I'm building a goat shed - total size is 16' x 24'. The tin roof (lean-to) will run the 16' length. Can I use a 2x6 for the rafters? Could go 16 or 24" OC. Thanks.

Update from responses: roof is 1/8 pitch 8 ‘ off the ground near Houston (snow load is not a factor). Don’t have goats yet.

  • Sure you can. Whether it will collapse would depend on a lot of information you have not given, such as the loads that roofs are subjected to in your local area. In MY area, I'd expect it to collapse, though it might make it for a while - the difference between where I'd sensibly design something and where it will actually break being considerable, for good reasons. Many underbuilt old buildings get fairly old before they finally meet the snowstorm that does them in.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 8, 2019 at 2:47
  • 1
    If you have goats already, then you don't need to be reminded, but: your expected load for the shed may need to account for the weight of one or more goats, depending on how high the roof is. Goats love to climb on top of stuff. Dec 8, 2019 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


If you look at the span tables here


And look at a table for roof rafters for a very light load, "RAFTERS – 20 PSF LIVE LOAD, 10 PSF DEAD LOAD, 240 DEFLECTION, CD = 1.25"


You'll see there's a maximum span of 16'-4" for 2x6's spaced 12" - so you might get away with it.

Even without the goat factor, I'd bump up to 2x8's for sure.

  • +1 for including the southernpine link. Oct 21, 2020 at 22:50

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