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Old 12-14-2011, 12:05 AM   #1
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rafter spacing for snow loads

am going to build my own cabin where it snows. can I still use 2x6's for rafters if I space them on 16" centers? or should I use 2x8'?


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Old 12-14-2011, 01:45 AM   #2
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2x8's. Refer to building codes.


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Old 12-14-2011, 06:53 AM   #3
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16"oc is correct, but the size depends on the lenght, pitch of the roof, and your location.
The load on 2x6's is much different for the same lenght if one roof is pitched at 12/12 and the other is 5/12, and even more noticeable if it's a flat roof.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:17 AM   #4
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Building it yourself as in ordering prefabbed trusses and setting them your self?
If that's the case the lumber yard rep will better answer your question because he/she will know the local codes.

Stick framing it yourself?
I would still start by asking the local lumber yard rep for local codes.
I myself have never seen anyone stick frame with less then 2x8's, but, I'm a roofer not a framer.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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There is not a simple answer to such a question without a trained person viewing all the conditions. Taking advice based on the scanty information you provided is unwise. You are dealing with heavy structural stuff that can fall and kill.

2x6, 2x8, 2x10, 2x? depends on the span of the rafters, the c/c spacing of the rafters, the span capability of the decking, type of roofing material, and the calculated live and dead loads. Most codes include a table of minimum requirements for various spans at various parts of the country. The local code official may have his own acceptable minimum. A local professional framer can also provide safe advice. Lastly you can hire an engineer or architect to calculate the rafter size based on the above information (their solution may legally differ from the prescriptive codes tables).

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