How to Install an Open Roof

Consider how much you really want an open roof

If you want an open roof, factor in the cost of repairs, leaks, and ventilation. If you plan on having an open roof, you’ll have to pay for things like ventilation to make sure you don’t overheat.

Replace Roofing

Insurer Impact: High

Repair and Painting Cost: Low to moderate

Time to Complete: < 1 Month

Occasional roof leaks can be disastrous. If your roof leaks, it may affect how you deal with other issues throughout your home like roof caving in or walls folding in the wrong direction.

Change Siding

Insurer Impact: Moderate

Repair and Painting Cost: Moderate

Time to Complete: 6–12 Months

Adding a vinyl siding to your home can transform the look of your space. It’ll add texture and personality, and should add about 40–50 years to the life of your home. It’s also more durable than stucco, which can crack under stress.

Install Rust Resistant Panels

Insurer Impact: Moderate

Repair and Painting Cost: Moderate to High

Time to Complete: 18 Months

Since the majority of your home’s structure will be made out of wood, upgrading your walls will also improve the look and smell of your home. If you aren’t a handy person, this is an easy project. You can wall in small changes, small sections, or long strips. A good analogy is painting a new coat of paint on an old wall.

Install Siding and Wall Panels

Insurer Impact: Moderate

Repair and Painting Cost: High

Time to Complete: 6–12 Months

Trim the roof of your dream home first, because you can spend thousands of dollars on a new roof later. This includes the framing for the fascia, which will sit above your roof framing. Don’t forget to remove any nails before framing your downspout.

Determine if an open roof will actually fit your home

The bigger the open roof, the more expensive it will be to build and install. So, you’ll want to consider the size of your roof and the materials you’ll use to build the structure before you make any commitments. Before installing any roof shingle, install screws into the screw holes and countersink the screws to make sure they’re secure. All siding, except gutters, should be screwed into studs for added strength. Remove any nails, and hammer into the ground the nails are sticking out from before screwing into the studs.

For a completely flat roof, prepare the area before installing any shingles. Attach plastic sheeting to the roof to help support it and prevent it from tipping over. Then, rip out any existing shingles to prepare the roof for attaching shingles. Filler, strips, and other small fasteners provide a place for your shingles to sit while they harden. Put the filler on both sides of the studs you’re about to install your shingles. This will prevent the shingles and the existing filler from bumping into each other and deteriorating over time.

Plan the proper materials and tools for your DIY project

To make sure you save money when you DIY, get the proper materials and tools for the job. For example, if you’re planning on painting a room, you’ll save money by buying the paint and brushes in bulk, which is why you should plan ahead.

Unlike traditional roof rafters, which are attached to the house vertically, an open-roof attic is attached horizontally to the house. That means corners and edges can be left bare from the beginning to minimize waste and save on costs. Many contractors use this method, so it’s not uncommon for contractors to ask for a full length bathroom floor and you’ll have to pay for it only when you reuse the floor. An attic floor will still need to be backed up with insulation and an environmentally sound roof deck for it to be a safe option for cooling and electricity, though.

An attic floor can easily be padded and padded with insulation, but if you’re not confident enough to install flooring yourself, ask an experienced contractor to install it instead. Contractors know how to install flooring and especially know how to run electrical wiring for attics, so if your floor needs to be replaced you’ll get the job done quickly and at a fraction of the normal cost.

Build the frame and support structure for your open roof

Next, you’ll want to build the frame and support structure for your open roof. It’s best to make the frame of your roof out of galvanized steel or aluminum. You can cover metal corners or use plywood. Lay the framing out on your foundation and make any necessary adjustments. For an entertainment deck, the plans seem to suggest installing a plywood-framed ceiling. This will be your deck floor. For more space, you can choose flooring that droops down to your deck sloping below it — or wraps around it.

Install the siding and shingles to finish your open roof

Since you’ve already framed your roof, the next step is to install the siding. Siding is a material that covers and protects the outside of the structure. It also adds to the appearance of the house. Siding comes in many different types, including wood, vinyl and aluminum. Siding comes in horizontal pieces. The horizontal pieces are called shingles. They can be attached to studs or sides of the house.

Siding joists generally have valleys perpendicular to the floor joists, called breezes. Breezes act as water drainage and help prevent leaks. They slow the rate at which water travels down the studs, and prevent soil from contacting the stud cavity.

Before installing sheetrock, you should determine if you want horizontal or vertical wood framing. Wood gives your roof a finished look and can be installed and removed without much additional work. And, according to Andrew James of Sonos Structures, wood is easy to install and can be installed by homeowners with little or no roof framing experience.