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Step-by-step Roofing for Beginners and Professionals

One of the vital stages in the construction of buildings is – the arrangement of the roof for the roof. Some homeowners prefer to build a roof by themselves. To avoid mistakes in the technology of laying, you should know the rules of the arrangement of the roof.


If experience is too low or there is no possibility to invite helpers, it is better not to take risks and apply for the installation of the professionals’ roof.

An essential advantage of turning to West Virginia Roofing Contractor: the homeowner receives quality installation of the roof of the house and guaranteed service.

Types of roofs

The type of dome of the future home is approved at the design stage. Its format depends on the customer’s wishes, the architectural style, and local architectural traditions. Thanks to the variety of finishing materials, roofs for the house can have any appearance.

Soft or hard roof, natural or asphalt shingles – materials are chosen based on the building’s climatic conditions and design features.

Flexible shingles for the roof and seam roof are suitable for arranging houses with the original round or cone-shaped dome.

Metal tile is suitable for pitched roofs. A corrugated board can be used for finishing outbuildings. When choosing a type of shelter, consider the functional features of the materials. They determine the well-being of people, the safe operation of the house, and its energy efficiency.

There are several well-known and common types of roofs. Other designs occur infrequently and are variations of primary forms:

  • Single-pitch roof. One of the simplest and quickest to construct. It is an economical roof since its arrangement costs the least amount of building materials. The disadvantage is that it is impossible to build an attic floor or space.
  • Double pitched roof. A classic form of sheltering the building is also called a shield roof. It has two angles of slope and two working gables. In private housing, such a variant of the roof is the most common due to the optimal timing of construction and the minimum percentage of overspending on used materials. It is possible to build with a garret or attic floor.
  • Four pitched roofs—reliable, durable, practical, and resistant to mechanical stress. There is enough space in the under-roof area to construct a mansard.
  • Hipped roof. The design resembles a four-slope but differs from her geometry: it has several sloping ribs, no roofs, and front overhangs. It consists of two triangular and two trapezoidal sloping slopes. Such a roof is practical: it is highly resistant to snow and wind loads: minuses – the complexity of the calculation and expensive installation.

They are rarely used because they require complex calculations, and not every area has workers with experience erecting such structures.

The installation will cost considerably more than for traditional types. But if the customer wants his building to be exclusive and attractive, he can order the construction of a house with a non-standard roof.

The main stages of roofing

The arrangement of the roof consists of several main stages:

  • Preparatory. Design documentation is developed, and materials are purchased.
  • Installing mauerlat.
  • Arrangement of the rafter system. Account for the type of roof (single, gable, flat), the presence of complex architectural elements, finishing roof. Use purlins 50-100 mm thick, fasteners.
  • Fixing waterproofing. Mount the vapor barrier for the roof, which protects the wooden elements (beams) from moisture.
  • Installation of the “roof pie”. It consists of several layers: vapor barrier, waterproofing for the roof, and insulation. Insulate the roof using mineral or basalt wool, bulk insulation, pouring gas concrete, etc. In a pitched top must be equipped with a ventilation system.
  • Installation of sheathing. Performed with different spacing, the size depends on the further use of finishing materials.
  • Laying the outer roof covering. To select the type of roof, laid in accordance with the requirements of the manufacturer of the material, the approved design.
  • Internal work. After the roof ridge is made, if this is stipulated by the project documentation, interior finishing work in the underlay part of the building. At the finishing stage, accessories and decorative elements are installed: soffits, gutters, weathervanes, snow stops, etc.

What is a mauerlat: installation and purpose

In project documentation, there is such a definition as mauerlat. What is it, and for what purpose is the material intended? It is a wooden beam of a particular cross-section on which the rafters are supported.

The main purpose of this element of the roof – is the equal distribution of the load from the roof structure on the walls.

The figure depends on the design capacity of the roof structure. Mauerlat is attached to the upper crown of the building. If it is a frame house, the Mauer last is the upper strapping of beams. Depending on the type of construction, fasteners are used to fasten the joists of the mauerlat securely.

Assembling the rafter system, how to avoid mistakes

When constructing the rafter system of the roof, it is important not to make mistakes. Defects in the construction negatively impact the bearing capacity of the main elements, increase the risk of collapse, spoil the exterior, and reduce the operating life. It is not safe to live in such a house!

To avoid mistakes, it is vital to adhere to clear rules:

  • Carry out installation by the project. Surprisingly, some private developers do not have it, while others are constantly changing the roofing material, accessories, types of mounting, etc.
  • For the construction of the system to use high-quality lumber. It is inadmissible to use ash-treated timber, with damage by insects, with excessive moisture content.
  • Mauerlat must be securely attached to the reinforcement with anchor bolts. Otherwise, under the pressure of the slanted rafters, it will tip over and destroy the structure.
  • A windbreak should be constructed. The rafters must be properly supported, and the struts must be correctly made. They are responsible for the stiffness of the structure and redistribute loads.

Fixing the rafters to the materials step by step

A sign of the gable roofs – the rafters, spaced at the same distance from each other. For stability, they are connected by transverse elements of purlins.

Consider the principles of attachment of the rafter system on the example of a gable roof:

  • he rafters are fixed with steel angle profiles. They are fixed with wood screws.
  • The structure is strengthened and reinforced with anchors. The use of fasteners is a prerequisite for fixing the rafter system to the materials.
  • Create a notch on the rafter. Fixation is carried out by the support element of the bar, which will support the working beam on the backside of the building.

How to strengthen the roof structure?

Difficulties in operating the house after the completion of the roof will arise if the free span is more than 6.0 meters. Therefore it is necessary to reduce the free span distance. This can be achieved by fixing a horizontal support system.

When constructing the roof of the house, additional support is attached to the inside of the support system when installing sloping struts.

To increase the rigidity of the structure, tighteners are used. Installation is carried out on both sides of the parts of the rafter system, using the traditional fasteners: screws, nails, metal studs.

A necessary condition – the distance of fasteners should be at a length of 1⁄4 from the top. If there are strong winds in the area, to strengthen the structure, use the method of attaching the rafters to the load-bearing walls.

Twisting in the form of ordinary metal wires is used. It is better to take elements with at least 4 mm diameter. They perform a tie around the rafters and fix the wire with an anchor to about 4-5 rows on the structure of the cut.

Waterproofing and vapor barrier roof

Without a quality waterproofing system for the roof operation of the house will create discomfort for residents.

The mounting waterproofing membrane is carried out directly to the rafters. Fix the film with ordinary building nails. You can use a unique stapler. Working on the principle “from the bottom up” is recommended, with an allowable overlap of 10-15 cm.

Such an “overlap” will prevent accidental ingress of moisture. You are allowed to use roofing tape. The tension of the membrane must be strong, and the sag of the material – no more than 2.0 cm.

There are a variety of materials for a vapor barrier, but it is better to use a proven technology – vapor diffusion membrane. This material will help to ensure good vapor exchange and create favorable conditions for the sub-roof climate regardless of the time of year.

It is recommended to strengthen the characteristics of the material to treat seams with sealing tape, such as roofing tape.

Lack of waterproofing or vapor barrier leads to premature failure of the house’s roof. In the underlay area may appear mold and fungus, which are harmful to humans, causing irreparable damage to the materials.

Counter-battens and purlins.

Counter-battens are used in the device of the roof to strengthen the strength of the vapor and water insulation of the building. Create counter-battens made of wooden bars with a section of 25-35 mm, with a pitch identical to the distance of the gaps in the rafters.

Lathing for the roof is a frame element of the roofing system. Depending on what roofing material is planned to be used to cover the roof, one of the ways of installing purlins is with frequent spacing or sparse.


Once the roofing pie is assembled, proceed to install roof finishing.

You can use expensive and budgetary options of materials. When choosing a decoration for the roof, the angle of slope, the peculiarities of the climate, the aesthetic component, and the technical characteristics should take into account.

You can use natural tiles for the roof or a soft roof to create silent coverage.

Modular metal can simulate almost any finishing material, such as natural wood shingles. Sheet metal is resistant to snow loads, and does not burn out in the sun.

The gutter system and its construction

The final stage of the roof’s construction is the installation of gutters for the roof. The vital role of the drainage system is to reduce the negative impact of moisture on the main elements of the top and on the facade of the building.

Gutters effectively divert precipitation from the house, protecting the foundation of the building from waterlogging and destruction. Depending on the type of system, use different elements of fasteners.

Plastic gutters for the roof are perfectly combined with natural tiles, flexible roofing, and other materials. They consist of a round or square funnel and plastic pipes, the length of which is selected by taking into account the height of the house. Such systems are quiet in operation, inexpensive, and easy to install. Install plastic gutters for the roof, used gaskets, sealants, and adhesives.

Metal gutters for the roof are available in square and round cross-sections. Their advantages are that they do not break from snow, frost, or excessive rainfall. Metal systems do not burn out and do not break in the sun. They are aesthetic structures that complete the design of the house.

Install the gutters better together with the roof, and if it is already installed, the mounting of fasteners is performed on the rafter system’s lateral surface. The cross-section of the pipe should be selected according to the area of the roof – the larger it is, the higher the parameter.

Insulation of the roof

To significantly reduce heat loss in the house, it is better to approach the choice of insulation seriously. Many materials can provide quality insulation for the roof and improve the house’s energy efficiency in the market. The design documentation in the calculation of the roof will consider suitable insulation options.

The most popular insulation materials include:

  • classic mineral wool;
  • wool based on basalt material;
  • Various types of glass wool;
  • insulation with liquid foam concrete;
  • professional foam and others.

Methods of installation of each insulation have peculiarities that you need to know before installation to avoid damage to the material.

Common mistakes

Builders, themselves arranging the roof, sometimes make mistakes, which later have to be corrected by specialists.

The most common mistakes recognized as human error and ignorance of the nuances of construction, as well as:

  • Lack of design documentation. The owner often relies on their knowledge, forgetting that not everything can be known and know-how, and correcting the work will always be expensive.
  • Wrong choice of roofing material for the roof. It is associated with ignorance of the technical characteristics and the material’s peculiarities, considering climatic factors.
  • Wrong choice of insulation. Even if the roof is created perfectly, but its insulation is not performed correctly, problems may arise. They are expressed in frost penetration in the roof space, the appearance of moisture, and reducing the thermal efficiency of the house. Mistakes are fraught with additional costs for heating the building.
  • Improper installation of vapor barrier. The formation of condensation negatively affects the microclimate of the roof: in the underlay, the area appears fungus and mold. It dramatically worsens the quality characteristics of the building.
  • Lack of ventilation. Circulation of air is needed to remove moisture from the underlay area. To do this, use soffit panels with perforated holes, or arrange a natural air change.
  • Savings on materials are common mistakes that lead to disastrous results. In a few years or months, saving on one material will require an expensive repair.


Comfortable living in the house depends on 30% of the competently installed roof of the house. Knowing the installation technology, you can control the building process by third parties. It will also understand what this or that operation is necessary.

A qualitatively designed and installed roof will save the house from the cold in winter and the heat in summer. It will keep moisture out, decorate the building and make it stand out from the rest.

It is worth remembering that it is better to entrust the installation to specialists with experience and pay once than to make numerous mistakes in the building by your efforts and spend money again to fix them.


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