The important aspects of building a roof occur well before the first timber is installed. If you’re curious to know how roofs are built, there are certain steps to take for successful construction. Before anything else happens, the style of the roof needs to be decided upon. Roofs can be gabled, hipped, gambrel, shed or flat style.
Climate Is a Factor
After deciding on the style of roof, the builder and the owner need to consider the climate. The best roofs for areas that get regular snow and rain are pitched roofs that allow rain and snow to slide off of them.
Choosing the Materials
When the style of roof has been decided on, it is time to choose the materials. Pitched roofs can have shingles and tiles made of asphalt, wood, concrete or metal, but flat roofs can’t be fitted with shingles. Most roofs in the United States have shingles made of asphalt or metal.
Roof Installation Site
Where the roof is going to be built is another consideration before construction begins. They should not be built under trees, especially trees that are old or ailing. The branches of even young, healthy trees can brush against the roof and damage it, and leaves, twigs, fruit and nuts can fall on the roof and also compromise it.
The pitch of the roof should be agreed upon. A roof can have a low pitch or a high pitch. Flat roofs are actually not completely flat but have a very low pitch.
The roof should then be measured, and the plan for the roof should be drawn up. When this is done, construction materials can be bought. Nowadays, most roofs have prefabricated trusses. Sheathing, underlayment, covering and roofing nails also need to be purchased. When all the materials have been bought and brought to the site, the contractor builds the roof in four steps.
The first step is framing. Prefabricated trusses already come with sheathing, rafters and ceiling joists, and they may even have a top layer of shingles. But if just the frame is installed, sheathing is placed over the it. Sheathing can be made of a material such as plywood. This is followed by the underlayment. In colder areas, the underlayment may also have an ice barrier. After this comes the roof cover installation, which protects against wind, rain, snow and other elements. In the last step, shingles are placed on the roof.
If the trusses aren’t prefabricated, they’ll need to be placed on top of the wall frames of the house. First, temporary braces need to be installed to secure the trusses until the contractor adds the sheathing and permanent braces. Sometimes, contractors use cranes to place the trusses. How far apart they’re spaced depends on the local building codes. End trusses are installed first, followed by standard trusses. At that point, the temporary braces can be replaced by permanent ones, and the roof can be sheathed. A drip edge is installed to protect it from rain.
The installation of the sheathing and drip edge are followed by the installation of roofing felt. Finally, the roof cover, such as shingles, is put in place.