Tying a gable roof into an existing roof is a long, expensive project, usually undertaken only when there is a major addition or renovation to a house. It is not a job for beginners. You may need a structural engineer to help with design of trusses and rafters. You will need building help -- and a large construction dumpster for debris. You also will need a way to weatherproof the existing structure while roofing is being removed and replaced.
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Adding a Gable Roof to an Existing Roof
First, you'll need to determine where your new gable roof will tie into the existing roof. Adding a gable roof addition to your house will require one type of framing; tying a roof perpendicular to the existing roof will be another matter. Take careful measurements to determine how many trusses you will need. To tie into the side of an existing roof, put a new roof truss on the walls of the addition, brace it upright, then snap chalklines on the shingles to mark the center line of the new roof valleys, where old and new roofs will connect.
Tying in to an Existing Gable Roof
Tie into the end of an existing gable roof by removing existing facing boards, wall siding and any other obstructions back to the first truss of the old roof. Then mount new trusses on the new addition walls.
Butt the first new truss against the old one. Then install new ridge board, tying it to the old roof by cutting back part of the original ridge board so there is overlap. Once new trusses are secured, sheath the roof with oriented strand board (OSB), lay down roofing paper, then nail on shingles. Install metal drip edge at the eaves. Then add siding and trim to the new gable roof end.
Tying in Perpendicular to Existing Roof
Start tying in a new gable roof perpendicular to the old one by removing old shingles and nailing 2-inch-by-6-inch valley boards along the chalk lines you marked. Miter these at the top to fit a ridge board. Then cut "jack rafters" - short 2-inch-by-6-inch rafters that will connect the valley board and new ridge board up to the point of the first new truss. Raise your new trusses into place, brace them temporarily upright, then nail them to the new wall and add a ridge board from the outside truss back to the old roof to complete the framing for the new roof.
Final Steps to Complete the New Roof
Finish the new roof by nailing on OSB sheathing, covering it with roofing paper and nailing in metal flashing along the valleys and metal drip edge at the eaves. Then nail shingles on the new roof and exposed areas of the old roof. Fold new shingles over the new valley onto the old roof, overlapping by at least a foot.
Finish your gable roof addition tie in by installing siding to match the existing house and fascia and trim boards at eaves and edges.
Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.