How to install battens on a carport roof

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How to install battens on a carport roof

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Project Overview

With the right tools, installing battens on a carport roof is a relatively easy DIY 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. 

Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How To Build a Carport

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure where the battens will sit
2 Run a string line
3 Measure the height for the battens
4 Measure and cut the battens
5 Cut the batten to length
6 Attach the batten
  • Step 1. Measure 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. 

  • Step 2. Run 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.

  • Step 3. Measure 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.

  • Step 4. Measure 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.

  • Step 5. Cut 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.
  • Step 6. Attach 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.

Tools and Materials


  • Drill
  • Earmuffs
  • Ladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Nail gun
  • Pencil
  • Power saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Sawhorse
  • Set square


  • Battens
  • Batten screws
  • String line

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