Is there a woodworker, carpenter, builder of any kind on here???


10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
Douglas, GA
I need help in the worst way.. I keep arguing with my husband about how to make out roof!! I want a pitch, gosh darn it all!! So here's the deal.. The coop is 6' wide by 8' long .. I dont want a massive pitch, but I do want pitch.. Please help!! Is there a place where I can put in my info and get calculations on what length the boards need to be cut? He will be working on this tomorrow and I need help asap!!

Thanks anyone!


10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
How much of a pitch do you want? Do you want the roof pitched from the center outwards, or slope from one side to the other? And, is it going to slope the length of the long side or short side? As long as you can draw an imaginary right triangle you can calculate the length of the rafters... you are also going to need the the angle of the plum cuts when you cut these rafters so they fit together. To get the rafter length the formula is (a*a)+(b*b) = (c*c)... so the rise(height) squared PLUS the run (length) squared = (rafter length) sqaured... obviously you'll have to take the sqaure root of this number to get the actual rafter length.

ETA: here's a slideshow that is pretty good... it's easiest to use a framing square or speed square to lay out rafters... if you buy a speed square they usually come with a little booklet that explains how to lay out a rafter.

and another website the Common Rafter length.html

and here I just found an online calculator
Last edited:

big greg barker

11 Years
Oct 26, 2008
central maine
well, it depends on how much pitch you want, which way the peak will go, or do you want a shed style roof.
I will explain a shed style roof using your specified measurements. First, you need to picture the end of your roof as a triangle. In algebra 1, we are all taught that to find the length of an unknown side of a right triangle, you use the pythagoreon theorum.
A squared plus B squared equals C squared.
SO.... your building is 6 feet wide. add 1 foot for an eave, making that 7 feet.
Next, let's say you make the front wall 2 feet taller than the back wall. this makes the short side of your roof triangle 2 feet.
Now for the numbers magic.......
2 squared is 4
7 squared is 49.
49 + 4 = 53
this is "C" squared. to find the length you need, find the square root of 53, which is 7.3 feet, or 7' 4".
8 foot lumber will do nicely.

If you want a regular type ranch style peak roof. then you need to do this.

half of 6 is 3. half of 7 is 3 and a half. ( this figures for an eave.)
2 foot rise. back to Mr. Pythagerus. Or however the heck you spell it.
3.5 squared is 12.25 feet
2 squared is 4
12.25 + 4 = 16.25 feet
the square root of 16.25 is just a smidge over 4 feet.
SO..... an eight foot piece of lumber will do if you cut the eave back to an inch or two.
Hope this helps.....


10 Years
Apr 26, 2009
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I am not any of the above but consider myself handy. Are you going to have a 2 sided roof with a peak or just a 1 sider with a sloped roof? If you are just sloping a single sided roof then the sky's the limit on length. I will include a picture of my coop and perhaps it will give you some ideas. I used 8 foot 2x4's for my roof just so I didn't have to make any cuts - it was easy. If there is a peak involved then you will be somewhat more limited as to length. Also, how you plan to seat these on the adjoining walls will determine if you need to make notch cuts or not. I picked up some roof brackets at Home Depot and rested the roof 2 x 4's on them. It tied everything together.




This was during construction - hope it helps.....

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