Getting Plywood Onto a Roof by Yourself

Written by Andrew Morrison

You wouldn’t be the first person to try getting plywood onto a roof, up a ladder, by yourself. You might be the first to do it without hurting yourself! When working alone we are faced with many difficulties that would otherwise be simple for people working in groups or pairs. One of these is getting plywood up to a roof structure. Here are a couple options to consider, based on the size of the job at hand.

two men carrying plywood

A simple way to get a bunch of sheets to the roof is to build a simple rack out of framing lumber (2x4s are fine) on the ground onto which you stack your plywood sheets. Make it tall enough so that you can pull the sheets from the roof and install them in place. Be sure to install the first sheet on the roof directly in front of the rack to increase the safety of the setup. Don’t forget to make sure that piece is in line with the general layout of the roof and the plywood that will cover it!

Sometimes the idea of building a rack is over the top because it will take more time and materials than the job you have to do on the roof. For example, perhaps the majority of the roof is already sheathed and you simply need to get the last two pieces up that were not in your original material calculations.  The crew that you had to help install the rest of the sheets is gone, so now it’s up to you. In this case, carrying a sheet or two up a ladder can be the easiest way to do it. Now don’t plan on carry the sheet over your shoulder, as that’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, use a C-Clamp attached firmly to the leading edge of the sheet as a handle. It’s quick, easy, and inexpensive and it will make carrying the sheet so much easier.

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