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Old 08-13-2010, 08:45 AM   #1
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Alternative to collar ties


I've got a typical gable roof on my house, the peak is about 10' high so it gives me a lot of room up there. The front of the roof has an odd triangle shaped bump-out that goes up to the peak. It's not a dormer, the bump-out is just another roof parallel to the main roof that comes out about 2' further in order to cover a bump-out of the house below. It's hard to explain, but the rafters making up this bump-out are a bit lower so the collar ties are about 5' off of the attic floor. These collar ties are completely ruining what would otherwise be a great attic space.

Is there any alternatives to collar ties? Are collar ties required in all areas or just high wind areas?

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Old 08-13-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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Alternative to collar ties


A nice alternative to collar ties is to use a scissors truss. Really the best advice would be to contact a local engineer who can personally inspect the structure and give you the proper advice on what you can do.

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Old 08-13-2010, 09:19 AM   #3
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Alternative to collar ties


Collar ties may not needed if metal connectors were used to fasten the rafters to the ridge. And even if they are needed, they can often be moved upward quite a bit because they are legal anywhere in the top third of the attic space, and you might want to make a little bit of a flat ceiling up there anyway if you are finishing it off some.

But without understanding better what this "bump out" is and how it's constructed, I wouldn't recommend messing with it.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:26 AM   #4
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Alternative to collar ties


With the design of the roof, I can't move some of them up any higher.

In my instance the rafters are actually running into a hip rafter, not a ridge board. Since this is triangle shaped, the rafter on the outside don't run up as high as the ones in the middle, so the collar ties are down low.

Are there any types of clips that I could use to connect the rafters to the hip rafter instead of spanning the attic to the rafters on the other side?
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:29 AM   #5
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Alternative to collar ties


Sorry, I'm mostly a visual person. I'm kind of lost as to trying to see this in my mind's eye.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
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Alternative to collar ties


Here is a drawing looking at the house from directly overhead:



The blue lines are normal rafters. The red lines are the rafters that I am having a problem with, mainly the shorter ones on the sides. Since these are short, the collar ties are real low. All the rest of the collar ties are nice and high which gives me plenty of room up in the attic, but the shorter ones are ruining it. If there is a way to attach those rafters to the hip board without using collar ties it would be great.

The peak of the roof is about 10' off the floor. The collars ties are current at about 5' off the floor. I can move most of them up to 7' without a problem, except for the ties connecting those shorter rafter to the rafters on the other side, I can't raise those.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:32 PM   #7
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Alternative to collar ties


This is what I think you are saying.....

But I don't know if your larger rafters run all the way down as shown by the lighter end. I would assume that they do.

But I drew it with them cut off (darker end) and attached to the valley piece also just in case someone got a little wild in their framing..

From these drawings, can you explain where the offending collar ties are?
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Alternative to collar ties-bump-out-1.jpg   Alternative to collar ties-bump-out-2.jpg   Alternative to collar ties-bump-out-3.jpg  
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:11 PM   #8
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Alternative to collar ties


That's pretty close to the way it is. The differences are that the peak on mine is much higher and that there are no "inner rafters" underneath the bump-out. The rafters that makeup the triangle bump-out are the only rafters on that side. The side which I circled in the image below is the way it is.

I circled the area where the rafters are so short that they require collar ties to be too low to use the attic. I assume the really short ones don't matter that much. The really tall ones towards the center are ok because I could put a collar tie across to the rafters on the other side. My issue is with the intermediate sized rafters.
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Alternative to collar ties-bump_out-2.jpg  
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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Alternative to collar ties


1. Do you have ceiling joists below to walk on that are bearing on the outside walls? What size and how far do they span?

2. Collar ties are in the upper 1/3 to hold the rafter peaks and the ridge board together in a high wind. Required by the Southern Building Code only, as far as I've read.
It sounds like they are nailed to the middle of the hip jacks and the valley rafter?



3. Have you called the local B.D. and asked them if collar ties are required?


Nice drawing Willie. FYI- valley/hip jacks always run up and down, never side to side.... but I see what you meant.


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Old 08-13-2010, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
1. Do you have ceiling joists below to walk on that are bearing on the outside walls? What size and how far do they span?
Yes, the joists run parallel to the rafters. They are 2X8's. The joists span from the outside wall in to the center of the house where they lay on the main load bearing wall. I would only use the middle of the attic, about 5' out on each side of this load bearing wall.
Quote:
2. Collar ties are in the upper 1/3 to hold the rafter peaks and the ridge board together in a high wind. Required by the Southern Building Code only, as far as I've read.
It sounds like they are nailed to the middle of the hip jacks and the valley rafter?
They are nailed as high as they can be on the hip jacks. There are no collar ties on the valley rafters.


Quote:
3. Have you called the local B.D. and asked them if collar ties are required?
No. The thought that they might not be required didn't even enter my head.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:56 PM   #11
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Alternative to collar ties


You will need to furr the rafters down to get the require insulation in, R-49: http://www.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/cgiwrap?...le/ins_fact.pl

2x8- 16”o.c. will span 12’8” and 24”o.c. = 10’6” depending on species, for a 40# floor load.
You may need some rigid foam board and new vents for attic above/below the slope ceilings.

Be safe, Gary
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:15 PM   #12
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Oh no, I am not putting walls/ceiling up there, I just want to move the collar ties up so I have headroom. I'm still going to leave it unfinished.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:21 PM   #13
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Don't know what you can get by with where you live, but down here in Hurricane Land we are building them much like this anymore because we are required to strap down (Simpson plates) all the "Bump out" stuff to rafters or trusses directly below them.

I really don't know what to say about your collar ties except that they almost sound like rafter ties. (Very necessary), and often collar ties would be required extending directly from where the flat pieces of the "Bumpout connect to the main rafters... on across to the other side of the house, tying in to the opposite rafters.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:35 PM   #14
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Alternative to collar ties


In this last image the bump-out is just an overhang. In my house that bump-out is the house itself. There are no inner rafters on my house inside the bumpout, the rafters coming down from the ridge stop at the valley where the bump-out begins.

My ceiling joists act as rafter ties. What I currently have are collar ties, the only reason they are low is because some of them (the ones in which I circled in red on the image I posted above) can't be any higher. I guess they wanted them to be a uniform height across the whole way so they put them all at that height.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:00 PM   #15
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Alternative to collar ties


I would have built that "bump out" with the rafters turned 90 degrees, and made a gable out of it. But having done it hip style the way they did, I imagine it honestly SHOULD have been additionally framed with full length tie backs something like this.

Rafters butted in the center like they are now should not be relying on that valley rafter to support all the varying loads the center span of a set of rafters is subjected to.
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Alternative to collar ties-bump-out-collar-ties.jpg  

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