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Residential Roofing: Three Guidelines on Building Common Rafter Framing

by Lily Carroll

If you are planning on building or renovating your residential roof, you should consult experienced roofing contractors for the job. The roof is an essential element in the home, and weak erection can lead to problems such as leaking and premature collapse. Moreover, roofing must pass some specific safety and building regulations to avoid future accidents. However, if you are interested in building a small timber shed as a DIY project, you can try your hand at roof construction. Here are some critical guidelines to help you construct common rafter framing for your structure.

Choose the Right Wood

When building a roof for the shed, you should choose the right wood materials for the project. In general, the selected lumber will determine the integrity of the roofing structure. There are numerous timber frame products in the market to consider; the selection process can be challenging. Therefore, you should evaluate some important factors before making your decision. You should choose sturdy wood which is rated for use in roofing applications. You should also ensure that the selected lumber is not susceptible to pest or water damage. Also, the wood should be widely available in your region because rare alternatives are costly. 

Use a Carpenter's Calculator

The dimensions of timber are critical in the construction of rafter framing. In simple terms, if you do not cut your lumber to the right lengths, they will not connect properly at the joints. Moreover, you could end up wasting your precious timber. It is possible to perform manual calculation of the appropriate dimensions and use a framing square for the process. However, as an inexperienced carpenter, you will be highly susceptible to errors. Therefore, you should acquire a carpenter's calculator. This device is pre-programmed with the formulas for calculating roofing triangles. The calculator will present all the necessary values such as the pitch, rise and diagonal in a clean interface.

Cutting the Rafters

After you obtain the measurements for the rafter framing, you should layout your lumber for cutting. You should measure your timber with care before making your cuts. Ideally, you should measure the different values of the roof and make markings on the lumber. These markings will serve as guides on where to cut and the position of the joints. When you are satisfied with the framing members, you can install your rafters as planned.

Roof framing can be complicated depending on the structural design of your shed or other building. Therefore, you should always consult an experienced roofer.