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ROOF (LEARNING)


LEARNING OBJECTIVE:

Upon
completing this section, you should be able to describe procedures for
the layout and installation of members of gable, hip, intersecting, and
shed roof designs.

As
we noted earlier, the four most common roof designs you will encounter
as a Builder are gable, hip, intersecting, and shed. In this section,
we will examine various calculations, layouts, cutting procedures, and
assembly requirements required for efficient construction.

GABLE

Next
to the shed roof, which has only one slope, the gable roof is the
simplest type of sloping roof to build because it slopes in only two
directions. The basic structural members of the gable roof are the
ridgeboard, the common rafters, and the gable-end studs. The framework
is shown in figure 2-13.

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Figure 2-13.—Framework of a gable roof.

The
ridgeboard is placed at the peak of the roof. It provides a nailing
surface for the top ends of the common rafters. The common rafters
extend from the top wall plates to the ridge. The gable-end studs are
upright framing members that provide a nailing surface for siding and
sheathing at the gable ends of the roof.

Common Rafters

All
common rafters for a gable roof are the same length. They can be precut
before the roof is assembled. Today, most common rafters include an
overhang. The overhang (an example is shown in fig. 2-14) is the part
of the rafter that extends past the building line. The run of the
overhang, called the projection, is the horizontal distance from the
building line to the tail cut on the rafter. In figure 2-14, note the
plumb cuts at the ridge, heel, and tail of the rafter. A level seat cut
is placed where the rafter rests on the top plate. The notch formed by
the seat and heel cut line (fig. 2-15) is often called the bird’s-mouth.

 

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Figure 2-14.—Typical common rafter with an overhang.

 

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Figure 2-15.—A «bird’s-mouth» is formed by the heel plumb line and seat line.

The
width of the seat cut is determined by the slope of the roof: the lower
the slope, the wider the cut. At least 2 inches of stock should remain
above the seat cut. The procedure for marking these cuts is explained
later in this chapter. Layout is usually done after the length of the
rafter is calculated.

CALCULATING
LENGTHS OF COMMON RAFTERS.— The length of a common rafter is based on
the unit of rise and total run of the roof. The unit of rise and total
run are obtained from the blueprints. Three different procedures can be
used to calculate common rafter length: use a framing square printed
with a rafter table; use a book of rafter tables; or, use the step-off
method where rafter layout is combined with calculating length.

Framing
squares are available with a rafter table printed on the face side
(fig. 2-16). The rafter table makes it possible to find the lengths of
all types of rafters for pitched roofs, with unit of rises ranging from
2 inches to 18 inches. Let’s look at two examples:

fig0916.jpg (27752 bytes)

Figure 2-16.—Rafter table on face of a steel square.

Example 1. The roof has a 7-inch unit of rise and a 16-foot span.

Look at the first line of the rafter table on a framing square to find LENGTH COMMON RAFTERS PER FOOT RUN (also known as the bridge measure).
Since the roof in this example has a 7-inch unit of rise, locate the
number 7 at the top of the square. Directly beneath the number 7 is the
number 13.89. This means that a common rafter with a 7-inch unit of
rise will be 13.89 inches long for every unit of run. To find the
length of the rafter, multiply 13.89 inches by the number of feet in
the total run. (The total run is always one-half the span.) The total
run for a roof with a 16-foot span is 8 feet; therefore, multiply 13.89
inches by 8 to find the rafter length. Figure 2-17 is a schematic of
this procedure.

If a framing
square is not available, the bridge measure can be found by using the
Pythgorean theorem using the same cut of 7/12: 72 + 122 = 1932; the square root of 193 is 13.89.

Two steps remain to complete the procedure.

  • Step
    1. Multiply the number of feet in the total run (8) by the length of
    the common rafter per foot of run (13.89 inches): 13.89 x 8 = 111.12
    inches.
  • Step 2. To change .12 of an inch to a fraction of an inch, multiply by 16: .12 x 16 = 1.92.

The
number 1 to the left of the decimal point represents 1/16 inch. The
number .92 to the right of the decimal represents ninety-two hundredths
of 1/16 inch. For practical purposes, 1.92 is calculated as being equal
to 2 x 1/16 inch, or 1/8 inch. As a general rule in this kind of
calculation, if the number to the right of the decimal is 5 or more,
add 1/16 inch to the figure on the left side of the decimal. The result
of steps 1 and 2 is a total common rafter length of 111 1/8 inches, or
9 feet 3 1/8 inches.

Example 2.
A roof has a 6-inch unit of rise and a 25-foot span. The total run of
the roof is 12 feet 6 inches. You can find the rafter length in four
steps.

  • Step 1. Change 6 inches to a fraction of a foot by placing the number 6 over the number 12:

(1/2 foot = 6 inches).

  • Step 2. Change the fraction to a decimal by dividing the bottom number (denominator) into the top number (numerator):

(.5 foot = 6 inches).

  • Step 3. Multiply the total run (12.5) by the length of the common rafter per foot of run (13.42 inches) (fig. 2-16):

  • Step 4. To change .75 inch to a fraction of an inch, multiply by 16 (for an answer expressed in sixteenths of an inch).

.75 x 16 = 12

The result of these steps is a total common rafter length of 167 3/4 inches, or 13 feet 11 3/4 inches.

SHORTENING.—
Rafter length found by any of the methods discussed here is the
measurement from the heel plumb line to the center of the ridge. This
is known as the theoretical length of the rafter. Since a ridgeboard,
usually 1 1/2 inches thick, is placed between the rafters, one-half of
the ridgeboard (3/4 inch) must be deducted from each rafter. This
calculation is known as shortening the rafter. It is done at the time
the rafters are laid out. The actual length (as opposed to the
theoretical length) of a ratler is the distance from the heel plumb
line to the shortened ridge plumb line (fig. 2-18).

fig0918.jpg (13397 bytes)

Figure 2-18.—The actual (versus theoretical) length of a common rafter.

LAYING
OUT.— Before the rafters can be cut, the angles of the cuts must be
marked. Layout consists of marking the plumb cuts at the ridge, heel,
and tail of the rafter, and the seat cut where the rafter will rest on
the wall. The angles are laid out with a framing square, as shown in
figure 2-19. A pair of square gauges is useful in the procedure. One
square gauge is secured to the tongue of the square next to the number
that is the same as the unit of rise. The other gauge is secured to the
blade of the square next to the number that is the same as the unit of
run (always 12 inches). When the square is placed on the rafter stock,
the plumb cut can be marked along the tongue (unit of rise) side of the
square. The seat cut can be marked along the blade (unit of run) side
of the square.

fig0918.jpg (13397 bytes)

Figure 2-19.-Steel square used to lay out plumb and seat cuts.

Rafter
layout also includes marking off the required overhang, or tail line
length, and making the shortening calculation explained earlier.
Overhang, or tail line length, is rarely given and must be calculated
before laying out rafters. Projection, the horizontal distance from the
building line to the rafter tail, must be located from drawings or
specifications. To determine tail line length, use the following
formula: bridge measure (in inches) times projection (in feet) equals
tail line length (in inches). Determine the bridge measure by using the
rafter table on the framing square or calculate it by using the
Pythagorean theorem. Using figure 2-20 as a guide, you can see there
are four basic steps remaining.

fig0920.jpg (9841 bytes)

Figure 2-20.—Laying out a common rafter for a gable roof.

Step
1. Lay out the rafter line length. Hold the framing square with the
tongue in your right hand, the blade in the left, and the heel away
from your body. Place the square as near the right end of the rafter as
possible with the unit of rise on the tongue and the unit of run on the
blade along the edge of the rafter stock. Strike a plumb mark along the
tongue on the wide part of the material. This mark represents the
center line of the roof. From either end of this mark, measure the line
length of the rafter and mark the edge of the rafter stock. Hold the
framing square in the same manner with the 6 on the tongue on the mark
just made and the 12 on the blade along the edge. Strike a line along
the tongue, his mark represents the plumb cut of the heel.

Step
2. Lay out the bird’s-mouth. Measure 1 1/2 inches along the heel plumb
line up from the bottom of the rafter. Set the blade of the square
along the plumb line with the heel at the mark just made and strike a
line along the tongue. This line represents the seat of the
bird’s-mouth.

Step 3. Lay
out the tail line length. Measure the tail line length from the bird’
s-mouth heel plumb line. Strike a plumb line at this point in the same
manner as the heel plumb line of the common rafter.

Step
4. Lay out the plumb cut at the ridgeboard. Measure and mark the point
along the line length half the thickness of the ridge-board. (This is
the ridgeboard shortening allowance.) Strike a plumb line at this
point. This line represents the plumb cut of the ridgeboard.

Step-Off Calculations and Layout

The
step-off method for rafter layout is old but still practiced. It
combines procedures for laying out the rafters with a procedure of
stepping off the length of the rafter (see fig. 2-21). In this example,
the roof has an 8-inch unit of rise, a total run of 5 feet 9 inches,
and a 10-inch projection.

fig0921.jpg (55618 bytes)

Figure 2-21.-Step-off method for calculating common rafter length.

First,
set gauges at 8 inches on the tongue and 12 inches on the blade. With
the tongue in the right hand, the blade in the left hand, and the heel
away from the body, place the square on the right end of the rafter
stock. Mark the ridge plumb line along the tongue. Put a pencil line at
the 12-inch point of the blade.

Second,
with the gauges pressed lightly against the rafter, slide the square to
the left. Line the tongue up with the last 12-inch mark and make a
second 12-inch mark along the bottom of the blade.

Third,
to add the 9-inch remainder of the total run, place the tongue on the
last 12-inch mark. Draw another mark at 9 inches on the blade. This
will be the total length of the rafter.

Finally, lay out and cut the plumb cut line and the seat cut line.

Roof Assembly

The
major part of gable-roof construction is setting the common rafters in
place. The most efficient method is to precut all common rafters, then
fasten them to the ridgeboard and the wall plates in one continuous
operation.

The rafter
locations should be marked on the top wall plates when the positions of
the ceiling joists are laid out. Proper roof layout ensures the rafters
and joists tie into each other wherever possible.

The
ridgeboard like the common rafters, should be precut. The rafter
locations are then copied on the ridgeboard from the markings on the
wall plates (fig. 2-22). The ridgeboard should be the length of the
building plus the overhang at the gable ends.

fig0922.jpg (80432 bytes)

Figure 2-22.—Ridgeboard layout.

The
material used for the ridgeboard is usually wider than the rafter
stock. For example, a ridgeboard of 2- by 8-inch stock would be used
with rafters of 2-by 6-inch stock. Some buildings are long enough to
require more than one piece of ridge material. The breaks between these
ridge pieces should occur at the center of a rafter.

One
pair of rafters should be cut and checked for accuracy before the other
rafters are cut. To check the first pair for accuracy, set them in
position with a 1 1/2-inch piece of wood fitted between them. If the
rafters are the correct length, they should fit the building. If,
however, the building walls are out of line, adjustments will have to
be made on the rafters.

After
the first pair of rafters is checked for accuracy (and adjusted if
necessary), one of the pair can be used as a pattern for marking all
the other rafters. Cutting is usually done with a circular or
radial-arm saw.

COLLAR TIE.—
Gable or double-pitch roof rafters are often reinforced by horizontal
members called collar ties (fig. 2-23). In a finished attic, the ties
may also function as ceiling joists.

fig0923.jpg (14625 bytes)

Figure 2-23.—Calculation for a collar tie.

To
find the line length of a collar tie, divide the amount of drop of the
tie in inches by the unit of rise of the common rafter. This will equal
one-half the length of the tie in feet. Double the result for the
actual length. The formula is as follows: Drop in inches times 2,
divided by unit or rise, equals the length in feet.

The
length of the collar tie depends on whether the drop is measured to the
top or bottom edge of the collar tie (fig. 2-23). The tie must fit the
slope of the roof. To obtain this angle, use the framing square. Hold
the unit of run and the unit of rise of the common rafter. Mark and cut
on the unit of run side (fig. 2-24).

fig0924.jpg (17716 bytes)

Figure 2-24.—Laying out end cut on a collar tie.

METHODS
OF RIDGE BOARD ASSEMBLY.— Several different methods exist for setting
up the ridgeboard and attaching the rafters to it. When only a few
Builders are present, the most convenient procedure is to set the
ridgeboard to its required height (total rise) and hold it in place
with temporary vertical props (fig. 2-25). The rafters can then be
nailed to the ridgeboard and the top wall plates.

fig0925.jpg (31613 bytes)

Figure 2-25.-Setting up and bracing a ridgeboard when only a few workers are available.

Plywood
panels should be laid on top of the ceiling joists where the framing
will take place. The panels provide safe and comfortable footing. They
also provide a place to put tools and materials.

Common
rafter overhang can be laid out and cut before the rafters are set in
place. However, many Builders prefer to cut the overhang after the
rafters are fastened to the ridgeboard and wall plates. A line is
snapped from one end of the building to the other, and the tail plumb
line is marked with a sliding T-bevel, also called a bevel square.
These procedures are shown in figure 2-26. The rafters are then cut
with a circular saw.

fig0926.jpg (21158 bytes)

Figure 2-26.-Snapping a line and marking plumb cuts for a gable-end overhang.

This method guarantees that the line of the overhang will be perfectly straight, even if the building is not.

Over
each gable end of the building, another overhang can be framed. The
main framing members of the gable-end overhang are the fascia, also
referred to as «fly» (or «barge») rafters. They are tied to the
ridgeboard at the upper end and to the fascia board at the lower end.
Fascia boards are often nailed to the tail ends of the common rafters
to serve as a finish piece at the edge of the roof. By extending past
the gable ends of the house, common rafters also help to support the
basic rafters.

Figures 2-27
and 2-28 show different methods used to frame the gable-end overhang.
In figure 2-27, a fascia rafter is nailed to the ridgeboard and to the
fascia board. Blocking (not shown in the figures) rests on the end wall
and is nailed between the fascia rafter and the rafter next to it. This
section of the roof is further strengthened when the roof sheathing is
nailed to it. In figure 2-28, two common rafters arc placed directly
over the gable ends of the building. The fascia rafters (fly rafters)
are placed between the ridgeboard and the fascia boards. The gable
studs should be cut to fit against the rafter above.

fig0927.jpg (62448 bytes)

Figure 2-27.-Gable-end overhang with the end wall framed under the overhang.

fig0928.jpg (63209 bytes)

Figure 2-28.-Gable-end overhang with the end wall framed directly beneath the rafters.

End Framing

Gable-end
studs rest on the top plate and extend to the rafter line in the ends
of a gable roof. They may be placed with the edge of the stud even with
the outside wall and the top notched to fit the rafter (as shown in
fig. 2-28), or they maybe installed flatwise with a cut on the top of
the stud to fit the slope of the rafter.

The
position of the gable-end stud is located by squaring a line across the
plate directly below the center of the gable. If a window or vent is to
be installed in the gable, measure one-half of the opening size on each
side of the center line and make a mark for the first stud. Starting at
this mark layout the stud spacing (that is, 16 or 24 inches on center
[OC]) to the outside of the building. Plumb the gable-end stud on the
first mark and mark it where it contacts the bottom of the rafter, as
shown in figure 2-29, view A. Measure and mark 3 inches above this mark
and notch the stud to the depth equal to the thickness of the rafter,
as shown in view B.

fig0929.jpg (31928 bytes)

Figure 2-29.—Calculating common difference of gable-end studs.   

The lengths of the other gable studs depend on the spacing.

The common difference in the length of the gable studs may be figured by the following method:

24 inches (OC spacing) = 2
12 inches (unit of run)

and, 2 x 6 inches (unit of rise) or 12 inches (common difference).

The
common difference in the length of the gable studs may also be laid out
directly with the framing square (fig. 2-29, view C). Place the framing
square on the stud to the cut of the roof (6 and 12 inches for this
example). Draw a line along the blade at A. Slide the square along this
line in the direction of the arrow at B until the desired spacing
between the studs (16 inches for this example) is at the intersection
of the line drawn at A and the edge of the stud. Read the dimension on
the tongue aligned with the same edge of the stud (indicated by C).
This is the common difference (8 inches for this example) between the
gable studs.

Toenail the
studs to the plate with two 8d nails in each side. As the studs are
nailed in place, care must be taken not to force a crown into the top
of the rafter.

HIP

Most
hip roofs are equal pitch. This means the angle of slope on the roof
end or ends is the same as the angle of slope on the sides.
Unequal-pitch hip roofs do exist, but they are quite rare. They also
require special layout methods. The unit length rafter table on the
framing square applies only to equal-pitch hip roofs. The next
paragraphs discuss an equal-pitch hip roof.

The
length of a hip rafter, like the length of a common rafter, is
calculated on the basis of bridge measure multiplied by the total run
(half span). Any of the methods previously described for a common
rafter may be used, although some of the dimensions for a hip rafter
are different.

Figure 2-30
shows part of a roof framing diagram for an equal-pitch hip roof. A
roof framing diagram may be included among the working drawings; if
not, you should lay one out for yourself. Determine what scale will be
used, and lay out all framing members to scale. Lay the building lines
out first. You can find the span and the length of the building on the
working drawings. Then, draw a horizontal line along the center of the
span.

fig0930.jpg (14087 bytes)

Figure 2-30.—Equal-pitch hip roof framing diagram.

In
an equal-pitch hip roof framing diagram, the lines indicating the hip
rafters (AF, AG, BI, and BK in figure 2-30) form 45° angles with the
building lines. Draw these lines at 45°, as shown. The points where
they meet the center line are the theoretical ends of the ridge piece.

The ridge-end common rafters AC, AD, AE, BH, BJ, and BL join the ridge at the same points.

A
line indicating a rafter in the roof framing diagram is equal in length
to the total run of the rafter it represents. You can see from the
diagram that the total run of a hip rafter (represented by lines
AF-AG-BI-BK) is the hypotenuse of a right triangle with the altitude
and base equal to the total run of a common rafter. You know the total
run of a common rafter: It is one-half the span, or one-half the width
of the building. Knowing this, you can find the total run of a hip
rafter by applying the Pythagorean theorem.

Let’s
suppose, for example, that the span of the building is 30 feet. Then,
one-half the span, which is the same as the total run of a common
rafter, is 15 feet. Applying the Pythagorean theorem, the total run of
a hip rafter is:

Ö (152 + 152) = 21.21 feet.

What
is the total rise? Since a hip rafter joins the ridge at the same
height as a common rafter, the total rise for a hip rafter is the same
as the total rise for a common rafter. You know how to figure the total
rise of a common rafter. Assume that this roof has a unit of run of 12
and a unit of rise of 8. Since the total run of a common rafter in the
roof is 15 feet, the total rise of common rafter is the value of x in
the proportional equation 12:8::15:x, or 10 feet.

Knowing
the total run of the hip rafter (21.21 feet) and the total rise (10
feet), you can figure the line length by applying the Pythagorean
theorem. The line length is:

Ö (21.212 + 102) = 23.45 feet, or about 23 feet

To
find the length of a hip rafter on the basis of bridge measure, you
must first determine the bridge measure. As with a common rafter, the
bridge measure of a hip rafter is the length of the hypotenuse of a
triangle with its altitude and base equal to the unit of run and unit
of rise of the rafter. The unit of rise of a hip rafter is always the
same as that of a common rafter, but the unit of run of a hip rafter is
a fixed unit of measure, always 16.97.

The
unit of run of a hip rafter in an equal-pitch roof is the hypotenuse of
a right triangle with its altitude and base equal to the unit of run of
a common rafter, 12. Therefore, the unit of run of a hip rafter is:

Ö (122 + 122) = 16.97

If
the unit of run of a hip rafter is 16.97 and the unit of rise (in this
particular case) is 8, the bridge measure of the hip rafter must be:

Ö (16.972 + 82) = 18.76

This
means that for every unit of run (16.97) the rafter has a line length
of 18.76 inches. Since the total run of the rafter is 21.21 feet, the
length of the rafter must be the value of x in the proportional
equation 16.97:18. 76::21.21:x, or 23.45 feet.

Like
the unit length of a common rafter, the bridge measure of a hip rafter
can be obtained from the unit length rafter table on the framing
square. If you turn back to figure 2-16, you will see that the second
line in the table is headed LENGTH HIP OR VALLEY PER FT RUN. This means
«per foot run of a common rafter in the same roof.» Actually, the unit
length given in the tables is the unit length for every 16.97 units of
run of the hip rafter itself. If you go across to the unit length given
under 8, you will find the same figure, 18.76 units, that you
calculated above.

An easy
way to calculate the length of an equal-pitch hip roof is to multiply
the bridge measure by the number of feet in the total run of a common
rafter, which is the same as the number of feet in one-half of the
building span. One-half of the building span, in this case, is 15 feet.
The length of the hip rafter is therefore 18.76 x 15, or 281.40
inches—23.45 feet once converted.

Step
off the length of an equal-pitch hip roof just as you do the length of
a common rafter, except that you set the square to a unit of run of
16.97 inches instead of to a unit of run of 12 inches. Since 16.97
inches is the same as 16 and 15.52 sixteenths of an inch, setting the
square to a unit of run of 17 inches is close enough for most practical
purposes. Bear in mind that for any plumb cut line on an equal-pitch
hip roof rafter, you set the square to the unit of rise of a common
rafter and to a unit of run of 17.

Sstep
off the same number of times as there are feet in the total run of a
common rafter in the same roof; only the size of each step is
different. For every 12-inch step in a common rafter, a hip rafter has
a 17-inch step. For the roof on which you are working, the total run of
common rafter is exactly 15 feet; this means that you would step off
the hip-rafter cut (17 inches and 8 inches) exactly 15 times.

Suppose,
however, that there was an odd unit in the common rafter total run.
Assume, for example, that the total run of a common rafter is 15 feet
10 1/2 inches. How would you make the odd fraction of a step on the hip
rafter?

Remember that the
unit of run of a hip rafter is the hypotenuse of a right triangle with
the other side each equal to the unit of run of a common rafter. In
this case, the run of the odd unit on the hip rafter must be the
hypotenuse of a right triangle with the altitude and base equal to the
odd unit of run of the common rafter (in this case, 10 1/2 inches). You
can figure this using the Pythagorean theorem

Ö (10.52 + 10.52)

or
you can set the square on a true edge to 10 1/2 inches on the blade and
measure the distance between the marks. It comes to 14.84 inches.
Rounded off to the nearest 1/16 inch, this equals 14 13/16 inches.

To
layoff the odd unit, set the tongue of the framing square to the plumb
line for the last full step made and measure off 14 13/16 inches along
the blade. Place the tongue of the square at the mark, set the square
to the hip rafter plumb cut of 8 inches on the tongue and 17 inches on
the blade, and draw the line length cut.

Rafter Shortening Allowance

As
in the case with a common rafter, the line length of a hip rafter does
not take into account the thickness of the ridge piece. The size of the
ridge-end shortening allowance for a hip rafter depends upon the way
the ridge end of the hip rafter is joined to the other structural
members. As shown in figure 2-31, the ridge end of the hip rafter can
be framed against the ridgeboard (view A) or against the ridge-end
common rafters (view B). To calculate the actual length, deduct
one-half the 45° thickness of the ridge piece that fits between the
rafters from the theoretical length.

fig0931.jpg (67132 bytes)

Figure 2-31.-Shortening a hip rafter.

When
no common rafters are placed at the ends of the ridgeboard the hip
rafters are placed directly against the ridgeboard. They must be
shortened one-half the length of the 45° line (that is, one-half the
thickness of the ridgeboard When common rafters are placed at the ends
of the ridgeboard (view B), the hip rafter will fit between the common
rafters. The hip rafter must be shortened one-half the length of the
45° line (that is, one-half the thickness of the common rafter).

If
the hip rafter is framed against the ridge piece, the shortening
allowance is one-half of the 45° thickness of the ridge piece (fig.
2-31, view C). The 45° thickness of stock is the length of a line laid
at 45° across the thickness dimension of the stock. If the hip rafter
is framed against the common rafter, the shortening allowance is
one-half of the 45° thickness of a common rafter.

To
lay off the shortening allowance, first set the tongue of the framing
square to the line length ridge cut line. Then, measure off the
shortening allowance along the blade, set the square at the mark to the
cut of the rafter (8 inches and 17 inches), draw the actual ridge plumb
cut line. (To find the 45° thickness of a piece of lumber, draw a 450
line across the edge, and measure the length of the line and divide by
2.)

Rafter Projection

A
hip or valley rafter overhang, like a common rafter overhang, is
figured as a separate rafter. The projection, however, is not the same
as the projection of a common rafter overhang in the same roof. The
projection of the hip or valley rafter overhang is the hypotenuse of a
right triangle whose shorter sides are each equal to the run of a
common rafter overhang (fig. 2-32). If the run of the common rafter
overhang is

fig0932.jpg (10623 bytes)

Figure 2-32.—Run of hip rafter projection.

18 inches for a roof with an 8-inch unit of rise, the length of the hip or valley rafter tail is figured as follows:

  1. Find
    the bridge measure of the hip or valley rafter on the framing square
    (refer to figure 2-16). For this roof, it is 18.76 inches.
  2. Multiply
    the bridge measure (in inches) of the hip or valley rafter by the
    projection (in feet) of the common rafter overhang:
  3. Add this product to the theoretical rafter length.

The
overhang may also be stepped off as described earlier for a common
rafter. When stepping off the length of the overhang, set the 17-inch
mark on the blade of the square even with the edge of the rafter. Set
the unit of rise, whatever it might be, on the tongue even with the
same rafter edge.

Rafter Side Cuts

Since
a common rafter runs at 90° to the ridge, the ridge end of a common
rafter is cut square, or at 90° to the lengthwise line of the rafter. A
hip rafter, however, joins the ridge, or the ridge ends of the common
rafter, at other than a 90° angle, and the ridge end of a hip rafter
must therefore be cut to a corresponding angle, called a side cut. The angle of the side cut is more acute for a high rise than it is for a low one.

The
angle of the side cut is laid out as shown in figure 2-33. Place the
tongue of the framing square along the ridge cut line, as shown, and
measure off one-half the thickness of the hip rafter along the blade.
Shift the tongue to the mark, set the square to the cut of the rafter
(17 inches and 8 inches), and draw the plumb line marked «A» in the
figure. Then, turn the rafter edge-up, draw an edge centerline, and
draw in the angle of the side cut, as indicated in the lower view of
figure 2-33. For a hip rafter to be framed against the ridge, there
will be only a single side cut, as indicated by the dotted line in the
figure. For one to be framed against the ridge ends of the common
rafters, there will be a double side cut, as shown in the figure. The
tail of the rafter must have a double side cut at the same angle, but
in the reverse direction.

fig0933.jpg (17625 bytes)

Figure 2-33.—Laying out hip rafter side cut.

The
angle of the side cut on a hip rafter may also be laid out by referring
to the unit length rafter table on the framing square. (Look ahead to
figure 2-41.) You will see that the bottom line in the table is headed
SIDE CUT HIP OR VALLEY USE. If you follow this line over to the column
headed by the figure 8 (for a unit of rise of 8), you will find the
figure 10 7/8. If you place the framing square faceup on the rafter
edge with the tongue on the ridge-end cut line, and set the square to a
cut of 10 7/8 inches on the blade and 12 inches on the tongue, you can
draw the correct side-cut angle along the tongue.

Bird’s-Mouth

Laying
out the bird’ s-mouth for a hip rafter is much the same as for a common
rafter. However, there are a couple of things to remember. When the
plumb (heel) cut and level (seat) cut lines are laid out for a
bird’s-mouth on a hip rafter, set the body of the square at 17 inches
and the tongue to the unit of rise (for example, 8 inches-depending on
the roof pitch) (fig. 2-34, view A). When laying out the depth of the
heel for the bird’s-mouth, measure along the heel plumb line down from
the top edge of the rafter a distance equal to the same dimension on
the common rafter. This must be done so that the hip rafter, which is
usually wider than a common rafter, will be level with the common
rafters.

fig0934.jpg (78809 bytes)

Figure 2-34.-Backing or dropping a hip rafter:
A. Marking the top (plumb) cut and the seat (level) cut of a hip rafter;
B. Determining amount of backing or drop;
C. Bevel line for backing the rafter;
D. Deepening the bird’s-mouth for dropping the rafter.

If
the bird’s-mouth on a hip rafter has the same depth as the bird’s-mouth
on a common rafter, the edge of the hip rafter will extend above the
upper ends of the jack rafters. You can correct this by either backing
or dropping the hip rafter. Backing means to bevel the top edges of the
hip rafter (see fig. 2-35). The amount of backing is taken at a right
angle to the roof surface on the top edge of the hip rafters. Dropping
means to deepen the bird’s-mouth so as to bring the top edge of the hip
rafter down to the upper ends of the jacks. The amount of drop is taken
on the heel plumb line (fig. 2-34, view D).

fig0935.jpg (11426 bytes)

Figure 2-35.-Backing or dropping a hip rafter.

The
backing or drop required is calculated, as shown in figure 2-34, view
B. Set the framing square to the cut of the rafter (8 inches and 17
inches) on the upper edge, and measure off one-half the thickness of
the rafter from the edge along the blade. A line drawn through this
mark and parallel to the edge (view C) indicates the bevel angle if the
rafter is to be backed. The perpendicular distance between the line and
the edge of the rafter is the amount of the drop. This represents the
amount the depth of the hip rafter bird’s-mouth should exceed the depth
of the common rafter bird’s-mouth (view D).

INTERSECTING

An
intersecting roof, also known as a combination roof, consists of two or
more sections sloping in different directions. A valley is formed where
the different sections come together.

The
two sections of an intersecting roof mayor may not be the same width.
If they are the same width, the roof is said to have equal spans. If
they are not the same width, the roof is said to have unequal spans.

Spans

In
a roof with equal spans, the height (total rise) is the same for both
ridges (fig. 2-36). That is, both sections are the same width, and the
ridgeboards are the same height. A pair of valley rafters is placed
where the slopes of the roof meet to form a valley between the two
sections. These rafters go from the inside corners formed by the two
sections of the building to the corners formed by the intersecting
ridges. Valley jack rafters run from the valley rafters to both ridges.
Hip-valley cripple jack rafters are placed between the valley and hip
rafters.

fig0936.jpg (41718 bytes)

Figure 2-36.-Intersecting roof with equal spans.

An
intersecting roof with unequal spans requires a supporting valley
rafter to run from the inside corner formed by the two sections of the
building to the main ridge (fig. 2-37). A shortened valley rafter runs
from the other inside comer of the building to the supporting valley
rafter. Like an intersecting roof with equal spans, one with unequal
spans also requires valley jack rafters and hip-valley cripple jack
rafters. In addition, a valley cripple jack rafter is placed between
the supporting and shortened valley rafters. Note that the ridgeboard
is lower on the section with the shorter span.

fig0937.jpg (40610 bytes)

Figure 2-37.—Intersecting roof with unequal spans.

Valley Rafters

Valley
rafters run at a 45° angle to the outside walls of the building. This
places them parallel 10 the hip rafters. Consequently, they are the
same length as the hip rafters.

A
valley rafter follows the line of intersection between a main-roof
surface and a gable-roof addition or a gable-roof dormer surface. Most
roofs having valley rafters are equal-pitch roofs, in which the pitch
of the addition or dormer roof is the same as the pitch of the main
roof. There are unequal-pitch valley-rafter roofs, but they are quite
rare and require special framing methods.

In
the discussion of valley rafter layout, it is assumed that the roof is
equal pitch. Also, the unit of run and unit of rise of an addition or
dormer common rafter are assumed to be the same as the unit of run and
rise of a main-roof common rafter. In an equal-pitch roof, the valley
rafters always run at 45° to the building lines and the ridge pieces.

Figure
2-38 shows an equal-span framing situation, in which the span of the
addition is the same as the span of the main roof. Since the pitch of
the addition roof is the same as the pitch of the main roof, equal
spans bring the ridge pieces to equal heights.

fig0938.jpg (41496 bytes)

Figure 2-38.-Equal-span intersecting roof.

Looking
at the roof framing diagram in the figure, you can see the total run of
a valley rafter (indicated by AB and AC in the diagram) is the
hypotenuse of a right triangle with the altitude and base equal to the
total run of a common rafter in the main roof. The unit of run of a
valley rafter is therefore 16.97, the same as the unit of run for a hip
rafter. It follows that figuring the length of an equal-span valley
rafter is the same as figuring the length of an equal-pitch hip roof
hip rafter.

A valley rafter,
however, does not require backing or dropping. The projection, if any,
is figured just as it is for a hip rafter. Side cuts are laid out as
they are for a intersecting valley rafter.hip rafter. The valley-rafter
tail has a double side cut (like the hip-rafter tail) but in the
reverse direction. This is because the tail cut on a valley rafter must
form an inside, rather than an outside, corner. As indicated in figure
2-39, the ridge-end shortening allowance in this framing situation
amounts to one-half of the 45° thickness of the ridge.

fig0939.jpg (17295 bytes)

Figure 2-39.-Ridge-end shortening allowance for equal-span

Figure
2-40 shows a framing situation in which the span of the addition is
shorter than the span of the main roof. Since the pitch of the addition
roof is the same as the pitch of the main roof, the shorter span of the
addition brings the addition ridge down to a lower level than that of
the main-roof ridge.

fig0940.jpg (34435 bytes)

Figure 2-40.-Equal pitch but unequal span framing.

There
are two ways of framing an intersection of this type. In the method
shown in figure 2-40, a full-length valley rafter (AD in the figure) is
framed between the top plate and the main-roof ridgeboard. A shorter
valley rafter (BC in the figure) is then framed to the longer one. If
you study the framing diagram, you can see that the total run of the
longer valley rafter is the hypotenuse of a right triangle with the
altitude and base equal to the total run of a common rafter in the main
roof. The total run of the shorter valley rafter, on the other hand, is
the hypotenuse of a right triangle with the altitude and base equal to
the total run of a common rafter in the addition. The total run of a
common rafter in the main roof is equal to one-half the span of the
main roof. The total run of a common rafter in the addition is equal to
one-half the span of the addition.

Knowing
the total run of a valley rafter, or of any rafter for that matter, you
can always find the line length by applying the bridge measure times
the total run.

Suppose, for
example, that the span of the addition in figure 2-40 is 30 feet and
that the unit of rise of a common rafter in the addition is 9. The
total run of the shorter valley rafter is:

wpe8.jpg (2110 bytes)

Referring
to the unit length rafter table in figure 2-41, you can see the bridge
measure for a valley rafter in a roof with a common rafter unit of rise
of 9 is 19.21. Since the unit of run of a valley rafter is 16.97, and
the total run of this rafter is 21.21 feet, the line length must be the
value of x in the proportional equation 16.97:19.21::21.21:x, or 24.01
feet.

fig0941.jpg (27082 bytes)

Figure 2-41.-Rafter table method.

An
easier way to find the length of a valley rafter is to multiply the
bridge measure by the number of feet in one-half the span of the roof.
The length of the longer valley rafter in figure 2-40, for example,
would be 19.21 times one-half the span of the main roof. The length of
the shorter valley rafter is 19.21 times one-half the span of the
addition. Since one-half the span of the addition is 15 feet, the
length of the shorter valley rafter is 15 x 9.21 = 288.15 inches, or
approximately 24.01 feet.

Figure
2-42 shows the long and short valley rafter shortening allowances. Note
that the long valley rafter has a single side cut for framing to the
main-roof ridge piece, whereas the short valley rafter is cut square
for framing to the long valley rafter.

fig0942.jpg (18176 bytes)

Figure 2-42.-Long and short valley rafter shortening allowance.

Figure
2-43 shows another method of framing an equal-pitch unequal-span
addition. In this method, the inboard end of the addition ridge is
nailed to a piece that hangs from the main-roof ridge. As shown in the
framing diagram, this method calls for two short valley rafters (AB and
AC), each of which extends from the top plate to the addition ridge.

fig0943.jpg (25221 bytes)

Figure 2-43.-Another method of framing equal-pitch unequal-span intersection.

As
indicated in figure 2-44, the shortening allowance of each of the short
valley rafters is one-half the 45° thickness of the addition ridge.
Each rafter is framed to the addition ridge with a single side cut.

fig0944.jpg (16319 bytes)

Figure 2-44.-Shortening allowance of valley rafters suspended ridge method of intersecting roof framing.

Figure
2-45 shows a method of framing a gable dormer without sidewalls. The
dormer ridge is framed to a header set between a pair of doubled
main-roof common rafters. The valley rafters (AB and AC) are framed
between this header and a lower header. As indicated in the framing
diagram, the total run of a valley rafter is the hypotenuse of a right
triangle with the shorter sides equal to the total run of a common
rafter in the dormer. Figure 2-46 shows the arrangement and names of
framing members in this type of dormer framing.

fig0945.jpg (12316 bytes)

Figure 2-45.—Method of framing dormer without sidewalk.

fig0946.jpg (30843 bytes)

Figure 2-46.—Arrangement and names of framing members for dormer without sidewalls.

The
upper edges of the header must be beveled to the cut of the main roof.
Figure 2-47 shows that in this method of framing, the shortening
allowance for the upper end of a valley rafter is one-half the 45°
thickness of the inside member in the upper doubled header. There is
also a shortening allowance for the lower end, consisting of one-half
the 45° thickness of the inside member of the doubled common rafter.
The figure also shows that each valley rafter has a double side cut at
the upper and lower ends.

fig0947.jpg (16861 bytes)

Figure 2-47.—Valley rafter shortening allowance for dormer without sidewalls.

Figure
2-48 shows a method of framing a gable dormer with sidewalls. As
indicated in the framing diagram, the total run of a valley rafter is
again the hypotenuse of a right triangle with the shorter sides each
equal to the run of a common rafter in the dormer. You figure the
lengths of the dormer corner posts and side studs just as you do the
lengths of gable-end studs, and you lay off the lower end cutoff angle
by setting the square to the cut of the main roof.

Figure 2-49 shows the valley rafter shortening allowance for this method of framing a dormer with sidewalls.

fig0948.jpg (30919 bytes)

Figure 2-48.—Method of framing gable dormer with sidewalls.

 

fig0949.jpg (89661 bytes)

Figure 2-49.-Valley rafter shortening allowance for dormers with sidewalls.

Jack Rafters

A
jack rafter is a part of a common rafter, shortened for framing a hip
rafter, a valley rafter, or both. This means that, in an equal-pitch
framing situation, the unit of rise of a jack rafter is always the same
as the unit of rise of a common rafter. Figure 2-50 shows various types
of jack rafters.

fig0950.jpg (16983 bytes)

Figure 2-50.-Types of jack rafters.

A
hip jack rafter extends from the top plate to a hip rafter. A vane y
jack rafter extends from a valley rafter to a ridge. (Both are shown in
fig. 2-51.) A cripple jack rafter does not contact either a top plate
or a ridge. A valley cripple jack extends between two valley rafters in
the long and short valley rafter method of framing. A hip-valley
cripple jack extends from a hip rafter to a valley rafter.

fig0951.jpg (20401 bytes)

Figure 2-51.—Valley cripple Jack and hip-valley cripple jack.

LENGTHS.—
Figure 2-52 shows a roof framing diagram for a series of hip jack
rafters. The jacks are always on the same OC spacing as the common
rafters.

fig0952.jpg (13153 bytes)

Figure 2-52.—Hip jack framing diagram.

Now,
suppose the spacing, in this instance, is 16 inches OC. You can see
that the total run of the shortest jack is the hypotenuse of a right
triangle with the shorter sides each 16 inches long. The total run of
the shortest jack is therefore:

wpe2.jpg (1865 bytes)

Suppose
that a common rafter in this roof has a unit of rise of 8. The jacks
have the same unit of rise as a common rafter. The unit length of a
jack in this roof is:

wpe3.jpg (1854 bytes)

This
means that a jack is 14.42 units long for every 12 units of run. The
length of the shortest hip jack in this roof is therefore the value of
x in the proportional equation 12:14.42::16:x, or 19.23 inches.

This
is always the length of the shortest hip jack when the jacks are spaced
16 inches OC and the common rafter in the roof has a unit of rise of 8.
It is also the common difference of jacks, meaning that the next hip
jack will be 2 times 19.23 inches.

The
common difference for hip jacks spaced 16 inches OC, or 24 inches OC,
is given in the unit length rafter table on the framing square for unit
of rise ranging from 2 to 18, inclusive. Turn back to figure 2-41,
which shows a segment of the unit length rafter table. Note the third
line in the table, which reads DIFF IN LENGTH OF JACKS 16 INCHES
CENTERS. If you follow this line over to the figure under 8 (for a unit
of rise of 8), you’ll find the same unit length (19.23) that you worked
out above.

The best way to
determine the length of a valley jack or a cripple jack is to apply the
bridge measure to the total run. The bridge measure of any jack is the
same as the bridge measure of a common rafter having the same unit of
rise as the jack. Suppose the jack has a unit of rise of 8. In figure
2-41, look along the line on the unit length rafter tables headed
LENGTH COMMON RAFTER PER FOOT RUN for the figure in the column under 8;
you’ll find a unit length of 14.42. You should know by this time how to
apply this to the total run of a jack to get the line length.

The
best way to figure the total runs of valley jacks and cripple jacks is
to lay out a framing diagram and study it to determine what these runs
must be. Figure 2-53 shows part of a framing diagram for a main hip
roof with a long and short valley rafter gable addition. By studying
the diagram, you can figure the total runs of the valley jacks and
cripple jacks as follows:

fig0952.jpg (13153 bytes)

Figure 2-53.—Jack rafter framing diagram.

  • The
    run of valley jack No. 1 is obviously the same as the run of hip jack
    No. 8, which is the run of the shortest hip jack. The length of valley
    jack No. 1 is therefore equal to the common difference of jacks.
  • The
    run of valley jack No. 2 is the same as the run of hip jack No. 7, and
    the length is therefore twice the common difference of jacks.
  • The
    run of valley jack No. 3 is the same as the run of hip jack No. 6, and
    the length is therefore three times the common difference of jacks.
  • The run of hip-valley cripple Nos. 4 and 5 is the same as the run of valley jack No. 3.
  • The
    run of valley jack Nos. 9 and 10 is equal to the spacing of jacks OC.
    Therefore, the length of one of these jacks is equal to the common
    difference of jacks.
  • The
    run of valley jacks Nos. 11 and 12 is twice the run of valley jacks
    Nos. 9 and 10, and the length of one of these jacks is therefore twice
    the common difference of jacks.
  • The
    run of valley cripple No. 13 is twice the spacing of jacks OC, and the
    length is therefore twice the common difference of jacks.
  • The
    run of valley cripple No. 14 is twice the run of valley cripple No. 13,
    and the length is there-fore four times the common difference of jacks.

SHORTENING
ALLOWANCES.— A hip jack has a shortening allowance at the upper end,
consisting of one-half the 45° thickness of the hip rafter. A valley
jack rafter has a shortening allowance at the upper end, consisting of
one-half the 45° thickness of the ridge, and another at the lower end,
consisting of one-half the 45° thickness of the valley rafter. A
hip-valley cripple has a shortening allowance at the upper end,
consisting of one-half the 45° thickness of the hip rafter, and another
at the lower end, consisting of one-half the 45° thickness of the
valley rafter. A valley cripple has a shortening allowance at the upper
end, consisting of one-half the 45° thickness of the long valley
rafter, and another at the lower end, consisting of one-half the 45°
thickness of the short valley rafter.

SIDE
CUTS.— The side cut on a jack rafter can be laid out using the same
method as for laying out the side cut on a hip rafter. Another method
is to use the fifth line of the unit length rafter table, which is
headed SIDE CUT OF JACKS USE (fig. 2-41). If you follow that line over
to the figure under 8 (for a unit of rise of 8), you will see that the
figure given is 10. To lay out the side cut on a jack set the square
faceup on the edge of the rafter to 12 inches on the tongue and 10
inches on the blade, and draw the side-cut line along the tongue.

BIRD’S-MOUTH
AND PROJECTION.— A jack rafter is a shortened common rafter;
consequently, the bird’s-mouth and projection on a jack rafter are laid
out just as they are on a common rafter.

Ridge Layout

Laying
out the ridge for a gable roof presents no particular problem since the
line length of the ridge is equal to the length of the building. The
actual length includes any overhang. For a hip main roof, however, the
ridge layout requires a certain amount of calculation.

As
previously mentioned, in an equal-pitch hip roof, the line length of
the ridge amounts to the length of the building minus the span. The
actual length depends upon the way the hip rafters are framed to the
ridge.

As indicated in
figure 2-54, the line length ends of the ridge are at the points where
the ridge centerline and the hip rafter center line cross. In the
figure, the hip rafter is framed against the ridge. In this method of
framing, the actual length of the ridge exceeds the line length, at
each end, by one-half the thickness of the ridge, plus one-half the 45°
thickness of the hip rafter. In the figure, the hip rafter is also
framed between the common rafters. In this method of framing, the
actual length of the ridge exceeds the line length at each end by
one-half the thickness of a common rafter.

fig0954.jpg (84169 bytes)

Figure 2-54.-Line and actual lengths of hip roof ridgeboard.

Figure
2-55, view A, shows that the length of the ridge for an equal-span
addition is equal to the length of the addition top plate, plus
one-half the span of the building, minus the shortening allowance at
the main-roof ridge. The shortening allowance amounts to one-half the
thickness of the main-roof ridge.

fig0955.jpg (28299 bytes)

Figure 2-55.—Lengths of addition ridge.

View
B shows that the length of the ridge for an unequal-span addition
varies with the method of framing the ridge. If the addition ridge is
suspended from the main-roof ridge, the length is equal to the length
of the addition top plate, plus one-half the span of the building. If
the addition ridge is framed by the long and short valley rafter
method, the length is equal to the length of the addition top plate,
plus one-half the span of the addition, minus a shortening allowance
one-half the 45° thickness of the long valley rafter. If the addition
ridge is framed to a double header set between a couple of double
main-roof common rafters, the length of the ridge is equal to the
length of the addition sidewall rafter plate, plus one-half the span of
the addition, minus a shortening allowance one-half the thickness of
the inside member of the double header.

Figure
2-56, view A, shows that the length of the ridge on a dormer without
sidewalls is equal to one-half the span of the dormer, less a
shortening allowance one-half the thickness of the inside member of the
upper double header. View B shows that the length of the ridge on a
dormer with sidewalls is the length of the dormer rafter plate, plus
one-half the span of the dormer, minus a shortening allowance one-half
the thickness of the inside member of the upper double header.

fig0956.jpg (30195 bytes)

Figure 2-56.-Lengths of dormer ridge.

SHED

A
shed roof is essentially one-half of a gable roof. Like the full-length
rafters in a gable roof, the full-length rafters in a shed roof are
common rafters. However, the total run of a shed roof common rafter is
equal to the span of the building minus the width of the top plate on
the higher rafter-end wall (fig. 2-57). Also, the run of the overhang
on the higher wall is measured from the inner edge of the top plate.
With these exceptions, shed roof common rafters are laid out like gable
roof common rafters. A shed roof common rafter has two bird’smouths,
but they are laid out just like the bird’s-mouth on a gable roof common
rafter.

fig0957.jpg (40724 bytes)

Figure 2-57.-Shed roof framing.

For
a shed roof, the height of the higher rafter-end wall must exceed the
height of the lower by an amount equal to the total rise of a common
rafter.

Figure 2-58 shows a
method of framing a shed dormer. This type of dormer can be installed
on almost any type of roof. There are three layout problems to be
solved here: determining the total run of a dormer rafter; determining
the angle of cut on the inboard ends of the dormer rafters; and
determining the lengths of the dormer sidewall studs.

fig0958.jpg (17288 bytes)

Figure 2-58.-Method of framing a shed dormer.

To
determine the total run of a dormer rafter, divide the height of the
dormer end wall, in inches, by the difference between the unit of rise
of the dormer roof and the unit of rise of the main roof. Take the
dormer shown in figure 2-59, for example. The height of the dormer end
wall is 9 feet, or 108 inches. The unit of rise of the main roof is 8;
the unit of rise of the dormer roof is 2 1/2; the difference is 5 1/2.
The total run of a dormer rafter is therefore 108 divided by 5 1/2, or
19.63 feet. Knowing the total run and the unit of rise, you can figure
the length of a dormer rafter by any of the methods already described.

As
indicated in figure 2-59, the inboard ends of the dormer rafters must
be cut to fit the slope of the main roof. To get the angle of this cut,
set the square on the rafter to the cut of the main roof, as shown in
the bottom view of figure 2-59. Measure off the unit of rise of the
dormer roof from the heel of the square along the tongue as indicated
and make a mark at this point. Draw the cutoff line through this mark
from the 12-inch mark.

fig0959.jpg (19550 bytes)

Figure 2-59.-Shed dormer framing calculation.

You
figure the lengths of the sidewall studs on a shed dormer as follows:
In the roof shown in figure 2-59, a dormer rafter raises 2 1/2 units
for every 12 units of run. A main-roof common rafter rises 8 units for
every 12 units of run. If the studs were spaced 12 inches OC, the
length of the shortest stud (which is also the common difference of
studs) would be the difference between 8 and 2 1/2 inches, or 5 1/2
inches. If the stud spacing is 16 inches, the length of the shortest
stud is the value of x in the proportional equation 12:5 1/2::16:x, or
7 5/16 inches. The shortest stud, then, will be 7 5/16 inches long. To
get the lower end cutoff angle for studs, set the square on the stud to
the cut of the main roof. To get the upper end cutoff angle, set the
square to the cut of the dormer roof.

INSTALLATION

Rafter
locations are laid out on wall plates and ridgeboards with matching
lines and marked with X’s, as used to lay out stud and joist locations.
For a gable roof, the rafter locations are laid out on the rafter
plates first. The locations are then transferred to the ridge by
matching the ridge against a rafter plate.

Rafter Locations

The
rafter plate locations of the ridge-end common rafters in an
equal-pitch hip roof measure one-half of the span (or the run of a
main-roof common rafter) away from the building comers. These
locations, plus the rafter plate locations of the rafters lying between
the ridge-end common rafters, can be transferred to the ridge by
matching the ridgeboads against the rafter plates.

The
locations of additional ridge and valley rafters can be determined as
indicated in figure 2-60. In an equal-span situation (views A and B),
the valley rafter locations on the main-roof ridge lie alongside the
addition ridge location. In view A, the distance between the end of the
main-roof ridge and the addition ridge location is equal to A plus
distance B, distance B being one-half the span of the addition. In view
B, the distance between the line length end of the main-roof ridge and
the addition ridge location is the same as distance A. In both cases,
the line length of the addition ridge is equal to one-half the span of
the addition, plus the length of the addition sidewall rafter plate.

Figure
2-60, view C, shows an unequal-span situation. If framing is by the
long and short valley rafter method, the distance from the end of the
main-roof ridge to the upper end of the longer valley rafter is equal
to distance A plus distance B, distance B being one-half the span of
the main roof. To determine the location of the inboard valley rafter,
first calculate the unit length of the longer valley rafter, or obtain
it from the unit length rafter tables. Let’s suppose that the common
rafter unit of rise is 8. In that case, the unit length of a valley
rafter is 18.76.

fig0960.jpg (28760 bytes)

Figure 2-60.-Intersection ridge and valley rafter location layout.

The
total run of the longer valley rafter between the shorter rafter tie-in
and the rafter plate is the hypotenuse of a right triangle with the
altitude and base equal to one-half of the span of the addition.
Suppose the addition is 20 feet wide. Then, the total run is:

wpe4.jpg (1526 bytes)

You
know that the valley rafter is 18.76 units long for every 16.97 units
of run. The length of rafter for 14.14 feet of run must therefore be
the value of in the proportional equation 16.97:18.76::14.14:x, or
15.63 feet. The location mark for the inboard end of the shorter valley
rafter on the longer valley rafter, then, will be 15.63 feet, or 15
feet 7 9/16 inches, from the heel plumb cut line on the longer valley
rafter. The length of the additional ridge will be equal to one-half
the span of the addition, plus the length of the additional sidewall
top plate, minus a shortening allowance one-half the 45° thickness of
the longer valley rafter.

If
framing is by the suspended ridge method, the distance between the
suspension point on the main-roof and the end of the main-roof ridge is
equal to distance A plus distance C. Distance C is one-half the span of
the addition. The distance between the point where the inboard ends of
the valley rafters (both short in this method of framing) tie into the
addition ridge and the outboard end of the ridge is equal to one-half
the span of the addition, plus the length of the additional ridge
(which is equal to one-half of the span of the main roof), plus the
length of the addition sidewall rafter plate.

Roof Frame Erection

Roof
framing should be done from a scaffold with planking not less than 4
feet below the level of the main-roof ridge. The usual type of roof
scaffold consists of diagonally braced two-legged horses, spaced about
10 feet apart and extending the full length of the ridge.

If
the building has an addition, as much as possible of the main roof is
framed before the addition framing is started. Cripples and jack
rafters are usually left out until after the headers, hip rafters,
valley rafters, and ridges to which they will be framed have been
installed. For a gable roof, the two pairs of gable-end rafters and the
ridge are usually erected first.

Two
crewmembers, one at each end of the scaffold, hold the ridge in
position. Another crewmember sets the gable-end rafters in place and
toenails them at the rafter plate with 8d nails, one on each side of a
rafter. Before we proceed any further, see table 2-1 as to the type and
size nails used in roof framing erection. Each crew-member on the
scaffold then end-nails the ridge to the end of the rafter. They then
toenail the other rafter to the ridge and to the first rafter with two
10d nails, one on each side of the rafter.

 

Table 2-1.—Recommended Schedule for Nailing the Framing and Sheathing of a Wood-Frame Structure

tab0901.jpg (316049 bytes)

Temporary
braces, like those for a wall, should be set up at the ridge ends to
hold the rafter approximately plumb, after which the rafters between
the end rafters should be erected. The braces should then be released,
and the pair of rafters at one end should be plumbed with a plumb line,
fastened to a stick extended from the end of the ridge. The braces
should then be reset, and they should be left in place until enough
sheathing has been installed to hold the rafters plumb. Collar ties, if
any, are nailed to common rafters with 8d nails, three to each end of a
tie. Ceiling-joist ends are nailed to adjacent rafters with 10d nails.

On
a hip roof, the ridge-end common rafters and ridges are erected first,
in about the same manner as for a gable roof. The intermediate common
rafters are then filled in. After that, the ridge-end common rafters
extending from the ridge ends to the midpoints on the end walls are
erected. The hip rafters and hip jacks are installed next. The common
rafters in a hip roof do not require plumbing. When correctly cut and
installed, hip rafters will bring the common rafters to plumb. Hip
rafters are toe nailed to plate comers with 10d nails. Hip jacks are
toe nailed to hip rafters with 10d nails.

For
an addition or dormer, the valley rafters are usually erected first.
Valley rafters are toe nailed with 10d nails. Ridges and ridge-end
common rafters are erected next, other addition common rafters next,
and valley and cripple jacks last. A valley jack should be held in
position for nailing, as shown in figure 2-61. When properly nailed,
the end of a straightedge laid along the top edge of the jack should
contact the centerline of the valley rafter, as shown.

fig0961.jpg (20808 bytes)

Figure 2-61.-Correct position for nailing a valley jack rafter.

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