Framing a Hip Roof: Hip Roof Construction Tips

Learn More About Hip Roof Framing

One of the most popular designs for roofs is the hip roof. If you are going to frame one, understand that the process is a bit more involved than framing other standard roof styles. A hip roof adds architectural interest that other styles often ignore. If you're interested in adding nice roof designs to your home, this may be the way to go for your home. There are four components to keep in mind when erecting one - the ridge board, common rafters, hip rafters, and jack rafters. There are five steps for building and framing a hip roof for a rectangular building that requires a ridge board. Use these construction tips to learn how.

  1. First, you need to get the length for your ridge board. You find this by measuring the length of the building and subtracting the span (entire horizontal distance across that a roof covers) then adding in the thickness of the ridge board. A properly measured ridge board is integral to insuring the rest of the roof goes up smoothly.
  2. Next, you will nail two of your common rafters to one side of the ridge board. You will want one at each end. Then, nail two more on the other side of the ridge board opposite the first two. Lift the ridge board and nail the ends of the four common rafters to the wall boards, thus holding everything in place. Once this is in place, you can nail in the rest of the common rafters to the ridge board and walls.
  3. Now you are ready to install the hip rafters from the outside corners of the walls to where the first common rafter intersects the ridge board. You will then need to drop the hips so your sheathing can lay flat with a seat cut (also known as a birdsmouth cut). Once again, proper measurements are key here. You want the edges to support the sheathing, not the center.
  4. After installing the hip rafters and making your seat cut you are ready to install the jack rafters from the walls to the hip. It is best to nail the jack rafters on in pairs with one on each side of the hip. Continue down one side until it is complete before moving on to the next hip.
  5. Finish as you would for any roof and then add the sheathing. A hip roof may take a bit more work, but it adds structural integrity and interest to your home. When properly installed, it will be a benefit to any structure in the long run.


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