How to Build a Roof

A roof is an essential part of any house and is usually the last structure that is added to complete it. Roofs can be made with a variety of materials and in a range of styles to suit any house design and personal preference. Knowing how to build a roof is a valuable skill for those with an interest in construction and the knowledge can be applied to roof repairs.

Materials

  • 2×8 or 2×6 Wooden roof grits or beams
  • 2×4 wooden rafters
  • Roof purlins
  • Galvanised iron corrugated roofing sheets
  • 1, 2 and 4 inch nails
  • Umbrella nails
  • Roof ridge
  • Galvanised iron roof gutters
  • PVC down sprouts
  • Anchor bolts
  • Ceiling rafters
  • Ceiling plywood panels

Tools

  • Claw hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Framing hammer
  • Canvas nail belts
  • Framing square
  • Combination square
  • Wrenches
  • Nail puller
  • Carpentry level
  • Screw drivers
  • Drills
  • Hacksaw
  • Ladders
  • Chalk line
  • Pens, pencils, markers
  • Saw horses
  • Plumb bob
  • Finish hammer
  • Clam
  • Staple gun
  • Chisel
  • Caulking gun
  • Nail set
  • Insurance
  • Blueprints

Instructions

  1. Use embedded anchor bolts to affix roof grits to the concrete or wooden posts of the house. Roof grits should be 2”x6” or 2”x8” to facilitate the building of roof grits that support the whole weight of the entire roof. Roof grits are ideally in two sets, one supporting the roof and another supporting the roof tail end.
  2. Attach 2×4 roof rafters to the grits with machine bolt anchors. The roof rafters should be installed perpendicular to grits or beams and parallel to the galvanised iron corrugated roofing sheets. The amount of rafters needed for roof support is determined by the fact that the gap between two rafters should not exceed 1 ½ to 2 metres.
  3. Place 3 wood rafter 5 metres apart for a sturdy roof rafter building technique. (Alternatively- 5 rafters separated by a width of 6 metres offers a simple and dependable roofing technique).
  4. Use 4 inch nails to fit wooden purlins on top of and perpendicular to rafters and the galvanised iron sheet corrugation. The purlins should be affixed at 70 meters apart from the top of the roof to the gutter area. The installations of purlins are necessary to ensure permanence of roof sheets and will act as a guide for laying galvanised iron sheets into place.
  5. Arrange the galvanised iron roofing sheets on top of the purlins by nailing them down with umbrella nails and overlapping the ends at 6 inches.
  6. Affix the roof apex to the roof ridge with umbrella nails and install the gutters on each of the lower ends on the roof.
  7. Insert the top part of the gutters between a purlin and a part of the roof sheet and affix with 2 inch nails to secure them. Leave provisions for down spout drains and strainers.
  8. For the ceiling installation, simply affix the plywood panels to the ceiling rafters using 1-inch nails.

Tip and warning

  • Seek assistance when building a roof. The job may be done by one person, but it is impractical and unsafe.
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