My small remodeling company specializes in renovation, but we occasionally take on new construction, like the architect-designed pool house shown here. One of the keys to working successfully with an architect is to build the project exactly as drawn. On this job, I noted that the framing plan showed no collar ties, cables, or other means of bracing for the full cathedral hip roof covering the pool house. This wasn't an oversight, but was intended to create an expansive interior space.

Still, with my background in architectural engineering, I recognized a structural challenge. Instead of taking the obvious route and persuading the client to accept a few ties in the final design, we decided to find another way to frame the roof to resist the outward thrust of the hips and the tendency of the rafters to sag under a snow load.

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