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Old 10-16-2008, 09:54 PM   #1
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how to raise rafters


I have bought the plans and materials for a Menards package
http://www.menards.com/featuredProje...me&code=G06021
and can not figure out how to get the roof on. It is not a cathedral but most of the ceiling is sloped with a rafter tie high up. My problem is the plans arent that detailed. They don't tell how how the peak is to figure out the rafters. I have used a freeware program that I think has given me the right dimensions but am not sure how to raise them. In the plans it doesn't show if there is a birds mouth or not but they show there is a ridge beam.
My question is how to build and get these things up in the air. I am doing this with a couple of friends and we have no way to get the 20 feet in the air where the ridge beam is to attach the rafters or how to even get the beam in place. Do I need to build a gable wall first on each end for the beam? I was planning on doing without the ridge beam and building the rafters on top of the walls and then roll up one at a time and put them in place. Not sure what difference would be from using a ridge beam except that I will have to watch so the peak stays straight. I've looked on the web and haven't found anything too helpful. Can someone point me somewhere so I can get a better idea of what I need to do? I've asked Menards for some help but they don't seem to know any more than I do.

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Old 10-16-2008, 11:52 PM   #2
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how to raise rafters


There are few circumstances when framing a roof that a ridge isn't needed, and yours is probably no exception. Build your gables, hang your ridge and support it to bearing points as necessary. Then hang rafters, one opposing the other. You'll need to birdsmouth the rafters to get them to correctly bear on the top plate.

As for getting up there, you've got to find a way. This is just how houses are framed, and framers are daring daredevil-type folk. Extension ladders will help.

This is one of the many reasons I never suggest buying kit buildings from box stores. No support from them after the sale.

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Old 10-18-2008, 12:16 PM   #3
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how to raise rafters


We just built a small home for my destitute brother in law and what we did was put up the end walls and put a ridge board that went from one end to the other. It was secure enough to put a long ladder against it and we put the rafters up to that and nailed them in. Once we got a few up there the roof was very solid.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:15 AM   #4
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how to raise rafters


Yes, Gable ends first the ridge beam. Myself I would take the time to put up scaffolding because I'm not as fearless as most framers. When you put up the rafters on the ridge beam it's usually better to not put them all on one side first. This can put a bow in the ridge beam. Put up one rafter on one side of the beam and then it's matching rafter on the other side.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:09 PM   #5
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how to raise rafters


Thanks for the replies. Also to be sure, the gable end walls have to be shorter by the width of my lookout boards, like a 2x6? Correct? I'm also unclear on the beam itself. The house is 30 feet, is the ridge as long as the house or hang out the gable end for the lookout fascia? And if I use 2 16 foot boards which is what they gave me, how do I join them together without adding thickness which will affect my rafter length?
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
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how to raise rafters


Did you buy the construction blue prints? They should have the info you need.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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how to raise rafters


The plans probably aren't gonna help here. Even if they have the direction, it would depend on how you built the walls, etc.

When I build roofs, I use a standard book of rafters that you can get at any builder's supply for about $10. You measure the span, from the outside of the walls (including sheathing, if the seat cut has to go over it), and based on the pitch you want, the tables tell you the common rafter length.

This will be the measure along the top of the rafter from the point of the plumb cut on top to the plumb line of the seat cut. If you deduct 1.5 inches from the span, the resulting rafter length will correct to include a ridge beam.

I usually cut four of these commons and use them to set the ridge. Check for level, support appropriately, and then run the rest of the rafters, alternating sides and checking that you're not bowing the ridge as you go.

If you're not comfy building a scaffold, or walking it once you do, go rent it!

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