Roof Framing Construction
Common Roof Framing Construction Methods
By Mark J. Donovan
The two most common roof framing
construction methods are stick roof framing and truss roof framing. In most
cases stick framed roofs are constructed on the job site, where as roof trusses
are pre-manufactured and delivered to the job site.
Stick Framed Roofs
Stick roof framing construction
involves the use of individual roof rafters. The roof rafters are attached above
the ceiling joists, and between the top plate of exterior walls and the roof
ridgeboard, to form a series of triangles along the length of the roof.
In many cases horizontal collar ties
are fastened between opposite roof rafters to add strength to the roof. In
addition, when there are long roof rafters involved, horizontal purlins and
vertical struts are used to beef up and support the roof rafters. Roof rafters
are typically spaced on either 16 or 24 inch centers, and are located directly
over wall studs. For stronger roof construction, 16 inch center spacing should
Stick framed roof construction is used on all types of homes, however it is most
commonly used on homes with dormers and/or cathedral ceilings.
Truss roof framing construction
involves the use of pre-built triangular shaped trusses. Truss construction
consists of several framing members that are tied together via gusset plates.
The truss framing members include upper and lower chords, that are respectively
similar to roof rafters and ceiling joists employed with stick roof framing
In addition, interior web members
are fastened in between the upper and lower chords to improve strength. Roof
trusses typically are constructed out of lighter weight and smaller lumber
material than stick framed roofs.
Truss framing is commonly used on gable and hip style roofs. Like stick
framed roofs, roof trusses are typically spaced on 16 or 24 inch centers and
are placed directly over wall studs. As with stick framed roofs, 16 inch
spacing is better for creating a stronger roof.
A crane is commonly employed to lift
and position roof trusses in place. Because they are specifically engineered for
a certain roof strength, roof trusses should never be cut. Consequently, due to
their interior web members and the fact that they cannot be cut, trusses
severely limit attic space usage.
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