How to Frame a Mansard Roof

What You'll Need

A mansard roof is a commonly seen roof type, and is visible on old style houses and modern ones, it can even be used in barnyards and dog houses. Completely versatile, this form of roof has two parts, the lower of which has a deep slope to each of the sides, and the upper portion is further back, almost vertical in direction. The use of the mansard roof in homes is popular as it allows for more living space, and you do not need to frame it in order to get it to work. However, should you choose to frame your roof, then you can follow a few simple guidelines to getting the project completed quickly.

Step 1 - Designing the Frame

The first step in creating your mansard roof is to design the frame in pen and paper. You will need to have two stages to the construction, with the larger frame going on before the smaller, higher one. In order to get the right angle for your frame, start by drawing a semi-circle on a piece of paper. You will need a tall support at the center, so draw a line from the top of the circle to the line at the bottom. Then, take your paper and fold it so that the lower line of the semi-circle reaches above the top of the support line. This fold will divide your smaller roof from the larger. You can now draw in a smaller roof with shallower sides on top, and the lower, shallower roof below.

Step 2 - Begin the Build

With this basic design in mind, begin your framing by building a horizontal line, as wide as you want the lower part of the roof to be. Now, a long piece of heavy wood, and place that in the center. Screw all the pieces into position. You now have the basic support structure for your roof.

Step 3 - Make the Lower Roof

You should then take wood, and cut it to the length desired for your lower roof. You need four support posts, one at each corner. Frame the roof by laying boards between each of the four posts until you reach the top of the posts. You should then take four more pieces of wood, and create another horizontal support, as on the bottom of your roof. Nail each of the framed pieces of wood together, or screw in place, before proceeding.

Step 4 - Make the Upper Roof

Take four more pieces of wood, and screw them into the corners. You can then bring them across so that they touch in the center. Fit all of these lengths together, so that you have a basic pointed roof. Now, add your framing timbers along the sides, until you have reached the top of the roof again. You have now finished the roof.