The roof sheathing of your Calgary AB roof is a cornerstone of your entire roofing system and its materials. Unfortunately, plywood can only withstand so much moisture and weight, which is why experienced and highly-trained Calgary AB roofers often inspect it for damages prior to any roof repair services. However, is it worth learning how to sheath a roof by yourself?

How To Sheath a Roof By Yourself

If it isn’t a critical construction project, then it’s a great skill to learn. However, learning how to sheath a roof by yourself to fix a critical problem in your property during the rainy or winter season is a bad idea. DIY roofing takes much time to correct due to trial and error, and delays will make your roofing problems worse by the minute.

However, it pays to learn how to sheath a roof by yourself because it helps you know if your roofers are doing a good job on your roof. On the other hand, you won’t have any problems if the local community and their former customers are completely satisfied with their roofing services. SF Gate has great instruction on how to sheath a roof by yourself.

Builders love plywood for its water resistance, structural stability and low cost. They also love oriented strand board, though. It costs even less and is comparable to plywood on the other two counts, and they increasingly prefer OSB for roof sheathing. Either is an acceptable choice in most jurisdictions.

Standard Thicknesses

Before lumber companies began selling OSB, the standard choice for sheathing a roof with a 24-inch rafter spacing was 1/2-inch CDX plywood – the letters CDX indicate that it is construction-grade material intended for exterior applications. Precision milling techniques allowed manufacturers to shave a small amount from the thickness without sacrificing stability, and the modern standard for 24-inch rafter spacing is 15/32 inch. Because of they way it is constructed, OSB can support more weight than plywood – the standard thickness to sheath a roof with rafters spaced by 24 inches is 7/16 inch.

Sheathing Sizes

OSB and plywood come in thicknesses ranging from 5/16 to 3/4 inch, and the thickness needed for a particular roof depends on several factors, including rafter spacing, expected load and roof design. Plywood sheets are available in 4-foot widths and lengths up to 10 feet. The maximum length of OSB sheets is more than double that. (Continued)

Roof Sheathing Construction Common Errors

You’ve taken our advice. By having roofing contractors finish your roof sheathing instead of going DIY, you’ve got your new roof sheathing in no time. On the other hand, you want to be on the safe side and want to perform your own roof sheathing evaluations before the contractors install the new roofing material.

Norbord has an excellent list of areas to check to make sure your roof sheathing was properly and correctly installed. Read more about it below.


  • Check the rafters or trusses are square and aligned properly before you install anything.
  • If you find something that’s not right, have it corrected right away because it’s going to telegraph though to the shingles and you are likely to get a call back.
  • Use a 10D nail to quickly and easily create the required 1/8” space between sheathing panels at the 4’ edges.
  • Install nails 3/8” in from the edges and follow the building code or panel manufacture’s spacing instructions.


  • Don’t stand between the supports when you are fastening the panel because your weight will cause deflection in the panel and after it’s fastened it stays there.
  • Don’t always do things in the same old way; codes and product instructions change so make sure you and your team are up to date.

Those little mistakes matter and sometimes they can really be expensive. Bad building habits are hard to change but good building habits save time and money. (Continued)

Why Your Roof Sheathing Greatly Matters

You want to learn how to sheath a roof by yourself because how difficult can it be to do? It is definitely easy. However, a problematic installation can lead to so many problems that will shorten the lifespan and durability of your roofing material. In fact, poor installation guarantees frequent leaks over time.

Hustad Companies has an accurate explanation about the grave importance of your roof sheathing and why you can learn how to sheath a roof by yourself but leave it to the pros to perform.

When most homeowners think about the parts of their roof, they may quickly consider shingles or insulation. One important roof layer, hidden away inside the roof, is often overlooked: the roof sheathing. This critical roof layer is very important to the function and lifespan of a roof. A Verona roofing contractor can help a homeowner understand the critical importance of this part and ensure that it is kept in good working order along with the rest of the roof.

Roof sheathing is a layer of plywood or wood planks that is installed beneath the shingles and the rafters. The sheathing may be considered open or closed depending on whether there is space between the boards. Open sheathing is cheaper and lighter, but closed sheathing is generally more effective. This layer can also vary in thickness from as little as one inch to as much as five inches. Thickness is again a consideration between weight, cost and effectiveness. A contractor will also consider whether or not the roof is designed to handle the extra weight and will judge the thickness accordingly.

Protection against leakage and inundation is a key advantage of roof sheathing. Water commonly penetrates roof shingles, especially if they are older or damaged. (Continued)

If you have yet to find a reliable roofer who can help you work with your roof sheathing, look for professionals with decades of experience and a proven track record with the local residential community. No Payne Roofing is Calgary AB’s go-to roofer because we make sure we address every issue you have without any delays and errors. Learn more by contacting us today!