How to Build Eaves for a Gambrel Roof

Lead Image
  • 2-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-300
What You'll Need
Rafter tail blocks
Table Saw
1x6-inch boards
Deck Screws (optional)
Insulation (optional)

A gambrel roof or "barn style" roof provides a great way to create extra space in the attic or at the top of the barn. However, pre-cut trusses for a gambrel roof often require that the homeowner build and create their own eaves as this style of roof has very little, if any, overhang. To create eaves on your barn style roof, you can use a rafter tail. This serves the purpose of the eave and creates shade and protection against nature’s elements. The process of installing the rafter tails is not difficult, but it may take a great deal of time if you are unsure of what you are doing.

Step 1 - Count the Rafters

Before beginning any work, you need to know the size of the area that you working with. First, count the number of rafters on your building. You should have the same number of rafter tails as you have rafters. At this time, you should also mark the sidewalls of the building so that you know where the rafter tails will be installed. This will save time when you are ready to build the eaves.

Step 2 - Cut the Rafter Tails

The rafter tails must be cut in such a way so that the angles match the angles of the rafters. Measure the width of the rafters and then run each rafter tail block through your table saw to ensure that they are the same width as the rafters. If not, the eave will appear uneven and poorly built.

Step 3 - Secure the Rafter Tails

Now that the rafter tails have been cut you will secure them to your 1x6-inch lumber. To do this, simply nail the rafter tails to the board. Deck screws can also be used to secure the rafter tails as well.

Step 4 - Put the Rafter Tails in Place

Once you secure the rafter tails to the 1x6-inch boards, you can begin putting them in place. To do this nail them to the sidewall of the building in the same location that you marked out in Step 1. When putting them in place, ensure that they are level from end to end. When nailing the sections in place make sure that you are nailing into a stud in the sidewall. This will prevent the rafter tail section from falling.

Step 5 - Insulation

Once the rafter tails are in place you can then fill in the area with insulation if you wish to do so. The eave will be sheeted over so insulation is not really necessary, but this will depend on personal preference.

Step 6 - Sheeting

Now you are ready to cover in the eaves that you just built. You can do this with plywood. Simply run the plywood through you table saw, just as you did with the rafter tail blocks to cut them to the proper width of the eave and the rafters. Secure them in place using nails or deck screws.