As you may know, there are many different types of shed roof styles, ranging from flat to multi-layered or sloped. With this variety of styles, also comes a variety in the degree of difficulty involved in making them. One of the simplest roofing designs is the gabled roof, mainly because it does not use a truss system. In this article, we are going to focus on how to build a gabled roof for a shed.
You can also check out the video tutorials below which will go over how to install the rafters which will act as a base for many different types of roofs. The second video in the series goes over the installation process for a sheet metal roof. If you’re still unclear how to do it yourself, feel free to purchase any of the below shed plans. These include over 12,000 different designs to choose from. Many of the plans are in color, and all of them are well documented, easy to read, and downloadable instantly right to your computer!
Step One – Create a Stable Top Beam Base
Along the top edge of your shed’s walls, position four beams that are 1-2 inches wider than the walls flat across the top of each wall’s edge and bolt them in place at the corners. When each beam is in place, they should look like a rectangle or square (depending on the shape of your shed) frame when looking down at the shed. These beams need to be very securely attached, as they are the supporting components of your roof.
Step Two – Gable Construction
Measure the midline of the two end beams, making sure that the measurements are accurate, as both ends need to line up. At the midline on each end, securely attach a beam perpendicular to the Top Beam Base. The length of these two beams will determine the degree of pitch your roof will have. Once the two vertical beams have been securely attached, the Cross Beam needs to be installed. Attach the Cross Beam to the two vertical beams. This is the framework that will support your rafters.
Step Three – Cut and Install Rafters
Rafters should be 24” apart and need to be notched with a Stopper Cut on the bottom edge a few inches up the beam from the lower end of the rafter. This notch will rest on the Top Beam Base and is what gives the gabled roof its strength. The high end of the rafter will be angled to butt up against and attach to the Cross Beam. The angle of this cut will depend on the degree of the pitch you have chosen. It is best to create a template first for these cuts and then use it to cut each rafter, so all of the rafters fit into place identically. In addition to rafters being spaced 24” apart, each side of the roof’s rafters should line up across from each other at the Cross Beam.
Step Four – Apply Roof
Once you have all of your rafters in place; you can now attach your roof. Typically, plywood is used for this step, but you can use any sturdy material that you’re comfortable with. When using plywood, nail it to each rafter making sure to attach it securely at the top, bottom, and middle. For a more finished look, roofing tiles can be layered on top of the plywood, starting at the bottom edge of the roof and working upwards to insure water runs off the roof instead of in between the tiles. Using roofing tiles will make your roof last longer against the elements.
Things to Keep in Mind
Installing a roof can be quite difficult, but you don’t have to be a master carpenter to install a basic gable roof; with some math skills and knowledge of angles, anyone has what it takes for building a shed roof.
Part 1, Building and installing the rafters
Part 2, Installing a sheet metal roof