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house roof construction:roof sheathing thickness

Roof Sheathing Thickness Guide (2024)

Posted By: Jake Hofer

Let’s talk about something that might not sound exciting but is super important: roof sheathing thickness. Now, you might be wondering, what even is roof sheathing? Well, essentially it is a layer of material that sits on top of the rafters or trusses in your roof. Its job is to give support to the roof covering, like shingles or tiles, and spread out the weight of the roof evenly. And one big factor in how well it does its job? You guessed it – thickness. Stick with us, and I’ll break it all down for you, including:

  • How to choose the right roof sheathing
  • The cost to add roof sheathing
  • And signs you need to replace it

What’s the Deal with Roof Sheathing Thickness?

Okay, so why does thickness matter so much when it comes to roof sheathing? Here’s why:

  • Keeping Things Strong: Thicker sheathing means more strength. It can handle the weight of heavy roof materials, like those big ol’ shingles, and it can stand up better to things like snow piling up on top.
  • No More Sagging: Nobody likes a saggy roof. Thicker sheathing helps prevent that, keeping your roof nice and straight. That means no weird dips or bends, which is good news for your roof and your peace of mind.
  • Staying Cozy: If you live in a place where it gets crazy hot or crazy cold, thicker sheathing can help keep your home more comfortable. It gives you extra insulation, so you’re not shivering in the winter or sweating buckets in the summer.
  • Lasting Longer: Thicker sheathing is tougher stuff. It can handle moisture better and stand up to the elements, which means it’ll stick around longer before you need to think about replacing it.

How to Pick the Right Thickness for Your Home

Now that you know why thickness matters, how do you figure out what’s right for your home? Here’s the scoop:

Check the Guidelines

First things first, find out what the building codes say in your area. They’ll give you the lowdown on the minimum thickness you need to meet. Nobody wants to break the rules, right?

Think About Your Local Climate

What’s the weather like where you live? If you get lots of wind or heavy snow, thicker sheathing might be a good idea to give your roof some extra muscle.

Inspect Your Roof

Different roofs have different needs. If yours is super steep or has a funky design, it might need thicker sheathing to keep everything in line.

Get a Professional Roofing Contractor’s Opinion

Don’t be afraid to ask the experts. Roofing pros or engineers can take a look at your place and help you figure out what’ll work best.

Signs Your Roof Sheathing Needs Replacement

So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your roof sheathing?

  • Sagging Roof: If your roof looks like it’s sagging or has dips in it, that’s a pretty clear sign that something’s up with the sheathing underneath.
  • Water Damage: Water stains or spots on your ceiling are big red flags. They mean there’s probably a leak somewhere, and that leak could be coming from damaged sheathing.
  • Moldy Growth: Nobody wants mold creeping into their home. If you spot mold or mildew in your attic, it could mean your sheathing isn’t doing its job of keeping moisture out. If you have asphalt shingles, it’s also important to keep an eye out for moss or algae growth.
  • Pest Troubles: If you’ve got unwelcome guests like insects or rodents making themselves at home in your attic, they might be chomping away at your sheathing. Not cool.
  • Age of the Roof: Roofs don’t last forever, and neither does sheathing. If yours is getting up there in years, it might be time for a new roof installation.

How Much Does New Roof Sheathing Cost?

Alright, let’s talk money. What’s it gonna set you back to get some new roof sheathing materials? Here’s the breakdown:

Buying Materials:

Plywood tends to be pricier than OSB, but it’s also sturdier. You’re looking at anywhere from $20 to $40 for a 4×8 foot sheet, depending on what you go with.

Paying for Labor:

Getting a professional roofing contractor to install your sheathing is important, but can add to the price. Depending on where you live and how complicated the job is, you could be looking at $50 to $100 an hour for a skilled pro.


If your roof needs more than just new sheathing – like if there’s water damage or mold to deal with – that’s gonna bump up the cost.

Total Bill:

All in all, you’re probably looking at shelling out anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 or more to get your roof sheathing sorted out. Yeah, it’s not cheap, but think of it as an investment in keeping your home safe and cozy.

Protect Your Roofing Materials

So, there you have it – everything you ever wanted to know about roof sheathing thickness. By picking the right thickness, keeping an eye out for signs of trouble, and budgeting for the cost, you’ll be well on your way to a roof that’s strong, sturdy, and ready to take on whatever Mother Nature throws its way.Want some help learning about the recommended roof sheathing thickness? Contact your local professional roofing contractor at Built Right Roofing.

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