Advanced: How to Build a Roof over your Head

construction worker framing roofBuilding a roof over the weekend is not an easy task, but it is not impossible for advanced Weekend Warriors. There are many elements to consider when attempting to build a pitched roof. First, you’ll want to decide on what type of roof design you would like.

The two most popular types of pitched roofs are gables and hips. A gable roof has two sides and comes together at a high point, usually right in the middle of the house. A hip roof has four sides and all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a gentle slope.

Depending on your location, a more steep roof may be better than a gently sloped roof. For example, in areas that receive high annual snowfalls, steep pitches are more common as the slope sheds snow and ice more easily and prevents too much build-up from weighing down the roof.

In addition to power tools and construction equipment you can purchase from, you will also need these four main elements to build a pitched roof:

    1. Wooden joists that will support the weight of the roof.
    2. A breathable membrane which keeps the rain out while the roof is being built, offering an extra layer of protection to any water that gets through the outside layer of the roof. In some older houses, roofing felt is used in place of breathable membrane. The membrane is placed over the joists and nailed in. Nails should be stainless steel or hot dipped galvanized to withstand moist conditions.
    3. Wooden lumber, which is tanilised (pressure treated with tanilith) to protect them from moisture. The lumber pieces are fixed to the joists with nails through the breathable membrane.
    4. A tile covering to provide waterproofing for the layers below. It can be slate, clay, or concrete.