How to Build a Pitch Roof


Without prior experience, the design and building of a pitched roof can be a real challenge. For a small project, such as a shed or a gazebo, it is possible for a novice to design and build a roof to be proud of.

Things You'll Need

  • Roof designing software
  • Computer and printer
  • General carpentry tools
  • Power Miter saw
  • Wood, nails and shingles
  • Helper
  • To design your roof, locate and download a free trial of roof designing software. Your can then decide what type of roof you want to build, such as a simple slanted roof, a double pitch, a hip roof, etc. The author had great success using software downloaded from

  • Measure the dimensions of the structure you are covering with a roof, and begin to plug dimensions into your design software. When finalized, you will be able to print out illustrations and dimensions of all of the rafters and supports needed to construct your roof.

  • Purchase the wood and other materials needed. With the assistance of a helper, cut the main frame pieces and begin to assemble them. Cut one of the identical rafter pieces and try it for size, adjusting the cuts as needed. Continue cutting and assembling the remaining rafters.

  • Add additional braces in between and perpendicular to the rafters to keep them evenly spaced and square. Cover the rafters with plywood and tar paper. Use a chalk line to mark parallel lines on the tar paper in preparation for the shingle placement.

  • Nail shingles in place with roofing nails starting from the bottom row, and work your way up to the top or peak of the roof, all the way across, one row at a time. Let the shingles overhang the sides and bottom of the plywood by 3/4 inches.

Tips & Warnings

  • More complex designs, such as hip roofs or 8-sided gazebo roofs, may require the use of a compound mitre saw.
  • The use of roof design software eliminates the need for trial and error cuts in all but the most complex designs.
  • Use great caution when using power tools.
  • Be especially careful using ladders.
  • Be kind to your helper.

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