Building a Shed Roof With Overhang: The Only Guide You Need (2022)

A shed roof overhang is something most homeowners don’t think about until their standing in the rain, trying to get the door unlocked or fretting about all the water that’s suddenly pooling around the shed’s foundation.

Building a shed roof with an overhang is an important part of protecting your shed and thus should not be overlooked. This guide will help you decide what shed overhang is best for your shed and walk you through the installation process.

Quick Navigation

  • What Is A Roof Overhang?
  • Benefits of Roof Overhang on Sheds
  • Types of Roof Overhangs
  • How to Build an Overhang on a Shed
  • Framing a Gable End Overhang
  • How to Build an Eave Overhang
  • How to Add an Overhang to a Shed
  • Conclusion

Building a Shed Roof With Overhang: The Only Guide You Need (1)

What Is A Roof Overhang?

An overhang is the portion of the roof that runs past the wall, providing coverage for the space around the foundation of your shed. Overhangs can vary in width from a few inches to several feet. On sheds and homes, overhangs are commonly referred to as eaves or rakes, depending on where they are located.

Benefits of Roof Overhang on Sheds

While shed overhangs may seem forgettable, they have many important benefits that protect your shed and improve its aesthetics.

Overhangs also provide protection from the elements by shielding windows, walls, and doors from rain, while at the same time directing water away from your shed’s foundation.

As with a front porch on your home, an overhang on your shed roof is a convenient feature when it’s raining and you’re trying to unlock your shed’s door.

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Shed overhangs also help to regulate the temperature inside the shed by blocking sunlight from shining directly through windows in the summertime when the sun is higher in the sky. During the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, overhangs allow the sun to shine through the windows to warm the shed.

Sheds with large overhangs can also provide additional storage space for equipment. The space under a shed overhang is a dry place to stack firewood or lean your wheelbarrow.

There are also aesthetic benefits to roof overhangs. Like it or not, a shed will be a significant feature in your yard. You want that feature to add to the appearance of your property, not detract from it. Overhangs add character and help your shed avoid that boxy flat look.

Types of Roof Overhangs

Building a Shed Roof With Overhang: The Only Guide You Need (2)There are two types of roof overhangs two consider. You may want one or the other or both. A rake is an overhang located on the gable end of your roof. A rake overhang is created by extending the roof beyond the gables of your shed.

An eave overhang is located on the longer sides of the shed. An eave is created by extending the slope of your roof beyond the walls of your shed. Most sheds with overhangs incorporate both rakes and eaves into their design to give the shed a balanced look.

How to Build an Overhang on a Shed

While it may seem like a complicated task, building a shed with overhang doesn’t require much more additional effort than building a conventional roof. And while it may cost you a little more in material, the benefits, as I discussed above, are more than worth it.

How big to make the overhang depends on what you need it for. A shed with an 8-foot eave height would benefit from an overhang of just 6”. This will protect the tops of windows and door openings from moisture while directing water away from the foundation.

Larger overhangs can help to keep you dry while standing at the shed’s doorway and prevent the sun from heating your shed. Overhangs can vary from a few inches to a few feet depending on preference; however, the suggested width of an overhang is between 12” and 18” for eaves and no more than 8” for rakes. That said, overhangs can extend as far as 2’ without the need for external supports.

The size of the roof overhang you choose depends largely on the style of your shed’s roof.

With a flat shed roof, the roof simply extends past the wall plate to provide an overhang. Because this style of a shed has a flat roof, it can facilitate a wider overhang, which is ideal for storage.

For gabled roofs, the roof rafters extending beyond the wall caps, creating an angled roof overhang on the eaves. Due to the steeper angle of gable roof, the maximum width of the eaves is narrower than other shed styles. A rake on the gable end of the roof can be created with the construction of additional roof framing.

For slanted roof sheds, overhangs add character and facilitate proper drainage. Due to the shed’s design, a significant amount of rain runs off the rear of the shed. An overhang helps direct water away from the foundation on the shed’s low side.

For gambrel roofs, the design is a little different. Extensions are made to the gabled ends to provide coverage over the entrance. Rather than extending the roofline to create eaves as you would on a flat or gable roof, eaves on gambrel style roofs are flared due to the steep angle of the roof.

(Video) Shed building tips.(Overhangs made easy)

Since Lean-to sheds are attached to larger structures, they can sometimes receive runoff from the structure they are paired with. Overhangs help to direct all that rainwater away from the shed’s foundation. Overhangs also add character by eliminating the boxy utilitarian look this style of the shed can sometimes have.

Framing a Gable End Overhang

Building a Shed Roof With Overhang: The Only Guide You Need (3)

To create an overhang on the gable ends of your shed, you’ll need to construct something called a “gable ladder”.

To do this, first make sure you cut your ridge board to a length that includes the length of the shed’s rakes. Next, cut two additional sets of rafters for each gable end.

Since these rafters won’t have a wall to rest on, you will need to secure them to the previous rafter by cutting four joists, or outriggers, to fit the desired width of your overhang. Cut the outriggers out of 2x6s, making sure to account for the width of the rafters.

Then create your ladder by attaching the rafters for the rake to the ridge board. Use the outriggers to attach the roof framing to rake rafters.

Remember, rake ladders can only extend a maximum of 12” from the shed before they need additional support.

How to Build an Eave Overhang

Building a Shed Roof With Overhang: The Only Guide You Need (4)

Building an eave overhang on most shed roofs is a relatively simple task. The process involves extending the rafters beyond each wall, creating what is known as rafter tails. Rafter tails are the part of each rafter that juts beyond the wall.

Rather than go through the complicated process of calculating just how long you need to make each rafter to achieve the overhang size you want and the angle of each cut, it’s easier to install the rafters with plenty of extra lengths then cut to size.

After the rafters are installed, mark off the desired length. Use a plumb bob to snap a straight chalk line, then cut using a circular saw. If you prefer a square end to your eaves, use a quick square to mark your line.

Once you’ve cut one rafter, create a jig by holding a piece of plywood against the wall of the shed and the rafter.

Trace a line around the top and face of the rafter tail and the wall of the shed. Then cut the plywood piece on the lines using a circular saw or table saw. You now have a jig you can use to mark cut lines for the remainder of your rafters.

(Video) How to build a Gable Soffit Ladder Overhang

If you’re using trusses to build your shed, then make sure to design your truss so that the top chords extend far enough outward to create the desired overhang.

Also, be sure to raise the heel of your truss design, which will increase the distance between the top chords and bottom chord, making the roof taller. This will ensure that your overhang does not interfere with windows or doors.

How to Add an Overhang to a Shed

Maybe you’ve built your shed and overlooked the value of an overhang, or maybe you’ve inherited a shed as part of a home purchase, and it lacks one. Is there a way to add an overhang to a shed? There is, and we’ll take you through how to do it.

Adding an overhang to a shed is a relatively simple process that involves nailing rafter extensions onto the shed’s existing rafters. Begin by removing any existing fascia or trim that is covering the rafters. Once the top of the shed walls and rafter tails are exposed, take stock of what you’ve got.

Determine what the largest piece of lumber is that you can slide between the roof sheathing and the wall plate. Whatever you come up with is what you’ll need to use for the extensions.

For rafter extensions, limit your maximum length to 2 feet. Beyond that requires additional structural supports and a much more complicated process.

Once you’ve determined how long you want your overhang to be, cut rafter extensions that are three times that length. This cut should be a plumb cut to avoid having to make one after the extension is installed.

Attach the extensions to the existing rafters using framing nails. This process is usually best completed from the inside of the shed. Given the tight space involved, you may find it difficult to swing a hammer. If you can get your hands on one, I suggest using a framing nailer.

Once the extensions are installed, you can begin adding roof underlayment and trim to your new eaves. One note, you may need to reroof your entire shed once this project is complete, otherwise the new shingles you use to cover the new overhang will likely not match the shed’s existing shingles.

If you plan on adding a gable overhang, or rake, in addition to eaves, make sure you extend the fascia board beyond the last rafter to support the new rake.

Adding an overhang to the gable ends of your shed is a similar process to framing out a new one. You’ll need to build gable ladders, also called soffit ladders. Begin by measuring from your extended fascia to the peak of the shed.

Use this measurement to cut a length of 2×4, making sure that one side of the board is miter cut to match the peak of the roof. Do the same for the other side. Once cut, check to make sure the two lengths of 2x4s meet uniformly at the roof peak.

Cut two more matching pieces. Next, cut the cross pieces that will create the ladder, making sure to account for the width of the 2x4s when measuring the length of each crosspiece. For a 12” wide overhang, cut each crosspiece 9” to account for the 1.5” thickness of each of the ladder’s 2×4 “rails”.

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Cross pieces, or outriggers, should be installed about every 16” for adequate support. Assemble the ladder using deck screws.

To make installation of the ladders easier, tack a short piece of 2×4 to the fascia board end and a length of 2×4 extending off the top of the shed. Rest the end of the ladder against the fascia board and clamp the other end to the roof 2×4 to hold it in place.

Tack a piece of 2×4 into the fascia on the other side, lay the other ladder in place and line up the ends.

Once both ladders are lined up, attach the ladder to the shed roof framing using 3-inch deck screws, making sure the tops of the ladders are flush with the shed rafters. This will allow for seamless roofing.

Once the ladder is installed, you’re ready to add trim and shed roofing underlayment.

Conclusion

Although an overhang may seem like a minor thing when perusing shed plans, don’t get caught out in the rain by skipping this feature. Roof overhangs not only offer shelter from the rain as you enter and exit your shed, but they also provide vital protection for your shed’s windows and doors as well as its foundation, helping to prolong its life.

By making some simple alterations to your shed roof plan, you can easily add an overhang that will protect and beautify your shed.

Eugene Sokol

Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. He is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking.

(Video) How to Build a Shed - How To Build Roof Rake Ladders (soffit overhang) - Video 9 of 15

FAQs

How much overhang do you need on a shed roof? ›

Overhangs can vary from a few inches to a few feet depending on preference; however, the suggested width of an overhang is between 12” and 18” for eaves and no more than 8” for rakes.

How do you build a shed overhang? ›

Jab flip right back. This is the shed. It's not a house. So I'm just putting a six inch overhang on

How do you calculate roof overhang? ›

A method to calculate the correct overhang to provide the proper shading is to multiply the distance from the sill of the glass to the soffit by a factor based on the angles of the sun. There are different factors for each latitude because the sun is at different angles at each latitude.

How is overhang length calculated? ›

In most climate conditions the following formula can be used to determine the appropriate amount of overhang: X=1/2Y (where X is the length of the overhang required and Y is the distance from the bottom of the door to the base of the overhang.)

How much overhang can you have without gutters? ›

You need an overhang of at least 10 inches or so, so water will drip harmlessly on the ground, and flow away if the ground slopes a little. One problem is that a lot of water along the foundation can flow down the foundation and can leak into the basement.

How far can metal roof overhang without support? ›

3: The panels at the eave side of the roof should overhang into the gutters 1 to 1-1/2 inches. If installing metal on a non gutter application you can overhang the panel up to 3 inches.

How far can you cantilever a roof? ›

The general rule of thumb is that the overhang can only extend up to 1/3 of the length of the beam, but it is more common for the overhang to be shorter. Builders typically place the beams along the top of the walls and allow them to extend outwards.

What is the overhang of a roof called? ›

The proper term to use when talking about the roof overhang is to call it the roof eaves. The eaves of a roof refer to the edges that extend beyond the wall face. It forms that overhanging structure which makes sure that the water does not damage the siding of house walls.

Does overhang count as square footage? ›

In some municipalities, vaulted ceilings will double the square footage of a room. In other places, porches, overhangs and pergola areas will count toward the square footage.

How do you calculate roof drop off? ›

Calculate Drop Off - YouTube

How is eave height calculated? ›

Guru Talk: Defining Eave Height and Interior Clear Height - YouTube

How far can a truss overhang? ›

Overhang is the portion of the truss that extends beyond the outside bearing of the structure, creating an eave for the building. Overhang length can vary from as small as 6” to as great as 36” in certain applications.

How far can a load overhang? ›

How far can a load overhang at the rear before you must use projection marker boards? Explanation: Projection marker boards must be fitted if the load on your vehicle overhangs by more than 2 metres (6 feet 6 inches). This will help other road users who may not notice the projecting load.

What is effective overhang? ›

Effective Rear Overhang:Measured from the centre axle of the trailer to the end of the trailer or end of the load whichever is longer.

What is overhang width? ›

Standard countertop overhang is 1 ½ inches.

Keep in mind that this is 1 ½ inches over the front edge of the base cabinet. While some countertops may have different overhang measurements, this is the number that is seen as standard for homes. While 1 ½ inches is the most common, it's far from mandatory.

What can I use instead of gutters? ›

Top 10 Best Gutter Alternatives for Your Home
  • Drip Edge. Most homes have a drip edge whether or not they have gutters. ...
  • Drip Path. Drip paths are another great alternative to gutters. ...
  • Underground Rain Chain. ...
  • Above-ground Rain Chain. ...
  • Ground Gutters or French Drain. ...
  • 6. Box Gutters. ...
  • Yard Grading. ...
  • Rain Dispersal System.
26 Aug 2022

How do you handle roof runoff without gutters? ›

How To Collect And Divert Water From Your Roof Without Gutters
  1. Site Grading. ...
  2. Install A Drain Tile System. ...
  3. Develop a Rain Garden. ...
  4. Develop Dry Stream Beds. ...
  5. Dig Swales. ...
  6. Build A Dry Well. ...
  7. Construct A Water Reservoir. ...
  8. Install A Sump Pump.
29 Jul 2021

Why do new houses not have gutters? ›

The reason behind not including gutters varies by builder. However, because gutters are one of the last things installed on a home, builders are typically anxious to move onto the next build rather than wait on gutter installation.

What is the proper overhang for a metal roof? ›

A typical metal roof overhang may be 2 to 4 inches, or even less. Some slight overhang is recommended, in conjunction with a drip edge flashing, to prevent water from getting under the roofing and onto underlying wood.

Is a drip edge necessary on a roof? ›

Without a drip edge, water may end up beneath the shingles and may cause damage to various parts of the home. Though your home may not have originally had a drip edge installed, drip edges are now required by most building codes across North America to protect homes from damage.

Can you put metal roof directly on rafters? ›

Can you put metal roofing directly on rafters? Yes, a metal roof can be installed directly over rafters. Since corrugated metal panels are relatively lightweight, they can fit almost any type of situation.

What is the cantilever rule? ›

The rule of thumb is that you can't cantilever more than twice the depth of the framing member. And the back span has to be at least twice the cantilever distance.

How far can a 2x8 rafter cantilever? ›

How Far Can You Cantilever a 2×8 Joist? In general, cantilevers should not extend beyond ¼ of the span of the joists themselves.

What is an example of a cantilever? ›

A balcony protruding from a building would be an example of a cantilever. For small footbridges, the cantilevers may be simple beams; however, large cantilever bridges designed to handle road or rail traffic use trusses built from structural steel, or box girders built from prestressed concrete.

Why is roof overhang important? ›

Roof overhangs have several important functions: they can protect exterior doors, windows, and siding from rain; they can shade windows when solar heat gain is undesirable; and they can help keep basements and crawl spaces dry.

What is the purpose of a roof overhang? ›

Roof overhangs have several important functions: they can protect exterior doors, windows, and siding from rain; they can shade windows when solar heat gain is undesirable; and they can help keep basements and crawl spaces dry.

What is the top edge of a shed roof called? ›

Roof edge (or eaves edge)

All the boards running along the edge of the roof or eaves. Also known as a fascia.

How many square feet is a 10x12 shed? ›

10x12 Sheds. Square footage: 120 sq. ft.

Does a porch on a shed count as square footage? ›

Apart from the main house itself, the only elements of a property included in the square footage living space are porches and fully attached liveable extensions, such as enclosed sunrooms or four season rooms. All outbuildings, yard space, patios and decking areas are not included.

Does a lean to count as a shed? ›

Often it is a rough structure made of logs or unfinished wood and used as a camping shelter. A lean-to addition is a shed with a sloping roof and three walls that abuts the wall of another structure.

Do you need an overhang on a flat roof? ›

As long as the EPDM is properly installed, then the waterproof surface will encourage liquid to enter the gutters, but an important point to note is that an overhang at the gutter edge is required. By adding this overhang, the water flows across the flat roof and goes directly into your drainage system.

What is eaves height on a shed? ›

it will be more than 4m high with a pitched roof or 3m high with a flat roof. If it will be within 2m of the boundary of the house, it must be 2.5m high. its eaves will be more than 2.5m high.

Do you need a roof overhang? ›

Importance of a Roof Overhang

These structures have an important function which encompasses the protection of doors, windows, siding, and walls from the rain and heat. Without the right overhang protection, sides of a home could rot from rain exposure, or your house could easily feel overheated over the summer.

How far should a metal roof overhang the drip edge? ›

Typically, you will want the metal roof to overhang the drip edge by 1.5 to 2 inches. This is because the overhang prevents water from rolling around the edge or using surface tension to creep along the bottom of the metal. If you are using gutters and a drip edge, then as little as 1.25 inches may be sufficient.

How far can you cantilever a roof? ›

The general rule of thumb is that the overhang can only extend up to 1/3 of the length of the beam, but it is more common for the overhang to be shorter. Builders typically place the beams along the top of the walls and allow them to extend outwards.

Are roof eaves necessary? ›

In rainy places, it can be an intermediate space of shelter, protecting the building frame and external façade from the weather. However, eaves are not an indispensable component of a building.

How far apart should roof joists be? ›

The number of trusses required for a roof depends completely on the design. However, typical roof truss spacing means that they are usually 400mm (16 inches) or 600mm (24 inches) from centre – this means from the centre of one truss to the centre or the next truss.

How close to a fence can you build a shed? ›

Maybe your shed is too close to the fence, leaving you with no room to get around it. Sounds dreadful, right? With that in mind, experts recommend leaving at least 24 inches around the entirety of your shed. Plus, with 2 feet to spare, it'll be easy to make any changes or do anything with the shed in the future.

What does maximum eaves height mean? ›

Eaves height is measured from ground level at the base of the. outside wall to the point where that wall would, if projected. upwards, meet the lowest point of the upper surface of the roof – the overhang should be ignored for the purposes of measurement.

How high can a shed be next to a fence? ›

Within 2 metres of a boundary, the maximum building height is 2.5m. Therefore, if you plan to install your shed next to a fence it cannot be as tall as if it is going to be placed further away. Most sheds available are less than 2.5m tall, allowing them to be positioned anywhere on your property.

Why is roof overhang important? ›

Roof overhangs have several important functions: they can protect exterior doors, windows, and siding from rain; they can shade windows when solar heat gain is undesirable; and they can help keep basements and crawl spaces dry.

What is the purpose of a roof overhang? ›

Roof overhangs have several important functions: they can protect exterior doors, windows, and siding from rain; they can shade windows when solar heat gain is undesirable; and they can help keep basements and crawl spaces dry.

What is another word for a roof overhang? ›

The eaves are the edges of the roof which overhang the face of a wall and, normally, project beyond the side of a building.

How much overhang should there be on a metal roof? ›

Little Metal Roof Overhang

A typical metal roof overhang may be 2 to 4 inches, or even less. Some slight overhang is recommended, in conjunction with a drip edge flashing, to prevent water from getting under the roofing and onto underlying wood.

Is a drip edge necessary on a metal roof? ›

If you are installing a metal roof, a drip edge is not required, especially if the roof is at a slant and installed to hang over an inch. Doing this will help direct the water away from the fascia. However, while it's not necessary to have a drip edge, it is often highly recommended anyway.

Is a drip edge necessary on a roof? ›

Without a drip edge, water may end up beneath the shingles and may cause damage to various parts of the home. Though your home may not have originally had a drip edge installed, drip edges are now required by most building codes across North America to protect homes from damage.

Videos

1. What No Posts? - Learn How To Build An Extended Gable Roof Cantilever
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2. 10 x12 Modern Work Shed - Part 6 - Framing The Roof
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3. How To Build A Shed - Part 3 Building & Installing Rafters
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4. How To Build A Lean To Roof Overhang
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5. Complete Gable Roof Build! Full instructions for beginners!
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6. How To Build A Shed - Part 7 - Shed Roof Framing
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