how to attach rafters to ridge beam

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The way to connect rafters to ridge beam

Designing or constructing a gable roof for a shed or cabin, or different construction will be a variety of enjoyable but additionally a problem deciphering totally different names and phrases. A living proof is the ridge beam vs ridge board. What’s the distinction and when do you have to use one or the opposite? One is a constructing code required structural member and the opposite is a prop to make roof constructing simpler.

A ridge beam helps rafter ends on the ridge and transfers the roof load to the gable ends or posts. It should be used with slopes lower than 3/12 however could also be used with larger slopes too. A ridge board isn’t structural and might solely be used with slopes between 3/12 and 12/12.

Studying: tips on how to connect rafters to ridge beam

On this article, we’ll clarify the variations between ridge board vs ridge beam, tips on how to set up every, and which is best. We’ll have a look at tips on how to connect rafters to a ridge beam or board and focus on when to make use of a ridge beam or ridge board. By the point you’re completed studying our article, you’ll know the variations, when to make use of them, and tips on how to join rafters with every.

Ridge Beam vs Ridge Board

Ridge Beam vs Ridge Board: Fast Abstract

A ridge beam serves a really totally different objective than a ridge board. The desk beneath identifies the variations.

Ridge Beam

Constructing a roof is predicated on the accrued information of 1000’s of years of trial and error, geometry, trigonometry, and fashionable engineering. The Constructing Code to your area consists of minimal necessities from previous experiences and is a useful device when planning or finishing a mission. Chapter 8 of the 2018 Worldwide Residential Constructing Code (IRC) addresses roof and ceiling development and has a lot helpful info too.

What Is a Ridge Beam?

A ridge beam serves a structural objective. It helps the rafters and takes half the dwell and useless roof hundreds and transfers them downward to the muse. The opposite half is carried by the partitions supporting the decrease ends of the rafters.

The beam is commonly supported on the ends by posts constructed into the gable ends, and typically by middleman posts relying on the size it spans. Beams could also be fabricated from heavy timber, build-up dimensional lumber, engineered wooden development, or metal.

Is a Ridge Beam Needed?

A ridge beam is a should for peaked roofs with a slope lower than 3/12, or the place a steady tie by a collar tie or ceiling joist isn’t attainable, or if the ceiling joists don’t run parallel to the rafters. A beam can be obligatory if the ceiling joists are above the underside 1/3 of the rafters.

Ridge Beam Sizing

The dimensions of the ridge beam depends upon the space it spans between helps and the mixed dwell and dead-load it’s required to help. It should help half of the roof space and the snow and wind hundreds the place it’s positioned. Moreover, beams could also be created from dimensional lumber, engineered wooden, metal, or different authorized supplies.

When sizing a ridge beam the roof load (useless and dwell loading), length of loading, unsupported span distances, and the beam composition are essential issues. Snow and wind hundreds influence the live-load and are generally included beam sizing. Rafter measurement and span may additionally be included within the roof load to assist calculate the roof deck space and as a part of the dead-load.

Ridge Beam Sizing Chart

The chart beneath gives info on the impact of roof measurement and snow load on the free span of the beam. The larger the beam span the extra open space below the beam and bigger beam dimensions.

Beam Sizing Charts present basic info and are guides, however roof designs ought to be checked by an Engineer. Non-dimensional beams in our chart are glue and laminate engineered wooden beams.

Ridge Beam Sizing Chart *LD=Load Length Issue *DL=Useless Load *SL=Floor Snow Load (From Southern Forest Merchandise Assoc.)

Ridge Beam Span

The ridge beam span is the space it runs between helps. The span is decided by the dimensions or dimensions of the beam, half the roof deck space, dead-load weight, and the dwell (snow) load it should help and for what length. The additional aside the helps for the beam, the larger the open house below the beam.

Ridge Beam Calculator

Ridge Beam calculators have change into extra widespread and are a substitute for flipping by way of Charts and Tables to find out beam measurement and span between helps. The extra info you may enter, the higher the calculated consequence supplied.

When selecting a calculator, search for one that enables enter for the next: Span Size, Length of Load, Load Sort, Beam Materials, Most Allowable Deflection, Slope or Pitch, Reside and Useless-Load choices, Roof Deck Space (also called Tributary Size), Rafter Spacing, plus different info you’re feeling is important. BeamChek™ presents a flexible calculator to obtain or use a free on-line calculator to find out beam sizing.

How Do You Fasten Rafters to Ridge Beam?

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Rafters might sit on high of the ridge beam or be fixed to the perimeters of the beam. Rafters that sit atop a beam push downward and could also be recess notched to take a seat flat on the beam. They need to be toe nailed to the beam and the opposing rafter to take care of alignment. Opposing rafters might butt collectively, or be offset and nailed collectively earlier than toe nailing into place.

A 6mm (15/64”) gusset plate with by way of bolts can be utilized to safe opposing rafters collectively too. Hurricane straps or strap ties are generally used to attach the rafters to the beam and to forestall uplift.

There are a number of totally different strategies to lock rafters to the perimeters of beams. Spikes have been generally used prior to now to toenail rafters into place. Right now, metallic high ridge rafter hangers or ties and backside rafter hangers are incessantly used to safe rafters to the beam. Strap ties are additionally used to counter carry forces on facet mount rafters.

Ridge Beam Assist Choices

A ridge beam, in contrast to a ridge board, is a structural member that carries half the burden of the roof that it spans, and so it should be supported. It’s generally supported by a wooden or metal submit or masonry construction inside the gable wall, and different help buildings alongside its span as wanted.

Can You Be part of a Ridge Beam?

Beams, particularly these created from dimensional lumber, might have to be spliced. The splice ought to happen between rafters, not at rafters, and be supported by a girder, submit, or column. The quantity of the beam resting on the help should meet or exceed code necessities (not less than 1-1/2”), as should the submit or column dimensions and footing to take care of structural integrity.

The way to Set up a Ridge Beam

The set up of a ridge beam depends upon its measurement and the fabric it’s fabricated from. Lifting a 16-foot 3-ply 2×12 beam is doable with one or two individuals. Putting a 20 to 40 foot glued and laminated or metal beam might require a crane or A-frame with a sequence block to lift it into place.

A typical follow is to position one finish of the beam onto its help construction, after which carry and place the opposite finish. In some conditions, lifting alternate ends a foot or two at a time could also be advisable to lower pressure on help buildings, and to make insertion into masonry slots simpler.

Ridge Board

Ridge board with rafters

Ridge boards are used to help within the development of the roof framing. It isn’t structural, so doesn’t require posts or columns to hold it, though some builders do connect them to gable ends to carry them in place.

What’s a Ridge Board?

A ridge board is often a single-dimensional size of lumber. It must be equal or larger in depth to the angle lower finish of the rafter that rests in opposition to it. The ridge board maintains the spacing and placement of rafters; it carries no structural weight.

The place Will You Discover a Ridge Board

Ridge boards are generally present in roof buildings with roof slopes between 3/12 and 12/12. Usually utilized in gable roofs, they’re additionally present in hip, gambrel, mansard, saltbox, and combined combos of roof types.

Ridge Board Measurement

The ridge board must be 1-inch precise thickness or larger, after which as deep because the rafter fastening to it. A fast information is a board dimensional measurement bigger than the rafter, so a 2×6 rafter requires a 2×8 ridge board, and a 2×8 rafter a 2×10 ridge board, and so forth.

The rafter span determines its thickness, which in flip identifies the ridge board depth. The Ridge Board Sizing desk beneath identifies how the rafter span is affected by spacing, species and grade, and by dwell or snow load.

Ridge Board Sizing Chart *(GSL= floor snow load & DL= useless load) Word A: Span exceeds 26-feet.

Info from Desk R802.4.1(4) and R802.4.1(5) of IRC2018

The way to Set up a Ridge Board

There are quite a few methods to put in the ridge board relying on the roof fashion. One methodology is to connect the board to the gable ends to assist preserve the ridge top and degree. One other widespread methodology is to erect a brief A-frame brace at every finish to set the extent, top, and site of the ridge with out the necessity of gable ends.

The way to Connect Rafters to Ridge Beam and Ridge Board

Fastening rafters to ridge beams or boards depends upon which methodology getting used. Rafters that sit on the beam are generally hooked up with 3 or 4 – 16d (3-1/2”x0.135) field nails pushed by way of the rafter facet into the beam.

To lock rafters to the perimeters of a beam or a ridge board, many builders and DIYers use metal backside rafter hangers or high ridge rafter hangers or ties. All rafters, no matter fastening methodology, require strap ties wrapping and securing them to the beam or board to forestall uplift. Ties, hangers, and straps should be fixed with authorized nails or screws. Desk R602.3(1) of the IRC 2018 is a helpful reference.


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Rafters ought to be nailed flush to a ridge board. Whether or not utilizing structural screws or nails, it is not uncommon to drive one by way of the highest of the rafter into the face of the board. Two to 4 nails pushed by way of the facet (toenailed) of the rafter into the board are often sufficient to carry it in place.

Rafters hooked up to a ridge beam place extra shear-load on nails, so you will need to use the correct nail measurement, placement, and the variety of nails. The nails are pushed by way of the facet of the rafter from opposing sides to type an ‘X’ the place they cross into the beam. This creates the most effective shear power or resistance.

Ridge Rafter Connector

Ridge Rafter Connector

Ridge beam connectorHigh ridge rafter hangers or ties are an effective way to position and fasten rafters to ridge beams or boards. Simpson Sturdy-Tie RR (ridge rafter) connectors are an incredible selection.

Made from 18 gauge galvanized metal they work on 2×6 rafters as much as a 30° slope and fasten with eight to 10 10dx1-1/2” nails or #9×1-1/2” Sturdy Drive (SD) screws.

Simpson Sturdy Tie LSU26 Adjustable Joist Hanger

Ridge beam support optionsBackside rafter hangers fasten to a beam or board and the underside and sides of two×6 rafters. One such product is Simpson Sturdy-Tie LSU26.

An adjustable slope, 18 gauge galvanized metal hanger that fastens to the beam or joist face and the rafter. The hanger is adjustable on the constructing website by 45° up, down, left, or proper.

Every joist hanger requires six 10d nails to safe it to the beam or six 10dx1-1/2” nails for a board face and 5 10dx1-1/2” nails to lock it to the rafter.

Slopeable Gentle Rafter U Hanger

Ridge board connectorSlopeable gentle rafter hangers by Simpson Sturdy-Tie are galvanized 18 gauge metal. The hangers could also be hooked up earlier than the two×6 rafters are in place, or after due to their ‘U’ form.

The adjustable pitch accommodates slopes between 0/12 and 14/12. The fastening holes are positioned excessive on the facet flanges to higher match rafters that grasp beneath the beam or board.

The hanger is fixed to a beam with 4 SD #10×2-1/2” screws or 3-1/2”x0.162 nails and to the rafter with 5 SD #10×2-1/2” screws or 3-1/2×0.162 nails. When attaching to a ridge board use 4 10dx1-1/2” nails or 4 #9×1-1/2” Sturdy Drive (SD) screws.

Steel Straps

Roofing beam strapsSteel straps are used to safe the rafters to opposing rafters or ridge beam and to withstand uplift forces and lateral stress. Simpson Sturdy-Tie CS18 is a 25-foot (longer can be found) coil of 1-3/8”-wide 18 gauge galvanized metal pre-punched for 8d or 10dx1-1/2” nails or #9×1-1/2” Sturdy Drive (SD) screws.

The strap is lower to the required lengths on the constructing website to go well with the duty.

Ridge Board vs Ridge Beam: Which Is Higher?

A ridge beam is a structural member that carries roof load whereas a ridge board is a framing follow used to assist house and fasten rafters in place. Many properties and buildings have been constructed with out utilizing a ridge beam or board, and have stood the check of time for hundreds of years.

Beams, nonetheless, should be used to help roofs with slopes lower than 3/12. They’re additionally incessantly used to make the attic house extra open to be used or visibility.

As to which is best, that depends upon the duty. If constructing a slope of three/12 to 12/12 and never involved about uncovered rafters, vaulted ceilings, or expansive uninterrupted attic house, use a ridge board to make framing simpler. For low slope roofs, vaulted ceilings, uninterrupted attic house, use a beam.

When to Use a Ridge Beam vs a Ridge Board?

The Constructing Code is a information to assist decide when to make use of a ridge beam, and when it isn’t obligatory. Usually, all roofs with slopes lower than 3/12 should make the most of a ridge beam in accordance with part R802.3 of the IRC.

Ridge beams are additionally generally used when architects name for vaulted ceilings, uncovered beams, or when open attic house is desired. A beam doesn’t require collar ties, purlins, and braces that may impede attic use. If a beam isn’t required, then the roof will be constructed with or with no ridge board.


A ridge beam is a obligatory structural member that carries half the roof load and should be used when constructing roofs with slopes lower than 3/12. A ridge board isn’t structural and is an help within the placement and spacing of rafters.

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up any confusion you might have had in regards to the two, and also you higher perceive when to make use of every and tips on how to connect rafters to them. In case you discovered the article useful, please share it with others. As all the time, your feedback and solutions are appreciated.

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