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Roof Structure

  • Q&A: Nailing Sheathing on Valley Roof Trusses

    Q. We’re framing a gable-roofed house with roof trusses. The roof includes a bumpout with a smaller gable roof that intersects the main roof, forming two valleys. A valley set will be installed on top of the main roof sheathing. The sheathing along the valley doesn’t have blocking for continuous...

  • Q&A: Who’s Responsible for Hidden Conditions?

    Q: When we pulled off the siding and sheathing from the gable end of an existing house in preparation for an addition, we were surprised to find that the roof has a 4x12 structural ridge beam supporting common rafters. We had assumed that the roof was fra

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    Q&A: Framing With L-Corners

    Q: The local framing inspector told us that our L-corners are not acceptable. He says that an L-corner is not as strong as a corner framed with two studs separated by blocking. Is he right?

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    Framing a Barrel-Vault Dormer

    A design-builder explains how he laid out, framed, and finished a large archtopped bumpout in a conventional gable roof.

  • Torchdown Roofing Basics

    A metal roofing contractor explains why he uses single-ply modified bitumen for low-slope applications and how he installs it safely.

  • Q&A: Staggered Rafters at Ridge

    Q: I am framing a gable roof with common rafters attached to a 2x12 non-structural ridge board. Must the rafters on either side of the ridge line up, or can they be staggered along the ridge board?

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    Q&A: Boxing in a Metal Chimney Above the Roofline

    Q: My company has been asked to enclose a triple-wall metal chimney with a rectangular chase above the roofline. The chimney vents a fireplace, and extends about 4 feet above the roof. The homeowners want to box in the chimney with framing, sheathing, sid

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    Framing Roofs With Steel

    A Midwest builder shares the simple connection details he uses to speed the framing of roofs with light-gauge steel.

  • Raising an Eyebrow Dormer

    Here’s a simple on-site method for laying out and cutting this curved roof pop-up.

  • Q&A: Reroofing with Heavy Shingles

    Q: I intend to reroof over the original asphalt shingles on a 30-year-old house. I would like to install heavy 40-year architectural-weight asphalt shingles, without stripping the existing shingles. I am a little worried that the new shingles may add too

  • Toolbox: Pneumatic Concrete Nailer

    Hitachi pneumatic concrete nailer

  • Notebook

    Cordless battery update, lumber price predictions, “green” building defined, geothermal heat pump rebates curtailed, job-site theft, storm shelters in tornado alley, algae-resistant shingles, residential silos

  • Practical Engineering: Calculating Loads on Overhanging Floors

    Calculating loads on overhanging joists

  • Products

    Tools for cutting steel studs, specialized wire stripper, filter fabric that slows root growth, new steel shingle, safety harness for women, fabric form for concrete footings

  • Common Construction Defects

    Defect litigation has become a billion-dollar industry in Southern California, driving many contractors out of business. A defect specialist describes the most frequent errors he encounters — from structure to finishes — and tells how to prevent them.

  • Letters

    Defining vinyl, using sloped-seat joist hangers, pressure-washing debate, closed valley shingles, glulam commentary, slope vs. pitch, more on safety

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    Calculating Loads on Sloped Roofs

    Q: I often see roof loads calculated based on the horizontal run of the roof. But isn’t it more accurate to figure the weight of snow and roofing materials by measuring along the actual length of the rafter? Thus, as the roof gets steeper, the rafter gets longer, and the weight of roofing materials...

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    Energy-Efficient Cathedral Ceilings

    It’s difficult to achieve a high R-value in a cathedral ceiling while preserving adequate roof ventilation. Here are four options for packing more insulation into the rafters, by an energy-conscious builder who has tried them all.

  • Venting Details for Cathedral Ceilings

    Unvented roofs in northern climates are prone to ice buildup, but how do you ventilate a valley or hip rafter in a cathedral ceiling? And what do you do at a skylight, where the headers block the vent chutes? A snow-country builder describes the venting methods that have worked for him at these and...

  • Building a Round Room

    A job foreman describes step-by-step how he and his crew laid out, framed, and finished two Victorian towers with conical roofs.