Roof Framing – A Simple Step By Step Guide

The first step to roof framing is planning your rafter pattern, and then cutting it out. The way and slope at which the roof rafter rises and falls will set the tone for your ridge board. It also will determine the arrangement and layout of the other parts like valley rafters and components of framed roofs.

Framing carpenty claims roof framing as falling under its purview. This is a highly skilled job which takes years of experience and practice to master. And sadly, many carpenters haven’t even been adequately trained in it. With the growing popularity of trussed roofs, the conventional roofs that have endured for centuries are now at risk of being overlooked and forgotten. Trussed roofing can certainly fit the bill for most needs, but there are still situations where only roof framing will suffice.

Conventional roof framing can be all that’s required for building a shed, outhouse, garage or other supplementary structures for any construction. Roof framing will reduce delivery expense while being suitable for even small and constrained spaces. They are even lesser weight than truss roofs. To calculate the lengths of rafters, there are some simple tips to keep in mind.

Roof Framing Rafters – How To Measure Rafters

Common rafters that are used in roof framing have different parts. These include tail cuts, birds mouth cuts, plumb cuts, joists for ceilings and wall studs or ridge boards. To estimate roof framing rafters, one must begin by measuring pitch, length of rafters, size of lumber and the space between roof rafters. How big your roof framing rafters will be depends on the width of your building in general, and specifically at the point where the rafters will sit. One half of your span will be your run, and this length can be computed by dividing the first measurement by half. That’s how far your rafter will run horizontally to meet the rafter from across the room.

Depending upon the horizontal length of your roof rafters, you must select the length and thickness of lumber that you’ll use. A roofing calculator comes in handy for these calculations. Online, there is a wide range of choices for calculators to run these measurements through. With roof framing, you’ll have to remember to use a larger size of lumber than rafters for ridge boards. Don’t miss out the obvious by overlooked reality that eaves are a bit extra. Pick out the straight and long piece of wood that’s also light enough for your needs. Keep in mind that you’re creating a pattern that will complete your roof framing. Lighter rafters are often preferable, and the more rafters you’ll be using, the more important this fact becomes.

For more about roof framing, be sure to read this detailed article.


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