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How to Build a Gambrel Roof

Due to its height and angle, a gambrel roof is a very common type of roof for a shed or a barn. However, you can also build a gambrel roof for your home. If you’re thinking about crafting your own gambrel roof, our roofing installation experts can tell you how:

  1. First, you’ll need to figure out how tall you want your roof to be.
  2. After that, calculate how many trusses you will need to cover your building. We recommend using a measurement that puts each truss 16 inches apart.
  3. Next, determine how long each truss must be. (Most gambrel roofs angle lower trusses at 60 degrees and upper trusses at 30 degrees.)
  4. Buy your trusses, then lay four out on a flat surface.
  5. Use a pencil or chalk to mark the angles of your two lower trusses and two upper trusses.
  6. Next, using your saw, cut your four trusses to the correct angles.
  7. Use these trusses as templates for the rest of your trusses.
  8. After that, create gusset plates from 1/2-inch plywood to hold your trusses together. (You’ll want three gusset plates per build of two lower and two upper trusses.)
  9. Join your trusses together and attach the brackets using your hammer and 8-10 nails.
  10. Make sure your first truss build fits the dimensions of your building, then continue to secure your trusses together with brackets.
  11. Next, raise your first truss into position.
  12. Make sure it’s plumb and straight, then nail it to the joists of the lower floor.
  13. After that, assemble a brace to put between your first truss and the next truss to make sure neither tilts sideways and they’re both sturdy.
  14. Continue nailing your trusses down for the length of your building.
  15. Once you’re finished, cover the structure with 3/4″ plywood and secure it in place.
  16. Place a layer of waterproof material over your plywood, then finish your gambrel roof with shingles of your choice.

Tools & Materials

  • Calculator
  • Wood trusses (2x6 size)
  • Pencil or chalk
  • Saw
  • 1/2" plywood
  • Hammer, nails
  • 3/4" plywood
  • Waterproof material

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