Framing a Hip Roof

There are a couple of ways to lay out a hip roof at the ridge: with single cheek cuts or double cheek cuts. I prefer to run king commons off the end of the ridge and cut double cheek cuts on the hips.

When I cut a hip, I first make the ridge cut with double cheek cuts.

All we have done is draw on the side of the hip where the hip crosses the plates.

We have to lower the hip or bevel it. It is much faster to lower it. This is commonly called “dropping the hip.” I never calculate this number, I just lay it out and measure it off the hip.

Sometimes on big roofs we have 3 1/2-inch glulam hips and a 5 1/2-inch glulam for the ridge. In this situation, we set everything on the ridge. I run the ridge long to be even with the inside edges of the glulam hips and cut birdsmouths on the hips and commons.

I like to leave the ridge a few inches long, and set one pair of kings and hips on one end of the building to lock in the ridge. Then, on the other end of the ridge, I use the plumb cut at the end of a king common to mark the length of the ridge, and cut it off in the air.

Work from one hip to the other setting jacks. We start with the smallest jacks (both sides of the hip) to keep it square to the plates ...

... and then run a string down the hip.

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