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How to Add a Roof Overhang Without Re-Roofing

Vance Holloman

Adding a roof overhang, whether you are trying to prevent sunlight from hitting a window, keep rain from falling close to your house or add a bit of an outdoor shaded area, doesn't require re-roofing your entire house. You can accomplish this task with a clever selection of shingles for the new overhang and by using the overhang as an architectural statement.

Adding a roof overhang doesn't require replacing your entire roof.

Step 1

Remove the gutter, if any, and fascia board from the edge of the roof in the area where the overhang will be positioned. Use a hammer and small pry bar to remove this flat piece of wood that caps the end of the roof joists. Try to remove it in one piece to reuse later.

Step 2

Cut the lumber for the new overhang rafters to the desired length of the overhang plus 2 feet.

Step 3

Insert the rafter extension into the soffit up against an existing rafter so that it projects out the desired distance. The tail of the extension should be pinched between the top plate of the exterior wall and the bottom of the roof decking.

Step 4

Push the tail of the rafter extension up so that it is out of plane with the existing rafter. Alternately, you can hold the back corner of the rafter extension down 1 to 2 inches below the existing rafter. Nail the rafter extension in place by nailing framing nails through the extension and into the existing rafter.

Step 5

Lightly hammer a nail into the outside face of this rafter extension, roughly 2 inches in from the end and 2 inches down from the top of the rafter extension.

Step 6

Install the rafter extension on the other end of the overhang area in the same manner, including the nail in the outside face.

Step 7

Tie two string lines to the nail and then stretch them back to the first rafter. One string needs to go from the nail and over the top edge of the rafter extension, while the other goes from the nail and around the end of the rafter extension. When the string reaches the other rafter, pull each string taut and cross the rafter in the same spots before tying it to the nail in the outside face of the rafter.

Step 8

Install the rest of the rafter extensions in between the two ends. Use the string lines as a guide. The extensions must barely touch both lines, at the top and on the end.

Step 9

Cut plywood or oriented strand board sheathing to fit over the newly installed extensions. Measure from the edge of the existing sheathing to the edge of the extensions.

Step 10

Apply roofing underlayment to the new overhang. Push the underlayment up onto the existing roof beneath the existing roofing materials.

Step 11

Apply the new roofing materials to the overhang. Follow the manufacturers directions for installing the roof covering.