Building A Shed Roof Is Easy When You Know How.

Building A Shed Roof Is Easy When You Know How.

Building a Shed Roof: There are many ways to build a shed roof. The methods are as varied as the style you would like to produce.

The standby method to frame a roof, even on a house, is to frame it as shown in this diagram, with rafters attached to a ridge board that slope down and overhang the outer walls. the slope is determined by the height at which you affix the ridge board to the end supports at the gable. Then each rafter is cut and nailed in place at the ridge and top wall plate.

The spacing of the rafters is usually 16 inches O/C (on center). The rafters are usually installed with a longer overhang than desired, then snapped with a string-line and cut to the desired length. This keeps the rafter-tails (overhanging rafter) even so the facer board will nail on flat and straight.

The next sketch shows a roof design that gives you a loft area and a simple, one direction back slope.

This would be great for extra storage space above. This design obviously calls for different framing than the one we are building now, with longer studs and a header or lintel in the front to hold up the roof structure over the opening.

The floor of the loft is also the ceiling of the lower shed and is installed after the walls are erected. This style of construction is called balloon framing.

When building a shed roof I like to make and use trusses, simply because they are easy to make, easy to install, solid and incorporate the collar ties (ceiling rafters that hold the front and back walls at a consistent distance).

For the shed we are building, we also want an over-hang of 36 inches over top of the front porch. Trusses make this easy.

First thing to do when building a shed roof is to screw together a mock-up truss and put it on the top of the walls as a way to judge the height and proportion. The total span (bottom member) of the truss is to be the same as the floor deck we constructed earlier. 11 feet. We built the peak of the truss to be directly above the center of the span, not the center of the shed. This will give us an identical slope on the front and back.

Once we have determined the height of the mock-up truss, it is time to construct a proper truss.

We simply marked the cut lines on the mock-up truss with a pencil, including the cuts on both pieces at the ridge and cut the angles with the skill saw.

The joins are made initially with screws toe-nailed in to hold it firmly and then we used gang-nail plates on each side to add extra strength to the joints. The first truss completed is used as a template for the rest, laying the pieces directly on top of the template to mark them for cutting and assembly.

An upright is also installed to sit directly above the front wall of the shed to further strengthen the roof.

To hold the first truss upright we nailed a support 2×4 to the end wall. Each successive truss was put up 16"O/C and held upright with further board screwed in 16"O/C on the upper back slope, as shown in the picture of us building a shed roof.

We added a couple more upright nailers to the gable ends to support the sheathing that would be nailed there. In this photo you can see that the rafter tails have been snapped and cut and a facer board has been nailed on the one side.

In the photo (below) we have installed and trimmed the sheathing on the gable ends, cut and installed struts to support the overhang and also installed the facer board. The front facer board has not yet been trimmed. The struts are screwed in place 16" O/C and will hold firmly.

Next comes the plywood sheathing that is nailed to the trusses and stabilizes the whole roof structure so the temporary nailer on the back slope can be removed. We nailed on 2×4" cleats so we could safely walk on the roof to install the upper sheathing.

A false dormer is framed on the front of the shed roof as shown. I built it to be the same width at the base as the door opening beneath it. This is not a necessary step when building a shed roof, but will make the appearance much more interesting. I also installed a small triangular wall, recessed about 8 inches, to attach soffit and siding.

Here it is all together with the dormer sheeted.

Building a Shed Roof: There are many ways to build a shed roof. The methods are as varied as the style you would like to produce.

The standby method to frame a roof, even on a house, is to frame it as shown in this diagram, with rafters attached to a ridge board that slope down and overhang the outer walls. the slope is determined by the height at which you affix the ridge board to the end supports at the gable. Then each rafter is cut and nailed in place at the ridge and top wall plate.

The spacing of the rafters is usually 16 inches O/C (on center). The rafters are usually installed with a longer overhang than desired, then snapped with a string-line and cut to the desired length. This keeps the rafter-tails (overhanging rafter) even so the facer board will nail on flat and straight.

The next sketch shows a roof design that gives you a loft area and a simple, one direction back slope.

This would be great for extra storage space above. This design obviously calls for different framing than the one we are building now, with longer studs and a header or lintel in the front to hold up the roof structure over the opening.

The floor of the loft is also the ceiling of the lower shed and is installed after the walls are erected. This style of construction is called balloon framing.

Building A Shed Roof Is Easy When You Know How.

When building a shed roof I like to make and use trusses, simply because they are easy to make, easy to install, solid and incorporate the collar ties (ceiling rafters that hold the front and back walls at a consistent distance).

For the shed we are building, we also want an over-hang of 36 inches over top of the front porch. Trusses make this easy.

First thing to do when building a shed roof is to screw together a mock-up truss and put it on the top of the walls as a way to judge the height and proportion. The total span (bottom member) of the truss is to be the same as the floor deck we constructed earlier. 11 feet. We built the peak of the truss to be directly above the center of the span, not the center of the shed. This will give us an identical slope on the front and back.

Once we have determined the height of the mock-up truss, it is time to construct a proper truss.

We simply marked the cut lines on the mock-up truss with a pencil, including the cuts on both pieces at the ridge and cut the angles with the skill saw.

The joins are made initially with screws toe-nailed in to hold it firmly and then we used gang-nail plates on each side to add extra strength to the joints. The first truss completed is used as a template for the rest, laying the pieces directly on top of the template to mark them for cutting and assembly.

An upright is also installed to sit directly above the front wall of the shed to further strengthen the roof.

To hold the first truss upright we nailed a support 2×4 to the end wall. Each successive truss was put up 16"O/C and held upright with further board screwed in 16"O/C on the upper back slope, as shown in the picture of us building a shed roof.

We added a couple more upright nailers to the gable ends to support the sheathing that would be nailed there. In this photo you can see that the rafter tails have been snapped and cut and a facer board has been nailed on the one side.

In the photo (below) we have installed and trimmed the sheathing on the gable ends, cut and installed struts to support the overhang and also installed the facer board. The front facer board has not yet been trimmed. The struts are screwed in place 16" O/C and will hold firmly.

Next comes the plywood sheathing that is nailed to the trusses and stabilizes the whole roof structure so the temporary nailer on the back slope can be removed. We nailed on 2×4" cleats so we could safely walk on the roof to install the upper sheathing.

A false dormer is framed on the front of the shed roof as shown. I built it to be the same width at the base as the door opening beneath it. This is not a necessary step when building a shed roof, but will make the appearance much more interesting. I also installed a small triangular wall, recessed about 8 inches, to attach soffit and siding.

Here it is all together with the dormer sheeted.


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