click here.

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