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How To Build A Peaked Roof

How To Make A Flat Roof Have A Pitch

DIY Add a peaked roof to a Simple Stand-alone Sun Shelter

Commercial property owners and managers in Toronto ON would sometimes think about adding pitch to their flat roofs. If youre considering the same thing, Cox Roofing Systems is here to tell you that this project is difficult but it can be done.

This guide will cover the following essential points:

  • Typical reasons to add slope to your flat roof
  • How to make a flat roof have a pitch step by step process
  • The downsides of flat roof to pitched roof conversions

Building A Gable With Barge End Purlin Struts And Collar Ties

The picture above shows the plan view of a gable roof. Ladder trusses are made up using four noggins at each corner to support a rafter outside the building. That rafter outside forms the overhang for the barge boards to fix to, and so the soffit boards and ventilation are continuous all the way around the structure.

Roof members

Framing a gable involves more than joists, common rafters and a ridge as covered in previous pages. Below is a picture of some extra roof members that go into the construction

The extra timbers in a gable roof are

  • Collar tie: The collars are horizontal timbers bolted to the side of the rafters to form a strong triangle shape.
  • Purlin: The purlin runs from one end of the roof to the other and acts to support the common rafter. It is held up by –
  • Struts: The struts are used to prop up the purlin and transfer that load down onto a load bearing wall, or another length of timber that reaches from front to back. They do not transfer the load onto the ceiling joists.
  • Hangers: The hangers are tall timbers usually around 220 x 45 that reach from and sit on each wall. Metal strapping is used to fix the ceiling joists to the hangers to stop them sagging with the weight of the ceiling, by technically reducing their span.
  • Gable roof step by step

    Step 1: Wall plates and JoistsSet out the wall plates to whatever centers you need for your gable roof and cut/fix the joists so they are parallel to each other and flush with the back edge of the wall plates.

    How To Determine Roof Pitch

    You will also need to know the desired pitch of the roof. Pitch is the slope or angle from the wall plate to the roof ridge line. Pitch can vary a great deal, from a shallow slope up to a very steep pitch. Pitch for a gable roof, the most common, is generally 1/4 or 1/3 which is equal to 1/4 or 1/3 the total span of the building, not counting any overhang. Pitch also has its own denotation, determined by the rise in inches in 12 inches. For instance a 4/12 pitch denotes a roof rising 4 inches for each 12 inches. Having the correct pitch is important. In many instances, a certain pitch may be necessary or even required by local codes. Pitch is determined by snow loads, other weather factors and the covering to be applied to the roof. For those in the northern parts of the country, an 8 in 12 pitch, or more, is commonly used to keep excessive snow loads off the roof. Those in the southern climates may utilize lower pitches. The minimum pitch, however, that can be used with many roofing materials such as asphalt shingles or corrugated metal is 3 in 12 . For lower pitches, a built-up or continuous roll roofing must be applied to keep the roof waterproof.

    Pitch is the amount of angle or slope the roof has. This is denoted two ways, a 1/3 or 1/4 pitch in fractions, and a 6/12 pitch in inches, which means the roof rises 6 inches for each 12 inches of run. A framing square is traditionally used for laying out the roof and determining pitch.

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    Gable Roof Framing Theory

    The basic parts are a ridge board, gable studs, and common rafters. A gable roof slopes downward in two directions, like two right triangles joined together at the vertical line of the triangle.

    The ridge board runs along the peak of the roof parallel to the outside walls. The top of the common rafters are nailed to the ridge board and slope downwards to the outside walls where they are nailed to the ceiling joists and the outside walls.

    All of the common rafters are the same size and length for each span and roof pitch. Gable roof framing is like learning to drive, you don’t need to know how the mechanics of the vehicle work, but you will be a better driver if you do. You don’t need to be an expert on the Pythagorean Theorem to be a good roof cutter but the better you understand it the better roof framer you will become.

    Assembling The Shed Roofs Substrate

    How to Build a Gable Dormer

    The substrate is the surface where the roofing is applied. In many cases, a roof cover board is the best option for this, and there are several types. They are generally thin substrates that are installed between the insulation and membrane layers of the roof. They can help you avoid blistering in the roof system from the insulation off-gassing when coming into contact with certain adhesives being used for the roof.

    The different types of roof substrates or cover boards are:

    • Plywood/OSB
    • Perlite
    • Asphaltic

    The substrate is installed by being fastened to the structural deck or to an underlying substrate. Many of the best installation techniques include staggering the joists of the cover board in each row and to the joints of the insulation below it. This reduces bridging and gaps between the layers.

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    How To Replace A Playset Canopy With Wood

    If your playset came with a canopy style roof,youve probably noticed that it starts to look less than stellar after a fewyears. Sun damage or damage caused by storms often leaves the fabric used forcanopy style roofs looking shabby. This is especially true if you leave thecanopy out over the winter.

    You can very easily replace the fabric with afresh new canopy when it no longer looks nice, and it usually isnt anexpensive fix, but if youre looking to install a more permanent solution, thenyou might want to try adding a wood roof.

    Replacing a canopy with wood is very simple.The basic idea is that you run boards vertically from the top of the roof ridgeto the edge of the playset and secure them. Although the process I outlinediscusses the use of boards, this can also be accomplished with corrugatedplastic.

    Choose Size And The Style Of The Shed

    Heres my setup: I reviewed what I needed to fit in the shed today, considered a few wants for the future, looked at my budget, and came up with the size. Id seen a lot of sheds but had some specific ideas in mind, after doing some research I came up with my shed style.


    I decided to take full advantage of the regulations and build a 10 x 14 shed.

    Shed style

    I wanted a simple roof. I didnt want ridges or valleys which are a lot of work and can leak. I decided on a Slanted Roof. Its similar to a shed or lean-to roof, or a clerestory roof, but has one visible difference. It has a greater slope. Basically, a slanted roof style is a flat roof tilted high up at one edge to create a very steep slope.


    • Significantly cheaper to build than a gable or multi-slope roof since theres less material in the roof.
    • No ridges or valleys to leak.
    • Faster and easier to build. No complicated angles or cuts.
    • A higher wall on one side for ladders or storage.
    • Clear roof space without truss or rafters.
    • Sheds rain and snow quickly.


    • Expensive to convert a mono pitched roof to a multi-slope roof since all walls need to become the same height.
    • Snow can build up against the lower roof wall and cause dampness or rot in the wall.
    • Fast run-off of rain or snow can cause ground erosion behind the shed.

    The next step is the most important part: find the best location for my shed.

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    What Is A Pitched Roof

    A pitched roof is a roof of a building that has a slope or angle to it. Generally pitched roofs are dual pitched, meaning that they have two sides, but pitched roofs can also be mono-pitched, sloping in one direction only. Pitched roofs have been used on buildings for hundreds of years, providing a weathertight shelter for homes and businesses alike.

    Building Peaked Roof On Mobile Home

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    Types Of Christmas Light Roof Clips

    When youre hanging Christmas lights on a roof, you shouldnt use any fasteners that puncture the shingle or any other part of the roof, such as nails, staples or screws. Even small holes in the shingles can create leaks. Small holes in gutters may allow water to leak where it shouldnt, and holes in the fascia board may cause it to rot. If youre unfamiliar, its a good idea to learn about the parts of a roof and roof edge before you put up your Christmas lights.

    So, if you shouldnt puncture holes in the shingle, how do you secure Christmas lights to your roof? The solution is to use specialized plastic clips that hug the gutters, but dont leave a lasting mark. By using clips you can have a huge display, with as many fasteners as you need, without worrying about leaving a bunch of holes in your roof.

    On areas of the roof that do not have gutters, attach the clips to the drip edge or the shingle, but be careful to avoid lifting the shingles in a way that breaks the sealant bond to the shingle below it, and avoid puncturing holes in your shingles or siding. Alternatively, you can use adhesive strips to attach the clips to the vertical face of your home. Just be sure you dont puncture the surface.

    The type of roof edge you have will help determine your choice of clips and rooftop lights.

    Roof Christmas Light Options

    Peaked Vs Skillion Vs Flat

    For large structures, there are many differentkinds of roof shapes and peak, but playsets dont usually go to those lengths.Most playsets have a traditional peaked roof that is shaped like a triangle.

    Sometimes, you will see a playset with askillion roof. A skillion roof looks like one half of a traditional peakedroof. Instead of two slanting pieces, it has one slanting piece. These roofsare easy to build, but they do not provide as much headspace as a peaked roof.

    Flat roofs are simply one flat panel of woodacross the top of the playset. A flat roof is very simple, but not good optionsfor most playsets.

    Flat roofs must be raised to provide enoughheadspace, they arent as attractive as peaked roofs, and they do not allow forrain to run off them efficiently. If you live in an area that gets significantsnowfall, you may need to clean off your playset roof in the winter to preventthe weight of the snow from damaging the playset.

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    Installing The Roof Ridge

    Lay your breathable ridge membrane in a straight lines across the ridge batten, fixing under the verge system and one end of the roof, before rolling out.

    Once secured all the way along the ridge, its time to screw the ridge tiles to the ridge batten.

    Between the ridge tiles, install a ridge-to-ridge seal to offer a mechanical fix and extra strength to the ridge.

    By Step Instructions For Replacing A Canopy With Wood

  • Figure out how long the boards will need to be. Measure the distance from the roof ridge to where the fabric has been connected to the playset. You will want the boards to overhang a little. Add some inches to this measurement depending on how long you want the overhang to be.
  • Figure out how many boards you will need across. Measure the length of the roof ridge. Again, you will want an inch or two of overhang. Add some overhang inches onto the measurement. Divide the length of the roof ridge plus the overhang inches by the width of the boards. That is how many boards you will need for one side of the roof.
  • Cut one of the boards in the length that you want and test it on the roof to make sure it fits the way you like. If so, you can cut all the wood you will need in the sizes you need. Doing all your cutting at once makes everything easier.
  • Stain and seal or prime and paint the boards on all sides to protect the wood from the elements and insects. You can keep the paint colors consistent or get creative.
  • Install the boards one by one. At the tip of the triangle, one board should cover the end of the other to close the gap where they meet.
  • On the inside use another board horizontally across the middle of each side of the roof to secure the wood together from behind.
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    Roof Restoration To Extend The Life Of Your Flat Roof

    Roof restorations make your roof new again and resolve existing roofing issues. That way, you wouldnt have to change your roof which is a costly project.

    If this is your first time to hear about a roof restoration service, heres what its about. Roofing restoration entails cleaning the roof, repairing, and replacing some materials to make it brand new. Previously, we featured a guide about roof restoration. In there, we explained that a roof restoration improves your flat roof in various ways so it lasts longer:

    • Makes your building more energy-efficient
    • Improves the overall look of your commercial roofing system
    • Strengthens your roof so that it becomes resilient to environmental damage

    Here at Cox Roofing Systems, we also offer quality restoration services. We recommend our exclusive TTR which combines EPDM and polyurethane insulation.

    Building A Basic Gable Roof

  • 1Understand the steps involved. Once youve chosen your style, design, and materials, its time to actually build your roof. The process can be broken down into four main steps, and they are:
  • Framing: this is the construction and installation of the roof frame, which can be done with premade trusses.
  • Sheathing: this is the layer of material that goes on top of the frame and provides the surface of the roof.
  • Underlayment installation: this is a protective layer that covers the sheathing. This step may also include the installation of an ice barrier on top of the underlayment.
  • Roof cover installation: this layer goes on top of the underlayment and protects the roof from the elements.
  • 2Mount the trusses. To complete this step, the wall frames of the building must already be level, plumb, and square. Use ladders or scaffolding if you are building the roof onto a building that is still a frame. Hoist the trusses onto the roof. This can be done either with many pairs of hands, or with the assistance of a crane.
  • Trusses are often spaced 12, 16, or 24 inches apart.XResearch source Your spacing will depend on building codes and how much weight the roof will have to hold.
  • Without a crane, it will be easiest to hoist the trusses up onto the roof lying flat, and once there they can be raised into position.
  • Once all the trusses are installed, install permanent bracing as per the truss manufacturers instructions.XResearch source
  • Repeat the same process for the other side of the roof.
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    What Is The Cheapest Roof To Build

    Asphalt shingles are usually cheaper than both concrete and clay tile roofing. Asphalt is $100 to $150 per square and is easy to install, versus concrete at $150 to $250 per square and clay at $800 to $1,800 per square. When you add labor, its often more expensive to install tile because of the weight and process.

    Installing The Low Level Ventilation System

    ProBuilder Mini Demo: Peaked roof with overhang

    There are a number of ways to ventilate a roof, but here we demonstrate the installation of a combination of low level and high level ventilation.

    A rafter roll is laid across the eaves and is designed to guide fresh air into the roof and to allow it to circulate around the roof space to prevent damp.

    Make sure the rafter roll comes out above any pre-installed insulation – if not, the insulation will block the airflow and youll get condensation.

    To install, simply tack it to the rafters, starting on the left hand side and working your way across. Avoid too much draping of the rafter roll, but dont pull it too tight as you will lose the corrugated shape that channels the air flow.

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    Add A Protective Roof Covering

    In most cases, you will need to add some sort of protective covering to the sheeting. This is particularly the case if you are using the structure to store weather-sensitive materials.

    You really have to lock out the cold, rain and moisture. Thus, a protective covering will typically consist of one layer of roofing felt, one layer of tarpaper attached to the roofing felt with an industrial stapler, and then one additional layer of shingles.

    In most cases, traditional asphalt shingles will suffice as a form of relatively affordable, yet durable, covering.

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