Saltbox Roof | Saltbox House | Saltbox Roof Design | Saltbox Roof Framing

What Is Saltbox Roof?

A saltbox roof is an asymmetrical roof with two slopes that meet at a central ridge. This type roof has a steeper slope on one side than the other.

The saltbox roof resembles a gable roof with asymmetrical planes. But the saltbox roof is divided into two parts with a short slope on one side and a long steep slope on the other side.

Saltbox roofs are usually used for two-story structures. But now, it can be designed on single storey buildings.

Saltbox roofs are a suitable roofing option in areas with moderate to heavy rainfall and snowfall. Since it has sloping sides, water will run off easily and snow will not accumulate on your roof.

A saltbox house provides excellent ventilation to the lower living space. The saltbox roof design helps air flow into the home, while cooling the home and helping to reduce the incidence of mold.

History of Saltbox Roof House

Saltbox Roof

This slanted curvature can be traced back to 1650 in Colonial New England. The name “saltbox” comes from a standard wooden box used to store salt in Colonial times; both the building and the wooden box have a gable roof.

The first Saltbox houses were built by simply adding a lean-to to the back of the original house. The rooftop was sometimes less than six feet from the ground. The kitchen, or “keeping room,” was usually in the center, with two small rooms on either end used for storage and a “birthing chamber” for childbirth or illness.

Clapboard or other wooden siding was used on the exteriors of the houses. The birthplace of the ever-popular John Adams, the second President of the United States, is one of the most famous saltboxes. He was born in a Saltbox house in Massachusetts that is now a National Historical Park.

So, how did saltbox style roof get so popular? The popularity of the Saltbox House has been attributed to Queen Anne’s taxation of residences with more than one story. Because the back of the roof was single-story, the house was exempt from tax.

However, scores of people would cram into these dwellings during Colonial times. The design was most likely shaped by the need for a more excellent room rather than Queen Anne’s taxing.

Also Read: Chimney Flashing | Roof Flashing | Counter Flashing | Gutter Guard | Gutter Helmet Vs Leaf Guard

How to Build a Saltbox Roof?

If you have a basic level of technical aptitude, you can install a saltbox roof on your home yourself. Installing a saltbox roof design or modifying an existing, traditional roof to meet additional needs is an excellent way to contribute to your home’s foundation.

Although saltbox roofs reduce the attic space, they are perfect for waterproofing and increasing the thermal insulation of your home.

The first step is planning; It comprises all of your pre-construction concepts and the work that ensures that the roofing system is correctly planned, adequately structured, compliant with local building codes, technically practicable, and visually appealing.

This section covers contacting local authorities, dealing with contractors, selecting the appropriate plans, obtaining material quotations, settling labor costs, and obtaining an insurance policy.

The second step is prep work; This includes preparing for the installation process. There is usually foliage near the homes, such as a landscape, potted plants, or potted plants, that must be removed or protected.

As your project progresses, you will need a dumpster, so make sure you hire one. The third step is cutting and measuring; The ridge board should be cut to fit the thickness of the rooftop and the common rafters on both the brief & medium sides. (For further information on framing, see the next section.).

The fourth step is position; the first side of the rafters must then be linked with nails. After that, lift your ridge pieces so some other two trusses may be secured on the opposite side. Because saltbox rooftop beams exceed the sidewalls, precise positioning is essential.

Each rafter must be linked to the screws in the wall on both edges of the roof installation. This contributes to the roof’s overall stability.

The final step is finishing; make your roof covering and drape it over the rafters. After the top is in place, fix it with nails or screws.

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Saltbox Roof Framing

In this section, we will learn the steps to Saltbox roof framing:

The first step is to measure the saltbox roof truss, Determine the critical figures for roofing trusses. This contains the saltbox roof pitch of the two opposing slopes and the run of each, which is the length of each rafter.

The second step is to cut long Rafters; for the longer side, start with the rafters. Place a 2-by-4-inch board on a flat surface. The 4-inch back view should face upward. Then, place the peak of a framework square directly at the bottom of one of the ends. Over the board should be the thin tongue. Make a pitch mark.

The third step is to cut Rafters; calculate this in the same way as the plumb cut, except place the square’s tip at the top of the leaderboard. Cut your diagonal cuts with a circular saw. Make all the rafters needed for the roof’s length, spacing the trusses 24 inches apart.

Repeat the calculations for the trusses on the short side with a short rafter board. To make the plumb cut, use the 2-inch pitch marker. Then, at 26 inches, position the birdsmouth to include the overflow. This may be because it’s on the longer side, but it could also be shorter or longer.

Twelve inches across the skinny side from the roof’s apex lay a 2-by-4-inch board horizontally between the rafters. On the board, mark your degrees for the rafters so you may add a bridge tie to connect them.

For each side connection, use rectangle-shaped gussets; create the leading gusset squarely across the bottom to connect both rafters but slanted to the top for your roof’s peak. Each truss should have a gusset on both sides.

Trace the exterior of the second truss 23 1/4 inches distant from your end wall; use the square’s mouth to draw the inside border of the double truss. Repeat this step until the roofing is finished; the final area is far less than 25 mm.

Mount the very first rack in place for the end. Make sure it’s plumb with a level before nailing the birdsmouths into the plaster caps with three 16d nails. Using a hammer, drive them in diagonally.

Three will be on one face of the saltbox truss end, and one will be on the other. Lift the remaining trusses, checking for plumpness, and reinforce them briefly with 1-by-4 wood placed across your cross ties.

5/8-inch OSB should cover each truss (oriented strand board). Use 8d galvanized nails to secure it to the rafters’ sides. Allow the uppermost edge of the short-side panel to overhang the topmost edge of the long-side board.

Also Read: Skillion Roof | Aluminum Shingles | Porch Roof | Roof Maintenance

Advantages and Disadvantages of Saltbox Roof

There are various advantages of the saltbox roof, which are as follows

  1. When you see a home with a saltbox shed roof design, it immediately stands out from the others. The building’s sloping back looks nice in both a modernized and a rural setting.
  2. framing a saltbox roof is more complicated to construct than a regular truss roof. You must ensure that the roof pitch matches the walls that frame the building’s back.
  3. The asymmetrical design of the saltbox roof style makes it an excellent choice for people who live in northern areas with a lot of rain and snow. This design enables easy snow removal through runoff or the lack of valleys and locations where ice and snow might accumulate.
  4. There is one massive downside to this innovative roof design. Because it slopes to the back of the structure, the internal ceiling will also slope. This implies that when you can still store miniature goods in the space, you must plan when keeping more oversized items.
  5. A saltbox roof’s angle makes it ideal for rain and snow slides. This type of roof makes sense if you reside in an area with a lot of precipitation, such as the Northeast US. You don’t want the snow to accumulate on your roof, and with such a steep roof, the weight of the snow causes it to slip off before it becomes too heavy.
  6. When your house is built on a slope, you can choose a saltbox roof. A walk-out basement will be found in many hillside homes. The garage is built into the natural slope of the environment, and the driveway descends the hill.
  7. Adding a saltbox roof to this style of home can give it a particular visual appeal and make the home’s use of the environment appear more deliberate. The front of the house will typically be one story, while the back will be two.
  8. One disadvantage of living in a required selection house is that the sharply sloping roof limits your attic space. You may have only been able to store half of your belongings.
  9. The most significant disadvantage is constructing the roof. It is more complicated than a sloping new roof. Hence it will cost more. If you employ a contractor, be sure they’ve worked on a saltbox roof before.
  10. Saltbox roofs perform effectively in northern locations with light to heavy snowfall and rainfall. They discourage rain from accumulating on the top even though they have no flat surfaces. They can withstand stronger winds than gable homes.
  11. The asymmetrical shape requires the selection roof to be sturdier and cheaper to clean than a gable roof. It raises a house from one and a half to two floors, providing more excellent living space.
  12. Saltbox roofing designs have slanted internal ceilings, which can restrict attic space despite their visual appeal. Furthermore, this roof is more challenging to design and construct than a gable or shed-style roof.


So this is all we have in this article. We have given you every description related to salt roof homes. After reading this article, we hope that you will clear all your doubts regarding the saltbox roof homes.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Saltbox Roof

The saltbox roof resembles a gable roof with asymmetrical planes. But the saltbox roof is divided into two parts with a short slope on one side and a long steep slope on the other side.

Saltbox House

Saltbox homes have sleek styles made of asymmetrical planes. The beginning of this style was to expand the size of the houses and enlarge the house, one-story rooms were built at the back. Instead of building a new roof, the builders have extended the existing roof to that level.

Saltbox Roof Design

Saltbox roofs design has the same design as gable roofs. It has two sides sloping outwards from the central peak. Saltbox Roof Design is easily recognizable due to its unique roof shape and architecture.

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