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How to Sheathe a Shed Roof

The do-it-yourselfer can sheath a shed roof in six to 12 hours, depending on the size and scope of the project. A shed roof is almost flat, having only a 5 to 10 degree angle from top to bottom. This type of roof has no gable and is intended to, as its name depicts, shed water; it is by no means decorative. However, this type of roof must be sheathed with plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) decking in the same manner as any other roof.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-by-8-by-1/2-inch plywood or OSB (oriented strand board)
  • 8-penny nails
  • Plywood clips
  • Chalk line
  • Measuring tape
  • Felt paper
  • Felt nails
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    • 1

      Measure and mark up from the bottom of the shed roof 48 inches at both ends. Snap a chalk line across the roof rafters, connecting the two marks.

    • 2

      Lay the first sheet of 1/2-inch plywood or OSB horizontal onto the shed roof and across the shed roof framing members. Align the top edge of the sheathing with the chalk line that was snapped earlier. Do not follow the lower edge of the roof overhang as it may not be straight.

    • 3

      Attach the sheathing to the roof framing with 8-penny nails, spacing the nails 12 inches apart. Lay the next sheet horizontally across the roof framing members and butted against the prior sheet. Align the sheathing with the chalk line and attach with 8-penny nails.

    • 4

      Complete the first row of sheathing at the bottom of the shed roof. At the end of the run, cut the last sheet to fit if one whole sheet will not fit.

    • 5

      Place 1/2-inch plywood clips at the top of the first row of plywood and between the framing along the row. Cut one sheet of sheathing in half, which will be 4 feet. Align this 4-foot piece with the end of the previous row and slide it into the plywood clip. Attach the sheathing with 8-penny nails.

    • 6

      Fill in the remaining sheathing as you advance up the shed roof, staggering the joints and installing plywood clips between each sheathing row. Cut the end pieces and the last row at the top to fit if one whole sheet (4-by-8 feet) will not fit.

    • 7

      Cover the sheathing with felt paper to preserve the wood until you roof the shed. Apply felt paper horizontally, beginning at the bottom and working up. Overlap the sections by 6 inches and attach the paper with felt nails, spacing the nails 6 inches apart.