How to Frame a Shed Roof

How to Frame a Shed Roof
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Although it might seem complicated, framing a shed roof is actually not a difficult job. In this guide, hopefully, we will answer all your questions and make framing a lot easier and more straightforward.

Also, if you are building an entirely new shed, be sure to check out My Shed Plans website. They offer over 12,000 shed plans at a very reasonable price.

Safety Tips

Of course, before you start framing, you should consider safety. Thousands of construction accidents occur every year, so you should do everything that you can to prevent it.

First, before using a ladder, make sure that it’s stabilized and on solid ground. Also, don’t overlook the safety glasses. Flying debris and nail fragments are just some of the many things that can do potential damage to the eye.

You should also have safety footwear. For example, sandals might be comfortable, but they won’t protect your foot if you accidentally step on the nail. Of course, work gloves should be used by all means. They will protect you from slivers and cuts, and can even improve grip when holding tools, depending on the model and material.

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Determine Rise and Run

This is one of the first steps that should be done before you start framing a shed roof. You can determine the rise by multiplying the rise in one foot by the run of the slope. Also, when it comes to run, it is different for different types of roofs.

For a gable roof, the run is the distance from one supporting wall to the centerline of a shed. For a skillion roof, it is the distance between two supporting walls.

Roof Framing with Common Rafters

At first, you should find the length of a common rafter on your shed. Then, you should determine lumber size and O.C. (on center) spacing. Also, before starting to cut, you have to determine how deep should you cut the birdsmouth joint. It should sit on the wall and not exceed ⅓ of the depth of the rafter if it goes past the wall.

You can also use a framing square to help you lay out the notch. Then, you have to cut the top plumb. This is where the rafter meets the ridge board of the opposite rafter. First, draw the cut based on a roof slope. Then, draw a line across the plank where the outer side of the short arm is crossing the plank. When everything is laid out correctly, use a saw and precisely cut the line.

Then, you should measure the rafter length and mark the outer edge of the building. Be sure to measure that correctly, since these are one of the most important measures. Next, cut the birdsmouth. In most cases, you will need at least 1.5 inches of the rafter sitting on the wall plate. After you have done that, the next thing to do is to cut the tail of the rafter. The fact is that the tail also forms eaves.

Now, you have a pattern for all the rafters that will be used when framing the shed. The next thing to do is to install the rafters. You might also want to use 10d or 16d nails to nail the rafters at the top plate. Hurricane ties can also be added since they are excellent protection from the wind. They will add a little bit to the cost but will provide extra safety.

How to Frame a Shed Roof

Roof Framing with Trusses

This is another great option and is different than framing with rafters. At first, you should draw a truss plan or find one online and print it. Then, cut all the components for one truss and put the pieces together to check if they fit. Of course, make the necessary adjustments if needed. Then, assemble the trusses using plywood gussets, usually of half an inch. It is also advised to use 6d nails.

You should also lay all the trusses on top of each other to ensure that they are all the same. Then, toenail the trusses to the top plate using either nails or hurricane brackets. Next, you have to build the gable ends but make sure that the top plate is 1.5 inch lower than the top of the truss. Then nail the last truss and extend it to create the eaves.

Install Roof Sheathing

This is the last thing that needs to be done. You can’t go wrong if you choose either plywood or an OSB.

Just start at a bottom corner and move along the roof across the rafters (or trusses). Then, you should install shed roof felt. It is advised to use stainless steel staples. Next, install the drip edge and shingles. When installing shingles, be sure to start from the lower end.

After you finish with the shingles, your roof is framed! However, make sure that each row of shingles should be offset by one-third of a shingle.


As you can see, framing a roof is not a difficult thing to do. Framing differs by whether you are doing it with common rafters or trusses; however, it is simple in both ways. The best advice that you should follow is always to be careful with your measurements. If your measurement is incorrect, and therefore you create cuts that are not of proper dimensions, you will lose both material and nerves.

You might want to do at least a double measure of everything you do, to prevent bad cuts from happening. Also, while cutting, be sure to do it slowly and patiently, and don’t rush anything.

If you are planning to build a shed from the beginning, you might be interested in different shed plans and ideas. In that case, you should visit My Shed Plans website. They offer over 12,000 shed plans at a very reasonable price and it might be the best way to go.

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