Framing a roof

Learning how to build a roof takes an understanding of how roofs are built. Roofs have different slopes for different needs. Some need to shed water. These would be a gentle slope. Other roofs need to shed and withstand the weight of snow and ice. These require a steeper slope.

build roof

Barn-type roofs are gaining popularity because of the economic sense they offer. They are my favorite design for many reasons, but let's discuss regular roof styles.


The slope of a roof is determined by how many inches high it is in a 12-inch span.

A carpenter's square can help you find the right angle to make the trusses. An average and common slope for many homes is a 6 in 12 slope.

roof slope

If you decide to build your own trusses, make sure you select knot-free lumber. It should be grade 1 or 2 lumber. Measure out the trusses and secure them with wood glue and mending plates.

It's also a good idea to let them dry in some sort of press to keep them flat.

install trusses

The truss will fit onto the walls. The collar beam is the part of the truss runs horizontal and is the exact distance of the span of the house. This is usually the width of the house and the collar beam is the distance from outside wall to the other outside wall.

truss installation

You can secure the truss with nails or with brackets, but the sooner you brace the trusses together with cross-bracing the stronger they will be. This can be as simple as nailing plywood sheathing over as soon as possible.

build eave

You will want to close in the eaves which will allow you to cover it with the soffit and eaves.

Next, barn roofs are more economical