How to Build a Mansard Roof

What You'll Need
Woodworking tools
Working gear: knee pads, gloves, tool belt, hard hatandboots
Underlayment material
Plastic sheets and tarps

A mansard roof is an excellent addition to a home for those looking to increase the living space on the top floor or to add to the attic room. Building a mansard roof at home is a fairly easy task provided one has the correct design, appropriate instructions, quality building tools and the requisite technical and manual skills.

Building a Mansard Roof

Step 1: Decision Making and Planning

This step involves choosing a blueprint for the roof you wish to build, contacting local authorities to find out the area-specific building codes and regulations, dealing with contractors to find out the intricacies of the building process, purchasing all the supplies, hiring out labor if the job is too much to finish alone and taking out an insurance cover to protect against any damages incurred during the building process.

Step 2: Preparing the Building Site

The first step in the actual building process is to get the area ready for construction. Start out by choosing a specific place for all the tools you will need. Use a large table or section off a portion of the lawn so that all the materials are in one place--easily accessible and neatly arranged. Remember to cover all plants and any appliances, fixtures and machinery in the area with tarps or plastic sheets to prevent any damage during the construction.

Step 3: Placing the Rafters

Take the common rafters and fix them to one ridge board. Use the nails to fix them in place. Once this is done, elevate the ridge and then use nails to fix the other rafters into place as well. The outside rafters have to be placed such that the birdsmouth is on a plane with the highest plate of the wall. Once the precise position has been achieved, use nails to tighten the rafters into place. The same procedure has to be carried out on the three remaining sides.

Step 4: Remaining Common Rafters

The common rafters left over from the third step now have to be fixed into place. They too have to be nailed into place to ensure a tight and secure positioning.

Step 5: Ceiling Beams and Sheathing

The ceiling beams have to be fixed with care. Use nails to secure them into place and ensure they aren’t loose so that there is no damage later. After this has been done, cover the area with the sheathing.

Step 6: Upper Extension

The elevated extended region that forms the upper extension of the mansard roof has to be built using vertical rafters. These vertical rafters have to be placed within the boundaries of the ridge board. Common rafters should be used on both the inside and the outside of this structure to lend it strength and support.

Step 7: Sheathing and Shingling

Use collar ties and fascia for the roof before the sheathing process can begin. The sheathing material has to be attached to the common rafters using nails. Regions where there are valleys and vents should be covered using flashing. After this has been done, one should lay the undercoating material over the entire surface and then cover it with the shingles.