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Old 06-18-2009, 09:17 AM   #1
JMURiz
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Default My scary rafters, how to fix

I am at the point of getting ready to finish off the ceiling of my garage and noticed the following...some scary looking rafter to ridge beam connection.

I can tell that the rafters were all cut a bit short, they are only touching the ridge beam at the peak to maybe 1/2 way down the 2x10 rafter.

Is there any way to sure up this connection after the fact?
I would love to be able to put up something like a Simpson A35 connection but I'm affraid that with the face or toe-nailing attaching the rafter to the ridge...I could get some splitting by adding more nails.

http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...P5-A34-A35.asp

Mine doesn't look as bad as this picture:


But it's more like this one (short) by about 1/2" to 3/4":


What to do?!

FYI the contractor is long gone.....

Thanks for suggestions.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

I had one like this - I used a bevel gauge to figure out the true angle, cut two pieces to that angle, and sistered/sandwiched on either side of the badly cut piece.

Edit: But I only had a couple to fix, this approach may be a pain in the ass if you have tons to fix

Last edited by rieferman; 06-18-2009 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

How big are the gaps? Could you drive in wood shims w/ Liquid Nails to tighten them up?

If not, how 'bout using a joist hanger like these? Seems like they'd get a little more purchase on the rafter than the angle brackets you proposed.


Ed
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by rieferman View Post
I had one like this - I used a bevel gauge to figure out the true angle, cut two pieces to that angle, and sistered/sandwiched on either side of the badly cut piece.

Edit: But I only had a couple to fix, this approach may be a pain in the ass if you have tons to fix
May be a pain in the ass, but it is probably the best solution to the problem.

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Old 06-18-2009, 10:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by burger View Post
How big are the gaps? Could you drive in wood shims w/ Liquid Nails to tighten them up?

If not, how 'bout using a joist hanger like these? Seems like they'd get a little more purchase on the rafter than the angle brackets you proposed.


Ed
Gaps aren't all that big, 1/2" to 3/4"...I'm just afraid that using hangers w/o sistering up rafter patches will make the existing rafters split, as they already have 3-4 nails in them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rieferman View Post
I had one like this - I used a bevel gauge to figure out the true angle, cut two pieces to that angle, and sistered/sandwiched on either side of the badly cut piece.

Edit: But I only had a couple to fix, this approach may be a pain in the ass if you have tons to fix
How long would the 'patch' rafters have to be? A couple feet?

Thanks for the ideas, if there are any more...keep them coming.
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Last edited by JMURiz; 06-18-2009 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

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Originally Posted by JMURiz View Post
Gaps aren't all that big, 1/2" to 3/4"...I'm just afraid that using hangers w/o sistering up rafter patches will make the existing rafters split, as they already have 3-4 nails in them.
1/2" - 3/4" seems like a little too big of a gap for the hangers. You'd be nailing into the last 1/2" of the boards and would definitely split them.


The more I think about it, I like reiferman's sistered rafters idea best. You should be able to make a template for one "correct" rafter, cut out a bunch on the floor, and then go to town with the nail gun. Really shouldn't be too big of a project.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

Quote:
How long would the 'patch' rafters have to be? A couple feet?
Honestly, I eye ball it. I'm sure there's an engineering calculation someplace, but my situations have allowed me to eye it up and be comfortable. The longer the length of wood you're sistering, the longer the splice piece. In this application from what I can infer, I'd think a 3 feet sistered on both sides would be very strong. I'd use a dozen ringed nails of appropriate length (probably 3 inch nails) on both sides.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:14 AM   #8
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

I'd use rafter hangers with screws. Maybe even pre-drill the screw holes if I was worried about splitting.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

Sister a short piece beside the rafter. It would only have to be 1-2' long
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

There are two basic issues.

1- Keeping the rafter from twisting or coming out sideways.
2- Keeping the rafter from slipping down.

As others have suggested, you can do both with either small sisters or a rafter hanger. I'd choose based on what materials I had (or didn't have) available.

If I had a bunch of scrap 2x4 and nails...
I'd probably rip* some 2x4 blocks and face nail them on both sides and underneath the rafters. This produces a wooden pocket that acts like a rafter hanger. I know this is probably serious overkill but I just hate to depend on toe nailing.

If I had a bunch of 2x10 laying around I'd just sister the rafters.

If I didn't have any scrap lumber but had a good screwdriver/drill I go with the metal rafter hangers attached with screws.

Funf Dreisig

* I'd rip a 2x4 in half for the side blocks and rip the top of the lower blocks to match the pitch of the roof/rafter.

Last edited by FunfDreisig; 06-18-2009 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

I would first check to see if this isn’t a symptom of a bigger problem.
Check the lower ends of the rafters and any cross ties for evidence of the walls spreading.

Spreading walls will give you the kind of crack you are seeing.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

Two words... Collar ties
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

The thing is, I already have collar ties...these are actual pictures of my space (older pictures without the close-up of the problem area):
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Done Loftsmall.JPG (51.1 KB, 84 views)
File Type: jpg InsideLoftsmall.JPG (58.2 KB, 83 views)
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

I really wouldn't be worried then. You would be suprised how that structure shares the loading...
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

You could make triangles from 1/2" plywood, then use them as gussets.

Nail a pair of them to the both rafters around the ridge beam. This would tie the two rafters together.

Your existing collar ties should prevent the wall from spreading.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

If you want to sleep better take some 2X6 cut into 12 to 18 inch and the correct angle and sister one per. Use construction adhesive and screws them in.
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Last edited by Vicegrip; 06-18-2009 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

Ok, I'm going to upset some folks here but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE understand the basic principles that the structure is based on in the first place before you go making suggestions!. First of all, the type of construction shown here does not use a ridge beam, a ridge beam is a load bearing structural member that is meant to carry the load of the roof so that the rafters do not exert any spreading force on the exterior walls, such as a "cathedral ceiling" application. In that case the rafter IS hung from the ridge beam. The construction shown here uses a ridge board, it is a framing member that simply facilitates the holding of the rafters during building construction. In fact, many structures of this type are built without ridge boards at all and that helps to illustrate exactly what is going on as far as how forces are distributed throughout the structure. The most important function here is that the rafters are in contact with the ridge board so that the rafter pairs solidly oppose each other and in turn transfer the roof load down to the exterior walls. The collar ties in this case act a a framing member in TENSION to keep the exterior walls from spreading. The rafters are NOT hung from the ridge board, no amount of metal hangers will stabilize the assembly like some folks here would think. If there are gaps between the plumb cut of the rafter and the ridge, all that is needed is to fill the void with a shim so that the rafters do indeed transfer opposing forces to each other. The rafter can't shift or otherwise move by virtue of the fact that the roof sheathing is nailed to it. Sistering up the rafter in question will re-establish the opposing forces lacking in the existing structure only if the fasteners used to sister up the rafters have sufficient shear capability. This is not too hard to accomplish but why bother. Additionally, getting up into the crotch created by the ridge board and roof sheathing to install fasteners is not as easy as it looks. All that being said, you need to make certain that what you have are individual rafters exhibiting this condition, as if they were just cut wrong when the building was constructed. If all the rafters are pulled away from the ridge, then there is insufficient collar tie strength and you are most likely seeing spreading if the exterior walls. Put your two index fingers together at the tips and hold them at about a 45 degree angle to each other, this is like a 6 pitch roof. Now imagine a down-force on your finger tips, notice how the force is transmitted along your fingers to each hand. A gable roof with opposing rafters works the same way...the rafters are framing members in COMPRESSION.
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Last edited by tcianci; 06-18-2009 at 09:52 PM. Reason: very bad spelling!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: My scary rafters, how to fix

Lift the ridge back up.

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