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ROOFS: STRUCTURAL BASICS In a gable roof, the outward thrust of the rafters will force the walls out at the top unless restrained by ceiling joists. A structural ridge is another solution. A cluster of sheds can create visual interest while maintaining structural simplicity by Paul Hanke In Japanese the word for roof and the word for house are the same, indicating the importance of this element in creating shelter. Moreover, what we call a roof is really a system, consisting of many components that must work together effectively to provide troublefree service. Design Loads: How Much is Enough? How much load must a roof be able to support? This is crucial for the designer and builder to know, especially in snow country. It is