How to Frame Gable Roofs
Framing a Gable Roof Made Easy
There are many
different styles of homes that are built with gable
roofs. It is the easiest roof to frame, certainly a
lot easier than framing hip roofs. The gable roof
construction is the most common roof design in home
All the roof rafters for framing a gable roof are
cut to the same size. The birdsmouth, which is the
cutout that sits on the top plate, is located in
the same place on all rafters. The overhang, if
there is one, is also the same. Most roof designs
do have some amount of overhang.
The roof ridge board, which is usually a 2 x 6, 8,
10, or 12 depends on the design
weight load the roof, will have to support. The
roof ridge runs the full length of the house and
all the roof rafters are attached to the roof
ridge. The roof ridge can be cut ahead of time and
have the rafter layout marked on it.
rafters permit the roof loads to transfers down the
walls to the foundation.
Before any roof framing begins plywood sheathing is
laid down on top of the ceiling joists along the
whole length of the building. This provides a
platform to stand and walk on during the
construction of the roof. It's also a good idea to
pass all the roof plywood up to the ceiling joists.
This will make it easier to pass them onto the roof
after the framing is complete.
Installing the ridge board and roof rafters:
At this point you should have all the roof rafters
cut and ready to install. Install the ridge
board(s) making sure the layout is going in the
right direction and matches the wall stud layout.
The ridge board will require some bracing to keep
it in place while you attach the roof rafters.
Install the roof rafters by placing them on the
layout marks of the ridge board and nail them in
place. If the house is a single story house the
roof rafters can be leaned against the outside wall
between the ceiling joists to keep them from
sliding off the wall. Start by installing the first
roof rafter at the end of the ridge board. Some
bracing will be necessary to hold them in place.
Make sure you pull the rafter in tight so the
birdsmouth sits tight against the wall and the
plumb cut sets flush against the ridge board. The
ridge board may have to be either lowered or raised
to obtain a flush fit. Install the rafter
alternately on each side to keep the ridge board
Nail each rafter into the ridge board, at the
birdsmouth, and where it passes along the ceiling
Install the roof sheathing.
Install the collar ties, and fascia boards.
The last step is to frame in the gable ends.
That is how to frame gable roofs. Now you are ready
to install the shingles.
See related articles:
Framing Walls - Wall Framing Layout
How to Build Headers
How to Cut Roof Rafters
How to Frame Windows and Door Openings
How to Frame a Hip Roof
How to Make Stair Stringers