Two Basic Methods of Framing a Shed Roof

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Sheds are an invaluable asset for gardening or even storage for your home. They can offer extra space to place gardening tools and other outdoor objects and furniture, as well as be a whole extra room to put awesome things and make it a mancave of some sort. 

For the avid do-it-yourself enthusiast, building a shed is something that must be done in their lifetime. However, the toughest part of the whole process is framing the shed roof. Fear not, because, with this article, you will pick up an understanding of roof styles and construction terminologies that will assist you in building a shed. 

Two Basic Methods of Framing a Shed Roof

The traditional framing method is to cut and install all roofing parts, one board, at a time. This includes creating the rafters, the ridge board, collar ties, and ceiling joists separately and one at a time. This method makes it possible for a single person to carry out the task, at the expense of energy lost because of the amount of time spent scaling ladders. 

The second option is to build the frame of the roof on the ground while forming individual trusses. The roof truss is an area of the roof frame that is prefabricated and consists of a pair of angled rafters and a horizontal bottom chord that forms the joist. Once the entire thing is assembled, the trusses are lifted and fastened to the tops of each wall. This process is much quicker but requires extra help from others to complete. 

With the two methods nailed down, here are four popular styles of shed roofs:

Gable Roof Framing

This is the most common style, as it is easily identifiable by an A-shaped profile with two equal length sloping planes. They are formed by pairs of common rafters and take place at an angle from the walls to the peak of the roof. If a ridge board is used, it usually runs horizontally between the rafters. 

Saltbox Roofs

These roofs are quite similar to gable roofs, except that one of the roof planes is slightly longer than the other, shifting the roof peak off the center. This makes it closer to the front wall and giving it the saltbox look. This will require a 45ยบ rafter to create a 12-in-12 roof slope while positioning the peak of the roof a third of the way back from the front portion of the walls.

Gambrel Roofs

The Gambrel roof is often called a barn roof, as it is easily identifiable by a distinctive double-sloping profile. It has a pair of short and shallow roof planes that make their way down from the peak of the roof, breaking sharply into two steeper slopes that extend to the tops of the walls. 

This roof is more complicated than others due to the extra parts required to build it, making it more difficult to frame. The benefit is that it gives a high headroom and creates a very spacious interior illusion because of the large space above. It can even be turned into a storage loft, wherein items can be easily stored in the roof of the shed to maximize space. 

Shed Roof

A shed roof contains a single sloping plane, which makes it the simplest one to build out of all the frames. This style can be used when the foundation is built up against a wall of another structure, such as a house, barn, or garage. When deciding the slope of the roof, it is important to take into consideration the position of the doors, as a steeply pitched roof can reduce headroom clearance. 


Building a shed is not as complicated as it seems, the only issue that seems to be present is whether or not you need a team to complete it due to the complex nature of the building. Otherwise, shed building would be a great way to spend idle time and a project that will pay off in the end.

We offer the best techniques and styles to those looking towards building a shed. Check out My Shed Plans today to get a head start on building your shed.