How to Draw Roof Plans

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring device

  • Pencil

  • Graph paper

  • Home floor plan blueprint

Drawing roof plans requires exact measurements and following specific guidelines.

Designing a custom home is a dream for many. Considering the various important facts, figures and features that create a safe, legal and livable home are vital to successfully completing a building plan. From a foundation (or footprint) you develop a floor plan, schematics and a roof design. The roof design is not simply a finishing touch to cover the home, but a protective barrier from sun, wind, rain, run off, snow buildup and more. Often, the roof can present a larger visible surface area than the walls, so adequate planning must be undertaken. Drawing a suitable roof design will take a mastery of measurements and facts that pertain specifically to the properties location, weather and size.

Step 1

Create an exact replica of the floor plan or footprint of the home on your graph paper. Be accurate with these measurements and create an exact base footprint to draw from.

Step 2

Measure a roof pitch, or a roofing slope, that will identify the angles of the roof in relation to both vertical and horizontal rises from the structure. Draw in all the various intersections that are a result of the various roof pitches coming together. Make a note concerning the run-off that will occur with these slopes and ravines. Direct the intersections to run water and snow melt away from doors, windows and walkways. Adjustable triangles created for plotting roof angles are available at hardware stores. Using these will save considerable time over having to measure the rise and run of a roof on your own.

Step 3

Incorporate various roof shapes to designated regions of the roof that might necessitate a specific design style. Gable, A-frame, shed, gambrel, hip and mansard roofs are just a sampling of roof styles that are commonly used in residential roof designs. All of these designs offer a specific feature for run-off, sun exposure for solar panels, temperature management and aesthetics. Decide what you need and where, and then draw the measured roof application to fit your needs.

Step 4

Make notes on your roof drawing regarding the materials and finishing touches you want to use, from shingles to tiles or metal panels. These topical treatments play a large role in the process of design as well, since the roof is a substantial visual application on a home.

Step 5

Bring your drawing to a professional drafter and have him evaluate your drawing measurements, roofing styles, pitches and finishes. A local drafter will have access to CAD programs or computer software that can calculate perfect dimensions immediately. These programs also have the ability to foresee any possible issues with ice buildup, snow melt or any other problem, and they can highlight the questionable areas for the drafter to work with and rectify.


Ask your county building department about the maximum slopes and pitches of roofing that you are allowed to create in your area. Also ask your local architectural review board about exterior finishes that are allowed in your subdivision, as these vary from area to area.


Colleen Meheen

Colleen Meheen is a certified personal trainer through the ISSA, and has years of experience in the fields of holistic nutrition. Her passion for preventative wellness creates her active lifestyle up in the Rockies of Colorado. She has been the fashion editor for Lifestyle Media Group and an inspirational writer for Reign Media Group L.L.C.