How to Build a Saltbox Roof

What You'll Need
Nails, bolts, screws, metal ties
Woodworking tools
Plastic sheets/tarp
Work gear--hard hat, tool belt, gloves, knee pads and boots
Material for underlayment

If you want a saltbox roof for your residential property, you can undertake the project yourself, provided you have some technical skill and mechanical know-how. Building and installing a saltbox roof and converting the existing, conventional roof to meet additional needs is an excellent way of adding to the structure of the house. Even though saltbox roofs lead to a compromise in terms of attic space, they are excellent ways of waterproofing the structure and increasing thermal insulation.

Building a Saltbox Roof

Step 1: Decision Making and Planning

This is an essential step of the procedure. It involves all the pre-building thought and activity that goes into ensuring that the roof being built is accurately designed, properly structured, in tandem with the local building codes, and scientifically and technically functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing. This step involves contacting local authorities, dealing with builders, choosing the appropriate building plan, finalizing a design and checking out labor costs and insurance policies.

Step 2: Preparation

This step involves getting ready to start the building process. There is usually vegetation, such as a small kitchen garden, individual potted plants or flower beds, near a house. Building can cause severe damage to any kind of plant life, so it is advisable to set out by covering lawn and other vegetation with tarps and plastic sheets to prevent damage. If there are any appliances, such as A/C units, in the region or any other goods lying about, cover those with tarps as well. Dumpsters will be needed as the work progresses, so make sure you hire, borrow or purchase one. For increased convenience, also set up a big work table or area for all the tools that will be used.

Step 3: Measuring and Cutting

The ridge board is the first piece that needs to be cut. This has to be done keeping in mind the length of the structure in question. The common rafters that have to be cut next have to be done both for the long and the short side. Let the long side be A and the short side be B.

Step 4: Positioning and Nailing Rafters at the Beam

The common rafters have to be attached on side A, using nails. They have to be affixed to either edge of the ridge beam. After this, the ridge has to be elevated so that two more rafters can be fixed now to side B. After this has been done, raise the ridge further until the point where the birdsmouth is in alignment with the highest plates of the wall. Since rafters of a saltbox roof lie over the walls and extend over the edges, it is important to place them precisely. Once this is done, use nails to secure them in place.

Step 5: Positioning and Securing Rafters at the Roof

The rafters have to be installed on both side A and side B of the roof by being secured to the wall studs. This helps in ensuring the safety and security of the installation.

Step 6: Shingling

Take the sheathing materials and place them over the rafters you have installed. After the sheathing is in place, use nails to lock it down. This has to be covered with the underlaying material. Then take the shingles and place them carefully across the entire length.