How to Build a Shed Roof?

How to Build a Shed Roof
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Building a shed roof can sometimes be a tricky thing to do, especially if you have no experience. However, in this guide, we will make the job a lot easier for you. 

Whether you are building a new shed or just re-roofing your current one, it is imperative to know the proper way to cover it. Building a shed roof requires a few steps, from choosing the right style to adding the finishing touches. In this guide, we will cover all the steps necessary.

Planning The Roof

This is the first and critical step since you should choose the roof style according to what the rest of the shed looks like. There are a few main styles that include gable, skillion, saltbox, and gambrel roofs. Gable roofs have one central peak and two sloped sides that are symmetrical. This style is also most commonly used.

A skillion roof is the easiest to make since it has a single flat level that gradually slopes from the top to the bottom. Gambrel roofs are traditionally used in barns, and they have a particular style. Saltbox roofs are very similar to skillion roofs, with a few minor changes in design.

When you have chosen the right style for your roof, you should determine the necessary roof pitch, or more precisely, the slope of the roof. The pitch should be at least 3-in-12. Beyond that, you can choose any pitch that you desire.

After you have done that, you should mark the position of the rafters on the top of your shed. The fact is, the precise placement of the rafters will increase support while reducing the number of materials needed.

How to Build a Shed Roof

Setting The Rafters

The first thing to do is to measure the boards for your rafters according to your chosen roof style. Then the pitch since the actual length of your rafters depends on the size of a shed, and the slope and style you select. Then, with a circular saw, cut rafter boards to the right size. Ensure that you do that slowly and patiently since you don’t want any mistakes to happen, and want to have perfectly cut rafters.

At the end of the rafters, you should also cut a birdsmouth notch, so it can fit into position more easily. This notch is a specific, angled cut in the wood that will allow the rafter to be set up atop a wall plate firmly and securely, instead of it balancing on it. Then, assemble the rafter halves into reinforcements with the use of plywood gusset plates.

Note that gussets will reinforce the connection positions between the wood members by adding more durability and strength. Join the end rafters to your wall plates of the shed’s frame. After that, lower the first rafter into position at the back or front of the shed and connect the truss by driving nails through the board above the birdsmouth notch.

Shed Plan

Also, make sure that each birdsmouth notch is completely secured above the wall plates. Then, a great thing to do would be to run a piece of string between the end trusses. This will help you place the other rafters more easily. Hit a nail down into a peak of one of the rafters and wind the string around it. Then, pull the string and wrap it around a second nail on the opposing side of the shed.

Make sure that you pull the string tight enough to be absolutely straight. Then, just set the outstanding rafters using the string as a guideline, and of course, remember to remove the string once all the rafters are installed successfully.

If this seems a bit difficult for you, be sure to check out My Shed Plans website.

Assembling the Roof’s Substrate

First, using plywood sheathing, cover rafter trusses. Note that most construction experts say that a 1.1 cm (7/16-inch) oriented strand board is the best option for smaller roofs. Also, be sure to do everything precisely since the plywood sheathing offers the necessary support for the roof structure, and give a flat surface to connect other roof materials to.

You might also need to cut extra plywood to fill in any possible breaks in your sheathing. Note that you have to fasten plywood sheathing to the rafters, and the best way is to use 8D finishing nails. In the end, you should cut some fascia boards to finish the edges of the roof. When cutting, be sure to use the same size lumber that you used for rafters, to be sure that it will fit exactly as it should.

Installing Roofing Materials

This is the final phase of building a shed roof. Basically, you have a few choices, according to what style do you want your shed to have. At first, you can install asphalt shingles if you want to achieve a traditional look.

On the other hand, you can put a corrugated metal to achieve a more durable, customizable option. In the end, you can try out an EPDM rubber for simple and affordable coverage. It’s up to you. Any of these three options will add a different style to your shed, so think carefully about which one you choose.

Basically, that’s it. As you might have noticed, there are a few critical decisions to be made when building a roof, such as choosing the right style. You should always think a few times about that and be completely sure that it will fit the style of the shed.


As you can see, building a shed roof might not be as complicated as it seems. However, be sure to stick to our guide and don’t experiment a lot if you have never done it before. Make sure that everything is cut correctly since if only one rafter has wrong dimensions, it will have an impact on the whole roof.

Also, carefully choose a style, since the look of the roof will affect the look of the whole shed. If you have any doubts, be sure to check out My Shed Plans website. We are sure that our guide will make it much easier and simpler for you to make a new roof for your shed. Now, you just have to take your tools and start working!

Shed Plan