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Old 06-06-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


Hi all. First timer here.

I recently purchased a small seasonal camp in Maine. It is basically a 20' x 28' ranch with an 8 pitch roof. It has an expanded 10' x 20' porch area with a hip roof on one end.

I have decided to open the ceiling in the living/kitchen area and cathedral the entire ceiling allowing a 12' loft area above the bedroom and bath at one end. I have removed all the ceiling joist leaving a 16' x 20' section wide open to the ridge. Roof framing is 2x6, 24" oc connected to a 1x6 ridge board.

I realize I need support the 16' span. Since the camp is so small, I really want this are to be wide open (no joist). I'm leaning towards installing an LVL ridge beam (properly sized) below the ridge board supported by 2 or 3 2x6 posts at each end. (1 at the exterior wall end and 1 just above the wall at the beginning of the loft). I really don't like the idea of having a post at the front middle of the loft, but really don't want to use a huge 28' ridge beam.

Does this plan sound acceptable and how do I attach the new ridge beam to the rafters and ridge board above?

thanks for the help.

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Old 06-06-2010, 10:43 AM   #2
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


You removed all the ceiling joists ?
The joists that keep the walls from spreading apart & the roof collapsing ?
Are there any other collar ties or anything else holding the walls together ?

You need a beam sized to support the roof & there will need to be support posts at either end of the beam - going all the way down to the foundation or some other support

Other option is rafter ties between the walls every 4' - I think

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Old 06-06-2010, 11:06 AM   #3
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


The first 12' of the roof is still supported by rafter ties where the loft area still exists (6 at 24"oc). Then there is a 16' (actually 15') span from the last tie to the end exterior wall. I removed 7 ties. Obviously this is temporary. As I said, I do not want to have the 4' rafter ties, thus the need for the beam. I really just need to know how to connect it to the rafters above it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


A properly supported ridge beam (carrying the rafters on top) will replace the collar ties and ceiling joists, stopping the rafter feet from spreading the walls.

But I am not an Engineer... might need to talk to one of those types.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


I'm certain it will support. Just curious how to attach it?

Here's some photos
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?-0603001721.jpg   New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?-0603001724.jpg   New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?-1212091232a.jpg  
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:45 PM   #6
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


If I understand you correctly, you want to install the ridge beam UNDERNEATH the ridge board. I have never seen this done. Standard practice is to replace the ridge board with a ridge beam, which is going to be thicker and deeper. This normally requires cutting back the rafters to allow space for the ridge beam.

The rafters are typically attached to the ridge beam using metal hangers (see Simpson catalog). The ridge beam is supported using posts, and is sized to carry effectively half the roof load, including dead load and live load.

Perhaps someone on this site has seen an installation where the ridge beam is installed below the ridge board, and can help you with the connection details. I looked in my architectural design book, and did not see anything like that, so I cannot assist.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:52 PM   #7
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


Yikes!!! Put some rafter ties back, quick, before it gets a new snow load and the whole thing caves in. This is serious! The horizontal 1x sheathing on the roof is all that is holding the side thrust from the top load. The walls will bow out and the ridge sag......

Be safe, Gary
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


um? It's July. I don't anticipate snow anytime soon.

Nobody seems to be thoroughly reading my posts. Close to half of the house is still supported with rafter ties. This 15' section is temporary. I'm working at a new support system.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:18 PM   #9
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


You will need to hire an engineer who will need to spec out the beam, support & attachment methods

I've seen Temp work that has remained for much longer then planned
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
If I understand you correctly, you want to install the ridge beam UNDERNEATH the ridge board. I have never seen this done. Standard practice is to replace the ridge board with a ridge beam, which is going to be thicker and deeper. This normally requires cutting back the rafters to allow space for the ridge beam.
how do I cut back the rafters and not loose the ceilings support while trying to install the new beam?
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:30 PM   #11
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


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I've seen Temp work that has remained for much longer then planned
Not this job. Sizing and ordering beam this week. Just doing some research for attaching.

I've thought about maybe adding the beam beneath (I'm assuming a 6x12) and adding short 2x4 ridge ties directly below the beam. This way I've basically wrapped the peak around the beam for the load. I will end up with a flat section at the peak approx. 2' wide.

Either way, this idea will be thoroughly researched before the final plan is expedited.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:12 PM   #12
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


To install a ridge beam to replace a ridge board, you need to temporarily support the rafters, which can be done using a temporary beam set a few feet down from the ridge, and supported on jacks. You need a pair of temporary beams, then you can cut back the rafters, install the ridge beam, and connect the rafters using metal brackets.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:06 PM   #13
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?


Found this that another homeowner did. how's this look?
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New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?-rafter-board-beam-1.jpg   New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?-rafter-board-beam-2.jpg   New ridge beam support needed for cathedral ceiling?-rafter-board-beam-3.jpg  

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