The shed roof is arguably the hardest part a shed to build. This tutorial is designed to walk you through the steps of building a shed roof for a simple gable roofed shed for spans up to 10'. The images used show a roof that has a 4 in 12 pitch but the pitch can be changed to whatever is on your shed plans. By following the step by step instructions you will learn how to:
Welcome to this shed roof building tutorial. Here you will learn about the steps to building a shed roof, including installing roof rafters and roof sheeting.
If you have not already built your roof rafters you can view the tutorial on how to build them in step 4 of this shed building series.
The first step to installing the roof rafters is to mark the rafter locations on the top plates. Start the layout on the end of the shed shown on the plans. Mark the rafter locations at 24 inches on center using the same layout technique used to layout the wall studs shown video five of this video series.
Layout the second wall making sure to start at the same end of the shed as you laid out the first wall.
The second step is to set the end rafters on the ends of the shed. Make sure to use the two rafters that have a gusset on only one side and that the side of the rafter with no gusset is facing outwards
Set a rafter on the top plates and align the gable face of the rafter with the top plate on the gable end of the shed. Make sure that the overhang of the rafter birdsmouth is the same on both ends of the rafter.
Attach the rafter to the top plates using 3 8d nails at each rafter seat to top plate connection.
Install the rafter at the opposite end of the shed in the same way.
The rafters may be temporarily supported from falling over by nailing a 2x4 board to the gable end or on some sheds the siding will extend up above the top plates. This shed shows both techniques.
The third step is very simple but it is important to help you align all the other rafters. Install a string line between the peaks of the two end rafters. Make the string tight enough so it does not sag but not so tight that it pulls the end rafters down.
You can tie a knot in the string and hook it in the gap between the rafter ends or simply put a nail where the two rafters meet at the peak and tie the string to it.
The fourth step is to set the remaining roof rafters between the two end rafters.
Set each rafter on its respective marks on the top plates and align its peak with the stringline. Then nail it to the top plates using 3 8d nails at each rafter seat to top plate connection.
The fifth step is to install the sub fascia. The Sub fascia is the 2x4 or 2x6 board that connects the bottom edge of the roof rafters.
Start by cutting the fascia boards to length and then marking the boards with layout marks at 24 inches on center. It works well to layout both fascia boards at the same time.
Align the marks on the fascia board with rafter tails, make sure that the end you started the layout on the fascia board is aligned with the same end you laid out the rafters on the shed from.
Make sure that the fascia board is flush with the top of the rafters and nail the fascia board to the rafter tails using 2 12d nails at each connection.
Install the second fascia board on the other side of the shed just like you did the first side.
The sixth step is to install the first sheeting piece starting from the same end you laid the trusses out from. 7/16 inch O.S.B. is most commonly used for roof sheeting. It comes in 4x8 sheets and is installed using 8d nails. Set the sheeting on the rafters with the lower edge flush with the fascia and the end flush with the face of the rafter. Make sure that the end that shares a rafter with the next sheet is splitting the top edge of the rafter.
Nail the sheeting to the fascia and end rafter. You can use a few nails at first to hold the sheet in place and then come back later and nail off the whole roof at one time.
The seventh step is to layout the rafter location on the top edge of the sheet and attach the sheeting to the rafters.
Hook the tape measure on the gable end of the shed that the sheeting is nailed to and mark the 24 inch on center layout across the top edge of the sheeting piece or hold the tape measure to show the layout dimension while you adjust the rafters.
Move each rafter to line it up with the layout marks and nail the sheeting to the rafter. This will lock the rafters in place so they remain on layout as you continue installing sheeting on the roof.
When two pieces of sheeting meet on a rafter each sheet will sit on half of the top edge of the rafter. Once you have adjusted the rafter to evenly hold each piece of sheeting you will nail the sheeting on.
The eighth step is to make the gable ends plumb and finish installing the first row of sheeting. Always install a complete row of sheeting before installing the next row.
The last piece of roof sheeting must be cut so that the gable end rafters stand up perfectly plumb. First check the gable end of the shed that you started layout from and make sure that it is plumb. You may need to brace it to hold it in place. Then make the rafter on the end that is not sheeted yet plumb.
Now measure the size of the sheeting needed to cover from the gable end of the shed to the sheeting joint on the first row. Cut the sheeting and install it.
The ninth step is to install the remaining rows of sheeting. The sheets in each row should be staggered from the previous row. They are typically installed with a 4 foot offset. This increases the strength of the roof system.
Start at the same end you laid out the rafters from and install a sheet that has been cut down to create the staggered layout pattern.
The roof sheeting needs to have a ⅛ inch gap between the edges to give it room for expansion. Use several 8d nails in the joint between the sheets to hold the gap open while you are nailing the sheet to the rafters.
Nail the sheet to the rafters and then remove the nails used to hold the gap between sheets open.
The tenth step is to install the nails on the edges and center of the roof sheets. If you have not already done so you will need to install nails every 6 inches along the edges and every 12 inches in the center of the sheets.
Many brands of O.S.B. have markings that are close to the 24 inch on center layout to help you locate the rafters below.
Once you have installed the sheeting for the first side you will repeat the process for the second side of the roof .
Gable Roof: The gable shed design comes in higher and lower slopes. The slope of the roof is one of the defining characteristics that gives your shed its "look".
Lean To Roof: The lean to is a simple single plane roof. It is simple to build and works well up against another structure like a fence or house.
Gambrel Roof: The gambrel gives your shed the classic barn look and provides lots of storage space up under the rafters. Larger gambrel designs have a loft area.
Not all roof pitches are created equal. The steeper the roof the more dangerous it is to work on. Everyones agility level is different so make sure you make your work enviroment safe reguardless of the instructions shown here.
Generally it is not safe to walk on a roof that is steeper than 6 in 12 pitch. Most of our sheds have a 4 in 12 or 2 in 12 pitch, both of which are fairly easy to walk on.
Our shed designs with a 10 in 12 pitch need special planning to make sure you have adequate safety measures in place.
When you feel unsafe you should install a 2x4 board horizontally across the shed roof on top of the building paper every 2 to 4 feet to act as a ledge to stand on and catch you if you start slipping.
"I'm declaring victory over the shed project. Thanks for the great plans and for answering my various e-mails along the way." John
You guys are awesome! Thank you very much!" Denise