Step Five: The Roof

Having a well built roof is imperative if you desire to have your clubhouse last a long time. When it comes to the roof of a child’s clubhouse, using felt paper and installing a drip edge will make the clubhouse last a bit longer and make it look a tad nicer, yet going through every step a normal building needs when installing the roof isn’t all completely necessary. None the less, we will help guide you through the whole process. Remember, water always wants to flow downhill so always work uphill. Let’s put on the roof!


Asphalt Shingles

Before laying out our shingles, we must lay either plywood or OSB over the rafters much like we did with the floor in step one. OSB is much cheaper than plywood and just as strong, the only disadvantage is that it swells when exposed to water. If using OSB, make sure to keep it from any rain during the clubhouse build. Leave about 2 inches of space at the very top to help keep damp air from being trapped. Also as in step one’s plywood pattern, keep joints separated to improve durability and space the sheets about a nail’s width apart to allow expansion and nail every 6 inches on the perimeter and 12 inches along the rafters.

Roll out the tar paper starting at the bottom and over lap the last sheet by at least 6 inches using staples or roof nails to attach it too the roof. For the drip edge, install it along the bottom of the roof before laying out the paper and after when installing the roof slopes. Having a sharp pair of snips makes this task go easy. Use roofing nails every 12 inches along the inside edge to attach the drip edge.

The shingles should overhang the edge of the roof by 1 inch for both the bottom and the sides. The packaging the singles comes in will have printed instructions for correctly installing them to your playhouse.  Remember to always start at the the bottom and use two layers of shifted shingles, one facing down and one normal, for the first row to prevent water from getting in at the roof base. When you reach the top, it’s time to make the ridge cap. Simply take a piece of asphalt shingling and cut it into 3 pieces, following the tabs. This’ll be used as a ridge cap shingle and have the same spacing as the rest of the roof. Start on one end, work your way to the middle of the roof and repeat on the other side. The last piece in the middle may need to be cut for symmetry. Check out this video for further help on laying out the singles!


Wood & Slate Shingles

Wood and slate shingles are installed very much in the same way as asphalt shingles yet there is no need for an underlining surface like plywood. Instead we’re going to need to install some wood lath made from 2×3 material. If your shingles are 24 inches long, the exposure should be about 10 inches wide and thus the lath should also be installed at 10 inch space increments. The lath should overhang the end rafters by 3-5 inches and joints should land in the center of the rafters. To increase strength, make sure no two adjacent lath rows use the same rafter when they end.

As with the asphalt shingles, always use two layers of shingle material for the first row. Measure up both sides of the roof and mark the proper spacing and use a chalk line to mark where the shingles should start. Most lumber yards sell specially made ridge cap for these types of applications.


Metal Roofing

Metal roofing may need to be special ordered and comes in large panels that will need metal tapping screws with rubber washers to keep the water out. Lath will also be used for this type of roof but the spacing can be a bit more than for shingles, about 18 inch spacing and 10 inches horizontally. Cutting the panels can be a bit tricky. Use a sawzall or circular saw with a metal blade or you can even use a circular saw with a reversed old blade. Be sure to wear earmuffs as it can get extremely loud! Metal roofing also has special roof capping you’ll need to order.


Clear Roofing

Having a transparent roof is a cool option as it allows loads of sunlight and scenery into your clubhouse while keeping out the wind, water and whatever else from the sky above. Installation of the clear corrugated panels is very much like the metal roofing step. Lay out the lath across the rafters and screw down the sheets at each cross point, making sure to over lap at least one of the corrugated folds with the other. As the polycarbonate can chip very easily, make sure to use a fine toothed blade or reverse an old blade in your circular saw.