How to Build a Roof

Every building needs a roof. It’s what keeps the rain out as well as other elements. The roof keeps summers cool and winters warm. Building a roof needs to be done properly, otherwise it can collapse under its own weight and hurt someone. Take care and secure yourself if you are working on replacing your own roof.

Required Materials/Tools

  • Roofing plywood
  • Wood trusses for framing
  • Shingles
  • Tar paper


You will first need to get the design sorted, and consult your district council for the necessary permits before you begin.

Frame the Roof

  1. If you are re-building the roof you need to frame it. Order trusses for the design you made or acquired. Be sure the measurements are exact, Trusses will be expensive, and you don’t want to have an order be wasted. The information you will need when ordering trusses are Slope, Size of rafters Spacing of rafters Length of overhang Location and size of ceiling joists Size of ridge beam and any other bearing beams and Load Weight.
  2. When you get the order, inspect the wood to make sure it’s adequate.
  3. Now we need to frame the roof. Follow the design specifications from the blueprints and complete the framework. Be sure to take your time and have proper safety gear on.


  1. Sheeting a roof is taking plywood and laying it across, forming a solid surface. When you sheet your roof, make sure to start at the bottom and work your way up. Use nails and nail the plywood to the frame of the roof.
  2. Lay out once side at a time, and cut the plywood to fit on the edges.


  1. To apply the felt on the roof. Get the tar paper and have it ready to go. What we are going to do is roll this tar paper across the plywood of the roof until it is completely covered in the tar paper.
  2. You want to apply the felt on a clean and dry surface. One of the biggest mistakes is applying it after it rained.
  3. When you roll the felt out over the roof be sure to overlap the felt by about 5″ to 6″.


  1. The final stage of building a roof is to add shingles to it. Shingles will weather the roof and protect it from rain and other elements.
  2. First we need to drag up the bundles of shingle to the roof.
  3. Use a nail gun and start at the lowest corner of the roof.
  4. Nail in the shingle, 1 on each side.
  5. Work your way across the roof until one side is finished. Now go back to the beginning and add the next sure to overlap the previous shingles.
  6. When you finish with all sides of the roof, you can use single shingles to shingle the corners of the roof. Again, start from the bottom and work up.

Further Reading on How to Build a Roof

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