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Old 07-28-2010, 05:16 PM   #16
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Gable dormer construction questions


Hey guys,

We just spoke to the building department today, and they said that the dormer can be framed with 2x4 studs. The inspector said, though, that straps will be necessary. I knew I'd need joist hangers for the lower and upper header, but I didn't look into adding metal connectors.

Since I wasn't the one talking to the inspector, I didn't have a chance to ask him where exactly he wants the connectors. From what I see on the internet, there's no shortage of places to put them. So, I'm wondering where are the essential areas to place them, and what type (as there seems to be all sorts and grades).

I'd imagine they want the trimmer rafters tied to the main wall top plate and main ridge, but what type belong there. Do you use the regular twist (or H) straps for these spots?

And, as far as the header hangers, do you use a regular double shear joist hanger? Because I see they have hangers that are only about half the height of the header (and only go on the bottom).

Any help here would be appreciated, as I'm not too familiar with metal connectors.

Thanks guys,

Joe

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Old 07-28-2010, 06:17 PM   #17
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Gable dormer construction questions


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Originally Posted by Joe1. View Post
Hey guys,

We just spoke to the building department today, and they said that the dormer can be framed with 2x4 studs. The inspector said, though, that straps will be necessary. I knew I'd need joist hangers for the lower and upper header, but I didn't look into adding metal connectors.
I always frame dormer walls with 2x4's. These straps must be a Regional thing because we never use any straps.

Quote:
Since I wasn't the one talking to the inspector, I didn't have a chance to ask him where exactly he wants the connectors. From what I see on the internet, there's no shortage of places to put them. So, I'm wondering where are the essential areas to place them, and what type (as there seems to be all sorts and grades).
Don't know what he's talking about. You have to ask him what he wants, the type of strap and where he wants them. He has to tell you.

Quote:
I'd imagine they want the trimmer rafters tied to the main wall top plate and main ridge, but what type belong there. Do you use the regular twist (or H) straps for these spots?
I don't use anything there. Again, Regional differences. Ask him that also for the trimmers.

Quote:
And, as far as the header hangers, do you use a regular double shear joist hanger? Because I see they have hangers that are only about half the height of the header (and only go on the bottom).
We use double joist hangers for that. Can you frame to floor to support the headers?

Quote:
Any help here would be appreciated, as I'm not too familiar with metal connectors.
Sorry I can't help you with the straps because we don't use any. If you can tell me how far back you will set the dormer and how high the top plate above the main roof is, I can draw something how I would frame it. The house I'm working on right now I just noticed while I was leaving today has a setback dormer. I will take a picture tomorrow and post it here.
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Last edited by Joe Carola; 07-28-2010 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:01 PM   #18
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Gable dormer construction questions


Hey Joe,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I'll have to ask the building inspector what straps/ties he's looking for really. I'm in New York, so I'm surprised there's much difference. Perhaps the inspector only meant the hangers. We'll just have to inquire further.

About the dormer set back and height above roof, we haven't yet finalized everything. I'd say the dormer will be only set back about 1', perhaps 1.5', and then the height will probably be 7.5' feet tall (to the ridge), so maybe 6-6.5' to the top plate from the main roof. I want to keep the slope low, probably 6/12, to maintain the classic look for the gable, even though the main roof is fairly steep (around 14-15/12 pitch).

Anyway, the picture would be great. I'd appreciate that.

Thanks again,

Joe

P.S. Joe, I have a post under carpentry, regarding framing a pediment (how to cut the rafter ends, etc). Maybe you could check it out, since you have a lot of experience with dormers. J
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:04 PM   #19
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Gable dormer construction questions


Oh, regarding the headers, yeah I think I can frame to the floor for the lower headers. Like I said it's a pretty well built existing room, with a steel I beam below. But I can't do it for the upper ridge headers, as the room only has a low wall about four feet tall.

Joe
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:22 PM   #20
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Gable dormer construction questions


Here's a picture of the Inset dormer. It's a full length dormer. You can still see what it looks like. I forgot to take a full shot before I left. If I work tomorrow I will take a picture.
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:34 PM   #21
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Gable dormer construction questions


Hey Joe,

Thanks for the picture. That's a nice effect on a full dormer, to recess just the window area. It makes it a little more interesting.

Anyway, I was just going over some of my plans today, and I noticed that online some dormers are calling for double headers on top, which is what I was planning, but others only have a single say header (with a double, though below). Can you do it with just a single 2x header above, and a double below? Or should they both be a regular double header?

I think I've just run into another problem. With the (double) header, now that has to be the same size as the existing rafters, or what? I was planning on using 2x4 for the side and front walls, and then 2x8 ridges and rafters for the dormers. But now I'm a little confused, because if the existing roof rafters are 2x12's, and the headers should also be 2x12s, then how do you meet the new 2x8 ridge of the dormer up to the 2x12 header? Won't there be a space, which would mess up the interior sheet rocking? Or vice a versa, mess up the exterior sheathing?

Are the headers supposed to be angle cut? Or must I make the ridges, new dormer rafters, and headers all the same size? I must be missing something


Joe

Last edited by Joe1.; 07-30-2010 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:17 PM   #22
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Gable dormer construction questions


I've been looking over the internet trying to see what other people do, and I see that some of the double headers are beveled and/or stepped. In other words, there's one (let's say) 2x12, and then another mounted slightly lower, to accomodate the pitch of the roof. In other cases, I see the tops of the header beveled so it flows with the pitch of the roof.

My main concern is for it to (of course) be right on the outside with the sheathing, but also for it to be smooth on the inside for the sheetrock.

Joe

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