How to install guide PART 1

Outdoor gazebo detailed do it yourself roofing guide.

Hi I am Richard and I’ll start by showing you a step by step guide on how to install an outdoor gazebo roof with asphalt shingles.

The same installation technique can be applied to a garden gazebo, patio, pergola, shed, garage or even your home.  When we send out this comes in an outdoor gazebo kit with all of the necessary roofing materials ready to use.

We need to take a few measurements to calculate the materials needed for the job. Generally, asphalt shingles come in bundles of 21 pieces which cover 3m².

You will need to do the ff:

  1. Calculate the total area of the roof.
  2. Calculate the total length around the bottom edge.
  3. Measure the combined total length of the hips and ridge.

Calculation number 1 will determine how many sheets of plywood you will need.

A standard sheet of plywood is 2400mm x 1200mm. One of these sheets is equal to 2.88m². Generally you can work with about 10% wastage. It will also show how much asphalt impregnated roofing felt you will need – Add 10% for wastage. (more on roofing felt later). It will also give you part of your asphalt shingle requirements.

Calculation number 2 will show you how many meter’s of starter course and metal drip edge you will need – each bundle of asphalt tiles has 21 lineal meter’s of starter course. (I will go into detail later).

Calculation number 3 will tell you how many bundles of asphalt tiles you will need for the hips. Each bundle of asphalt tiles covers 8.8 lineal meter’s of hips (or ridge).

TIP “The plywood used is 12mm Structural A-bond d-face d-face tongue & groove plywood AS-NZS 2004 – 2400mm x 1200mm. AUSTRALIAN MADE”

A list of tools used to build this DIY outdoor gazebo roof

Hammer, Measuring tape, chalk line, spirit level, Long straight edge, Hook blade knife, Compressor with framing gun (not necessary), circular saw set to 17mm deep cut, 15-20mm shank galvanized clout nails with a 10mm head, basic blade knife, 2 power cords, tin snips.


Garden Gazebo basic frame | rafters at 600mm centres - Freshly painted
Garden Gazebo basic frame | rafters at 600mm centre’s – Freshly painted


At this early point you will have to run a straight edge over the rafters to check that they are all level.

If they are not you will need to use a plainer to take some off the tops of the rafters. Asphalt shingles are very low profile / flat and any difference in the rafter height will be seen easily in the finished roof.

TIP “The rafters for this  Outdoor Gazebo were spaced at approx 680mm center’s. It is much better to space the rafters at 600mm centre’s (centre point from rafter to rafter) so you maximise the use of the plywood and have less cutting”.


Gerden gazebo platform at a good height for roofing
Garden gazebo platform at a good height for roofing

Here I have set up a basic plank between two ladders which is usually more than adequate for an outdoor gazebo job like this.


This roof was 25 degree roof pitch.  The minimum pitch for asphalt shingles is 9.5°. Between 9.5° pitch and 18.5° pitch you will need to use a special waterproofing barrier eg.. IKO Armourguard – which is an adhesive backed rubberised membrane roll.  It is also acceptable to use a double layer of asphalt saturated felt material. Between 60° pitch and vertical (steep slope) you will need to self seal each tab of asphalt shingles

TIP “Both on steep slopes and in high wind areas you should place a small dab of tar under each corner of each tab. This will prevent blow off.”


Checking that the bottom edge of the plywood is flush with the fascia
Checking that the bottom edge of the plywood is flush with the fascia

I am checking the position of the plywood so that it comes to the outside edge of the Fascia board. I am spanning the plywood the long side horizontally which is manufacturers guidelines. Always try to stagger the sheets of plywood for extra strength.

TIP “Butt the tongue and groove ends of the plywood tight together but on the short sides leave a 2 – 3mm gap to allow for any expansion the plywood may have.”


Nailing the first sheet of ply into place
Nailing the first sheet of ply into place


Once you have the first sheet of plywood in place you can hammer in a couple of nails to hold. Don’t hammer the nails where you are likely to cut the ply eg… on the end rafter or down the hip.

TIP “Plywood will generally have a stamp on one side with ‘A-Bond AS/NZS 2004….’ lay this side facing up with all sheets for a clean underside and easier joining”.


Chalkline for cutting up ther centre rafter of the garden gazebo
Chalk Line for cutting up the centre rafter of the garden gazebo


Here I am snapping a chalk line on the centre of the rafter for a clean straight cut. At this point measure the blade on your circular saw to cut exactly to the depth of the plywood to avoid any mistakes.

Carefully cutting the plywood up the centre of the rafter
Carefully cutting the plywood up the centre of the rafter

Simply cut straight up the chalk line. Some of the waterproofing chemicals in plywood are known to cause cancer so be sure to use a basic mask. Here I’m holding my breath – I Think!!

Sweeping the sawdust off the garden gazebo deck for saftey
Sweeping the sawdust off the garden gazebo deck for safety

Sawdust on the plywood is very slippery so keep it clean. As you can see we are creating a fantastic deck that you can walk on as much as you like. No denting metal or cracking tiles on this outdoor gazebo.


Click here to go to DIY GAZEBO ROOF GUIDE PART 2

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