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How to Install Roof Brackets

Henri Bauholz

Roof brackets or jacks are handy little devices that are used by roofers as scaffolding when installing a new roof. They are designed so when properly installed, they can be easily removed without leaving a mark on the roof.

Proper installation of a roof bracket is essential, for if this is not done properly, the jacks can break loose during their use and send workers and construction materials sliding downwards towards the edge of the roof. For this reason, roof brackets are only recommended on one-story roofs with a low pitch.

How To Install Roof Brackets

  1. Lean a ladder against the side of the building and climb up to the edge of the roof. Note of Caution! Since working off of roof jacks can be risky for a novice, this procedure is only recommended for one-story roofs with a low pitch. Once you reach the roof line, you will need to locate the rafters, for you will attach the roof jack to the rafter by means of some 12 or 16-penny nails. It is imperative that all nails are driven directly into the rafters, for if a roof jack comes loose, then you and your roof shingles will most likely come sliding off the roof. Any roof that is higher than one story or that has a steep pitch should be left to a professional roofer.

  2. Once the rafters are located then you can attach two roof jacks to the roof. Pull up a tab of one of the shingles and slide the top of the jack under the shingle. Make sure the jack lies up perfectly with the rafter. The bottom butt of the rafter should be visible at the edge of the roof.

  3. Drive a 16 penny nail through one of the slots at the top of the jack. There should be three slots so you will have to drive three nails. The nails should go in hard, if they don’t you have missed the rafter, so check your placement of the jack. If you can’t find the rafter, do not continue. Call a roofer.

  4. Put the planks on top of the roof jacks. A good rule of thumb is to place a jack every six feet. Always set your planks after you have installed a jack on each end. Once the plank is in place, then you can continue with adding additional jacks.


install the middle brackets until after the planks are set in place


using roof brackets in most cases should left to a professional builder or roofer make sure all three nails are driven solidly into a rafter