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A person tying a loop of string around a nail in a bearer

Overview

With the right tools, installing battens on a carport roof is a relatively easy D.I.Y. project that you can do yourself. We'll show you the tools you'll need, and how to measure, cut and install the battens. You'll also find out how to grade your battens, so that the carport roof has a fall for the rain to run-off.

Steps

1Measure where the battens will sit

It's important to get the spacing of your battens correct. Measure the width of the carport using the front rafter and work out where you will place the battens. They need to be evenly spaced and the correct distance apart for the kind of roof you're attaching. With a pencil, mark on the beam where each of the battens will be secured. 

2Run a string line

Run a string line from the high side of the carport to the lower side. Do this by hammering in a nail on the second rafter on the high side of the carport and another on the opposite side. Attach a string line at the bottom of the two nails and make the line tight. This string line will tell you the height the battens need to be cut so that the carport has a fall for rain to run-off.

3Measure the height for the battens

Transfer the markings from the front beam, where the battens will be attached, to the second beam, where the string line is. Measure the distance between the string line and the rafters, where the battens will be attached. These measurements are the height the battens need to be cut to.

4Measure and cut the battens

Use the height measurements you have taken from each of the points along the string line and mark that distance on each of the battens you need to cut. Use the set square to mark a straight line along the length of each of the battens. Use the power saw to cut the battens along the line, so they're the correct height. Each batten should be lower than the other.

5Cut the batten to length

Stand on the ladder and have someone pass the batten up to you. Lay the batten on the top of the rafters, where it's going to be installed. Make sure it's flush to the opposite end where you're working. Use a pencil to mark off the batten, so it's the right length to fit snugly on top of the rafters. Use the power saw to cut it to the correct length.

6Attach the batten

Make sure that the batten is running straight from one end of the carport to the other. To make sure that it doesn't move, use the nail gun to secure the batten in place on a few rafters. Pre-drill a hole in the first rafter and secure the batten to it with the batten screws. Repeat this process so that the batten is secured to every second rafter. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for all of the battens you need to install.

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.