How to Build a Pitched Roof

What You'll Need
Roof design computer program
Basic carpentry tools
Power miter saw
Wood and nails

If you don’t have any previous experience, designing and building, a pitched roof can seem like a prohibitively challenging project. However, if you are designing a roof for a small structure such as a garden shed or a gazebo, things are a lot easier. Following some simple tips, anyone with some basic DIY experience should be able to build a sloping roof without too much trouble.

Step 1—Getting Started with Roof Designer Software

There are a number of options here, and you should be able to download a free trial of some decent software. This will allow you to design your roof and choose which type of roof you want to build. It will help you to plan a slanted roof, a double pitch roof and various other designs. For anyone with basic computer knowledge, getting started with the right software should not be too much of a problem. Using the computer will, however, save you a lot of time.

Step 2—Taking the Measurements

Take down the necessary measurements of the structure which you are going to be placing the roof upon. You should then put these measurements into the roof designer software. Once you have done this, you can then use the software to print out the illustrations with all the necessary dimensions of the components of the roof. These include dimensions of the rafters and the frames which you will need to construct your roof. These will be extremely accurate and with the help of the software, you will have saved a great deal of time.

Step 3—Beginning the Assembly

Before you start assembling the roof, you will need to make sure that you have all of the materials and tools required. Using a helper, cut all of the frame pieces and start to assemble the roof. To get the correct dimensions of each piece of wood that you need to cut, simply refer to the plans that have been printed from the computer. You should then cut the rafters and sections of the frame as required.

You will also need to add extra bracers to the rafters so that they can be kept firmly in place and evenly spaced. The rafters should then be covered with plywood sheeting followed by tar paper. The tar paper will insulate the roof and prevent water from getting into it. Upon the tar paper, using chalk, draw parallel lines which you will use as guides for placing the shingle.

Step 4—Putting the Shingles in Place

Finally, you then need to nail the shingles in place. Begin with the bottom row, slowly working your way up to the peak of the roof. Make sure you complete one row at a time and make sure that each shingle overhangs the plywood by about an inch. Once this is done, your roof will now be complete.