I built the walls of my 12' x 12' shed before deciding what type of roof I wanted. Now I'm left with the problem of how to secure the roof to the lower walls. If I build a jack wall as shown below (image probably from this video), how would I secure the bottom plate of the jack wall to the top plate of the lower wall? I don't want the joint between the walls to be the weak link against wind.

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  • It would seem that the rafters would stabilize the jack wall and so extreme measures need not be taken to secure the jack wall. The jack studs could possibly just be toe nailed into the top plate or you could use Simpson right angle stud to plate fasteners. Jul 13, 2019 at 22:34
  • @JimStewart Edited to clarify, hopefully. Jul 14, 2019 at 17:50
  • If you're interested, you might check out the concept of a structural diaphragm. If you're worried about the joint between walls acting as a hinge that the wind folds, the ceiling's panel material stabilizes that joint, transferring it's load to the walls running perpendicular to your jack wall. If there's no ceiling paneling, then most obviously you could install ceiling joists across to the other side so that the wall-folding load can enter the roof diaphragm at the opposite side.
    – popham
    Mar 2 at 18:44

2 Answers 2


You have to notch your roof rafters (birdsmouth) at the bottom and at the top so that the rafters can sit on the plates. You'll then nail from each side to secure it to wall plates. Familyhandyman has a diagram on what this is.

For the jack studs, you'll need a top and bottom plate for it so you can nail/screw the bottom plate to the top plate of the existing wall.

Once the siding, roof and rafters are put on it'll be secure. I live in a hurricane prone area and I built my shed similarly and it has so far withstood a few hurricanes.


I decided on a butterfly roof. I erected the jack walls by first securing them with with eight 3/8" galvanized bolts, two on each side about a foot from the corners. When all four sides were in place, I drove some 16d framing nails through both plates.

  • You totally abandoned your concept and implemented something else? That's not an answer to the posed question. Micah's is a legit answer, although your omission of ceiling details means that Micah's answer should have a caveat or two.
    – popham
    Mar 2 at 18:42
  • @popham What? No. The question explicitly states that I hadn't decided what kind of roof to put on. That's the whole reason the jack walls were separate, the whole reason for the question, and it doesn't change the answer. Mar 2 at 19:57
  • "How to secure a jack wall to an existing wall?" plus a picture of a jack wall sitting on top of an existing wall. "Before deciding what type of roof I wanted" implies that you have decided upon what type of roof that you want.
    – popham
    Mar 2 at 20:06
  • @popham Your interpretation is totally bizarre. Mar 10 at 15:51

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