Rake Wall Framing

When we're setting the ridge, the top plates will be cut back half the ridge thickness on each side, but for now we keep the plate together to help stiffen the wall for lifting.

Typically, we lay out and install the king studs for any window and door openings first. We always lay out the uphill (long-point) side of the stud so that we're cutting to the "sharp" point of the bevel. Using the Construction Master calculator, we enter that number as the RUN in the calculator and then find the DIAG. We measure the distance along the underside of the top plate.

Once the layout is complete, we can just pull the lengths from the studs off our layout marks to create a cut list.

Using two guys—one cutting and one framing—is most efficient on these walls. With a cut list in hand, the sawyer can work at the lumber pile. To simplify things, we have just one lumber length for studs. When I do the materials take-off, I always calculate the height of the wall at the peak and order all the studs at that height.

Once the frame is complete, we sheathe and tape the wall (or install housewrap, if we aren't using Zip Wall), so we are ready to apply an overhang.

We frame out a closed gable soffit using 2x6s with cripples every 4 feet on-center. We do all the cutting in place, sizing the overhangs to fit LP SmartSide Soffit, which comes in 12-, 16- and 24-inch–wide panels. To accommodate expansion, we frame the overhang 1/4 inch wider than the soffit material.

We install fly rafters and any trim, cutting in place and scribing the miters for a perfect fit.

At the peak, where the fly rafters meet at a plumb cut, we add an RBC or an A35 clip to keep the overhang from opening as we lift. This keeps the plumb cuts on the trim nice and tight during lifting, too.

We often frame a gable in which a section of the floor plan extends through the plane of the main gable. If the ceiling in the smaller room is vaulted, we frame the smaller wall first and lift it into place, then we snap out and frame the larger wall with a hole in it that matches the profile of the smaller wall.

We often install the lap siding—at least inside the gable, where the siding ends must be cut to fit the rake. This is so much easier to do when you aren't on ladders or scaffolding. We have done this with fiber cement, LP SmartSide, and cedar shingle siding.

We recently sided a large gable with SmartSide in about 30 minutes, including installing the belly band, z-metal, siding, and "shadow" fascia (trim that hides the cut ends of the siding). This easily would have taken us 2 to 6 labor hours working from scaffolding, depending on the setup.

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