Framing a Saltbox Roof

What You'll Need
String compass

A saltbox is a building with a low, pitched roof, and the framing of a saltbox roof can be a very rewarding experience for anyone who wants to create a saltbox building, such as a doghouse or food storage. In order to get the roof to stay up correctly, you will have to build the frame of the wall first, and then extend the roof from this using a separate frame, rather than simply extending the roof from the walls as most modern wooden buildings do. Framing your saltbox roof is not a difficult task if you know what you are doing and have some basic home improvements skills, and can be managed in a few hours.

Step 1 -  Laying out the Roof

Before you start building your roof, you will need to lay out the roof correctly. Lay out the walls, and then screw them into position on the frame. Now, take the pieces of wood that you intend to use for your roofing and lay them out flat on the floor. You can work out the lengths required for each piece from the size of the walls you have made. you will need one long support piece, which should cover the entire length of the building. You can make this out of two pieces of wood if you do not have one long enough, but be sure to properly support the roof. You will also need to have four short pieces of wood that will travel from the top of the walls to the long supporting piece.

Step 2 - Screw in the Sides

These short pieces will need to be placed in first. You need to use a square to position these pieces so that you have a 30 degree angle in your roof. Set the long beam down in the center, using a string compass to ensure that it is directly in the middle, and then place your first piece of wood into place. You should measure the 30 degrees, and then take your string compass up from the support beam and across the surface of the rafters. You should cut the wood slightly larger than the position indicated by the string.

Step 3 - Framing the Rest of the Roof

Once you have that first piece into position, you can repeat the process with the rest of the rafter pieces. Using a screwdriver, connect these parts to your wall frame, pushing the screws into both rafters and frame. Tighten until you are not able to push the screw any further into either piece of wood. When you have finished this, take the long support beam and place it on top of the rafters. You should have a slight overlap where the rafters meet in the center. Saw off the very end of you support beam so that it fits tightly into place behind both free ends of the rafters. Screw all three pieces of wood (both rafters and the beam) into position.