How to use roof jacks with brackets

Updated November 21, 2016

Working on a sloped surface with your hands full of tools and roofing supplies is not an easy task. The steeper the roof, the more difficult it is to work on, and one wrong step can spell disaster. Roof jacks make it possible to safely work on a steep roof because they provide a way to construct a platform you can stand on. Using roof jacks allows you to concentrate on the job and not on how to stay on the roof without falling off.

Install roofing shingles as far as you can safely reach from a ladder. Depending on your height and how far you can reach, you can install three to six rows before you need to install the roof jack brackets.

Lift up a shingle, directly in front of you, on the last row of shingles that you installed. Drive a nail through the decking and directly into a rafter. Leave 1/4 inch of the nail sticking up.

Slide the top hole of the roof jack bracket over the nail, and finish driving the nail into the decking. Insert another nail through the second and third holes of the roof jack bracket. Make sure that each nail goes into the rafter. A correctly installed bracket will have the flat brace bar with a lip on it facing up.

Move the ladder, and secure the second roof jack bracket six feet from the first one. Secure it in the same manner as the first roof jack bracket, and at the same height. Roof jack brackets must be installed every six feet to provide stability for the board.

Lay the 2-by-6-inch board on top of the roof jack brackets. Allow the ends of the board to overhang the roof jacks to keep the board from potentially slipping off of the roof jacks.


You can also use roof jack brackets to make repairs on the roof. Their primary purpose is to provide a stable platform to work on.


You must nail the roof jack brackets to rafters. The brackets will not hold if they are only nailed to the roof decking.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 roof jacks
  • 16 penny nails
  • Hammer
  • 2-by-10-inch board, at least 7 feet long
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About the Author

Based in Oklahoma City, Debbie Tolle has been working in the home-improvement industry since 2001 and writing since 1998. Tolle holds a Master of Science in psychology from Eastern Illinois University and is also a Cisco-certified network associate (CCNA) and a Microsoft-certified systems engineer (MCSE).