DIY Network

How to Frame the Roof of a Portico

Adding a portico with a roof is a great addition to the front of a home.

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Step 1: Create a Template

Decide on a pitch for the roof that will look good. Once you know the pitch you want, you can mark where the birds-mouth will be on the rafters. This will be the template for the rafters.

create template for rafters

Step 2: Replace the House Wrap

Caulk the gaps in the sheathing and replace the house wrap.

Step 3: Cut the First Set of Rafters

Cut the first set of rafters with the angle measurements. Rafters should be cut 3/4" short to leave room for the ridge board. Notch out a birds-mouth where the rafter will sit on the base.

Step 4: Create a Ridge Rafter

For the ridge rafter, first measure for the joist hanger. Line up a rafter against the house and then measure 7/8" from the center line to make room for 1-3/4" micro-lam ridge board. Hang your joist hanger and check to make sure you are level.

create a ridge rafter

Step 5: Attach a Temporary Brace

Put a temporary brace on the center of the front rim board to hold the ridge rafter on the gable end. Center it on the front rim board.

Step 6: Install the Ridge Board

Install the ridge board at the temporary bracing. Start at the cleat end and nail the rafter boards right onto the exposed sheathing using 16-penny nails.

install ridge board at temporary bracing

Step 7: Mark the Frame

Measure out the spacing for the rest of the rafters. Make the mark on the base of the frame and the ridge board.

Step 8: Nail the Rafters in Place

The "common rafters" are cut the same as the first rafters. Toe-nail them in place. Finish nailing in the gable end rafters.

toe nail rafter in place

Step 9: Create a Hole

Square the box by measuring from corner to corner. It should be an equal measurement in both directions. Attach the bottom of the rafters to the rim by toe-nailing them, using big old pole-barn nails. This will create a bigger hole.

attach bottom of rafters to rim

Step 10: Attach the Fly Rafters

Attach the sub-fascia boards on both sides and then attach your fly rafters -- these are the same as the rest of your rafters but without the birds-mouth.

Step 11: Attach the Fascia Boards

Put on the outer fascia boards (the 1-by pine that was pre-primed). You can tack up a couple and then scribe and cut out some outer fascia boards for the front peak of the portico and put them up.