Building a saltbox roof

Saltbox roofs are great for waterproofing your house and also for insulation, but with the cost of less attic space. The project isn’t very difficult if you have some basic skills, but it can be challenging for a novice. In this case, talk to a contractor that will do the job without mistakes.

Here are the materials needed for the job:

  • Blueprints
  • Nails, bolts, screws, metal ties
  • Woodworking tools
  • Ladder
  • Dumpster
  • Plastic sheets/tarp
  • Lumber
  • Work gear–hard hat, tool belt, gloves, knee pads and boots
  • Scaffolding
  • Shingles
  • Material for underlayment


This step is more than important for the project. If you have a well made plan then you shouldn’t encounter any problems with the building process. Also you may need to provide the plans to your local authorities to get a special building permit. The plans need to be made with the building codes in mind. Talk to a local contractor or architect for the plans.

Preparing for the construction

Because building a roof involves working with wood beams and mortar, you may need to cover your plants, and garden appliances. They may get damaged withing the construction process. Use some plastic sheets to cover them. Also don’t forget the AC units. You may also use tarps to cover them. Make yourself a big worktable for measuring and cutting. Get the necessary tools for the job.


First of all you will need to measure and cut the ridge board. The length is very important. Now the rafters need some precise measurements, because you will need to cut rafters for both the long side and the short side. We will name the long side A and the short side B.

Positioning the rafters and beams

Now, attach the common rafters to the side A (long side) using some galvanized nails. Fix them to the ridge board. Then raise the ridge board to fix the rafters to side B. Now raise the ridge board on the highest point where the birds mouth aligns with the plates of the wall. The rafters will extend over the edges of the house. Use nails to secure them.

Securing roof rafters

Secure the rafters from both sides to the wall studs. This will ensure that they are safely installed.


The sheathing materials will go over the rafters. Use nails to fix the materials. The cover it with the water barrier or underlayment. After this goes the shingles.

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