I've been framing roofs and working on new homes for over 30 years and it's about time that I reveal some of the secrets that most contractors hold dearly to their heart. Some of the roof framing secrets have been passed down to me from my grandfather.
My grandfather was a master carpenter as my father and I was the last one out of my family to become a master tradesmen in the construction industry. I have always wanted to pass on the knowledge that I have learned from my years in the construction business.
The first simple roof framing plan, that I would like to talk about, would be a gable roof. These roofs can be framed in a couple of different ways. The first of these would be using a beam and sitting your roof rafters on top of the large wood beam. The second would be using common roof rafters and fastening them to a ridge board.
The first roofing plan, will require a large beam that will run the length of the entire home. The rafters will sit directly on top of the ridge beam and can lap or alternate the opposing side of the roof framing. This is usually the easiest way to build any roof and is structurally sound.
The second and most common way for building a gable roof would be to cut individual roof rafters and fastened them to a ridge board. Now are you ready for me to reveal a contractor's secret to you? Which one of these roof framing techniques can be done, by one person? In other words can one person actually build one of these roofs by himself?
I have been building gable roofs by myself using the common rafter method for as long as I can remember. The secret is setting the ridge board and this will require laying a couple of roof rafters out in strategic positions.
The first thing you're going to want to do is to lay a board that you can walk on down the center of the house. This board will give you something to walk on, while you're building the roof. Next you will need to lay one rafter at each end of the building, using at least four rafters two at each end.
Then you will lay the ridge board on top of these rafters. Now you can lift the ridge board up and fasten it to your first rafter. Then start working your way around the building until you get to the last rafter. By now you should have four rafters holding up your ridge board.
Once your ridge board is set, you can start nailing the rest of the rafters on and soon you will be done with your gable roof. This system works out good and I have only seen any few contractors actually use it.